If you roast coffee, Rob Hoos likely needs no introduction. His book, Modulating the Flavor Profile of Coffee, and articles in Roast Magazine have been a lodestar for many aspiring roasters. We caught up with the Portland-based roasting guru to find out what roasters are overrated, what mistakes most roasters are making, and what’s in his cup.
When I think about books about coffee roasting, yours is one of 2-3 that come to mind. What inspired you to write the book?
First of all, you’re kind to think of me in that way. To be fair, it seems like there are only 2-3 books out there! I was mostly inspired to write the book because of the lack of readily available information out there about coffee roasting. I come from a barista background, and seeing how much there was (even early on) related to brewing, extraction, and just really every element of being a barista was set in harsh contrast to the relative silence between roasters. When I originally started working on the experiments that became the basis for the book in 2011 (ish) my goal was to bring much of the openness and collaborative spirit that I had loved and appreciated from the barista side over to the roasting. This paired with the realization that part of what I wanted the roasting community to be sharing (profiling for flavor) wasn’t being shared because it was novel information. The reason for calling it a manifesto is because I didn’t want to be claiming to be the end-all-be-all of roasting, but to establish my observations and the changes I’ve seen in flavor due to roast profile changes….