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Thread: advice for getting into roasting
- 11-26-2016, 03:45 PM #1
advice for getting into roasting
hello! i recently moved from Seattle, Washington where i was a barista and massive coffee geek for most of my so far short working life.
now i live in Casa Grande, Arizona. i'm very intrigued by all the wonderful looking roasters near me as i have been interested in getting into roasting for a while!
however i'm not really sure where to begin... i have drafted out a general cover letter (which i can post if anyone would be interested on advising me a bit on it) and brushed up my resume with good references.
i was thinking i should just email around and maybe visit a few spots in person when i get a little more mobile, but i'm not sure if i'll look overzealous.
i'm living with my parents at the moment and they want me to really get my feet on the ground somewhere i'll be happy, so finding a full time job to support myself is not really immediately important. i'd be happy to find a roaster who'd be willing to bring me in a day or two a week just so i could learn. of course, a fully sustainable job or anything in between would be nice, but i won't get my hopes up.
whatever advice would be much appreciated!! thank you
- 11-27-2016, 07:22 AM #2
My advice to you, since you are already experienced as a barista, is to find a coffee house that needs a barista, but where the owner has an interest in getting into the roasting side of things. That way you could be valuable to him/her as a barista, as you learn roasting together, but where it doesn't require more time that the owner has to spend at the business. My though is that most coffee houses that are started as roasting shops, the roasting is the passion of the owner, and they tend to be heavily involved in that end of the business, which might not open an opportunity for an inexperienced roaster. Of course there are many roasters on this forum who will probably have better insight on this.
- 11-28-2016, 05:19 AM #3
It can't hurt to stop by and talk to the local roasters. If I got a resume/letter emailed to me I would probably read and disregard. I like people who take initiative. I will say it is hard to find someone to take you under their wing. If you have any direct questions hit me up firstname.lastname@example.org . Good luck on the search!"Wine is for aging, not coffee."
Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch
- 11-28-2016, 12:22 PM #4
The most crucial thing if you want to work towards being an apprentice and eventually roasting on your own is to be roasting now.
Are you roasting now? If not, that would likely be the end of the conversation for any reputable roaster. Especially when you say "I have been interested in getting into roasting for a while." Well... Roast. Roast. and roast more. and then when an opportunity opens up, you have something to share and connect with.
Roasting is a craft, and although many don't treat it as such, it takes time, dedication, and talent certainly helps. I don't care if it's on a whirly pop, or an air popper, or an iron skillet, or a programmable Hot Top, or a Quest M3 -- If YOU aren't already roasting at home in some fashion, then you're really not all that serious about roasting. For the time it takes to learn how to be good, to be really good at it, you can't ask someone to share that knowledge with you if you haven't already shown initiative and desire on your own.John Piquet
Salt Lake City, UT
- 11-28-2016, 07:05 PM #5
- 11-28-2016, 07:08 PM #6
- 12-05-2016, 10:16 AM #7
You've gotten some good replies here, but I wanted to add something.
I can tell you as a commercial roaster, that it seems everyone "wants" to be a roaster. People ask me all the time for a job at the roastery. The ones that I think are serious, I will invite out to volunteer to help bag, label, and ship coffee. I don't pay them. I usually don't even spend a ton of time with them, as I'm busy running production. At the end of the day I'll ask them what they thought. Usually they think it was boring or they'll ask when they get to use the roaster. But, then there are a few who are excited and want to come back and help again tomorrow. Those are the ones that I'm looking for. Roasting isn't this glamorous thing, just like being a barista isn't a glamorous thing. It's hard work and you have love it. So go out and ask a local roaster if you can help out with production. Volunteer for the grunt work and prove to them that you really want to be a part of what they are doing.
So I say go out and find some local roasters and volunteer to help bag coffee. Ask if you can sit in on QC cuppings.
- 12-09-2016, 06:18 PM #8
- 12-09-2016, 06:19 PM #9
a bit of an update, i've been working on doing some home roasting and cold brewing a lot of the beans I roast (i usually taste some in the chemex first), and it's going quite well! i'm learning a lot and have been getting some pretty tasty batches of coffee
- 12-10-2016, 04:13 PM #10
Hope This Helps
Last edited by towniebrands; 12-10-2016 at 05:48 PM.
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