How to sampel roast (?)


New member
Dec 5, 2005
Hi all the Roasters!

At least we are receiving soon, after 1,5 years of roasting, a sampel roaster and we can start to experiment and cup different other coffees we are not roasting on "big" roaster.

But i have never roasted with sampel roaster and here is the point where i need your help!!!

i have read that when roasting sampels one should finish roasting aprox. 20-30 sec after 1 crack.

should i roast all the coffees like that or should i keep more attention on color of the beans??? all the greens i roast with sampler should i roast to the same "color degree" or ...???

though i know i can just experiment for a while, but it would be lot of help if any one could give his helping "hand".

one more question: can i roast with sampel roaster dark roasts? logically it should be possible but just whant to be sure.

Thanks in advance!!!



New member
Oct 18, 2006
Old England (UK)
I suspect each roaster has his own favourite ways, and I am by no means as experienced as most of them on here. For what it's worth though, here is my own perspective/methodolgy. I am sure other more experienced roasters, may correct me or have plenty to add to this.

Sample roasting is generally done for 3 reasons (obviously because a big roaster roasts too much coffee to do the job efficiently).

1. To check a coffee prior to purchase and also to sample coffee to ensure your purchase has no problems

2. To determine the best roast level for a coffee that's unfamiliar, or may have variability from 1 batch/year to another. This can include checking coffees you may have had a while (infrequent sellers)

3. To help create blends

Each one of these are big subjects in themselves, but so try and summarise for each of the points.

1. You would generally take the coffees to a light roast at some point after first crack. This is because you are not so much looking for flavours as defects in the coffee and these are best lasted at light to medium roasts (with all coffees roasted to the same level, it's not the taste of the roast you want but the taste of the bean). These should be cupped as per normal procedure.

2. Here you really want to find out how to get the best from a Coffee you don't know or may have variability. I personally roast an unknown coffee just to 2nd crack and taste it, then 2 more roasts,1 a bit before, the other 20-40 seconds into second crack (regular pops). These I am more interested in how they taste as espresso, long drink and milk drink..because now I am into a coffee thats for drinking and that's how they will be drunk. So not a formal cupping process.

3. 2 ways of blending (pre and post blending), if you have a very big roaster, you will generally try and create blends that can be roasted together. If you have a small roaster, you may be fine to post blend a lot as well (it's simply an issue of mixing up 150kg of beans from 3 50kg batches for the big roasters and it's a pain to do). The sample roaster is handy for roasting small quantities of a number of coffees to their optimum level, then post blending and tasting as in 2 above. Also a way to try pre blending, without wasting a LOT of coffee if they don't roast together OK..

IMO, thats the best way to make the most of your sample roaster.


New member
Dec 5, 2005
thanks davec for a reply it was lots of help from your answer.

at the moment i need info on sampel roasting for very formal cuping.

we have about 15 different coffee sampels from Dormans ltd. from Ethiopia plus others sampels of greens ordered from Sandalij, mercanta the coffee hunters, waiting for a sampelroaster so we could taste them in the very formal way...

may be any one can share his knoledge upon roasting coffees on sampel roaster for formal cupping????



New member
Jul 16, 2004
Hartford and New Haven, CT
These are the steps that I know about sample roasting and formal cupping:

1) Inspect and count beans by sizes by using a bean sieve
2) Check for primary and secondary defects. You can compare defects against the SCAA handbook, ... id=R202800
3) measure beans density and moisture level
4) roast the samples with all the defects put back in and roast to about 20 seconds after first crack. At this very light roasting level you can detect defect a lot easier than let's say into second crack. You can also detect different fragrance, aroma and flavors better with a lighter roast
5) After coffee is de-gassed, cup and score the coffee. For cupping methodologies, you can find them at ... ry=CUPPING

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