How We Roast Vietnamese Arabica & Robusta Coffee Beans
We are proud to be the first and leading specialty Vietnamese coffee brand in the country, exclusively importing single origin arabica and peaberry robusta beans then roasting fresh in Brooklyn, NY! Our founder, Sahra Nguyen, is currently the Head Roaster. She developed every roast profile of our coffees! We focus on 100% real Vietnamese coffee and the powerful flavor packed in the integrity of the beans; we do not add any fillers, flavors, or artificial ingredients to our coffee beans.
While we roast both arabica and robusta coffee beans, we feel that roasting robusta beans is our specialty since we're one of the few craft (and small-batched) roasters that proudly and transparently roast robusta coffee beans.
Robusta beans and arabica beans are very different from each other -- in flavor profile, caffeine content, sugar content, fats, density and even shape! Robusta beans have 60% less fats and sugars than arabica, and robusta beans have nearly twice as much caffeine content than arabica. For this reason, we approach roasting arabica and robusta beans very differently. This is what gives our signature blend, "Loyalty," so much uniqueness.
When we first started, we roasted manually on the Probat. This process was critical for us to hone our understanding and techniques in roasting our different beans. After about a year, we transitioned over to an automatic process, on the Loring -- which basically allows us to have consistent quality control. Before we can roast automatically, we have to roast manually on the Loring to essentially "dial in" our unique roast profile.
Even when we're running an automatic roast, it is critical to continue building our sensory connections to deepen our expertise in roasting Vietnamese coffee beans. At every stage of the roast process, what is the connection between color, smell, sound, temperature, and airflow?
Even though we're roasting the same beans each time (single origin arabica and robusta) and we're roasting on the Loring, every batch has the potential to be different due to many factors such as moisture levels, humidity (in our environment), unique occurrences with a particular bean from a particular tree, anomalies from bagging the green beans, and more. For these reasons, it is paramount that we pay attention to every part of the roast, use our senses, and cup each batch for quality control, assurance, and consistency.
We still like to take notes the old fashioned way -- with pen and paper :-P
Many people associate "dark roasted" beans or dark tasting beans with strength. While we get a particular kick in the taste of dark roasted beans, it doesn't necessarily equate to strength in terms of caffeine content. In fact, the longer you roast a bean, the more you reduce the caffeine content. So strength in caffeine from coffee starts with the bean (how much caffeine is naturally in the bean before you start roasting? Remember robusta beans have nearly 2x more caffeine than arabica); and strength in the bean relates to the roast style and duration.
Once we've achieved our desired roast (it's like cooking a steak -- when do you call it?), we let the beans drop and they immediately start to cool down. During the cooling process, we check in all the beans and pick out anything that looks wildly funky (producers abroad can only do so much when hand picking beans in the sweltering hot sun...). It's okay if we find a funky bean! It's natural! :)
After the beans are done cooling, we weigh the roasted coffee beans to measure our weight loss.
Now the beans are ready to be packaged and shipped out to coffee drinkers around the world! Thank you for grinding with us!
Ready to try the Vietnamese coffee experience at home?
Interested in traditional drinks? Learn how to make Vietnamese egg coffee here.