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Hey, You Wanna Be Our Roaster?

4Oct09

I was just offered a position roasting coffee 3-5 days a week, beginning as soon as Elly and I return to Australia in April next year. They’re even holding the position for me until then. I heartily accepted and I’m ridiculously happy about it – joyful to the point of genuinely not-quite-believing it: No, wait; this sounds like one of those stories you hear about someone pursuing their passion and actually getting somewhere – this can’t be what’s happening to me?!

I thought the experience would be worth blogging about.

The role will be at Peak Coffee in Launceston working with Tim and Mel who myself and several other home-roasters have come to know over the last year or so. They’ve bravely relocated to Lonny to start a branch of the Port Macquarie-based roasting company. They’ve chosen a challenging but, in my opinion, appropriate location for raising the profile of specialty coffee. The growing interest in good coffee throughout Australia is pervading Tassie too, but I think that Launceston is at a stage where no one has “made it” yet. In other words, it’s ripe for the picking. Giving cafes access to some really high-end beans, locally roasted and delivered fresh along with training for the staff is a great thing!

So, the role I will have is that of “roaster-cupper-blender-bean-sourcer”. Something like that. [Obviously it’s 7 months away so things could change between now and then] Incidentally, if you were to ask me to describe my ideal job description, I’d have to say something like “roaster-cupper-blender-bean-sourcer”. So that’s nice to know, isn’t it?

I’ll be learning on a 15kg electric roaster which I’d have to say wouldn’t be my first choice. Gas seems more controllable and the capacity is about 20 times the size I’m used to – but as if I’m going to complain! I can’t wait to learn its quirks and master them… can’t wait to stand there as it spills its smoking, brown beans for the first time… can’t wait to gaze over the sacks of green beans thinking hmm, what next?… can’t wait to get people’s reactions to a new bean, or new roast profile, or new blend.

Basically, it’s the greatest thing ever. That’s all I have to say about that.

Cheers,

Stu.

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