Career Progression

(Apostolos Papas) #1

Hello forum people.
What advice would you give to someone interested in transitioning from barista to roaster and/or QC? What attributes should they have and what skills should they possess if they wished to stand a chance?
Thank you.

(Michel Brode) #2

Just start.
One can roast at home to get an understanding of roasting.
Depending on one’s budget, one can start in a pan on the stove or in the oven, to using a popcorn popper, to buying a home roaster, to buying something like the huky 500.
If you work at a company that roasts, just tell someone you are interested in learning more and hopefully there will be a way. Sometimes one just helps with packing and other related tasks and follows a roaster around. Sometimes there is training program to get you going on this path.
I skipped over the barista part of the career progression and went straight to roasting. I was trained as a cook, so I suppose this may of helped me feel comfortable roasting. I read and was active on social networks and was able to connect with a lot people from all over. I roasted at home for 5-6 years and then I started my own roasting business. [I skipped working for someone else too] I offer unique coffees that I get via the connections I have made.
There are many different paths to becoming a roaster, but the biggest part is to just start roasting and sharing your desire to learn with others.

(Michel Brode) #3

Part 2
There are many types of roasters as well styles of roasting. A production roaster in a larger company needs a different set of skills than an independent roaster that has their own business.
In general, I believe a roaster needs to have a good palate, be rigorous and through, but also creative and intuitive. One needs to be happy about doing the same procedure over and over again with a constant eye on how one could improve (be more efficient, effective, or consistent). There are times to discover and be creative and times to be repetitive and following techniques.