what & why dialect
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Consuming and producing countries have distinct cultures, languages and dialects, but through coffee we can all share a common ground. dialect intends to provide everyone with the flavour profile and intensity intended by the producers and their vision in an approachable and accessible manner. This is where dialect instils some irony - we realise the specialty coffee world utilises a plethora of jargon and acronyms (see, it's easy to fall into the trap) that are often misleading, misinformed, or both. By working somewhere between ambiguity and heavy data, dialect ensures that specialty coffee is tasted, appreciated and understood by everyone. It’s in this niche that dialect can be identified – informed approachability and accessibility.
Following on from the world of explorative research, dialect applies logical, methodical and scientific approaches to coffee. There were so many learnings from the doctoral training and roasting research that have guided and informed our decisions at every step of the process, from our green coffee selection, green coffee storage, roasting, degassing, grinding, extraction, sensory analysis and customer service.
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When sourcing great green coffee, we look to trusted importers who have well established relationships with exporters and producers in coffee growing regions. We sample a lot of different coffees from importers: we analyse, sample roast, taste and analyse each of them before carefully choosing those that are the tastiest and fall within our quality tolerances.
When approaching a new coffee, we would love to use 5 different time-temperature roasting profiles that try to explore the coffee’s flavour space (within the limits of the equipment). By varying the batch size according to a coffee’s thermophysical properties (density, heat capacity and conductivity), we could enable an extra degree of freedom when developing heating profiles for new coffees. We would then analyse both the product and the process, taste the different coffees using a strict sensory framework and then tweak the roasting profile accordingly. [These development coffees could be available to taste as a set in training classes or serving spaces when we get to that point]. When it comes to production roasting, even now, we try to be as consistent as possible, aiming to manage and control everything down to the last detail (although this isn't always possible!). Balancing other people's roaster capabilities with meticulous operating procedures ensures that both the product and process are optimised to produce the tastiest possible coffee.
Grinding coffee is critical for extraction. We use different grinders for different applications, be that grinding for your retail bags (do we do that yet?), for espresso, or for filter extractions. Each time we dial in a coffee for a given extraction technique, we vary the grinder setting (burr gap) to achieve different particle sizes (there’s never a single particle size, there tends to be a range, or distribution of sizes) and adjust the coffee mass (dose) to account for density differences in the coffee. Different particle sizes incur different flow dynamics during filter or espresso extraction.
In our serving spaces (i really hope we get to that point), we'll eventually be extracting coffees for you via espresso and filter techniques - it’s your call. We will also try to keep it simple at the beverage level too. We could simply serve espresso, espresso + water, espresso + milk, or filter. When dialling in, we could then adjust the brew yield (mass of beverage), vary the brewing water temperature to impact chemical extraction kinetics (rates) and adapt water flow rates through the coffee bed, all to fine tune in-cup strength (% solids) and optimise and produce the tastiest possible coffee for you. One day in the recent future i hope to make this a reality!