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Today I spent the morning in our roasting and production facility. I believe that if you are going to create truly exceptional quality there has to be a strong connection between those of us sourcing coffee and the folks actually roasting it. Too many coffee firms have an artificial separation between these two entities to the detriment of flavor. I fully recognize that production roasting is an art itself and Roast Masters bring a lot to the table when we are all trying to produce excellent coffee. That is why I think it important to develop a strong relationship with the roasting crew to make sure we are all on the same page. 

The morning got off to a rocky start for me in that there is no talking in the roasting room. For one thing, there is too much noise coming off the roasters, so that everyone is wearing hearing protection. Despite this, there is a deep rhythmic sound emanating throughout the room, reminding me of old synthesizer music from the seventies. The sound is so low you can feel it like waves in your body – very hypnotic. The roasters are of a design I am not familiar with. Most roasting machines are rather quiet and a person can easily have a conversation over them. Not so here. These devices are strange, apparently they were built in Oregon years ago by a crazy wizard or something. I didn’t get all the details but they have no drum and the coffee levitates inside the chamber. I am not a mechanical person so forgive me if I am not making sense. Regardless, the result from these roasters is quite extraordinary. Very transparent flavors, and the profiling is dead accurate with each roast. I will have to learn more about these strange devices. 

Even if you were able to speak over the noise it wouldn’t matter here as all the Roast Masters have taken a vow of silence. This obviously made communication slow to begin with but after a while I began to intuit what they were communicating. It’s hard to explain, it wasn’t words forming in my head as it was whole ideas simply manifesting there. I can say that in a short time we really began to understand one another. I couldn’t tell you any of their names, or what they even looked like. It wasn’t like they were faceless, it was more that I am unable to remember any particular features that would distinguish them from each other. Regardless, I think we have a good report and it will be easy to transmit what I think a production roast should result. 

I was expecting a pallet rack of coffees waiting to be roasted but could find nowhere in the facility where the green coffee is warehoused. I was hoping to do an inventory so that I might know how much to contract for when I begin ordering new crop coffees. Confusingly I was told I wouldn’t have to worry about this, that deliveries are all arranged through corporate. I can focus simply on sourcing. 

About the typewriter message the other day. I have been invited to visit the importers office in Indonesia. Corporate is arranging all the details for travel so this will be my first visit to origin working with Redshift. There must be some automatic mechanism on the typewriter, like some old-school fax machine or something.