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The SanFranRoaster Blog......

Old School Design in Modern Times | Keeping the Craft of Coffee Roasting Alive

Posted by Otto Nicli

Fri, Nov, 16, 2018 @ 13:11 PM


Every year, people wait with bated breath to hear news about the next generation of iPhones. Everyday, people scroll through their brand new smartphones to learn about the next big gadget. We’re living in a culture of “new.”  We’ve grown accustomed to the lifestyle of simply upgrading as soon as something falters or breaks down. Thankfully, this culture has yet to take over every facet of life (although it does appear to be going that way). There are still artisans who use their craft to build beautiful instruments and tools that are meant to last generations. Sculptors, blacksmiths, potters, and painters continue honing their craft, inspiring those around them with meticulous design that cherishes an inexhaustible history.

The Usefulness of a Classic Design

At the San Franciscan Roaster Company, we stand with the artisans. We’re not particularly against all the modern advancements of this age (after all, you wouldn’t be reading this blog if computers never existed!), we’re simply saying that it’s important to cultivate a culture of artisanal creation. Our roasters are specifically designed to be user-focused. We draw inspiration from the artisans of the world, both from the modern era and from the past, in order to create a machine that bridges generations. When specialty coffee roasters use our machines, they are able to use old-school methods as well as third-party software and programs, such as Cropster™ and Artisan™, in order to develop roast profiles and create the perfect batch.  

The Unencumbered Craftsmanship of Coffee Roasting

There’s a particular magic that manifests when one creates something with his or her bare hands, unencumbered by a guiding eye or automation. Although it may not be as easy, it is much more rewarding. When you roast on a San Franciscan Roaster, you’ll be able to use your sense of smell, sight, and eventually taste to craft the right roast. Regardless of your experience level, you will undoubtedly feel a sense of gratification when you hear the first crack or when you begin to smell the right notes.

An Obscured View of the Past

The modernity of things has seeped into the coffee roaster industry. Now, the art and craft of roasting green coffees has been taken over by automated machines, computers and interfaces. In the past, coffee roasters would cherish the challenge. They intimately knew each minute sound and smell. To them, roasting became a second language. But now, the advent of technology has diluted the craftsmanship that was once a core tenant of coffee roasting. For some, coffee roasting has become the world’s slowest video game. To sit behind a monitor and wait until the bars reach those of the previous roast is as anticlimactic as it can get.

Nurturing a Generation of Artisan Coffee Roasters

The San Franciscan Roaster Company strives to keep the dream of artisanal craftsmanship alive, one roaster at a time. This is why we design our machines to last for generations. This way, the craft can pass from parent to child for years and decades. Our machines are built in a robust platform. We’ve also built our machines for simplicity of maintenance and cleaning. Perhaps the apprentice of a roaster can be tasked with the cleaning of the machine after a batch is complete. This can light a spark of desire. The young, soon-to-be roaster will gain first-hand knowledge on the components of the machine. That, in addition to watching the parent roast, will stoke the longing to one day take up the family mantle to become a specialty coffee roaster. Once the child of the roaster becomes a roastmaster, she can show her own apprentice the art and craft of roasting. This is why we like to say that every roastmaster who uses a San Franciscan Roaster is part of our family. These roasters stand by you, throughout the years. With a reliable machine from the San Franciscan Roaster Company, you can achieve greatness.

The San Franciscan Roaster Company: Hand-Crafting Ageless Beauty

Modern advancements have been occurring perpetually from time immemorial, and the specialty coffee roasting industry has evolved by leaps and bounds. Many designs that appear modern and cutting edge today will become obsolete and no longer supported in the next five years. But there are other materials that maintain a distinctly stoic stance throughout the generations. Think of the Coca-Cola logo or steam locomotives. These designs resonate to this day. There’s no need to change something that’s already perfect. When you roast coffee, you’re partaking in a tradition of craftsmanship and individuality. A sensible inclusion of modernity, such as third-party data-logging software, can make the entire craft more immersive. Each change or addition can either hinder or facilitate the craft. Learning the true craft may be more difficult at first but it cultivates a strong foundation of knowledge, skill, and experience. This is why old school design and tradition still matters in our modern age. When you look at a San Franciscan Roaster, you see the face of reliability; a beautiful centerpiece to any coffee house that is also as dependable as a workhorse. If you’d like to learn more about our roasters or about our philosophy, contact us today!

Topics: handmade, high quality, education, experience, SF10, coffee roasting, coffee flavors, taste vs. flavor, sense of taste, art of roasting