Joseph Agnellotti, owner & roaster at Pig Iron Coffee Roasters described their company as a “quality focused roaster”. The pursuit of excellence is a daily challenge for the team – they’re persistent and motivated.
"I don’t like if someone says they don’t like my coffee."
“I don’t like if someone says they don’t like my coffee. I always want people to say they enjoy my coffee and I never want someone to say something bad about it” explains Joseph on the motivation. A simple goal but he’s taken great lengths to attempt to achieve it. If you don’t believe roasting is a complicated process, you don’t know the experiments that Pig Iron do on a daily basis to improve the tastes of their brews.
“We experiment almost every day. We’ll do a couple degrees darker or 30 seconds longer. At different points in the roast, we’ll try different things just to see what it does for our knowledge and to see if we can better the coffee that way.”
Every change that is happening inside the roaster is measured on their computers and placed on graph in real-time so Joseph can make adjustments and ensure that everything is going according to plan. There’s nothing that can be misunderstood which could be with scent or smell - the guess work is taken out of it as every second can be quantified and analyzed.
“It’s the most important thing. We need to know what’s going on at all times throughout the roast. We need to know how fast the bean temperature is rising, we need to know how fast the environment temperature is rising and then we need to control it throughout the whole roast. We need to match those profiles roast to roast for consistency.” Joe emphasized.
Once a roast experiment has been completed with a final product produced, the tasting begins. With a large enough team at the roaster or at his Lit Espresso Coffee Bars who have a capable palate, notes are taken and received on what everyone thought about the experiments' outcome. The feedback determines what changes (if any) need to be made.
“It all depends on how the coffee performed when we tasted it. Lets say it had good balance but it wasn’t flavorful enough – so then we’ll try different things to bring out flavor, whether its extending the length of the roast or upping the finish temperature of the roast.” Joseph describes.
When they find a roast profile through their experiments that shines about the rest, it doesn’t mean that it’s a finished product.
“Once we have a roast that we think is a success, we’ll save it as our main roast profile – from there we’ll experiment off that roast. Each roast gets better, and then we’ll try and make that roast even better by experimenting off that roast profile.”
The lack of complacency is what’s gotten their beans to taste amazing today, but the continual improvement can only mean great things for the future of Pig Irons’ product.