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Throwback to Roaster Camp

A place for reminiscing on Roaster Camp with some happy attendees from 2016. 

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Laura Polderman – Lot Sixty One Roasters, Amsterdam

Why did you come to Camp?

To develop my skills and to get out of my comfort zone and the way that I roast now. You stick to a certain pattern and I want to get out of that pattern and see what other options there are. I’d like to try different ways of roasting when I get back. It’s also great to meet so many interesting people. I’ve met so many people – even from the Netherlands where I’m from – that I didn’t know yet.

What lessons will you bring home with you?

Most importantly to experiment and try a lot of different stuff. Up until now, I feel like I’m always following the same profiles. Of course, when we get new coffees we have to make new profiles but sometimes I feel like I’m only following the curve. Here I’ve learned that it’s not about that at all, it’s about being creative. I know now that profiles should change all the time, especially with coffee ageing or weather changes. I learned that I also must cup more and start really tasting what I’m doing and trying different profiles on the same bean, on the same day to see what that does. In terms of blending, I never use a colour reader and I think that’s really important.  I’ve never worked with a moisture reader either and that’s important too. I learned really practical things, but also creative stuff.

How can Roaster Guild of Europe support you?

First of all, it’s really nice what RGE is doing here at Camp. The classes are amazing and I couldn’treally choose between them because everything is very interesting. But after this, you go home and it stops again, so it would be really useful if there was an online community platform where you can read more about other events, or share information and ask questions.

Jack Ryan – Muttley & Jack's, Sweden

Why did you come to Camp?

I’m here because I want to kick-start my roasting career. I’m an Irish transplant in Stockholm and I have a passion for coffee. It’s been a hobby and I’m ready to turn it into a profession. When I saw a few months ago that this Camp was taking place

I thought it was a sign like this is the right time. This is the perfect kick-start in terms of knowledge and skills and also in networking as I have got to meet roasters from Sweden and Ireland and also throughout Europe.

What three things have you learned at Roaster Camp?

I’ve learned that data is your friend. As Joanna [Alm, Drop Coffee, Sweden] and Andy [Benedikter, Cropster] highlighted in the Follow the Curve workshop it is all about embracing the data.

You must log everything and use that data to constantly improve your profile. By making data your friend you can look back at it and continuously improve.

I also learned some good tips about how to win roasting championships,  which may be useful some years in the future. It’s always good to have some medium-term goals! And I learned about being a lean start-up, which is giving me pause for thought because I have been writing a business plan and now everything is going to get rewritten after these three days at Camp. As Morten [Münchow, CoffeeMind]  was going through the lean start-up ideas he gave me a lot of information to think about.

How can Roaster Guild of Europe support you?

With more of this – more possibilities to network. Also, for somebody just starting out and perhaps for somebody who is transitioning from barista to roaster, it would be useful to have some basic courses on everything you want to know but are afraid to ask.