How to find the perfect roast for new green coffee




I have just received a shipment of 6 types of green coffee that are not part of the Ikawa assortment. How would you guys suggest going about finding the perfect roast for these beans?


Hi @maggyl! Welcome! Thanks for the post. This is a BIG topic and one we plan to go through in a series on our blog. The beauty of roasting is that there isn’t a simple answer. There is a journey of experimentation and getting to know a coffee.

That being said, I would suggest starting with a couple IKAWA profiles and seeing which one lands the closest to your taste.

Post here the flavours you’re getting, how you’re brewing it, along with the link to the profile and maybe the community can work through some tips together!

What have I done wrong?

@maggyl - Hello :smiley:

I can share my procedure - I have a set of test profile that I expand with time … but my first ones were ikawa profiles I liked just made longer by moving the last point far out. What I then do, is, that I try to use my experience to guess what profile would fit the new bean (by origin or type, size, density. …) and try it, closely watching, smelling what comes out of the roaster, and stopping the roast manually when I feel its the right time (usually its around a minute after the first crack stops but I give a lot of space to my intuition on the first roast, and watch smell and stop it when I feel the right moment) I the usually make one that is 30s to 60s longer (again smelling to see where its heading) and one that is cca 30s shorter … and I test them a day or two later, and see how I like it. Quite often my intuitive stop is the best of those 3. I usually also do the same with one or two different profiles just to see how the bean behaves, and that gives me some understanding of how it reacts to different profiles. And then … I may choose the best one of those that I tested, and make and save a profile thats stops when I need … or I may fiddle with the best one seeing if I can make it better :smiley: But quite often even those like 4 testprofiles I made from original ikawa ones and one I made because I wanted to do that shape of the curve :slight_smile: … did get me to a very nice roast.
What is good to watch is the fan speed and movement of the beans (different density and size beans move differently), my basic level manipulation with that one has been … setting it such that the beans move just enough (that is hard to describe but say - they move in a way that they exchange center and side positions in a nice pace) but not much more … I have yet to play more wildly with that one :smiley:

My findings after first few beans without a profile have been that its quite easy to get to a nice tasting roast, that the window of a good enough roast is pretty wide … finding the best one, that is another story … but getting a good tasting one should not be hard (at least if you do not get a complicated beans, like say Rwanda that I am fighting with now … its just not as good as I think it should be … but I tried all my profiles and some more, and still not there yet. but a 400g to go :D)


@Geoff_IKAWA - great to hear you are going to make a series on this topic. Really looking forward to that …


When you make a profile, imagine where you are trying to make your milestones and plot accordingly. A point on the graph doesn’t mean that is where it takes place but could be the setting for the transition (ROR) to occur from one phase to another. Watch the beans as you roast. Keep the same lighting on the beans consistent. Make notes. Some key points to note are pale, yellow, brown, expanse, 1st crack and (possibly) second crack (noting in each phase: aroma, how quickly it takes place /how evenly the beans look, duration of 1st and second, drop time/temp, beginning and ending weight before and after roast. The more information you give yourself the easier it will be to reference earlier profiles. At this stage each bean is it’s own thing don’t try and make correlations yet. Roast one bean until you have finished it, go slowly give each roast 3 days worth of tasting. And set the profile long, you can always stop it short. Roasting is like driving a car on ice or a boat with no gas, you have some control but it’s more about understand, familiarity and experience. Some things to note, try and shoot for 1st C in the range of 460-480*F A high fan speed in the beginning is good to create an even roast. Too high a fan speed at cooling or towards the end circa 73-76% and beans will start flying out. I am fallable. It’s up to you to do as much as you want. People like Pavel and I have have been talking together through the kickstarter comments section so we feel more comfortable but please try what you want and share your findings. It’s been very interesting and fun so far. Good luck


Great thread. I think a most important aim of the forum is to share and discuss roasting profiles and extending to other different beans. To Ikawa: please see if there is a way that one can upload a profile to the roaster instead of manually setting one.


@deven.patel411 - Hey :slight_smile: hello Deven, nice to see you … and nice to read about your way of thinking about the roast.


@pwkkwong - hello :slight_smile: sure you can just click on a link to profile on you device and it will try to open in your Ikawa home app, so … its not the most nice way of doing it, but simple enough to perform.

How is the best way to begin to roast a new green beans?

Do you think there can be a nicer way. Believe you me I have a whole host of suggestions for the Ika team but I don’t see or can think of an easier or more encompassing way to share the profile the way it already is.


Not the sharing, that one is easiest it can be for sure. But geting a profile into the roaster involves the need to get to the link that could be almost anywhere (or nowhere)

For me a nicer way (leaving the existing one also possible) would be to have access to any user published profiles from within the app … AND … acces to any of my profiles from there too. Because now, if I have a profile on iphone, its not also on my ipad, so i have to either do a strange juggling of profiles through the roaster, or share and get it in through the link … but … they are on the cloud … should not they just be there for me, wherever i am at the moment? :wink:


Hi @pwkkwong, thanks for the post. I’m interested to understand your comment better. Can you explain in more detail what you’re describing about uploading a profile?



There are 3 major forms of heat Convective, Conductive and Radiation. Fan speed alternates the nature of the roaster. The faster the fan is the more the roaster is in the realm of convective heat. The lower the fan speed the more the beans are being roasted in conductive heat. I have a lot more to say on that subject but will keep brevity key right now. 16% weight loss is almost the end of the spectrum, one would hear of Spanish roasts being around 18%. I shoot for 13% but am still hitting around 14-15%. Ending color and roast degree are two different things. Like two eyes trying to focus on the same image. They need to meet in the middle so the beans are roasted enough on the inside and look like the roast from the outside. Outside and inside color need to match (usually) without internal scourging or a “smoked brisket” ring on the inside. After a roast take a bean or two and a sharp knife and cut through the bean on your cutting board, and look at the inside vs outside in a good light, use a sharp knife of razor blade, you want a clean cut. And be consistent with the light you use. Nothing is better than sunlight. For the nature of the air roaster and given that 2mins are allowed in the range of combustion, one can achieve virtually as dark as you like. No offense: if you are tasting your coffee with additives either the beans aren’t good or your roast isn’t. (TASTING IS DIFFERENT FROM DRINKING) Tasting coffee needs to be consistent, same cups, weight, temp, brew time, water amount. Drinking is your enjoyment and doesn’t matter how much milk or gummy bears you put in, do what you want. For tasting: If you get an upset stomach or the taste is too strong (astringent) then your are roasting way too far, killing off any flavors by turning them bitter or astringent or "roasty/ashy are also notes of overdevelopment. Excluding health problems or you just like that. As I am in the camp of buying 5lbs of one bean (yes it does get boring in some sense but also a sprinkle of achieve is in there too) I’ve taken my 11:50 roast down to 8:42 with the same results. The smaller the roaster and bean mass are the shorter the roast time (to an extent). Especially an air/fluid bed are much faster at roasting than other roasters. In this roaster using less beans of the same bean with the same profile I’ve found in some cases to produce 1st crack sooner. See if it’s the same or different for you.
So far to understand a profile it breaks down into quite a few things but I’ll be brief. Charge temp, getting pale, length of pale to yellow, stretching and forming yellow to a nice gold (theory), ripping through brown (or not), figuring out momentum from brown into first crack, slowing down enough to get a clear first crack phase then a gap and then second crack. I stress understanding getting a clear first and second crack because those really help you find an ending temp at whatever point you want to drop. Others parts of the profile effect other parts of the profile. I believe that the main part of development takes place during brown and not after first crack due to the attributes of the roaster.


I remember you wrote that before … still getting my head over that one. True that what I sense from exhaust sort of leans towards this … still my brain cant wrap around that.


Woah nice how did you quote me like that? I’ll try and figure that one out later. Ok here I’ll try and help by confusing you more. Roasting coffee creates a lot of products some contribute to flavor, others aroma… textures…etc. it’s not like A+B=C it’s more like 1/4A+1/2B=C, C+1/2B=D. Parts of the previous phase effects what’s going to happen next. So say if you have a really high “charge temp”/ prewarmup you might get to dry faster, and if you have a high fan speed you might get a more even dry, but if your fan speed is too high some beans might start turning brown too quickly. So what heat and at what rate or in other words at the magnitude of heat how quickly can start to begin or over saturate the beans. Chemical reactions like nice temperate ranges to work in. Like the human body works well at 98.6 you would feel sick if your temp went up to 99*F. But fruit can ripen if it’s warm or even if it’s hot but not too hot of course. So reactions have a very limited window and others a very large one. I believe each phase is like a building block to completing the roast. But the right duration and temp for each phase is based on the bean, and your preference. So far I can’t be any more specific than that.


Thank you Deven. To quote just select what you want to quote and you shall see what happens :slight_smile:
Hmm … I see what you mean … and true enough I did not think of roasting as of a chain of biochemical reactions (apart of thinking about forming sugars, caramelization and mailard) …
I can ingest a lot of the organic chemistry as long as it is in the right shape and form (no university level knowledne that I could base my understand from, but a father who spent his life in this field, so … have seen and heard it here and there :smiley: ) … so if you ever feel like bringing us deeper into that story, I can try how long can I last before my brain explodes … (or if you have some accessible knowledge resource I can dig through, just point me at that direction … I do this kind of stuff as a training for my brain anyway - maths, physics, quantum field theory … I give it a try and see how long I can keep up … )


I actually haven’t read Illy’s book, of the scientific articles that I’ve read free abstracts and whatever else I could get for free were ok to interesting at best and nothing of a “wow” factor, I actually found something on googles books today but haven’t given it a read yet, not to worry I’ll report back soon enough though.


My point is if someone has created a profile(or Ikawa has a new profile), others can simply download it to the roaster via the app. Now we can only edit an existing one manually and then save.


Thats exactly possible … if you have the link (try those two profiles on Ikawa Blog about roasting for espresso) … click on that link on your mobile device that has app installed … add it should load up into Ikawa App …


here’s the link to the blog

And here my default profile for a city roast :


My point is if someone has created a profile(or Ikawa has a new profile), others can simply download it to the roaster via the app.

I am not sure why you are having such a difficult time with this? As pavel said previously, click the link when using the device that has the app on it (like an iPhone or an iPad or your android phone or tablet device) and it will open in the Ikawa app.

If you are you talking about creating a new profile? in that case yes I agree there should be a button for creating a new profile without editing an existing one, just like when writing an email or starting a new topic or post on a forum. @Geoff_IKAWA :wink: :wink: