With change, there is always resistance at first. Many of us have spent the better years of our lives learning one way of doing something and mastering it if we’re lucky. Roasting is a skill that develops over time. There is a rate-of-rise that varies slightly for each craftsperson. Some of us built our skills on a solid drum gas-lit roaster, while others started using a fluid-bed electric roaster. We will always hold our first experiences with cooking coffee in a very dear place; however, it is a mistake to let nostalgia and sentimentality get in the way of progress and learning.
I started on a vintage, solid drum, gas roaster from Bologna, and it was all very romantic. I had always wanted to be part of a lineage. Coffee roasting was the perfect torch for me to carry. Keepers of the flame is a phrase we roasters throw around a lot. No matter how I may feel about it personally, it is time to extinguish that flame and make it symbolic. It is time to trade our gas for electricity.
Climate change will not slow unless everyone does what they can to slow it down. Electric cars can travel farther and faster than ever before. Electric roasters can develop coffee more precisely than ever before. Leaning into electric means traditional roasting equipment companies will adapt and produce a solid drum electric roaster to meet the market’s needs. Now is the time to consider a change and be revolutionary.