Chef News

Steve Kraus of Press Coffee Roastery Takes Us Through a Coffee "Cupping"

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You can also check out their whole roasting operation at the South Phoenix location, from raw bean to beautiful cup of latte art. Press' roaster Nanda Ibanez uses a huge roaster (its name is Brutus) to roast all of the company's beans. She tracks each roast -- and sometimes they do several dozen a day -- both by hand and by computer software.

She roasts between 12 and 20 pounds of coffee at a time and each roast takes between nine and 15 minutes, depending of course on the bean and how dark a roast Ibanez is trying to achieve. A computer program hooked up to the machine tracks the bean's profile, or the changes in temperature and time. By five minutes into a roast the beans will already be turning from green to yellow and by the end of the roasting process you can actually hear the beans popping as they split open.

After being roasted the beans will sit for about two days before being taken to the wholesaler or Press' retail stores. The company trains all of its own baristas before letting them loose in store and also offers free training to all of its wholesalers. Doing so helps ensure that the quality of their coffee is accurately reflected in the way it's prepared, Kraus explains.

"At some point I will have a flagship store, which will encompass everything," Kraus says.

That encompasses everything from roasting to coffee eduction, a tasting bar and retail sales. Kraus says he's already got his eye on a location, though he's not ready to say where yet.

"We like to think that we're one of the leaders in specialty coffee out here," Kraus says.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria