Homecooked meals. Freshly poured microbrews. Tomatoes picked straight from the garden. There’s no denying that most things are simply just better when extra time and care are put into them.
The same goes for coffee. Choosing a roaster that not only understands the complexity of the process, but also uses their love of the craft to ensure every bean is perfect always provides the best cup.
Not all coffee roasters are the same. If you want best cup of coffee ever, it’s not always about how you make it, but also where you get it from. That’s why choosing small-batch coffee—essentially coffee beans produced on a small scale—is the way to go.
Even if two identical beans are plucked off the tree, how they are ultimately sorted, roasted, packed, and sold can have a huge impact on the final quality of the brew in your cup. Here are our top reasons why small-batch coffee is just better.
Large scale coffee companies roast literal tons of beans every day. This often means that not all of the beans will even be packaged and shipped to stores by the two-week mark. Honestly, who even knows how long they’ve been sitting at that warehouse.
By purchasing beans in small amounts straight from a small-batch merchant, buy with confidence knowing that these beans actually have been just roasted. Typically, small-batch roasters only have the shelf capacity to make coffee they can almost immediately sell.
There’s also an added transparency to most smaller roasters. Walking into that shop, you can smell that unmistakable aroma, hear the beans cracking away, and often even chat with the owner while grabbing a bag of freshly roasted small-batch beans.
Can’t Beat Quality Control
Can you imagine sifting through thousands, or even millions of beans to ensure perfect quality? Sure, you could use a machine, but there are simply some techniques and skills a machine can’t replicate. Smaller capacities allow for a level of control unattainable with larger roasters.
Creating smaller batches of coffee allows the roaster to use their expert eye to make sure the right bean is chosen for each particular roast. They can also keep a closer eye on the roasting process itself to monitor consistency.
For example, if a light roast is desired but the roaster notices certain beans turning darker well before the others, adjustments can be more easily and precisely made in a small-scale batch vs a large-scale one.
It’s not that large-scale coffee roasters don’t care about producing great coffee. I’m sure they strive to create that perfect cup too. However, even the best roastmaster in the industry can’t keep their eye on every bean spinning inside a 2,000 lbs. roasting drum. With a 10 lbs. drum, that job becomes a lot easier and the coffee’s quality will ultimately be elevated.
Compare two example coffee companies: A small-batch coffee roaster vs. a large-scale coffee roaster. One roasts about 20 lbs. of beans an hour and the other roasts 2,000 lbs. As all experimentation sometimes ends in failure, which size roast would you be more willing to take chances with?
The small-batch, right? You’re not going to risk throwing away a literal ton of coffee beans to play around with a new idea. With lower stakes however, the possible payoff is exceedingly greater. This allows for small-batch roasters to innovate with recipes more regularly than with large manufacturers.
The extra control allowed by smaller roasters also lets them better monitor, measure, and tweak their coffee creations. It’s also easier and far cheaper to make minute changes to small-batches in hopes of finally finding that perfect new flavor.
Extra Love, Care and Connection
When your company only has a limited capacity, it’s going to be your mission to ensure every ounce exceeds standards and that every customer is ecstatic with their purchase. There is simply an extra level of passion attached to smaller merchants that’s often missing from the big guys.
Most small-batch roasters are incredibly picky about the exact beans they choose to roast and sell under their name. The average bean won’t do. Picking, choosing, roasting, and selling only the best of the best is of extraordinary importance.
Also, what are the chances of walking into the corporate offices of a large coffee company and personally asking their CEO or roastmaster about their process, history, or upcoming new roasts? Probably close to nil. With small-batch roasters though, expect to make real connections with the people behind the beans and quickly discover that their coffee is truly their life—not their paycheck.
Carta Coffee Merchants specializes in roasting only small-batches of 100% Kona coffee. And we don’t stop there. Every bean is hand harvested as well. We pride ourselves in providing only the freshest and most exceptional coffee beans from one of the greatest coffee regions on Earth.