I’ll never forget my first time on a roaster.

By now, I’d taken the plunge, actively pursuing a career as a coffee professional and owner of my startup specialty coffee roasting company. I was in training for Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certification at the Boot Coffee Campus, based in San Rafael, California, the other side of the country from my home in Massachusetts.

Getting ready to roast my first coffee beans on a drum roaster, my heart was pounding. The machine was sleek and elegant, with a style that was state-of-the-art yet truly timeless.

Standing there, with my green beans weighed, waiting for the drum to heat up, I could feel a fresh chapter unfolding, and it was exhilarating!

It’s hard to describe the excitement of dropping the beans when charge temperature was reached, the sound of the fall and agitation, and the instant knowledge that this path was indeed the right one for me.

I could see, smell, and hear the beans going through their transformation. How thrilling: I’m roasting beans and in total control of the roast profile.

As I checked and logged milestones every 30 seconds, manipulating airflow and temperature by hand, my senses came to life: It felt like playing a jazz etude for the first time on my saxophone; complex, crazy and thrilling.

Removing the “trier,” and visually checking and smelling the bean changes, deepened my passion for the complexity of coffee. Its color changes from green, yellow, cinnamon, light brown, to dark, and the aromas of grass fluctuate to hay and bread, all coming together to end with a joyful coffee fragrance. How amazing that such a small bean holds all these natural flavor characteristics inside, allowing me, the roaster, to extract these nuances, just by understanding and managing the roast profile.

Dropping the beans in to the cooling tray gave an immense sense of achievement and reward. My beans were looking good. The visual and sensory aspects made me smile. Waiting until the next morning to cup and taste the coffee, was like telling a child he can’t open his present after handing it to him.

I knew at this point; Burwell Beans was a passion and not just a coffee roasting business. I want others to experience what that first roast feels like and look forward to growing the company and training new team members.

Coffee lovers, rest assured: Your coffee is roasted with love.