AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR HEAD ROASTER

This week I sat down with our Head Roaster and gatekeeper of coffee, Luke Romer. He gave us the rundown on what he looks for in a coffee and how he got into roasting. 
LUKE ROMER OUR HEAD ROASTER
What does good coffee mean to you?
Good coffee means a massive amount to me, it has been a passion of mine for many years now and a big part of my story and where I am today.  To me good coffee means not only great flavours but also community, from your local barista all the way through to the farmers working hard to produce our daily brew from across the world, its means so much to me that coffee can bring so many people together that would have never happened if good coffee wasn’t a thing!
What coffee do you drink?
Predominately I love to drink filter coffee. To me, the sweetness, acidity and transparency of the brew is unrivalled to other brew methods and is the best way to really experience the “true” flavours of each particular coffee and origin. 
What are the ideal characteristics are you looking for in your ideal cup in terms of flavour?
The ideal characteristics I’m looking for in the cup are so broad based on origin, varietal and processing but overall I’m looking for floral and fruity coffees with as much sweetness as possible, bright juicy acidity and clean transparent flavours.
 
THE COFFEE
How did you get into roasting?
Roasting coffee was something that always piqued my interest once I started getting into the specialty coffee scene. One of my co-workers at the time bought a small sample roaster that we would play around with and begin learning on and from there I always knew that roasting coffee was what I wanted to do. After a couple of years slinging brews behind the bar at Blackboard, I was offered the opportunity to work at the roastery and have never looked back!
Does the company ethos of blackboard influence how you source the beans?
I feel privileged to work for Blackboard as the company ethos lined up with my own personal ethos for how coffees should be sourced. We only source coffees that we personally love, and look to buy relationship coffees from the same farms from year to year to continue supporting the same farmers as well as to provide consistently well-sourced coffees that have been paid for fairly. 
 
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into coffee roasting?
Having a passion for coffee is a must! Get involved in the industry and with your local coffee roasters, see if you can attend coffee cuppings, express your coffee passion and interest in roasting coffee! 
Thanks, Luke!

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