As you manipulate the temperature, airflow, and other variables with a conventional gas‑powered coffee roaster, the roast profile records the results. However, as each variable is altered, the chance for human error grows.
Bellwether’s roasting technology leverages the power of automation to eliminate the possibility of human error and achieve unprecedented consistency and repeatability between roasts, so anyone can roast artisan coffee with the push of a button.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to:
- Decide between pre‑made and custom digital roast profiles
- Create custom profiles for new coffees (like never before, really)
- Ensure always consistent coffee quality with the Bellwether Roaster
Pre‑Made vs. Custom Roast Profiles
Roasting with a Bellwether starts with a choice: Do I need a pre‑made digital roast profile or should I create a custom profile?
Pre‑made roast profiles are included with all green coffee purchased through the Green Coffee Marketplace. These roast profiles, available in four roast levels from light to dark, are crafted by Bellwether’s master roasters with quality, flavor, and sustainability in mind.
Once your green coffee arrives, select the respective digital roast profile on the Bellwether roaster, load the hopper, and roast!
Pre‑made roast profiles provide coffee companies with several advantages, including:
- Coffee Quality and Consistency — Since each pre‑made profile is developed by Bellwether’s coffee experts, you’ll enjoy delicious blends and single origin coffees roasted in‑house. The easy roasting process leads to repeatable and consistent results, meaning you never have to worry if your coffee was roasted incorrectly.
- Quick Onboarding Processes — If you want to roast coffee in‑house but have a small staff, the pre‑made roast profiles allow anyone on your team to be a coffee roaster—without the months of training or hiring a professional roaster. Select the profile that matches your green coffee selection and start roasting!
- New Revenue Channels & Cost Savings — By not spending your time and budget to become or hire a master roaster, you can focus your efforts on creating new revenue channels like an ecommerce store or wholesale program. The consistent coffee quality delivered by pre‑made roast profiles helps you deliver a high‑quality product to customers every time.
Those starting their coffee roasting journey find Bellwether’s pre‑made roast profiles to be a major advantage to their business.
You can also create custom roast profiles on a Bellwether.
⭐️ If you source green coffee from another importer or want to create your own profile using coffee from the Green Coffee Marketplace, custom roast profiles give you full creative control over the results.
Using a custom roast profile lets your team dial in the internal roast activity to best meet the needs of your coffee. Just like a conventional roaster, you can adjust variables such as:
- Bean temperature
- Drum temperature
- Roast duration
- Ending temperature
By adjusting these variables, you indirectly control the Rate of Rise line (indicating the rate by which the temperature rises) and can use that to guide your roasting technique as well.
By creating a custom roast profile, you can accomplish objectives such as highlighting the pleasant acidity of a Colombian coffee or giving your house blend a heavier mouthfeel.
And you don’t need to have prior roasting experience to create a custom roast profile! All you need is a Bellwether Roaster.
How to Choose Between a Pre‑Made or Custom Roast Profile
Deciding between pre‑made and custom roast profiles comes down to a few factors:
- Coffee roasting experience
- Business and staffing needs
- What you want to achieve with your coffee
That last point is the most important.
Every coffee you roast, whether for a blend or single origin, must serve a distinct purpose. Before selecting or creating a roast profile, ask yourself:
- Do I need this coffee to be roasted to a light, medium, or dark level? Which roast level best highlights the natural flavors of the coffee?*
- What flavors or characteristics do I want to achieve with this coffee?
- How will this coffee be brewed? Will it be served on your pour‑over bar or as your house espresso blend?
- Where do I plan to sell this coffee? (Coffee shop bar, retail displays, wholesale, ecommerce)
Remember, coffee roasting isn’t a one‑size‑fits‑all process. Each roast profile must be chosen or developed to achieve the intended result.
Here’s how to determine if a pre‑made or custom profile is right for you:
Pre‑made roast profiles are best for coffee businesses that…
- Are starting their coffee roasting experience
- Need to ensure consistent, repeatable quality for multiple sales channels and/or storefronts
- Have several team members responsible for roasting, including baristas and front of house staff
Custom digital roast profiles are ideal for those that…
- Import green coffee from outside the Bellwether Green Coffee Marketplace
- Have prior coffee roasting experience and knowledge of reading roast curves
- Develop custom blends and roasts for internal or white label coffee programs
If you decide a custom roast profile is what you need, here’s how to get started.
Creating a Custom Roast Profile
On your Bellwether Roaster or online account, select the “Profiles” tab.
Once on this page, you’ll see a “Create roast profile” button in the top right corner. Click this to begin.
Step 1: Enter Profile Details
First, you’ll enter the important roast details such as:
- Roast Profile Name — You can call your profile whatever you please, from “Cold Brew Blend” to the coffee’s origin or farm name. Choose a name your team will recognize when roasting a new batch (and edit later if you’d like).
- Roast Level — Choose a roast level ranging from extra light to extra dark. This will help guide your roast curves.
- Origin (Optional) — If desired, include your coffee’s country of origin to help organize your roast profile library.
- Image (Optional) — You can also include a roast profile image. Imagery assists in profile organization, categorization, and staff training.
When you’re ready to move on, hit Continue.
Step 2: Select the Base Curve
All Bellwether roast profiles start with a base curve. The base curve outlines the desired path for the bean temperature to follow.
The base curve is the foundation of your roast profile. You can edit the specifics of the curve later in the following step.
Choose from three base curve options:
- Preset — Preset curves are examples of what specific roast level profiles should look like. Toggle through the different roast level options to see the differences in roast curves.
- Active — Active curves are the roast profiles that currently appear on your Bellwether roaster. These can include custom profiles you’ve previously created or pre‑made Bellwether curves.
- Archived — Archived profiles do not appear on your Bellwether roaster, but their data points can still be used as a base curve for future roast profiles. Archiving a roast profile no longer used in your shop’s day‑to‑day operations removes it from the Bellwether roaster app but still makes it available for reference on your Bellwether web account.
To move on, hit Continue.
Step 3: Editing the Roast Curve
Editing roast curves on a Bellwether couldn’t be easier. You can edit any pre‑made Bellwether profile to better suit your shop’s needs or edit a profile you’ve created yourself.
To alter the profile, drag and drop each data point on the graph to the desired time and/or temperature.
⭐️ Pro Tip: For greater accuracy and roast consistency, we recommend placing a data point at least every 45‑60 seconds on a custom profile. Refer to our pre‑made profiles as an example!
Data points can be added, deleted, or moved throughout the roast profile. You’ll need to have a minimum of one data point per minute to ensure a quality roast curve.
You can also edit the Charge Temperature and Completion Criteria (end time and temperature) of a roast profile. You’ll find these options in the top left and right of the profile screen respectively.
Before editing a roast profile or creating custom curves, ask yourself: “What am I trying to achieve with this roast?”
Your answer will guide your roast profile changes.
If you aspire to achieve a specific roast level, use these time and temperature ranges as a foundation:
- Light roast — 400‑415°F, 9‑10 minutes
- Medium roast — 415‑430°F, 9‑11 minutes
- Dark roast — 435‑450°F, 10‑12 minutes
As you become more comfortable roasting with a Bellwether Roaster, you’ll discover how to best manipulate your profiles to match your coffee needs. Some coffees will taste spectacular with a 9‑minute roast with an end temperature of 410°F while others may need a longer development time and end closer to 11 minutes.
👉 Don’t forget! The Bellwether team of coffee experts is here to help you craft the perfect roast profile for your coffee. We’ll work with you to create a custom blend or single origin roast profile.
Step 4: Finalize the Profile
Once you’ve got your roast curve exactly as you want it, it’s time to add the remaining details.
These optional fields allow you to add information about:
- Profile Description — Enter information that will be helpful for your team to know when selecting this roast.
- Profile Attributes — Provide details about the coffee’s varietal, elevation, process, and certifications.
- Cupping Notes — Use the flavor wheel to illustrate your team’s sensory notes from the roast.
After entering these last details, hit “Save” and you’re ready to roast!
Fine‑Tuning Digital Roast Profiles
In specialty coffee, we engage in a practice called cupping to determine the quality of a coffee once roasted. Roasters cup their coffees regularly to ensure their roast profiles are on point and the coffee tastes as it should.
Another benefit of pre‑made roast profiles is that you don’t have to constantly test, taste, and dial in your coffee profiles. You’ll have confidence knowing your coffees were roasted according to plan every time.
However, while you don’t have to cup every batch you roast using a pre‑made profile, cupping coffee is a wonderful way to continue expanding your lexicon of coffee fragrances, aromas, and flavor attributes—especially as you add new and exciting coffees from the Green Coffee Marketplace to your menu.
⭐️ If you choose to roast coffee using a custom‑made profile, we highly recommend cupping each batch to guarantee coffee quality and flavors before serving or selling to customers.
Roasting Specialty Coffee Is Only a Button Away
Coffee roasters rely on roast profiles to guide their actions as they take green coffee and transform it into the roasted coffee we know and love.
But this expertise takes years of practice, refinement, and dedication—a luxury not all coffee businesses have.
With the Bellwether Roaster’s pre‑made and custom digital roast profiles, anyone on your team can roast coffee at the touch of a button in less time than it takes to make a latte.
👉 Discover how pre‑made and custom roast profiles on the Bellwether Roaster guarantee consistent coffee quality for your business.