How to win the roasting championship?

What is the national coffee roasting championship? Is it hard to win? 

The roasting championship is a competition among roasters where professionals try to roast unfamiliar coffee on unfamiliar equipment and describe the taste better than the competitors. It is very difficult to win, even professionals can participate for years and not win.

How long did it take you to win? How many attempts were made, and what is the secret of victory?

I went to a victory in the championship of Russia 11 years. To win you need to work nonstop like a wolf. And adore coffee.

How is the championship? Tell me about the inside experience. 

During the championship everything is quite relaxed and fun. Participants do what they love, communicate, share experiences. Many of them I know for a long time, so it is valuable to gather together. 

How do experts assess coffee?

The result is evaluated by SCA certified judges with a very serious and long-term experience in the industry. They evaluate not only all aspects of the taste of coffee, but also the skills of participants with roasters. 

What coffee is participating in the Championship? 

Coffee becomes known the day before the championship, as a rule, you can not buy it during the championship, so that no one bought a bag, and did not go home to train. This year was a monosort Uganda Ethiopian Fermentation, and for the preparation of the blend were allocated Costa Rica, Uganda honey and Ethiopia Sidamo Guji. All kinds of grains are interesting and complex, which increases the interest of the roaster to the process. 

Tell us about the feelings after the announcement of the victory and the next days of your new life. 

When it was announced that I had won, I was calm for a moment. And then if fell into the water, even as it frightened. I didn't see or hear anything. Utter shock! Then congratulations, photos, calls and messages began to pour in. It wasn't until the next morning that I realized what had happened the day before. The euphoria of victory was Sunday. During the week I continued to congratulate, including colleagues from Traveler's coffee. 

What gives the participant and the winner of the championship? Is it worth participating and what is needed for this?

Championship roasting gives an assessment of your skills and knowledge in the moment. But 100 times more important than the preparation time, there is growing skill. You should always prepare to the maximum, sparing no time and effort. Not the fact that you will win, but experience and knowledge will not go anywhere. 

Why did you choose the profession of a roaster? And how was your professional career?

I can not say that I chose the profession of roaster. I work with coffee for 14 years: fry, brew, do green grain, come into contact with the product from all sides. I think this mix of skills allowed me to win the Russian championship this year. 

Is the path of the roaster difficult in Russia? What opportunities does work in a well-known brand give?

It is quite difficult to be a roaster. Maximum concentration is the norm to give the best result. You need to drink a huge amount of coffee, which is not all " on the shoulder." During the working day in the roasting production is always hot, noisy and dusty. I think in Russia it is not more difficult or easier than in other countries. It may be easier to buy a roaster here and start frying due to the fact that the industry is young. Well-known brands have a large volume of production and different grain. Among the advantages of well – known brands-a good salary, the opportunity to work on the best equipment, social package. 

What's trending in roasting now? How will this sphere develop in the near future?

In roasting coffee now focus on the green grain. Many buyers and roasters go to farms and plantations, trying to find a unique grain to stand out. Now the styles of roasting from overcooked grain thanks to the trends came to light profiles, everything has stabilized. The taste is valued sweetness, balance. 

Arseniy Kuznetsov,

Head Roastmaster of Traveler's coffee brand