Roasting Malabar Gold calls for good roasting skills, but they are skills that can be easily acquired with some training. First, because Monsooned Malabar-AA Super Grade is a principal component of this blend, roast color is not a good indicator of its roast development. More importantly, Malabar Gold is a blend of several coffees with differing roast characteristics, and roasting such a blend takes more skill than roasting a single coffee. Monsooned Malabar-AA Super Grade is made up of extra-bold beans with low bean density and moisture content approximating 14.5 percent by weight. The Robusta in this blend, on the other hand, features small, high-density beans, and the moisture content is about 10.5 percent. From a roast perspective, these beans could not be more different.
It takes more than just mixing the beans together to produce this ready-to-roast blend. Our initial attempts at roasting this green blend produced disastrous results. At various roast levels, some beans stayed “green and grassy” while others were clearly over-roasted. It took nearly three years of diligent work to perfect this green pre-blend and offer it as a ready-to-roast coffee. In the process, we learned a lot more about green coffee characteristics, and we now understand more about the roast behavior of these coffees than ever before.
We like to keep the roast for this espresso blend on the lighter side. We roast to full city, the darkest you can roast without seeing any oil on the freshly roasted beans. With the drum roaster we currently use for roasted Malabar Gold Espresso, bean temperature reaches 442 degrees F. In a Sivetz-type air roaster, the temperature will reach about 457 degrees F. In other types of roasters, you will receive a different reading and must adjust the temperature accordingly.