Running a successful roasting operation is about much more than buying the best beans, hiring the right people and having the right location; You must also assure your employees have the skills required to maximize your investment. 

Understanding that roasting is not inherently obvious, to help you Burns has developed several training options that provide the necessary education and skills for your people.  

Our training programs start with sample roasting. 

Our training opportunities include sample roasting; roast profile development, blend development and scale up to your production roaster.

Knowing proper sample roasting methods is a fundamental requirement for your roasting staff.  Sample roasting is an important part of the coffee roasting process as it is the key process for evaluation of green coffee offered for purchase.  Sample roasting is also the baseline of your finished product, as the small samples from this roasting process can be blended together in a first product development step. Our trainers teach the proper way to set up sample roast profiles and how to roast by hand (well perhaps eye and nose) on a sample roaster.  Our trainers also review how to appropriately collect and present data from sample roasting to help your green coffee buyer make the best possible purchase decision. 

Roast profile development is another important training objective. 

Profile development is what roast masters consider the Art of Science. There are three stages to the roasting process. Each coffee has its unique attributes and determining them can be a challenge. Our training programs help your roaster learn the three stages that will help them determine the roasting style. 

  1. The Drying Phase is the start of roasting to approximately 300F. During this phase moisture is driven from the coffee and molecules in the coffee are defined for further reaction. The momentum of the coffee during this phase is very important as the rate that your coffee progresses through the drying phase will determine later reactions.
  2. Maillard Reaction or non-enzymatic browning is the phase where the sugars in the bean react with proteins. This phase gradually starts around 320F and continues through the first crack.
  3. Roasting Development Phase begins with the caramelization of the remaining sugars. The rate of these reactions during this phase influences the amount of smoky flavor, body and other key flavor attributes.  

Through hands-on methods, we teach individuals how to manipulate the above phases to develop their desired flavors in finished coffees. No two bean types are the same and a skilled roaster knows how to change these phases to alter the flavor of the finished bean to meet their target.  

Transitioning coffee roast profiles from the lab to the production roaster as another challenge. 

Large production roasters look, feel and operate much different from sample roasters and small pilot roasters.  Roaster control systems and roast profile measurements can appear very different as you move from the lab to the production floor.  For example, the rate of rise of the beans with a BURNS 270 lb batch can appear much different than the rate of rise in a 10 lb batch. A skilled roast master must know how to manipulate roasting variables such as burner output and fan speed to create the same coffee development profile, even if the temperature measurement of the beans is different.  Our trainers are well versed in operation of BURNS production roasters on many different levels.  We can help you move your first few roasts from the lab to the production floor and train your roast master on the critical measures and observation required for this transition.  Our trainers can pack their bags and bring this education to you, so your roast master can learn on their own roasters!

B270R Production Capacity

More information on training at BURNS. 

BURNS offers two solutions for training:

We are pleased to have SCA certified training courses in our Premier SCA Training Lab in Lincolnshire, IL.  Here, at the BURNS factory, we teach sample roasting, roast profile development, blend development, green coffee basics and custom classes.  For more information on two of our courses, please copy and paste the links below to your browser

Green coffee basics:

Intermediate roasting:

BURNS is also pleased to work with Brewed Behavior, a talented group of consultants that can help you with custom training, blend development and roaster scale up.  BURNS and Brewed Behavior have a long history of working together so you can achieve the perfect profile on your BURNS Roaster.  For more information on training with Brewed Behavior visit  

Leave a Reply