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November | December 2015

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Free Article Preview from the November/December 2015 issue of Roast

From the Publisher

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For much of the year, Roast focuses on process. Approaches to honing your cupping senses, methods for sourcing unique and sustainable coffees, roasting techniques—processes represent a framework of short-term goals that enable us to achieve our long-term results.

For our annual Roaster of the Year issue, we switch our focus to shine a light on results. Our Macro category winner, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, and our Micro category winner, Propeller Coffee Co., are masters at developing processes that lead to measurable results.

As you read through the articles on the winners, a subtle order of precedence might appear. A vision is established, processes are instituted to ensure each activity of each day to drives progress toward that vision, and results are measured to determine if the vision is achieved.

Propeller Coffee Co. started with a customer service perspective, asking, “What would it mean to completely blow away customers?” The company implemented strict roasting quality control and data analysis processes to deliver a better product to its customers, and used sustainability processes to make it easier to interact with customers. Measureable results? Well, they came out on top of a very competitive Micro Roaster of the Year competition that measures both quality and sustainability.

Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea began with a vision of mutual success for itself and its customers. The company went as far as creating a program—and founder Greg Ubert wrote a book—on the process of starting and running a successful coffee shop. The results can be seen in a number of shops that were launched and continue to rely on this model of mutual success.

Another observation about this year’s competition is the increasing global expansion of high-quality specialty coffee roasters. This was the most internationally diverse field of applicants we have ever received, including submissions from Mexico, France, Vietnam, South Korea and Canada. Interestingly, this is our third consecutive year with a winner based in Toronto, Canada. Perhaps there’s something going on up north that the rest of us need to note. Cooperative competition anyone?

Finally, I would like to thank not only our winners, but all the applicants in this year’s competition. Every application inspires the Roast team to continue to improve Roast, and for that gift I am truly grateful. I look forward to new ideas from next year’s entrants.

Warmest Wishes,


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