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Highlights from the 2024 Roast Summit in Portland, Oregon


Roast magazine photo | Juan José Sánchez Macías

Poor cell service had the unexpected benefit of deeper connections at the highly intensive Roast Summit, presented last week by Roast magazine in Portland, Oregon. 

With phones in our pockets, and spoons and pens in hand, coffee professionals from throughout the world convened for two densely packed days of coffee research, exercises and information. 


Roast magazine photo | Juan José Sánchez Macías

Day one was hosted at the McMenamins Kennedy School Theater, where coffee professionals took their seats in unique davenports to explore the future of coffee, which will clearly be driven in part by innovation and involvement from the academic community.  

Covering topics such as the electrochemical manipulation of stale coffee and the chemical properties of various degrees of roast, the information was both dense and nutritious for guests hungry for coffee knowledge.


Roast magazine photo | Juan José Sánchez Macías

The heavy science was balanced by lectures on old-world roasting, craft roasting and a particularly controversial take on whether green coffee defects are actually all that bad. Attendees were left charged with passion and enthused for the future of coffee.

Day two of the Summit took us on a coffee crawl that benefited from unseasonably great weather. At Buckman Coffee Factory, a cupping workshop showcased the top coffees from the Colombia Cup of Excellence, which dazzled our palettes.


Roast magazine photo | Juan José Sánchez Macías

Green coffee sorting and tasting reinforced previous day’s presentation proposition of “can you really taste that defect?” while the crew from San Franciscan Roasters walked folks through free-form roasting — an opportunity for newbies and veterans alike to try their hand and test their norms on the crafty little machines.

Overall, everyone left the Summit enriched by the thought-provoking dialogue and stoked to return home with new questions to answer of their own processes. This Roast Summit could only be categorized as a wild success, and in this author’s mind it has been established as a can’t miss event for anyone serious about the craft of coffee roasting.

See you there next year!


Roast magazine photo | Juan José Sánchez Macías