Master coffee roaster

A master coffee roaster


Master coffee roasters design new coffee styles and ensure the quality of blends and recipes pragmatically. They write blending formulas to guide workers who prepare coffee blends for commercial purposes.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a master coffee roaster.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Master coffee roaster is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Master coffee roaster career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to master coffee roaster.

coffee taster
coffee roaster
cacao bean roaster
cigar inspector
coffee grinder

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of master coffee roaster. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of master coffee roaster with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

green coffee buyer
green coffee coordinator
malt house supervisor
animal feed supervisor
distillery supervisor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of master coffee roaster.

  • Types of coffee beans: Most known coffee types, Arabica and Robusta, and the cultivars under each one of those types.
  • Coffee grinding levels: The known levels are coarse grind, medium grind, medium/fine grind, fine grind, super fine grind, and turkish grind. Indication of machinery to achieve product specification.
  • Colour ranges of roasting: Different colour codes and ranges, usually depicted in colour charts, to define their roast color levels.
  • Roasting coffee: Craft and science of roasting coffee.
  • Coffee characteristics: The origins and types of coffee and the processes of coffee preparation, production and trade.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of master coffee roaster.

  • Operate a heat treatment process: Apply heat treatment aimed at preparing and preserving half-finished or finished food products.
  • Perform sensory evaluation: Evaluate the quality of a given type of food or beverage based on its appearance, smell, taste, aroma, and others. Suggest possible improvements and comparisons with other products.
  • Apply different roasting methods: Employ different methods to roast cocoa beans, such as oven roasting, air roasting, drum roasting, coffee roaster, and hot air gun. Use the different methods according to the production requirements, type of cocoa beans, and desired chocolate product.
  • Ensure public safety and security: Implement the relevant procedures, strategies and use the proper equipment to promote local or national security activities for the protection of data, people, institutions, and property.
  • Examine green coffee beans: Examine green coffee beans ensuring that they are all approximately the same colour, shape and size. Beans of the same size will roast more evenly, whereas smaller beans may roast quicker and affect the overall taste.
  • Apply HACCP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • Evaluate coffee characteristics: Analyse and evaluate coffee taste sensations including the coffee’s body, aroma, acidity, bitterness, sweetness, and finish.
  • Monitor roasting: Monitor the roasting of coffee beans and grains for proper degree of roasting to produce the desired flavours and colours.
  • Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.
  • Apply GMP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Create new recipes: Combine innovative and creative ideas to come up with new recipes and preparations to extend the product of range of a company. Make modifications to recipes in order to enhance taste, reach productivity goals, develop and improve products.
  • Mitigate waste of resources: Evaluate and identify opportunities to use resources more efficiently with continuously striving to reduce waste of utilities.
  • Match coffee grind to coffee type: Use different coffee grinding procedures and preparation methods.
  • Prepare hot drinks: Make hot drinks by brewing coffee and tea and adequately preparing other hot beverages.
  • Maintain industrial ovens: Maintaining industrial ovens in order to ensure effective and correct operation.
  • Manage flammable substances: Managing flammable substances to roasting operations and ensuring that safety measures are in place.
  • Grade coffee beans: Grade coffee beans based on their characteristics, defects, size, colour, moisture content, taste, acidity, body, or aroma.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of master coffee roaster. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Mill operations: Details of milling operations related to grind size, particle size distribution, heat evolution. Milling processes for different cereals and grains.
  • Food and beverage industry: The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of master coffee roaster. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Perform coffee tastings: Perform coffee tastings and coffee demonstrations whether for improving the product in the production process or for showcasing the final product. Taste coffee to objectively evaluate its quality.
  • Conduct extensive international travel: Conducting extensive travelling around the world to performing business related tasks.
  • Show confidence: Demonstrate degrees of maturity by fully understanding one’s own qualities and abilities which can serve as sources of confidence in different situations.
  • Apply foreign language for international trade: Communicate in foreign languages to facilitate international trade operations such as the importation of food and beverages.
  • Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
  • Educate customers on coffee varieties: Instruct customers about origins, characteristics, differences in flavours and blends of coffee products.
  • Identify market niches: Analyse the composition of the markets, segment these into groups, and highlight the opportunities that each one of these niches represent in terms of new products.
  • Assess quality characteristics of food products: Assess quality characteristics of food products in terms of the main properties (e.g. physical, sensorial, chemical, technological, etc.) for raw materials, half-finished products, as well as finish products.
  • Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
  • Manage kiln ventilation: Managing a product specific and energy efficient kiln ventilation.
  • Control of expenses: Monitoring and maintaining effective cost controls, in regards to efficiencies, waste, overtime and staffing. Assessing excesses and strives for efficiency and productivity.
  • Perform services in a flexible manner: Adapt service approach when circumstances change.
  • Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.

ISCO group and title

7515 – Food and beverage tasters and graders

  1. Master coffee roaster – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Last updated on October 9, 2022

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