As part of my PhD research, I spend a lot of time in the lab testing varieties of thermal conversion pathways for biomass utilization. One such project of mine involved torrefying beetle kill wood to improve its fuel characteristics. Torrefaction, is a mild thermal pretreatment, typically at relatively low temperatures (200-400 deg C) in the absence of oxygen. As part of my research, I examined the effect of torrefaction temperature and heating rate on the properties of the biomass.
Coincidentally, torrefaction is the same process that is used to roast coffee. In fact, the word torrefaction derives from the same latin root as the Spanish word torrar which means ‘to roast.’ After seeing the effect of roasting profile on the wood in my lab, I was incredibly curious as to how this might apply to coffee roasting. I asked my dad, my personal coffee roasting expert, if we could do some tests with his roaster. He responded ‘well, Emily, I would love to, but my roaster can’t do that.’ Thus the idea for Torré Roasts was born!