Fine robusta has been the hot topic of conversation in the specialty industry these last few years and for good reason. What was once relegated to the sidelines has been showing up on offering sheets and coffee menus of some of the world's best importers and roasters.
With this in mind, knowing how to approach and roast this species of coffee is critical. As robusta secures its place in specialty coffee we need to do our part to do it justice when we bring it into our roastery and offer it to our customers.
On this Rate of Rise we will be talking all about fine robusta with Cleia Junqueira!
In 2005, Cleia’s coffee passion ignited in Brazil, as she owned and operated her independent café training baristas. She partnered with the Beehive Institution Young Service, offering training to underprivileged youth and later produced an educational coffee DVD. Joining the Brazilian Association of Coffee Baristas (ACBB) in 2007, she judged barista championships and enhanced her coffee knowledge until late 2012. Cleia then coordinated at the Coffee Preparation Centre at Sindicafé-SP, earning a CQI Licensed Q-Grader Certificate in 2012 and becoming a Q-Robusta Grader in 2017.
From 2017 to 2019 Cleia served on the SCA-UAE board of directors and spent six years, as a WCE Certified Judge. As Coffee Planet’s Head of Coffee, she managed quality control and became well-versed in Middle East Coffee Industry Trends and Consumption while actively supporting the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA).
In this conversation we talk about our changing perceptions of robusta, how does it behave differently from arabica, what goes into roasting it well, and how can we ensure we are doing it justice with the tools at our disposal both in the roastery and the shop.
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