Roasters: The Movie

A little behind-the-scenes view of Intelligentsia's Chicago roasting works:

The machine in use at the end of the video is the Agtron Roast Analyzer, the coffee roaster’s equivalent of a spectrometer, taking “near-infrared” readings of the degree of roast and assigning a numerical score between 1 (dark) and 100 (light). The machine allows Intelligentsia's roasters to verify the degree of each roast, achieve better calibration between roasters (which have very slightly different digital therm probe readings), and identify in their cupping sessions where the ’sweet spot’ of a coffee lies, not only in length of roast and end temperature, but also in roast degree. (Info about the Agtron taken from First-Crack Addicts, the blog run by the Chicago roasting team.)