New roaster brings original grinds to the web

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There’s a new coffee brewing up in town but you won’t exactly find it in its own shop.

The Heck family of Cochrane has started their own roastery – Profound Coffee – and they are currently selling it online, making home deliveries and partnering with local coffee shops.

“For me, coffee is such a personal thing and it’s so ingrained in modern life. It gets us up in the morning it’s a great way to connect with friends, ” said Teri Heck, manager of the company.

She gestured toward the busy tables at The Gentry caf
é where the Cochrane Eagle met with the family and where Profound Coffee is brewed.

“It can rev you up or it can slow you down and take a breath in the day. It’s one of life’s cheaper luxuries – everybody can afford a cup of coffee. ”

The passion all began a few years back when Vince, and his father, Trevor Heck, first started experimenting with roasting and tasting coffee beans. Then, on a hiking trip in Kananaskis, the pair had brought along their own camping coffee set with their freshly roasted beans. It was in that moment they decided they would never go back to drinking mass-sold coffee.

“The coffee was so incredible that I think Vince said ‘there’s no going back from this,’ ” Trevor said, referring to his son.

Since then, the family has acquired a roastery in Cremona, equipped with both a small testing roaster and a large, state of the art roaster for processing large numbers of beans once the roasting technique for a specific bean is decided.

“The roaster allows us to go through and check thousands of samples in a quick period of time and decide which is the best one and hone in on our sourcing and buying, ” Teri said.

“Coffee is one of the most chemically complex foods out there. Just in terms of all the aromatics in it – that’s what translates to taste. And when how you roast a bean, it does impact the final flavour of the bean, ” Teri said.

The family said they apply as much science and technology as possible to get the roast right.

Vince, who studies engineering in university, explained that having a solid understanding of thermodynamics and the mechanics of heat transfer has been handy in figuring out how to roast each bean.

“As your roast progresses, the main method of heat transfer changes, ” Vince said.

The heat transfer starts at conduction, which is the moving of heat between two solid surfaces. As the roasting progresses, the heat transfer turns into convection, which is the movement of heat between solid surface and air.

“You can change the amount of air moving through the roaster so understanding when to change the air is an important part of roasting, ” Vince said.

After the family has agreed upon a roasting technique for a bean, the data is saved, assessed and is then used as a tool to find more beans with a similar profile.

“There’s a roaster in the states that created an incredible resource showing which acids peak at certain times in the roast and then different acids are associated with different tastes. So you can kind of tailor your profile depending what kind of acids you want to highlight, ” Vince said.

With the help of importers, the Heck’s are able to buy beans from small and often single-farm operations from countries ranging from Ethiopia to Brazil.

“The best thing about working with importers is getting to scour the planet through them, ” Teri said, although the family hopes to some day work directly with the farmers.

The Hecks feel a certain kinship to farmers and the labour-intensive work that goes into farming. Teri grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, while her husband, Trevor, works in agriculture.

“You have to appreciate what farmers go through to get us food. We love farming and this gives a connection to other countries that are involved in farming, ” Trevor said.

As of now, the Heck’s sell their coffee online and make home deliveries between Cremona and Bragg Creek. Some of their online orders have been from as far as Montreal and Ontario.

Their brews can be found at the Fence and Post and The Gentry, where they recently hosted a tasting.

The Heck’s will be hosting an open house at their roaster in Cremona on Dec. 2. For more information email teri@profoundcoffee.com.

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About Author

Amy Tucker

Amy is a news reporter with the Cochrane Eagle covering everything from fire, crime and education to Morley events. Her previous career highlights include producing a mini documentary in India and coproducing a podcast spotlighting the tricky mixture of love and age. Amy has a degree in journalism and has tendencies to wander. When she's not writing the news, she spends her spare time swimming, dreaming about her next adventure and thinking about ways that she can make the planet a little greener.