Seth Taylor is our ‘Roaster of the month’ for December. He is a wonderful roaster and an even better person.
After the fun and insightful live coffee cupping session, sharing our tête-à-tête with Seth with all the fellow human beans. Find out how Seth started his specialty coffee journey, his favorite brewing method, advice and recommendations.
How did you start your specialty coffee journey?
I started my coffee journey in Victoria, BC in 2008. My wife, girlfriend at the time, was working at a small cafe roastery. It had recently been taken over by new owners and the chef was curious about roasting coffee. He was going in after closing to roast and needed some help bagging and tasting coffee. So I offered to help out in the evenings after working my day job in antique restoration and sustainable furniture making.
At this point in my life coffee was purely caffeine. I drank it with milk and sugar and only to wake up in the mornings. As I tasted more and more coffees I started to understand the complexity of the seed and stopped adding anything that would alter the natural flavours within each individual seed. I was hooked. It was like I had discovered something that was right in front of me the whole time. I was in love.
From which region did you first source your coffee?
When I started STCBD in 2017 I was already well into my coffee career. I started out the gate with multiple origins.
Can you please share a little about the experience when you first visited a coffee farm?
It is incredibly hard to understand the amount of labour that goes into harvesting coffee. This became extremely evident on my first visit to a coffee farm. I wish I could give you a fancy story about how magical it was but really it was more of a wake-up call. The reality is that we take this for granted every time we drink a cup of coffee. I will never take a cup of coffee for granted again after that first farm visit.
Which is your favorite method to brew your cup of joe?
I use a V60 Switch Immersion Brewer these days. I love the V60 and the cup of coffee they produce and having an immersion brew version is perfect for easy reproducible cups every single time.
15g of coffee ground on the fine side of a medium grind.
255g of 208*F+ water added all at once.
Release the coffee at 1:30min with a total brew time around 2:45min.
Your favorite snack/dish to pair with coffee?
Pair with coffee? A croissant or a piece of chocolate.
Any proud moment that you would like to share with the coffee lovers.
I just turned 3 years old and I’m pretty proud of that achievement.
For all the coffee enthusiasts, which one will be the most adventurous coffee?
If you want to taste something crazy go for the Mexico Samuel Ronzón Lot 5. It’s a 168 Hour Ferment so you can expect intense fruity flavours and a big ferment note.
What will be your advice for someone starting their specialty coffee journey?
My advice for getting into specialty coffee is to eat everything and take a second to actually taste what you are eating. Is it acidic? Sweet? Bitter? Once you start to identify qualities in what you are consuming it will become much easier to do it with coffee and you will have an extensive vocabulary of flavours from your adventurous eating!
If you are so inclined take notes. When I lived in England I recorded and scored every single coffee I drank for an entire year. I have no doubt this made a big impact on my ability to analyze a cup of coffee.