Morten Münchow opens minds to roasting potential

Hundreds of coffee roasters and baristas gathered across Australia last week to hear CoffeeMind Founder Morten Münchow speak about the art of coffee roasting as part of Toby’s Estate’s Knowledge Talks series.

Morten captivated and challenged the audience’s perspective around science-based roasting and the importance of training to improve one’s roasting and sensory skills.

“I’m passionate about using cognitive training to improve sensory skills and roasting technique,” Morten said. “I think sensory learning is the next phase in coffee. If you can document the sensory impact of what you’re doing in different roast stages, our sensory learning will continue to improve and so will the end product in the cup.”

Diving deep into the topic, Morten shared his expertise on how to control colour in roasting, the impact of subtle flavour variations in roast profiles, how bitterness, astringency, organic acids and sweetness can be achieved through different developmental times, and how they lead to different sensory experiences.

“Roasters need to think about roast colour in their experiments. It’s what modulates taste strategies and is the difference between achieving acidity and bitterness. It’s what can win or lose customers,” he said.

This was Morten’s first visit to Australia, and the first opportunity for audiences to hear about his transition from biology and philosophy studies to work as a coffee roaster, consultant, and Founder of CoffeeMind, a Copenhagen-based Coffee Academy. CoffeeMind provides educational coffee courses and is invested in research and consultancy services.

He noted science and research as a prominent feature of the coffee industry’s development over the next few years, with significant work already being conducted by UC Davis, Zurich University of Applied Sciences and Foodscience Copenhagen.

“The purpose of the research we’re conducting at CoffeeMind is to map the relationship between roast profile and flavour. We want to help the community by establishing facts on roasting rather than myths, and create set curriculum to teach coffee roasting in the future,” Morten said.

“It’s an exciting time to be in coffee research and I’m excited to bring new findings to the Australian community.”

In addition to his work at CoffeeMind, Morten has generated more than 20 research projects to date, of which five are published in scientific journals and helped develop the roasting certification system for the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe, now SCA, and hopes to build a Sensory Guild in the future.

More than $5000 in ticket proceeds was raised from the Knowledge Talks events. All proceeds will be donated to the Las Nubes Daycare and Afterschool-Learning Centre.

For future Knowledge Talks information visit www.tobysestate.com.au and stay tuned to Toby’s Estate Instagram and Facebook page.