I bought green coffee beans for a year when we roasted our coffee on site and I became much more familiar with the grades, varieties and growing regions involved with coffee. Coffee grows best in subtropical regions and high altitudes with well defined rain seasons. As with any agricultural product, soil types, regions and altitude all contribute to the taste and quality of the coffee. The skilled timing of the roaster determine how long the coffee is roasted and what beans are blended for the final taste profile. Roasting a shorter time lets more of the natural beans’ flavor profile emerge and coffees that are roasted a longer time tend to have a slight ash flavor that is to me, a flavor which is surprisingly popular. The food comparison would be a chocolate chip cookie – bake it a little less and it tastes more raw, like the ingredients, bake it longer and the same cookie takes on a different taste – crispy and caramelized, still good, but very different. The roaster tries to get the roast level consistent from batch to batch so the best flavors of the coffee are brought out. We now source our roasted coffee from Northwest coffee, here in St. Louis, and their roasting skill and coffee quality is phenomenal.