The Nucleus Link Sample Roaster
In September 2022 I competed in the World Brewers Cup in Australia with coffee that I roasted on a small sample roaster called ‘Nucleus Link’ and I want to talk a little bit more about this great machine!
But first things first…
How did I go about finding the coffee that I used on the world stage?
Competition has a lot to do with trust and gut instinct for me. When I used a coffee from primrose, sourced by Project Origin, in 2021 on the world stage I fell in love with its profile and performance. After this great experience I wanted to find a coffee with a similar profile and cleanliness. In May 2022 I contacted Sam Corra , Director of Coffee at ONA Coffee as he isn’t just a coffee wizard but also knows the coffee I used pretty well. He had a very good overview of the new year's available crops and helped me narrow down the samples I ordered.
I ended up with 8 different choices and I settled on the 2022 Konga from Primrose. After a couple of testroasts we realized the coffee is beautiful but a bit shy and Sam offered a blend option from Panama, Abu coffees. It was a beautiful natural geisha that really complimented the mixed heirloom and created a flavor profile of strawberries, champagne and mild tropical fruits.
How was my experience using the Nucleus Link?
The first time using the Link I was shocked how easy it was. I was used to a 50g sample roaster that is quite delicate and the feel of the link is way more robust in comparison. Also the amount of smoke seems way less which was very important to me as I roasted all my coffee in the middle of summer in my flat. Before the first use I had the luck to get a detailed airflow adjustment via zoom chat and it was very easy to understand. After that my friends from Australia and New Zealand could just send me example profiles and I could send them my feedback. The ability to share roast profiles and knowledge is amazing! And the community is steadily growing to the point where I went to a coffee convention in Brazil and friends just brought their link and roasted at the stand because it is so easy to travel with!
Now for those who know their way around domestic and sample roasters, you'll notice that the Nucleus Link is similar in shape and performance to the Kaffelogic roaster. The Link is actually a collaboration between Nucleus and Kaffelogic, with a range of customisations that were specifically created to be a new product.
The Link is designed to be a roaster that you can take to origin and sample roast the coffee directly at the farm, making it easier to give direct feedback to the farmers to improve coffee quality. I love this idea and the price is about ¼ of the other sample roasters on the market.
Why did I choose to roast my coffee on the Link?
The link has a unique approach to roasting as it starts at room temperature. This minimises scorching and helps the coffee to roast way more evenly. The profiles usually get cleaner and can be used already one to two days after roasting.
This short amount of time between roast and taste profile is very good when choosing a coffee or deciding on a special profile as it is still very much in your flavour memory.
Roasting as a Showstopper
One of my favourite moments of this year's World Brewers Cup was the Brewbar time. The Brewbar is a mandatory part of the Brewers up, where you get to serve your competition coffee to the audience and I used this opportunity to freshly roast my coffee and give little doses to the people to brew it at home!
The small roaster allowed me to build a special connection between the audience and me and everyone felt very special, getting a fresh dose. This has definitely motivated me to use the Link in future conventions to attract a bigger crowd at my stand. It also came in very handy in Brazil, where I was just a couple of weeks ago. A friend of mine brought his link with him and we could roast different samples directly from the producers at the convention and taste them. This connected everyone on a different level and clearly contributed to a valuable session of learning from each other about roastprofiles and flavour structures.
I can only recommend this little roaster as it isn’t just the best value for money I have ever seen, but also the new staple item when it comes to professional coffee equipment and competition preparations.
Over 20 competitors in the World Brewers Cup and World Barista Championships used the Link roaster this year and I am sure we will see even more competitors using it next season!
Most of all, the Link gives you the chance to be flexible and consistent at the same time and to travel with our coffee, without having to compromise quality.
If you want to know more about this little roaster, check out https://nucleuscoffeetools.com/link/ or https://roastrebels.com/kaffeeroester/kaffelogic-nano, where you can buy a Kaffeelogic which is a similar model to the link.