Coffee flavor is impacted by where the coffee comes from and how it is roasted. Therefore, in addition to carefully selecting the origin of our coffees, each batch of coffee is custom roasted. This is done to allow the unique characteristics of every bean to fully develop, providing consistent quality and taste. Before buying any coffee, samples of the shipment are cupped by our staff, ensuring that each single origin has the taste profile we are looking for. We roast only to order and then package and ship the coffee the same day. Our goal is to ensure that you receive only the freshest, most perfectly roasted, coffee possible.


Each order placed with Alakef Coffee Roasters is custom craft roasted to order. Whether you prefer light, medium, or dark roasted coffee, we take special care in blending the perfect mix of specialty grade Arabica coffee to find your perfectly balanced cup every time. Place an order with us online or by phone before 11:00 AM (M-F), and your order will be roasted, packaged, and shipped the same day.


Green coffees can vary widely in taste according to the type of bean selected, how each farm prepares the beans, and the way the beans are processed. Before buying any coffee, we receive samples from our importers (who have received them directly from the farms). These samples are then inspected while green, roasted on site, and then cupped for quality. These are called pre-ship samples. Once a shipment comes into the country, we then repeat this process of inspection, roasting, and cupping before we will accept a shipment of coffee. This process ensures that we receive only the highest quality coffees and that each and every single origin has the profile that we are looking for.


The process from green to roasted beans is a quick evolution. Over a period of roughly 15 minutes, the green coffee loses moisture, turns yellow and “pops” open, much like popcorn. As it does so, the bean nearly doubles in size, and begins to assume the very light tan color of lightly roasted coffee. Once this stage is achieved, about 8 minutes into the roast, the heat source is turned down and the coffee rapidly darkens in color. When the desired degree of roast has been achieved, the roasting process is stopped by the use of ambient air drawn across the hot beans.

Degrees of Roasts (lightest to darkest)

Light brown, dry surface
Grainy taste, distinct sour or acidic tones

Medium brown, dry surface with some wrinkles, flat color
Typical commercial roast, no grain flavor, some acidity, richer tones than cinnamon, flavor profile not fully developed

Darker, richer brown, oil patches on smooth surface, no wrinkles
Slight, roasted, bittersweet tang, less acidity than American roast, full profile of coffee flavor

Dark brown, oily surface
Definite bittersweet taste, all acidity tones gone

Darker brown, oily surface.
Rich and bittersweet in flavor

Very dark brown, almost black, very shiny, oily surface
Dark caramel tones, all acidity tones gone


Cupping is a tasting method used by coffee roasters and green bean coffee buyers to sample the unique characteristics of different coffees and to test bean quality. While it is not necessary for the average coffee drinker to “cup” their coffee, any person who enjoys learning more about coffee may appreciate taking part in a cupping at a roasterie or in a coffeehouse.

When cupping, the following attributes are evaluated:

This is the sensation of fullness, richness, and heaviness that you experience when you “swish” coffee around in your mouth. There can be a thickness, an oiliness, or slipperiness felt between the tongue and palate.


This is the feeling the coffee leaves on your palate. There can be high, thin notes, dryness, tartness, and a snappy taste (common with Kenya, Costa Rica).


This is the most ambiguous term of all, as it incorporates all the other terms. Coffees have a world of flavors that can often be described by specific characteristics such as chocolate, fruity, earthy, and so on. Understanding coffee is like understanding fine wines. In fact, much of coffee’s terminology has been borrowed from wine tasting.

How to cup coffee:
Step One – Fragrance Evaluation

Grind an 8 to 10 gram (1 ½ to 2 teaspoons) sample of coffee on an urn or drip setting into a sampling cup and deeply sniff the gases escaping the newly ruptured cells. The intensity of the fragrance indicates the freshness of the roasted coffee. Sweet scents reveal acidity and pungent scents lead to pointed, sharp tastes.

Step Two – Aroma Evaluation

Pour approximately 150 milliliters (5 oz.) of near boiling water onto the sample and allow the coffee to infuse for three minutes. Break the crust on top while simultaneously sniffing the released vapors. These vapors carry volatiles, which make up the flavor profile of the coffee.

Step Three – Taste Evaluation

Gently scoop the floating grounds out of the cup to gain access to the coffee. Ladle a spoonful of coffee to the lips and aspirate the coffee in the mouth with a violent slurp. This action simultaneously coats the bitter, sweet, salty, and sour receptors on the tongue and palate. Only keep the coffee in the mouth for a moment and then quickly spit it out to determine the finish, or aftertaste of the coffee. The full range of flavors will be revealed, as well as the acidity, balance, body, and texture of the coffee.

Helpful Hints:

Always start with cold, fresh water.
Use a large, shallow, and silver-coated spoon to dissipate heat.
Be consistent in grind size, water source, and coffee weight.