Introducing Matt King, Acorns Coffee Head Roaster

Matt King Acorns Head Roaster

Welcome to Acorns Roastery, today we interview Matt King, Head Roaster for Acorns Roastery. Hello, Matt, maybe you'd like to introduce yourself to the Acorns customers.

Listen to the interview here:

Or read transcript below...

Matt (00:12 secs)
Uh, hello, I'm Matt. I am the Head Roaster here, at Acorns. I've been roasting for a good 10 years and I'm obsessed with coffee.

Question 1 (00:20 secs)
Fantastic. Why coffee in particular? What drew you to coffee?

Matt (00:24 secs)
I started off working in coffee shops and cafes and I really like the, the sort of culture that, uh, of just meeting people around there who drank coffee. And then I started realizing that there was more to coffee than I first thought and got into the specialty coffee and learned a lot about geography and where it was from and all the different methods that came from it, and it just fascinated me.

Question 2 (00:57 secs)
I'm sure you get asked this all the time, what is your favorite coffee and why?

Matt (01:03 secs)
Oh, probably one from Papua New Guinea because it was a coffee from Papua New Guinea that first turned me onto to specialty coffee and made me realize there was more to coffee than just, um, than I was just used to. So yeah, probably, definitely one from Papua New Guinea.

Question 3 (01:21 secs)
Home users aren't gonna be roasting their own coffee, but maybe you could give some tips on tasting notes. What, what they should be looking for in just a good coffee. What, what makes a good coffee?

Matt (01:39 secs)
I'd say usually you get a lot of sort of sweet fruit tea flavors out of um, good coffee, but a lot of coffee is over roasted and burned and oily and you just get bitterness and um, dark black tasting coffee. So you want some sort of fruitiness and a bit of acidity and a bit of body and a little bit of bitterness, but not too much

Question 4 (02:04 secs)
Is, I guess like any kind of taste or flavor. There's, there's many complex, uh, flavonoids and, um, essences going on in there, so it's up to your tongue what it finds a good taste, but a universal taste we can all agree on is when it's burn. If you were to describe your favorite coffee, how would you describe it?

Matt (02:28 secs)
Fruity and acidic, quite lightly roasted, um, with just a hint of bitterness to it, I think.

Question 5 (02:39 secs)
A question I should really ask a roaster, but I'm going to, what is the difference between instant coffee and uh, a bean that has been roasted and ground specifically for my use? How do the two compare?

Acrons Coffee Roaster Matt Making Coffee

Matt (02:56 secs)
Instant coffee, tends to use quite low-quality beans. Then it's all roasted quite dark and ground up and then freeze dried. (Matt pulls a distinctly unimpressed face!)

Interviewer… (03:11 secs)
Effectively, they make coffee and then they freeze dry it

Matt (03:14 secs)
(Freeze it) Instantly so they call the moisture out, to rehydrate it. Yeah, basically. Whereas with freshly roasted coffee you've got, it's straight, it's usually um, very good quality coffee and it's been roasted freshly and there isn't much time between when it's roasted and when it's brewed, which, which just adds to all the decent flavors.

Interviewer… (03:42 secs)
Yeah, I find it's a much deeper, complex layer of flavors rather than just some kind of generic coffee

Matt (03:51 secs)
Yeah, definitely.

Question 6 (03:53 secs)
Tips on storing coffee, do you keep it in the freezer once it's been ground or as beans?

Matt (03:59 secs)
No, definitely not. Keep it as beans and try and grind it freshly for each cup that you make. Um, if you can't do that then grind it, keep it in an airtight container and keep it in a dry dark place away from moisture and heat or cold. But definitely don't put it in the freezer.

Question 7 (04:18 secs)
So, the usual advice for storing any kind of uh, long term item, keep it out the sunlight, keep it in a stable lowish temperature, make sure there's no moisture in it and keep it uh, as fresh as possible.

Matt (04:30 secs)
Yeah, definitely.

Question 8 (04:31 secs)
Which one of our particular (Acorns coffee) beans would you recommend for somebody who's got maybe a cafe Air at home who just does press coffee?

Matt (04:43 secs)
Our Colombian Finca Sofia / Columbian Pachamama are good all-rounders. It's a good one to start from there you can kind of work out whether you want it a bit more intense or a little bit lighter or a bit smoother or, err…

(Customer approaches…)

Interviewer… (04:55 secs)
It's a good middle ground coffee?

(Customer finds sugar unaided…)

Matt (04:56 secs)
Yeah, absolutely. So the Columbian (first) then probably the Brazilian after that, um, which is a little bit more intense, but it just has a good varied, uh, flavor profile with both of them. So you can work out from there whether you want to go down the fruity acidic route or you want it a bit more bitter and bold.

Question 9 (05:17 secs)
Oh, contrast and compare. That's a good idea. And if you were gonna point somebody at one of our more exotic coffees, something that is surprising either for its depth or its complexity or just its flavor, which one would you point at?

Matt (05:31 secs)
Uh, probably the Ethiopian Coffee, just cuz it's very different to the South American Coffee. And anything from Africa really is quite different to South America.

Question 10 (05:44 secs)
If you were gonna only drink one more one coffee bean from now until the point where you no longer care what coffee you drink, <laugh>,  if you were forced to drink a coffee for life, what would it be?

Matt (05:58 secs)
Well, that's a tricky one. Probably Colombian, just cuz you get some really nice smooth caramel chocolate tea flavors out of it and it, it, it's hard to get wrong and hard to brew on and they're just generally good all round coffees the Columbia.

Question 11 (06:16 secs)
And how do you drink your coffee? Flat white cappuccino latte. Americano. How, what's your favorite preparation?

Matt (06:22 secs)
At home I use a Hario V60, which uh, is like a pour over filter method and it just brings out the best in coffee and it's very inexpensive to do. If I was in a coffee shop though, I'd have an Americana, a very small one so that there's um, a good ratio of water to coffee with a little splash of milk just to take the bit and that off.

Question 12 (06:45 secs)
Yeah, I always start myself with an Americano because I think if you can get that right, you can get the rest of it right. But if you can't get the basics right, you're not going to be able to do anything more complex.

Matt (07:07 secs)
Yeah, yeah. It's good to compare, easy to compare the simple ones as well. You can sort of see how every different person makes it and like if you're used to one drink you can really judge the differences.

Question 13 (07:21 secs)
And, final question. There are different types of beans. We've got Arabica a Arabica, um, Robusto, um, can't remember the other ones…

Matt (07:33 secs)
(They) Are the two main

Question 14 (07:34 secs)
What is the main difference between those two beans that might interest people?

Matt (07:42 secs)
Arabica is specialty coffee and it's grown very carefully and gets scored by an official body and you generally get all the nice decent flavors out of that coffee (bean). Whereas Robusta is very bitter and it's a lot higher in caffeine. Usually used to bulk out blends, but it's not really very nice on its own to drink, although you can get some specialty Robusta, but it's generally all about Arabica (beans).

Interviewer… (08:17 secs)
With cultivation costs and all the rest of it, it's very unlikely that, farmers are going to do a lot of horticultural blends just to end up with something they could do by chucking some other flavor profile beans in with it at the same product.

Matt (08:32 secs)

Question 15 (08:34 secs)
What is your hope for the future of Acorns? Where do you see it going? What and with your involvement?

Matt (08:41 secs)
Growing it as a roastery, really getting the coffee out there for lots of different people to try and to get it into a lot of different cafes and coffee shops as well as, uh, for people at home and uh, just to keep roasting great coffee and growing and getting bigger and bigger.

Interviewer… (08:59 secs)
Fantastic. Thanks very much for your time today Matt. And uh, we look forward working with you even more.

Acorn's Roastery supplies cafes, restaurants, and other retail establishments as well as people who just want a really good cup of honest coffee. All of our products are available online, please visit our shop and dive into great tasting coffee.