Coffee roasters prepare green, raw coffee beans for resale and use. Because many larger coffee brands grind and prepare their coffee beans using automated machines, most individuals who work as coffee roasters can be found in boutique coffee houses. There are also dedicated roasting operations that create unique blends for sale to restaurants and other clientele.
Most coffee roasters help purchase beans, as well as participate in the roasting and blending process. The roaster carefully chooses coffee beans sourced around the world, typically working with importers who service the region where the roaster is employed. The roaster then uses his or her knowledge of various bean blends to create unique blends. The roasting process involves preparing green coffee beans for grinding and brewing, achieving the dark brown hue that coffee drinkers recognize. Depending on the roaster's equipment, this process may involve rotating the beans across a heated surface or even fire roasting the beans over an open flame. Whatever the process, the resulting product typically has a fairly short shelf life, which is why coffee roasters are often part of a larger coffee house or serve commercial accounts who will use the beans within a few days to a week.
While there are no formal requirements to work as a coffee roaster, most employers look for individuals who have extensive experience working with coffee and beans. These employers seek individuals familiar with the practical aspects of the job, which include purchasing and operating roasting equipment. They also usually look for roasters with a strong palate, creativity and the ability to work in a detail-oriented environment.