Bullet Roast Profile Video: Espresso Monkey Blend

A video overview of our recent Bullet Roast Profile featuring our longstanding Espresso Monkey blend.

We chose one of our oldest blends for this next Bullet Roast Profile, the Sweet Maria’s Espresso Monkey Blend. This mix of Dry and Wet Process coffees from Africa and Latin America was blended for an espresso shot that’s bodied, bittersweet, and with fruit flavors in the mix. It’s one of our longest running blends on our list, supported by ingredients from a few different parts of the world that allow us to move through fresh ingredients year round.

The three coffees currently in the blend are dry process Ethiopia, dry process Brazil, and wet process Guatemala. Being different densities and process methods, I wanted to try to keep from pushing through the roast too quickly, allowing the coffees to find some equilibrium in the drum. Though honestly, I’ve roasted Monkey hundreds of times and several different roasters, and find that it’s a pretty forgiving blend no matter the approach!

I hoped to hit the coffee with full power from the start, tapering down my heat settings, while simultniously increasing airflow, in order to slow the roast progression before hitting 1st Crack. I was looking for 1st Crack time somewhere between 7 and 8 minutes, and shooting to hit 2nd Crack in the cooling tray somewhere between 10 and 12 minutes.

My first roast of Espresso Monkey progressed faster than I'd hoped, reaching a rolling 2nd Crack in the drum around 8:30 in.
My first roast of Espresso Monkey progressed faster than I’d hoped, reaching a rolling 2nd Crack in the drum around 8:30 in.

If you’ve read my other Bullet Roast profiles, it should be no surprise that my first go of it fell short of my goal. The roast progressed much faster than I’d hoped, reaching 1st Crack in less than 6 minutes, and rolling 2nd Crack less than 3 minutes more. To my eyes, the main culprit was too a charge temp (P9) for my desired 1 pound batch size.

Despite the fast roast, the espresso shots were really quite nice! Tom and I tasted long and short pulls at 24 hours rest, and then again with 7 days rest. Overall, we agreed that this roast represented what we hope to achieve with Monkey quite well. The shots were chocolatey and syrupy, with hints of dark fruits underneath.

My second pass tracked closer to the profile I'd hoped to achieve, with 7 minute 1st Crack, though I pulled it just shy of 2nd Crack.
My second pass tracked closer to the profile I’d hoped to achieve, with 7 minute 1st Crack, though I pulled it just shy of 2nd Crack.

Given my the way my first roast handled, I decided to drop my default heat setting from 9 to 8 on my second pass, which made all the difference. The initial ramp looks pretty close, but you start to see the 2nd roast drop behind by roughly 20F by minute 3. I altered my heat and airflow settings slightly as well, and wound up hitting 1st Crack at 7 minutes, and a finish time of just over 10 minutes. My one misstep was pulling the roast a few degrees early, and while close, I did not reach 2nd Crack.

There wasn’t a huge difference in flavor from the first, but I found the shots held a little bit of fruited acidity that was missing in the first roast. A bright shot could be good or bad, depending on who you are, and I will be clear that I found my 2.0 roast to be far from “bright”!

Check out the video of Tom and I discussing this roast of the Espresso Monkey blend and more.

Or, hop over to my Roast World profile to view or download the roast graph (you’ll have to be logged in for access).

Order the Aillio Bullet R1 roaster today and receive a free 10 lbs. of coffee free your choice of Ethiopia, El Salvador, or Brazil.

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Have a product or technical question? Contact us at [email protected].

Ever since we started selling the Aillio Bullet R1 1 kg coffee roaster, there’s been a growing number of inquiries about sharing roast profiles for the coffees on our list. To be honest, it’s something we’ve longed to do for all our roasters, but the Bullet is special case.

The built in Roast Time software that the Bullet comes with makes plotting your roasts and sharing profiles incredibly easy. You can then upload any of your roasts to your personal profile in AIllio’s Roast World community, where Bullet users from all over the world can access your roasts, download your Aillio Bullet recipes for playback, and even modify the automated changes.

See our full list of Bullet roast profiles HERE.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Dan, Thanks for posting the profile. I am curious why you are aiming for a declining ROR here, but in the roast of the Holiday blend, you are increasing ROR during the ramp phase. Many thanks in advance!


    1. Hey Eric,

      I was just trying different approaches. If I had to choose one as a baseline, I would stick with the declining ROR of the Monkey profile. First Crack feels pretty controlled when following a steady decrease in power input from start to finish. The profile for the Holiday Blend follows something closer to what we would run on our Probat P12 – starting low heat for the drying phase followed by a stead increase until about 20F before 1C, where heat is dropped back down to low. Honestly, both worked well! Just different paths.

      Hope that helps.


    1. Unfortunately, these roasts were about a year apart and tough to recall! I think a future post comparing different approaches to dark roasting would be a nice addition. I can’t promise that it will happen right away, but we will definitely consider it in the new year.

      Cheers Eric.


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