Most Common Coffee Roasting Mistakes Captured on Photos

In the art and practice of coffee roasting, we deal with a number of factors that affect the outcome of the process. Some, such as the mechanical design of the machine or the airflow capacity of the roaster, cannot be controlled by the roaster operator. However, other factors can be directly controlled, including the time/temperature roasting profile, the cleaning procedures used, and the facilities and conditions around the roasting machine. Generally, there is a greater likelihood for roasting defects to occur when any of these factors are not adequately managed.

Roasting defects fall into three main categories:

Roasting inconsistencies, the most common type and the easiest to prevent

Roasting deficiencies caused by ignorance of processing or market requirements.

Roasting errors that actually damage the bean, like tipping, scorching, baking or bean cracks.


Picture 1 shows a roasted, dry-processed Brazil bean with minor scorch and char marks on outside layers. Picture 3 shows the massive scorching that occurs when the same bean type is exposed to excessive heat in the first stage of roasting. This type of defect leads to burnt and acrid flavor profiles.

Picture 1 – Minor Scorching


Picture 2 – Medium Scorching


Picture 3 – Uneven Development



Tipping is a roast error where the bean appears burned on one spot, indicating that the beans experienced too much heat around a specific area.

tipping 1

Too Much Heat

This puffed up coffee bean was under a lot of heat stress and most likely the roast was happening too fast.

April 2, 2015

1 responses on "Most Common Coffee Roasting Mistakes Captured on Photos"

  1. I get tipping on a very small percentage of beans occasionally on some Indonesian washed beans that I roast full city + that I assume is caused by prolonged contact with the drum or I suppose could be from bean to bean. I am thinking if it was bean to bean towards the end of the roast that the tipping would be more wide spread. Anyway, I am interested in examples of lost potential in flavor development and the various common flaws that may be less obvious.

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