We are privileged to have on our team Greg Rattin: a coffee roaster, content creator and connoisseur of the finer things.
Greg is a craftsman at heart, and his conscientiousness and attention to detail help us continue to improve our coffee roasting and quality control. He works hard behind the scenes to ensure that every pound of coffee that comes out of our Diedrich IR-12 roaster meets our standards and those of our customers.
A jack of all trades, Greg also has great marketing instincts and contributes to what shows up on our social media channels.
What first got you interested in coffee?
I was just drinking some standard store-bought coffee and posted a picture of it on social media. A friend of mine immediately shot me a text and said "I have something for you to try." There was something about the freshness and taste that basically started me on a trajectory of specialty coffee.
What part of coffee roasting do you find the most interesting?
You can take a single-origin coffee and manipulate the heat, air flow, and roast time to potentially get it to taste a multitude of different ways.
What’s something you have learned about coffee roasting in the last year?
There are so many variables to take into consideration when trying to find a coffee's true expression and taste. I like that regardless of how much you know, there is always more to learn.
If you could drink just one coffee for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It is hard to choose between a natural processed coffee that is lightly roasted and has a fruit forward profile compared to an earthy, nutty and chocolatey coffee. If I had to choose, it would be a balance of something in between. More than likely, something from Guatemala.
What hobbies do you spend time on outside of coffee?
In addition to roasting at Connect and managing a small engine repair and sharpening business, I like to do some woodworking and reading when I can. I also have an interest in sports cards and memorabilia that is resurfacing.
What book have you read this year that you would recommend to others?
"A Cook’s Tour" by Anthony Bourdain. If you are familiar with Bourdain's TV programs, the book reads very similar to the show. He travels to different locales around the world, so it is a mix of food, culture and travel combined with his open-minded worldview and humor. Overall, this book is an enjoyable read cover to cover.
If you could travel to just one place that you have never been to, where would it be?
I would love to travel to one of the coffee farms that we source our beans from.
Why did you choose to go into coffee roasting?
The thing that drives my passion for coffee roasting partially consists of knowing that there are over 800 known flavor profiles in coffee compared to wine that has about 200. That combined with the fact that coffee is practically melded into every facet of everyday life. Whether it's a big decision during a business meeting, to grabbing coffee with a friend, to just having your morning coffee to get you going. Knowing that I have a hand in potentially perfecting whatever coffee we are roasting and knowing the potential impact that the coffee has on an individual is something I thoroughly enjoy and take pride in.
Who are some individuals in coffee that you look up to?
James Hoffmann. I absolutely love his videos, his willingness to try something new and his overall coffee acumen. Scott Rao is another one of those individuals. More on the roasting side, his persistent pursuit to perfect the roasting process and his consistent chase of the perfectly extracted cup is to be commended. Also, there's Anne Cooper, who is a master roastress and a certified Q grader who I have learned so much from through her coffee roasting articles.
Why did you choose to work for Connect?
Connect’s giveback model is something I love and wanted to be a part of when I was first presented with this idea. Knowing Caleb (Connect Founder) and how he was conducting his business, I felt like being a part of something larger than myself.
What are some facts about you that most people would not know?
Believe it or not, I haven't always had a beard. My senior year in high school I played basketball and led the area in scoring. I then subsequently tried out for a semi-professional basketball league. Needless to say, my basketball days are now relegated to NBA Jam on the SNES.
Is there a favorite quote or mantra that you live by?
"Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear." As someone who can get in their own head and become reluctant to try new things or see certain situations as road blocks this quote stands out. I have quickly learned though once I have faced those unknowns or obstacles, the fear becomes obsolete.