We are not schooled in cupping so if we want to know how our roast profile has done as soon as possible after a roast, Tonino is a very powerful tool. It gives exact numbers from a calibrated device.
The color example below is an alternative, but one never knows on what screen the designer made this chart, how it was calibrated, where he scanned the original color tiles from, on what medium, so it all remains guesswork and nothing to be communicated in a very meaningful way.
|Primitive way to assess roast color/degree|
Measuring roast color of ground coffee beans tells you more than just measuring the outside, because like a slab of beef can be roasted dark on the outside while being red inside, beans can be more deeply roasted or more superficially colored than you would guess on first sight.
Now, two guys in Germany have produced a small series of a roast color analyzer that is at least as exact at a fraction of the cost. Plus, their best customers donate 10% of the price to CoffeeKids, an initiative to help children in coffee producing countries. See their web site: my-tonino.com
I have unpacked the Tonino, calibrated it (very simple) and used it to compare two very different roasts. One light espresso roast of an Ethiopian coffee roasted on our modified Roastilino and one handful that a friend gave me which has come of his Gene roaster so dark it was almost charred.
|Box with manual and calibration pads, hand decorated Tonino, USB cable|
|Calibration: put Tonino on brown pad, then on red one, "done"!|
|Ground 17g of Ethiopia Cherry Red|
|Tamped grinds, grey card, roast profile|
|Ready for Tonino|
|Tonino's "eyes" resting on the coffee grinds|
|Measurement ready: roast value 91. That's a light espresso roast. Espresso is around 80, filter around 110, Nordic ultra light around 120. Charcoal Blackness would be around 60.|
|Proof of the pudding: espresso from this roast on the LONDINIUM|
|A fruity espresso|
|Beans from Hell|
|Roast from Hell: 36 on the Tonino scale. Alert the health authorities!|
|The dark roast on the left, the Ethiopian on the right, on grey card. With the naked eye you wouldn't immediately spot the dramatic difference between playful light Ethiopian beans and the lethal beans that could kill ya.|
|Espresso from Dark Matter. Flow very fast, an ashen brew with specks of soot|
|The same cup a few minutes later, smelling just as ominous and radiatinga threat to the house|
|Tonino app on the OSX desktop|
This Tonino will allow us to evaluate a roast quickly after the roast is done, without having to wait several days for the beans to rest and breathe. Will be interesting to learn more!
Using the app, I have loaded an Agtron Commercial scale into the Tonino device, so I can approximate measurements as if they were made on the device of the very expensive market leader:
|Loading one of the several standard scales|
Using the Agtron scale enables us also to use other pages as a reference, such as
Where we find this helpful chart. These charts are of course drawn up for people who could only wish to have a device showing Agtron compatible readings. They would use it to get an estimate of what an Agtron reading would be, we can see where our roasted beans reside in the roast spectrum on the lists and this knowledge, combined with tasting later, can help us refine the roast profiles or detect where we went astray.
Or this one:
Another useful chart from http://www.coffeelabequipment.com/Color_Selector_cl.pdf :