Meet Christian Rotsko, Farmer Brothers Roastmaster

May 29, 2014

From far-flung plantations to the cup on your table, many people are involved in crafting Farmer Brothers’ industry-leading teas and coffees. These individuals – and their individual palates – each bring something unique to the process and allow us to offer so many exciting blends and flavors.

We asked Christian Rotsko, Roastmaster, for his thoughts on roasting and enjoying coffee.


What drew you to roasting coffee? 

I see roasting as the pinnacle point between all of the work that comes before and all of the work that happens after. It’s not that roasting is more important than anything else – every step is a part of the same journey – I’ve just always been interested by the entire process and from roasting, where you turn the raw product into a finished good, you can see that entire journey and do your part to tie everything together.


What do you see as the most important part of the roasting process?

That’s one of the interesting aspects of roasting – each step is as important as every other. Everything we do has to fit together, building on what came before and setting up what comes after, in order to produce a great coffee.


What do you look for in a good cup of coffee? 

For me coffee is an experience. As coffee professionals we run the risk of getting too caught up in analysis, but really the end goal always has to be a great cup of coffee. What makes that experience great depends on a lot of different factors – time of day, setting, mood – so what I’m looking for personally changes, but when you can find the right coffee for the time and place you choose to enjoy it, those cups are the best.


Give us one quick tip for operators who want to improve their coffee service.

There are so many factors that affect the quality of brewed coffee so I always encourage people to focus on their brew parameters. Control all the variables – water temperature, water quality, grind, equipment, etc. – that you are able to control with your available resources.


What is your favorite coffee memory?

I still remember when the entire process of making coffee – that journey I mentioned before – was revealed to me for the first time. The idea that coffee comes from a plant in a developing country and goes through all sorts of processes before it even gets to a the person who finally enjoys it, that’s what locked me in. Sitting in front of a cup of coffee that has gone through so many hands and taken such a long journey, thinking of all the lives coffee touches; when I saw all those elements fall in to place I knew that I was into coffee for life.