Since we last interviewed Laine Cosens, the owner of Drift Coffee Roasters, he has won The Forward Lottery 3 times!

(Here's a link to our first interview with Laine).

The Forward Lottery is a quarterly game run by Calgary-based green importer, Forward Coffee. The premise of the game is: participating roasters receive a mystery green coffee and then, without knowing anything about the coffee, they must roast it to what they believe is perfection. All the roasts are then tasted blind and scored by a panel of judges, and a winner is crowned. 

Cosens, the reigning champion, has won three of the seven seasons and remains the only roaster to have won more than once. We caught up with Cosens to hear about his experience with the lottery and learn some of his secrets.

-What’s your roasting approach when roasting for the lottery?

I start with a sample profile, I always choose my colour, which is the roast degree first. Depending on how that sample roast went I will decide to go lighter or darker. Once I have chosen my colour then, within that colour, I will roast multiple ways at different times. Once I find the time I am happy with, I select my curve, which is when to apply the heat.

I always try and find the sweetest cup. I find when I can find the sweetness in the coffee, it usually brings out the other components as well. It elevates them and brings out the highest complexity of the coffee and for me, it makes it the most enjoyable.

-How has your roasting style developed?

The lottery has been highly influential to me. It has helped my roasting style a lot. Coming from a small town with little specialty coffee influence, it’s been great to get a professional outlook on my roasting. It has given me more confidence with dialing in my roasts so I can have more intentionality when I do larger batches.

Leaderboard: The Coffee Game has helped me a lot as well. It’s helped me understand different coffees and broadened my understanding of what’s available in coffee. I just got my new box and I am really looking forward to diving into it.


November 15, 2022 — Zara Snitman

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