Since launching in early 2005, YouTube has become an indispensable resource for people across a range of professions.
Receiving up to two billion visits per month, it is home to a vast archive of video content, including everything from software tutorials to keynote lectures.
For coffee roasters, YouTube is a platform used for not only learning the craft of roasting, but finessing skills and building on knowledge in other key areas.
Here, we’ve compiled a selection of the most useful YouTube channels for coffee roasters, whether a seasoned professional or just starting out.
If you’ve ever come across a TEDTalk, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what to expect from the Re:co Symposium’s YouTube channel.
Run by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), the channel features an impressive collection of lectures and discussions from coffee industry experts, with topics ranging from the coffee price crisis to the role of cooperatives.
Specifically, Re:co Symposium celebrates what it calls “new thinking in coffee”: innovative ways to address challenges and push the industry forward. This includes scientific, agricultural, and economic research, as well as analysis of important trends across the sector.
To provide a well-rounded and inclusive perspective, Re:co Symposium invites speakers from a wide range of backgrounds. Recent speakers include SCA board of director’s member Chahan Yeretzian and Montana State University professor Salena Ahmed.
Re:co Symposium’s content is also available in podcast format.
Mill City Roasters
Boasting more than 30,000 subscribers, Mill City Roasters’ YouTube channel has become a stalwart in the world of online coffee roasting education.
While the core business is the selling of roasters and green coffee, they place great emphasis on a robust education programme – which is completely free.
Based in Minneapolis, their videos are filled with humour and include everything from understanding charge temperature to guides on how to properly maintain roasters.
Particularly popular is their “Roast Along” series, in which a member of the Mill City team roasts a different coffee step by step. In these videos, they discuss the green coffee beans, the roast settings (and why they’ve chosen them), and tips on how to unlock full flavour potential.
The information provided on Mill City’s channel is applicable to almost all commercial production roasting equipment, not just the ones they sell. This makes it widely accessible for roasters from around the world.
Wolff Coffee Roasters
“The craft of coffee takes skill, passion, knowledge, experience, and perseverance” reads the bio of Wolff Coffee Roasters, an educational YouTube channel run by pioneering roaster Peter Wolff.
Wolff’s videos stick closely to this philosophy, employing a simple and direct approach to convey advice without room for confusion. Videos range from tips on buying a coffee roaster to understanding the Maillard reaction.
However, there is also a veritable archive of content focused on other areas, including latte art and green bean sourcing.
The appeal of Wolff Coffee Roasters’ channel lies mainly in Wolff himself. With more than 30 years of experience in the specialty coffee sector, he has spearheaded many of the innovations in the Australian coffee scene.
He’s also recognised as one of few “Master Roasters” in Australia and his channel is seen as a way in which to share his unique insights with other roasters around the world.
Rob Pirie: Cedar Ota Coffee
For anyone thinking about starting their own roasting business, Rob Pirie’s YouTube channel is essential viewing.
Pirie is the founder of Cedar Ota, a micro roastery in Los Angeles. Since launching his company in August 2018, he’s made videos charting his roasting journey and the various challenges along the way.
Although some videos also provide glimpses into his life in a “video diary” format, the majority are how-to guides (How To Become A Coffee Roaster, How To Cup Coffee) and, more recently, interviews with other roasters (Roasting For Change with Mary Beth – Globe Trotter Coffee Co).
There are also some tutorials on various products, such as the Hive Coffee Roaster and the XBar Espresso.
Pirie’s channel offers great insight into the trials and tribulations of starting your very own coffee roasting business from scratch.
It covers both the business and the personal side, providing an honest portrayal that is sure to help fledgling roasters make decisions about their own route into roasting.
World Coffee Championships
Coffee competitions are some of the most important dates in a roaster’s calendar, whether participating or simply observing. They offer insight into the latest trends and coffees, as well as showcasing the talents of individuals from around the world.
The World Coffee Championships’ YouTube channel is an excellent resource for roasters of all levels.
It features every performance from a whole host of competitions, including the World Barista Championship, the World Coffee Roasting Championship, and the World Brewers Cup Championship.
For those looking to compete in a world-stage event, it is the perfect place to pick up tips and find out what makes a winning routine (and what to avoid).
On the channel is also the long-running #AllStars series, in which champions and finalists are interviewed about everything from how they got into coffee to the secrets behind their success.
The latest season was hosted by three-time South Africa Barista champion, Winston Thomas.
Whether just starting out or building on a long-term career, as a coffee roaster there is always room for improvement.
YouTube videos offer a free and accessible way of learning more about the art of roasting, from understanding rate of rise to sourcing green coffee.
At MTPak, we offer a range of sustainable coffee bags for specialty coffee roasters. Made from environmentally-friendly materials like kraft paper, rice paper or PLA, our coffee bags are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.
Fully customisable from the type of coffee pouch to design, we can help you find the best packaging that is appealing yet humble and approachable for your customers.