We’re not just being crazy and having fun here in Iceland—well, not all the time. We’re doing a lot of learning, as well. After a delicious lunch of vegetarian Icelandic sandwiches, we headed in to a lecture by Morten Munchow of the Copenhagen Coffee Academy about the science of roasting. It was very good—Morten has a gift for breaking the difficult-to-understand side of science into a simple formula that even the science challenged (um, like I happen to be) can understand. He explained a lot about different methods of heating coffee—by convection, by contact, by radiation—and then we followed a short video he had made of how a green coffee bean begins in a roaster, and how it develops with high intensity heat, and then steadies out as the core temperature is raised, and the surface temperature is—with a skilled roaster—simply maintained.
Morten’s lecture was followed by a great discussion by Christian Klatt of Mahlkoenig on grinding. Christian not only covered the basics of grinding technology, but went into some depth about all the historical kinds of grinding methods, including using stones and knives to chop beans! This will perhaps come in handy for the Nordic Barista Cup teams as they fend for themselves in the Icelandic wilderness tomorrow!
So as fascinating as these two lectures were, we were all a little tired at this point. What to do? Well, we were instructed to go into the next room to participate in what Sonja called “an Icelandic ritual.” What could it be? A dance party, of course!