Although the title implies that Patrik Rolf Karlsson’s talk from CoLab: Paris is pretty straight-forward—“Roasting for Competition”—it takes a number of twists and turns from the very start, and ends up with some unexpected conclusions.

Yes, Patrik talks about using curves and data from Five Elephant’s roasts, including extensive logging of the roast environment—but it’s to tailor the results to the preferences of the people who will consume the coffee, even when it stands outside of his own preference. And yes, Patrik openly disregards and disagrees with the sage advice from a well-respected roaster (“everything takes time” – Matts Johansson, Da Matteo)—but he also calls for vocal newcomers to coffee to listen to and work with those who came before.

Most striking for us is Patrik’s observation and subsequent learnings from the realisation that 60% of the brews they were using to evaluate their roast profiles were poor brews—a prime example of Patrik’s use of measurement to learn and improve.

Patrik was born a cold April morning in Gothenburg—he doesn’t remember anything about it, as most of us don’t. He likes milk and people that are dedicated, not in words but with their actions. He grew a beard and got interested in building organisations, starting with coffee, but was disappointed with the lack of dedication in the industry. Patrik shaved his beard, moved to Berlin, and read and watched everything by Malcom Gladwell. Today he is part of the Five Elephant team as head of roastery. He wants to be a part of reshaping the idea of what a modern coffee roastery is.