First complaint

I guess it had to happen at some point and last night (Friday) it did. I was just locking up the doors of the roastery, already looking forward to getting home and a cheeky thirst quencher, when my phone went 'ping'. I naturally took a quick glance and the word 'disappointment' took the fizz out of Friday night. I mulled over it on the drive home and knew that I needed to address it before anything thoughts of Friday relaxation.

Here's the email (name removed):

Hi I recently received the fol shipment:
Warqee Banko Gutitu × 1Kg / Whole Bean / NA
This is the second time I have ordered this bean and the bag directly followed the last of the previous bag into my hopper. It smelt different even on opening, significantly less floral upon grinding and the final coffee was such a disappointment after how impressed I had been throughout the previous bag.
I'm no super taster but the first bag was incredibly floral and even I got the pear and jasmine.  I'm gutted that the second Kilo bag has had none of the same impact and even tastes slightly bitter.  I didn't initially change my grinder, dosing, or temp/pressure settings but have done so since but to no avail. I get that this would have been a different batch and roast but I had expected something pretty similar.
Please simply take this as the sincere feedback intended and I will continue to have faith in yr coffees.
Best regards
Crankhouse doesn't have a published 'mission statement'. Perhaps it should and it would probably read something like this.
To roast delicious speciality grade coffee and supply high service and support levels that match the quality of those coffees.
For this customer we failed. This was my considered response:
Hi {},
Thanks for the email and feedback. I’m massively disappointed that this 2nd batch is underperformed for you and of course I’d like to issue you with a full refund which is the least I can do.
You and I both know what this coffee is capable of delivering and clearly the latest bag isn’t doing that. There are a couple of possibilities and  I’m going to look through the order dates, roast dates and post dates to see what the differences in the profiles are if any. That’s the obvious culprit, as you mentioned. I try very hard to have consistent profiles for my coffees as long as they taste good. There's no reason to change unless I believe I can do a better job with a coffee based on taste testing.
There are other possibilities like the fact at somepoint along the way the parcel may have been subject to heat. Sometimes my parcels are picked up by my local postman and I’ve seen him stick them in the footwell of his van. I guess it could be there for a few hours and this time of year there’s a strong possibility he’s got the heater set to maximum. That could do it for sure.
Resting time of the roasted coffee makes a massive difference but I’ve seen that you ordered on the 1st Jan and it was roasted and posted on the 2nd, so you would have had it by the 4th or 5th latest. That’s 7 days ago now and it will be at it’s optimum after that time. If it’s flat and not exhibiting those florals that you got from the previous batch then it’s not going to suddenly burst to life with them. Typically it’s the other way around. a bit ‘sharp’ at few days post-roast and then softens and opens up approximately 7-10 which is the zone you’re in right now.
Your previous  order was placed Dec 12th. Coffee was roasted Dec 8th and post label; printed same day as order.
This latest order was placed Jan 1st. Coffee was roasted 2nd Jan and post label printed same day.
ie both fresh and no chance they’re beyond their best in days post roast. The first had a few extra days ‘rest’ which is a factor but not so crucial IMO.
Here’s the two profiles attached. Newest overlying the older. Lots of curves I now but if we look at the Blue solid curve that is marked with the ‘charge’ label then that’s the significant one. Its the probe reading where the beans are moving around ( Bean Temp curve). The pale blue curve under it is the roast from the first batch you had in December. The differences are evident ie 15secs difference in overall roast time but to be honest I can’t imagine that this would be the cause of the ‘flat’ aromas and flavour you’re getting.
Today I roasted two batches back to back of my Honduran coffee. I had a visitor and he interrupted me during the 2nd batch and I missed my timings to reduce gas and the curve was way away from the target what I was following . I ended at the same temp and some 20 secs away (faster). Luckily he was a coffee person and whilst I continued roasting I asked him to set up the two roasts on the cupping table to see if we could taste the difference. They were incredibly similar. Both good fruit and acidity and body. We convinced ourselves that the ‘finish’ wasn’t as good in the 2nd batch as the first but really they were almost identical to our perceptions.
So, my thoughts are that I shouldn't give my coffees to my local postman and allow him to put them in the footwell of the van.
I’ve just leant an important session. That's why constrictive feedback is welcome and important.
Bottom line. I’ll refund your order and would like to offer you a discount off your next order (in the hope that there is one).
Best regards
There's always something to learn.
UPDATE: A week has now passed since this email landed in my inbox and challenged me. The customer didn't want a refund but asked if I'd send him another bag of the Warqee Bankoo Gutitu.  This of course I did immediately and left it a day or two before asking if it had been received and ??
Here's his response:

It arrived yesterday eve and went straight into the hopper.

Hugely different to the bag it replaced and much more like the first bag we had and every bit as good.

I don't envy you the challenge of achieving consistency when so many variables are beyond yr control!


My thanks once again.


Interestingly this post on my various social media channels received more comments than any other post I'd made previously.