Roasting naturals

I just received some Zambia Natural from Theta Ridge.
I have read that with naturals, they should be roasted gently, but I’m confused on just what that means and how do you roast a coffee “more gently”?
I roast 800 gr. on each roast.
Does “gently” mean a lower pre-heat, lower power when the roast starts, which I guess would be a longer roast.
I really don’t understand the concept or how to go about it.



I usually roast 800 grams of naturals with a pre heat at 509 F. I extend the yellowing to about 5 minutes 30 seconds. I use 330F for a guideline for naturals. Roughly an additional 7 minutes to FC generally around 398 to 403 F for FC to get rolling. Typically RDT is another 2 and half minutes or 20-24 RDT and I drop at 435 F. Weight loss is typically 14 to 15%. This results in a great natural roast coffee after 4 to 5 days. Peak taste up to 10 days. I hope this works for our coffee roasters that have had challenges with roasting naturals. Total roast time is just around 13 to 14 minutes. Of course these times are estimates are based on the origin of my coffee beans.

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I have roasted a lot of Ethiopian and Yemeni naturals, and I can tell you that they take the initial heat very nicely. The problem is in maintaining the heat because the naturals will start chaffing very early. Even before yellowing. You can try different approaches there with fan, heat and whatnot, but the fact is that they have a very steep rise in temperature during that first phase. You might think you’ve gone too far, but the chaff eventually clears out and now you should be able to keep the momentum going while there’s a fall off. Nearing the first crack the temperature will tend to rise once again, and that’s where you need to be gentle because it can get away from you pretty fast. I usually drop naturals during FC at about 10 to 13% development, but that’s a personal preference. Be warned that if you go further the changes happen very quickly if you haven’t been gentle.