Coffee Roaster

RRP: £29.99

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RRP £29.99

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A cup of coffee is a morning ritual for many and in Coffee Roaster, you become a part of the whole process, from bean to cup.In this solitaire bag-builder, you must use your skill at roasting and brewing coffee to create a cup of coffee that matches the recipe given as best as possible. The game is split into two phases; the roasting phase and the brewing phase. In the roasting phas…
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Category Tag SKU ZBG-DLP1030 Availability 5+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Casual, relaxing tension level
  • Tactility of pieces
  • Unusual theme
  • Good solo experience
  • Learning about coffee

Might Not Like

  • Solo only
  • High luck factor
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Description

A cup of coffee is a morning ritual for many and in Coffee Roaster, you become a part of the whole process, from bean to cup.

In this solitaire bag-builder, you must use your skill at roasting and brewing coffee to create a cup of coffee that matches the recipe given as best as possible. The game is split into two phases; the roasting phase and the brewing phase.

In the roasting phase, you will have a bag filled with raw, green coffee beans as well as some moisture and steam tokens that count negatively towards your score. It’s your job in this round, to draw a set number of tokens and roast the beans that are drawn by one level each time (sometimes two levels if the round dictates). Coffee beans can be roasted from level 0 to level 4 but be wary as any beans taken beyond this point will burn and be a potential cause for minus points at the brewing phase. You can also use the beans and flavour tokens to activate abilities that can improve your bag and make the brewing process that little bit easier.

Once content with the overall roasting score of the bag, you can then progress onto the brewing phase. In this phase, you must draw tokens out, one at a time, and either add them into your cup or discard them into one of the discard spaces, which are limited. Your recipe card will give you the key criteria for each cup; how strong it needs to be, the flavour tokens required and what bonuses you can get by using multiple of the same roast number.

You can choose to do just one recipe or you can attempt to combine 3 different recipes, increasing in difficulty, to aim for the title of ‘Meister’!

Coffee Roaster encompasses the art of coffee making into a therapeutic solo game that offers a lot of variety while also educating you around the origins of coffee and the processes involved with your morning drink.

Player count - 1 player
Time - 10-30 minutes
Age - 12+

Coffee Roaster Feature

Coffee Roaster Review

How do you take your coffee? Black or with milk? Sugar? Syrup? Do you prefer the bitterly intense caffeine punch of an espresso or the sweetly decadent creaminess of a latte? Perhaps you’re fine with a heaped spoon of instant in a mug of boiling water. Whatever your preference, why not take a break, brew up a cup and settle down as I take you through Coffee Roaster, a solo game from Saashi and Saashi and DLP Games.

Coffee Roaster Body 1

Bean

In Coffee Roaster, you will play the role of, you guessed it, a coffee roaster. It’s your job to carefully guide the roasting process to produce a perfectly balanced cup of coffee. To do this you will need to remove moisture and impurities from the beans. You will want to get an even roast that brings out the right flavour tones for the particular type of coffee you’re roasting. Timing is an issue too: too short, and you’ll end up with a weak, insipid brew. Too long, and you risk burning the batch and producing a noxious broth with the flavour of an ashtray.

The game is played over three rounds. Each round begins by choosing a particular bean and building a starting bag based on the information on the card. There are plenty of beans to choose from that offer a beginner, moderate and expert challenge. How well you do in one round will affect which level of bean you can choose in the next round. The more complex the bean you choose, the higher the risk and greater the reward.

Roast

Each round is split in to two: the roast and the pour. The roast is the core part of the game and is a push-your-luck bag building game. Each turn, you will draw a set number of bean tokens from the bag and increase their value to simulate roasting. Keeping track of what is in the bag is a skill as you are aiming for a very specific score in the pour phase to achieve maximum points.

To bring a little tactics and precision to the luck of the bag draw, you also have flavour tokens in the bag. This grants you special powers that help you achieve an even roast and preserve beans to stop them burning. They can be used to claim power ups that will help you in the second half of the round. You also need to try and get the right combination of flavour tokens in your final cup at the end of the game to achieve bonus points.

Trying to thwart you in the roasting process are the pesky penalty tokens; defective beans, burnt beans, green unroasted beans, smoke. These tokens spoil your coffee and cost you points. Using the flavour token power ups to remove these tokens or mitigate the chance of one ending up in your final cup is another key component of the game.

Coffee Roaster Body

Pour

When you are confident that your bag has the right mix of tokens to maximise your chance of a perfect pour, it’s time to turn off the oven and start pouring. In the pour phase of the game you will draw tokens from the bag one by one and place them in your cup or discard them to your tray. Be warned; your tray only has so many spaces for unwanted tokens. Fill them, and everything you pull from the bag is going in your cup – good or bad!

Hopefully, to make this easier, you earned some power-ups in the roasting stage. Perhaps you got some honey to add sweetness and simulate any colour flavour token that you need. Maybe you got an extra discard tray or the ability to swap two tokens out of your cup at the end. However you get there, you are hoping that when you fill the cup and have your coffee graded, you have met the very specific requirements of that bean to score big. Scoring well in one round unlocks harder beans and potentially bigger scores in the next, helping you achieve your ultimate goal of becoming the Master Roaster!

Coffee Roaster Body 2

Tasting Notes

As a self-professed coffee snob (my grinder alone cost £100) and committed solo gamer, Coffee Roaster was a must have as soon as I heard about it. It has not disappointed. While I hear there is a unique charm to the Saashi and Saashi original printing, I cannot fault DLP’s co-production. 

The tokens are solid and haven’t become worn after several plays. The box has a sorting tray for the different tokens with pictures of what should go in each tray underneath. The cards for the individual beans have clear iconography that speeds up play. What’s more, there is a great deal of flavour text on the back of the cards that tells you about the origins, flavour and how it should be processed and roasted. As a coffee fanatic, the detail of the research shows a great amount of love and care for the subject on the designer’s part. It really helps ground the roasting simulation and prevents the theme feeling pasted on top of a game mechanism. 

As each round takes about 10-15 minutes, the game is a perfect afternoon extended coffee break. It’s tactile and satisfying, with a tension that keeps things interesting without causing palpitations. Neither simple, nor unnecessarily cluttered and complex, it is streamlined and elegant. Like a perfect cup of coffee, Coffee Roaster balances its flavours exquisitely and provides enough sharpness and variety to entice you back for a second cup.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Casual, relaxing tension level
  • Tactility of pieces
  • Unusual theme
  • Good solo experience
  • Learning about coffee

Might not like

  • Solo only
  • High luck factor