Roasting Brings Out The Flavors In Coffee
Just like a master chef knows temperature, quality ingredients and skill are the components to a gourmet meal, a master coffee processor instinctively knows that the true test for a bean’s final flavor comes in the roasting process. One misstep and a perfectly good batch of beans can be ruined. A perfect run in the roaster, however, can net beans that produce rich, full-bodied and gourmet blends of coffee.
The roasting process itself is a very big deal in the coffee world. During the process itself, the beans lose moisture, protein and even some of their caffeine content. Sugars within the beans are caramelized, giving the beans more flavor while adding to the rich color they’re noted for.
The roasting process is completed to help give the beans the rich flavor they’re noted for. Unroasted beans don’t necessarily produce a cup of coffee most would want to drink. Keeping the beans in long enough and at the right temperature is key, however. Beans that roast too long or too hot have a burned, unwelcoming flavor. Those that are roasted for too short a time or at too low a temperature don’t taste right either. The ideal is somewhere in the middle for allowing the bean’s natural sugars to mingle with the coffee essence.
Coffee is typically roasted in industrial equipment that’s meant specifically for the processing of coffee beans. The machines most commonly used have a drum that rotates to tumble beans for an even roast and some sort of heating element, which is typically gas.
Beans are generally roasted at about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Somewhere around 400 degrees F on the bean’s interior temperature, the oils from the beans begin to react, which darkens the bean’s color.
This process is allowed to continue or stopped right away, depending on the flavor the roaster is going for. Once removed from the roaster, the beans are placed in a storage area where the heat from within the beans themselves will continue the process. Eventually the beans are “quenched” with water or cold air to stop the process from continuing. The end result is a bean that’s either flavored just right, too much or too little. A lot depends on the kind of bean involved in the process and the skill of the roaster.
Even the highest-quality beans can be destroyed during this process, so those in charge of the roasting must possess a skill and knowledge that’s not at all unlike that belonging to a master chef.