Coffee is one of the most celebrated beverages of our time as it has a global following. On average, 400 billion cups of coffee are being consumed by humans every year. The richness of coffee will fall flat if coffee beans are not toasted in the right manner.
What is coffee roasting?
The process of converting the green coffee beans into the brown shiny and toasted beans is called coffee roasting. It is done by heating the coffee beans at different temperatures to achieve the customized roast. The chemical reaction that takes place during the heating process reduces sugars and amino acids stored in the beans which then releases a crisp, rich fragrance with a strong taste.
This process is the most important if you want to make a perfect cup of coffee. No coffee maker will help if the beans are not roasted.
Green coffee beans can’t be used for making the famous coffee beverages as they simply lack the property to do so. It has a taste that is like any other green vegetation. Simply put, you cannot make anything from the green coffee beans.
Most people store green coffee beans in large quantities and roast them one cup at a time. This is because storing roasted coffee beans for a long period can cause the loss of their enriching properties after being stored for a while.
Why do you need to roast beans?
If you think the coffee beans you see on your coffee’s package are in its true form, then you are highly mistaken. Natural coffee beans are green and have a bland taste and grassy fragrance. They lack the richness and the aroma that the usual coffee is famous for.
That is why it is essential that you roast these ordinary coffee beans to enjoy the varying flavors it has to offer. Aside from the origin, grind, and type of beans, the roast of your coffee hugely impacts your coffee’s flavor.
Following are the different roasts of the coffee beans discussed in detail. These can help you decide why roasting your coffee beans is necessary and unavoidable.
- Light Roast
This roast of coffee beans is closer to their natural form as their exterior is still grainy as well as its aroma hasn’t broken out of its bland and grassy property completely. The beans have just begun to turn brown and their toast is still mild.
People often think that a light toast will offer them the lowest caffeine levels but that is a misconception. Studies show that beans with light roast have slightly higher caffeine content than the dark roast.
- Medium Roast
During this roast, the flavors and fragrance offered by the beans are balanced. The beans have finally broken out of their natural state and totally forgo the bland taste. The rich flavors of coffee as we know them have started to appear.
The exterior of these beans is still the same without any oil, but the color of the beans has turned a few shades darker.
- Medium-Dark Roast
Ordering a coffee with a medium-dark roast will mean that you will get a more authentic coffee experience. The earthy and enriching flavors are fully developed, and the fragrance is crisp and warm.
- Dark Roast
At this roast, the beans are heated far more than their optimum time. The purpose of overheating them is to achieve a bitter taste that is favored by many coffee lovers.
The above-mentioned roasts are enough to understand the importance of roasting in the coffee industry. Recently, the growing trend of ‘single-origin’ coffee has increased the significance of roasting beans.
Beans roasting techniques
The taste of your coffee is affected by many factors from its bean types to its grind. But the most prominent factor responsible for its varying taste is its roasting process.
Coffee is a global beverage and people around the world have their own techniques to roast coffee beans, but the following steps are included in almost all these techniques:
- Drying Stage
Before beginning the actual roasting process, it is important to get rid of the beans’ humidity content. And that is done by heating the beans at a lower temperature and then raising it gradually.
The maximum temperature that you can reach this stage is 160° Celsius and the drying time should not exceed 8 minutes.
- Browning Stage
This process is mainly centered around Milliard reaction during which melanonids take part in a chemical reaction and change the composition of its chemical formula. This way, the earthy flavors of the famous beverage starts appearing and eventually you’ll smell the enriching fragrance sharing the same property.
- Development Stage
If you observe that the roast color you’ve wanted is achieved already then you can simply skip this stage and store your roasted beans. But if you want a more deep and bitter flavor that you can continue roasting until you get the desired taste.
It is important to control the heat of your roaster at this stage because the chances of it burning the beans are exceptionally high.
Now that you know that what a typical roasting technique entails, you can distinguish how these stages vary in different roasting techniques. Here, we have discussed the few roasting techniques briefly.
This is also known as configuration roasting as the roasting coffee beans are continuously in a rotating motion. It works on the principle of conduction. The heat is supplied to its walls upon contact which is then transferred to the beans. A paddle is used to distribute the heat evenly among all the toasting beans.
In this kind of roasting, hot air is used to heat the coffee beans and a paddle is used to distribute this heat just like the technique mentioned before. The hot air allows the simultaneous roasting of each bean.
Professionals have shown concern over the use of hot air in roasting as it can easily burn the beans rather than roasting them. Such practices bring huge losses to industries they do everything in masses.
The kind of roast you want and how you want to achieve it solely depends on your preferences and origin. To develop a taste and preference, one needs to taste and drink coffee of all types and kinds and from different places.
And do not forget that after coffee roasting, the next step is coffee grinding. So make sure to get a good coffee grinding machine.