Quick Recipes and Easy

Coffee Roasting

The process of roasting coffee beans is what brings out the flavor of the coffee and develops the characteristics of the coffee. When roasting coffee beans, they are roasted in order to bring the coffee to a perfect balance of acidity with just the right sweetness. A light bodied, sweet coffee is normally roasted lighter than the full bodied coffee with the chocolaty tastes.

As the coffee beans are in the roasting process, there are chemical and physical changes to the coffee. Some changes include the expansion of the coffee beans, loss of moisture, caramelizing and of course a change in the color of the coffee. Once the beans start losing moisture and expand, they will make a popping sound, which in the coffee industry is known as crack.

Two types of roasting coffee are Art, the second is Science. One other type of roasting coffee is a combination of both art and science.

Art roasting is where the roast master relies on sound, sight and smell of the coffee to determine when the coffee beans are roasted to perfection. It takes many years of experience to achieve a level of master coffee roaster.

Science roasting is based on scientific data. The roast master takes data including temperature and time to determine the degree of roasting to gain the same color with each batch of roasted coffee beans. A combination of both art and science are used where coffee is produced in mass.

Another step in roasting coffee beans to achieve a perfect blend of coffee is the “cupping” process. This is where the coffee is tasted in similar fashion to tasting wine. When the roasted coffee bean is cupped, samples are pulled from the process and measured into several different cups. Each cup of coffee beans are ground separately and boiling water is poured over the freshly ground coffee beans. When the coffee grounds rise to the top of the cup they trap the aroma in the cup. The cupper will then scrape away the coffee grounds and smell the coffee aroma. The coffee is then tasted and rated on all the characteristics including flavor, acidity, aroma, body and any taste defects.

There are basically three levels of roasting coffee beans. They are light roast, generally used in a milder coffee and many times sweet coffees. Medium Roast is one of the most common roasting levels of roasting coffee beans. Most of the medium roasted coffees are done when they reach their second crack. And lastly there is the dark roast. This is the level of roasting coffee beans well beyond the second crack and will appear oily on the surface. This gives the coffee a very full bodied and strong flavor.

For you the coffee drinker, you have many choices when it comes to roasted coffee beans. The best way to tell which coffee is right for you is to sample many different types of coffee.

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Ocha has been in sales and sales management for over 24 years. He is currently in marketing and support in the distribution industry. He also manages several websites and blogs.
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