What is Coffee Roasting?

by Kenneth Reed on February 24, 2021
When people think of coffee, the first image that pops up is of the brown beans that give the drink its nutty and dark color. But did you know that coffee is initially green in color and has more of a grass-like aroma?

 

Coffee cherry is often red or green and doesn't taste nor look like the traditional coffee we buy at stores. It's through the process of roasting that we give coffee beans their signature color and scent. It’s clearly an extremely crucial step for coffee making. So, what exactly does the roasting process entail?

What Is Roasting?

 

Coffee roasting is single-handedly in charge of changing the bean's color from green to the signature brown. In addition to color changes, roasting also brings out the aroma and taste of traditional coffee.

 

Roasting coffee brings about over 1000 aroma compounds in coffee, transforming the grass-like scent to the nutty coffee smell we enjoy. Along with bringing out the signature scent, roasting also increases the solubility of coffee. That's an incredibly crucial step because, without the solubility property of coffee, extraction would not be able to take place.

Steps To Roasting Coffee

Cupped hand holding roasted coffee beans.

Roasting coffee is a complicated process with multiple steps. Here is how the coffee cherry is transformed into a perfectly roasted coffee bean.

 

  1. Drying: In this process, the coffee cherries are assessed for their moisture content throughout the batch. This analysis helps determine the next stages of the process and indicates the pacing that needs to follow.
  2. Maillard Reaction: This process is the first step towards ‘browning’ the coffee bean. Through this reaction, hundreds of volatile chemical compounds are formed, contributing to the signature scent of coffee.
  3. First ‘Pop’: Many attribute roasting coffee to being the same as making popcorn. This comparison is drawn due to the ‘pop’ sound that both foods make during production. However, unlike popcorn, the pop sound from the coffee bean simply indicates that water and oxygen are escaping due to moisture evaporation.
  4. Second ‘Pop’: Just like the first pop, you are bound to hear a second pop sound from the coffee bean after a while, indicating the escape of carbon dioxide. This is usually done with darker roasted beans.

 

Once these basic processes are done, coffee beans are placed in coffee roasters and rotated in a cylindrical machine that heats the tossed beans from below. The degree to which coffee is roasted depends entirely on its unique flavor profile. Once roasted, the beans are cooled down using a water mist process and packaged for shipping!

Roast Levels

 

The different roast levels indicate how long the beans were heated during the roasting process. The varying colors from light to dark are an indication of how strong the taste and aroma of the coffee would end up being. The colors can range from a light brown roast called Cinnamon roast to a dark brown roast named Spanish roast. 

 

If you would like to get your hands on delicious coffee that has been roasted to perfection, browse our coffee collection at Brew House Online. Order fresh coffee beans online today and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee!

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