Noone really knows when or how coffee was first roasted. We have previously looked at some of the myths and history of coffee and although it is possible that the truth lies behind one of those stories, it is more likely that its first roasting happened by chance.
The fact remains that the accidental discovery of roasting coffee beans, was what made coffee famous all around the world, given that its great impact has since then been largely related to the majestic aroma and the taste created during the roasting process.
The ins and outs
Although each coffee bean contains approximately 800 aromatic oils, the distinct smell of a green coffee bean is surprisingly nowhere near what we all know and cherish in our cup today; in fact, its fragrance resembles that of raw peas!
It is true that special care is required for as many as possible of these 800 aromatic flavors to be released. The roasting process is what provides coffee with its special aroma. It radically changes the coffee’s structure both in terms of its final form but also in terms of its physical and chemical composition. During the roasting process, the coffee’s color changes from light green to brown. The granules expand and dehydrate. By the end of its roasting, more of the oils that make coffee delicious and aromatic are released.
The traditional roasting machines are impressive machines that look like old steam engines, valves, pipes, thermostats and levers. The art of roasting is based on long experience and great intuition. Although roasting machines have a glass window, most often the coffee roasters perceive the process through the different sounds that the grains produce when heated. Thus, experienced roasters know exactly when to shut down the machine.
The best of the connoisseurs are aware that the roasting process requires constant control and that any different type of coffee and every batch requires a separate roasting method and/or procedure. The aroma and taste of coffee are not only a result of the quality and origin of the grain, but also of the way it is roasted and cooled.
Join us again next time when we explore more of the art and science behind coffee roasting and be sure to catch the last of the series when we talk to our own roaster about how they bring the Love My Cup blends to life.
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