Our previous blog entry was all about the art of roasting coffee. In this item in the series we are looking at the simple secrets behind the science of roasting beans and the intricate relationship between intuition and experience that propels the produce of roasting masters to the highest of standards.
There are five stages of roasting, each of which is the foundation for the next. The stages are some times described by color or temperature inside the bean. The longer a bean roasts the darker it becomes.
Each chemical reaction depends on the previous one. At first, the green beans are tough and flashy. A roaster has only eleven to twelve minutes tops to complete the process and everything must be done to perfection.
In the first few minutes the coffee beans are greenish and then slowly turn yellow and begin to smell. As the temperature rises, granules begin to release water in the form of vapor. The steam gradually acquires aroma, while the granules turn brown.
Roasting coffee is really all about...
experience, training and intuition. Some of the best RoastMasters spend years learning their craft and even longer perfecting it!
Our bean provider is Coffee City USA and they are one such local artisan coffee provider, whom we were very lucky to discover. The owner, Ray Johnson has worked over 29 years in the speciality coffee industry, where he learned all the secrets from selecting green beans to roasting for the sweet spot of every bean that goes through their roast house. Ray works daily with Victor Hernandez, another 29 year RoastMaster veteran and together they make sure that every bean is roasted to peak flavor. It is that love and attention to detail that made us choose Coffee City USA as our roasting house, and the fact they're right in our doorstep here in Texas.
The secret to roasting
is in the balance between the temperature and the duration of roasting. While seemingly a simple process, this is not the case at all. Roasting is a process that requires absolute accuracy; it is a speed race that comes with interchangeable obstacles: moisture, diversity, density, size, and more. The initial choices define the final decisions; the rate at which the temperature is increased, the amount of thermal energy stored, the rate at which the drum rotates, the rhythm of the impeller’s spins that provide air, all influence the final result, the flavor, and the aroma of the final product. The difference between an average and an excellent coffee can actually rely on just a single moment of carelessness.
On the next in the series we will look more closely at some more technical features of roasting and we will finish the series by talking to our very own roaster for some more in depth information on the process of making the Love My Cup blends.