On the long road, coffee beans take before they become the fragrant beverage in your cup, coffee roasting is the most important stage. Skilled roasting is fully responsible for how coffee beans’ taste and flavor characteristics are manifested. Experts claim that there is an exact method that will extract all of their secrets from coffee beans and achieve genuine taste. The art of roasting is achieved by long practice and endless experiments. Get an exclusive taste of coffee based on substantial experience and advice from highly qualified experts in the coffee business.
Why is roasting coffee important – or is it?
Roasting coffee is important because it helps develop the coffee beans’ flavors. The roasting process also helps remove some bitterness from the beans.
Roasting is done in a special machine – a roaster. This is an oven in the form of a drum, the rotation of which provides intensive mixing of the beans. The machine’s dimensions depend on the production volume and can vary significantly. Roasters are equipped with sensors, which allow controlling the roasting. There is a special scoop for sampling beans and checking their quality. When the beans are roasted, they are cooled by a stream of cold air.
Why Buy Green Coffee Beans?
Many people buy green coffee beans for the same reasons they might buy any other kind of bean. They want to be able to roast their own beans and grind them up at home to make fresh coffee. This is a great way to save money since you can get your coffee for less than you would pay at a coffee shop. Additionally, it is also possible to control the strength of your coffee by roasting the beans yourself. Another reason to buy green coffee beans is that they are fresher than roasted beans. When you buy roasted beans, they have already been sitting on shelves and in warehouses for some time. On the other hand, green beans are typically shipped directly from growers to stores or customers. This means they are usually fresher and have a better flavor than roasted beans.
Roasting green coffee is a difficult and delicate process. If you over-roast them, the coffee acquires a bitterness due to charred sugar and its value is significantly affected.
What happens to the grain in the process of roasting:
- Subject to a high temperature, the green coffee beans lose moisture and grow in size.
- The browning of the beans is caused by sucrose converting to caramel during roasting.
- Cafestol, another complex substance formed during roasting, is responsible for the specific coffee aroma.
- Essential oils leave the beans during roasting, which changes the structure of the beans.
The “Two Claps” Rule
“Claps” is a term used to denote the stages of professionally roasted beans. In the first minutes, the beans change color but remain pale yellow, and the original grassy smell of smoke turns into a more distinctive aroma. Its appearance is accompanied by the first “cotton” – a distinguishable crack, which signals the beginning of the active caramelization of sugars and removal of essential oils. At this stage, the oven is heated to 170°C. The longer the roasting process, the greater the allocation of oil and the more fragrant the coffee gets. The finished beverage’s most intense taste and aroma will be from those beans that have been allocated the largest amount of essential oils. This effect is achieved only after the second “cotton”, when the beans become darker in color, the density of the smoke gets thick, and the sugar burns entirely. The temperature reaches 230°C.
Tostado Ligero beans have higher acidity and a sharp taste. Dark-roasting coffee beans reduce caffeine and enrich the taste, but the re-roasted beans have a burning charcoal flavor. The uniqueness of each variety of coffee requires an individual approach to its roasting since different beans behave in different ways when roasting, meaning differences in the temperature and cycle times. To achieve the unmatched and unique taste of coffee that delights connoisseurs of the drink every morning, beans taken from different stages of roasting are combined in different proportions to create the best possible flavor.
The primary methods of coffee roasting
As you know, coffee roasting is an art, so there must be clearly defined and established standards for sharing roasting. Nevertheless, there is a clear division between weak, medium and sharp roasts. True connoisseurs aren’t limited to these three options but have many more. Consider the most popular ones, and consider the national traditions of different countries.
Light roast (Scandinavian, cinnamon, New England, semi-urban)
The lightest roast (195-205° C) leaves beans of bright brown color and gives the bread a slightly pronounced aroma. This method applies only to frying gentle mountain grades of higher quality Arabicas. Coffee made from light roast beans will be sour and have a watery consistency. It’s not good for making Espresso but goes fine with cream and milk.
Medium roast (American, brown, medium brown, regular)
This roast is achieved immediately after the first “cotton,” which occurs when the heating temperature reaches 210-220° C. There is very little isolation of vegetable oils from the beans at this temperature. Prepared coffee will have a characteristic taste of caramel with slight acidity and some herbal tones. The aroma of medium roast coffee is already pronounced.
Viennese roast (urban, business, light French)
The Viennese coffee roast reports a second “pop.” This is due to the active selection of oils formed on the bean’s surface, which turns dark brown. The bean acquires a clean bitterness in taste, with moderate to fully sweet notes. Espresso is typically brewed from this type of roast.
Strong roast (French, Continental, New Orleans)
Coffee beans are subjected to more active roasting up to 240° C. The beans turn dark brown, similar to the color of dark chocolate, and have a significant amount of oil on the surface. The bitter taste of the coffee becomes more tangible. French roast coffee gives the finished beverage strength, saturation, and density.
Spanish (Italian, Cuban) roasting
The strongest roasting requires much skill. Italian coffee roasting takes place at a temperature of 245-250° C, which all varieties of coffee beans cannot bear. The color is almost black, and the beans become very oily. The coffee has no acidic taste, but the flavor will have smoky caramel notes. This option is best for foodies who love bitter coffee with a long aftertaste.
How to roast coffee at home
To roast coffee at home, follow these steps:
- Thoroughly rinse the green beans under running water or hold them in water for up to ten minutes.
- Dry the coffee beans on a towel or napkin.
- Heat, a clean cast-iron frying pan, add coffee beans in a layer no thicker than 2-3 cm and set on low heat.
- Continuously stir the beans in the pan with a wooden spatula throughout the roasting process.
- When you hear the first “cotton” — characteristic sound — roast the beans until they reach the desired color. Check readiness by sampling a bean.
- The finished fried bean should be placed into a container for 6-12 hours with the lid cracked. Do not grind until ready to use.
Essentials to know!
If you are new to coffee roasting and just starting to experiment with it, do not forget to take into account a few simple guidelines:
- Roasting coffee at home will require you to bear in mind that coffee beans swell from the heat, and after you have completed the process, they will not shrink to their final size until they have completely cooled down.
- Coffee beans, like a sponge, absorb any odors. It is advisable to use a roasting pan that has not been used for other purpose.
- The harder you roast the coffee, the less caffeine will be left in it.
There is no single answer to the question: “How do you roast coffee?” To decide how much should roast grains of various types, you’ll have to research other people’s advice, which of course, will be based on their own taste preferences.
The tools you’ll need to roast your coffee beans
Beans Roasting coffee at home is a great way to get the freshest cup of coffee possible. It also allows you to experiment with different roasts and beans to find the perfect combination for your taste. While you can roast coffee in a pan on the stove, we recommend using a dedicated coffee roaster for the best results. Here are some of our favorite home coffee roasters. Fresh Roast SR500 Coffee Roaster is our top pick for a home coffee roaster. It’s easy to use and produces great results. Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Roaster – This more affordable option still produces good results. Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster – This higher-end option gives you more control over the roast. Once you have your coffee roaster, you’ll also need some green (unroasted) coffee beans. You can buy these online or at your local specialty grocery store. Make sure to get beans meant for home roasting, as some commercial beans are not suitable for home roasting.
Warning when roasting coffee beans in the oven
When roasting coffee beans in the oven, it is important to keep a close eye on them so they do not burn. It is also important to ventilate the kitchen well, as the roasting process can create a lot of smoke. Also, roasting coffee beans in the oven is not recommended. The beans can overheat and cause a fire.