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Roasting Beans: Making The Perfect Coffee

Aug 9, 2008
In order to obtain the highest quality of roasting, it is essential that the beans were selected and dried with the utmost care and attention. Some producers will use a specific kind of wash. This wash is used to remove the flesh as well as separate the different kind of beans. Beans will float differently depending on their density. This makes it easier to determine which ones should be used and which ones should be removed. However, there are some producers who will use a more complex and time consuming method.

Dry processed beans usually provide the consumer with a less acidic product. Some acidity can be desired in certain blends but too much acidity can be a bad thing.

As beans heat up during the roasting process they produce different aromas and levels of acidity. They also will release their different flavor components. The first stage of roasting is when the beans absorb the heat. The beans will go from green to yellow and then from yellow to brown. Green does not necessarily mean a color but rather fresh or not yet roasted. Roasting when properly done will smell like popcorn or toast.

When the temperature is about 350 degrees Fahrenheit the sugars will caramelize. This is of course helped along by the increase in moisture temperature of the skin. Reaching the proper amount of caramelized sugars is important to develop a good brew during coffee roast.

Then at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit the beans should expand and reach about double what their original size was. They should also be light brown, but this can vary depending on what kind of beans are being used. They should also reduce in weight to about 5% less than their original weight. Then as the temperature continues to increase the beans will lose more weight and then release CO2. When the temperature hits about 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the beans should be a medium to dark brown and should be oily. Often there is a loud pop heard at this stage which is known as the second crack phase. This is where over roasting can occur and care and attention is necessary. Burnt taste can occur when the oils are boiled off and combine with the oxygen in the air. The goal is to have the perfect balance and combination of bitterness, acid, and a wide variety of different profile characteristics.

The body of a coffee is slightly misleading. It does not necessarily refer to the actual thickness of the coffee. In actuality it refers to the proteins and fibers that are found in the coffee. It specifically refers to the feeling on the tongue when it is rubbed against the roof of the mouth. It is fat content in the beverage that is largely controlled by the roasters and not the brewers. Unfortunately too light of a coffee will usually contain a bitterness in the final result. However, too dark a brew with sometimes produce too much of a chocolate tone with a burnt taste. Experimentation is the best way to find the coffee the best suits your desires without needing to go anywhere, even if it?s nearby.
About the Author
Leroy Calstard continually produces informative papers on problems dealing with home espresso machines. On his site you might see his publications on home espresso machines and espresso maker.
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