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Everything You Want to Know About Roasting Coffee

Sep 5, 2008
What makes a great cup of coffee a great cup of coffee? Is it the coffee bean or the roast? What is it that makes your favorite coffee blend so amazingly good? Sit back and get ready to learn all about what makes coffee exceptional.

The greatest cups of coffee all meet two prerequisites: the green coffee beans (prior to roasting) are of the finest quality, and the green coffee beans need to be freshly roasted. It is important to understand that roasted coffee is extremely perishable. Within a mere two weeks from the date of roasting, up to 60% of the flavor can be lost.

However, gourmet coffee companies realize that not everyone has the luxury to be able to roast their own coffee beans. Therefore, they have come up with some fantastic packaging technologies that extend the shelf life from two weeks to several months.

So what is the deal with roasting? Is it really that big of a deal?

Coffee roasting has to do with two major components: time and temperature. The roasting temperature and time allotted have a lot to do with the flavor that the coffee beans end up having.

Roasting temperatures range from 375 degrees up to 400 degrees, and roasting time can be anywhere from eight minutes up to twenty minutes, depending upon how many beans are actually in the roaster.

At the beginning of the roasting process, the green coffee beans turn yellow. The temperature is increased, driving off any moisture in the beans. The beans swell and crack because of this moisture loss. Next, a series of chemical alterations occur within the beans.

Oils within the coffee beans caramelize, creating the brown color of the coffee. Depending upon what level roast the roast master is making (light, medium, full or dark), the roast master will determine when it is time to remove the beans from the roasting process.

The beans are removed from the drum and are put into the cooling bin, where they are rapidly cooled down so that there will be no further roasting. This helps to save the aromatics of the beans.

Roasting is a delicate procedure, and only those who truly know their coffee beans (also known as roast masters) will yield the most perfect results. The next time you reach for your favorite cup of coffee, take a minute to thank the roast master for your delicious treat!
About the Author
Wendy Moyer is an independent journalist. Diedrich.com and CoffeePeople.com are trusted resources that offer consumers the chance to purchase high quality gourmet coffee beans, coffee K cups, organic espresso coffee beans - further information can be found on the Diedrich.com and CoffeePeople.com websites.
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