Coffee Roasting

by Glenn Heitkoetter - Date: 2006-12-17 - Word Count: 787 Share This!

Roasting can be done by oven, stove top, gas or wood fired tumbler, hot air popcorn popper, or by hot air coffee roaster. From 10% to 20 % of the water weight of the green coffee beans comes off during the roasting process. The beans brown as the sugars caramelize with the application of heat. There is a breakdown of the cellular structure of the beans during which oils come out. Pulp chaff in the bean crevice is usually blown off with a fan as the beans roast. Some acids form in the bean and other acids are neutralized. Different times of roasting and different amounts of heat change the bean flavor.

After roasting, the beans are either quenched with a spray or are air dried. If a package of coffee beans says "water added" this means--during the quenching-- more than 12% of the entire weight was added or absorbed back into the beans. Beans lose flavor due to evaporation as flavors mixed with gases leave the bean.

No one agrees on the best time to enjoy coffee--this depends on personal taste. Most people agree that the best time to brew coffee is from right after roasting up to 24 hours afterwards. The best time to grind the beans is right before brewing.

1. Cinnamon--also called light or mild--has nothing to do with the spice but refers to color.

2. Medium High

3. City

4. Full City

5. French

6. Italian (Espresso)

Usually a medium roast is best for flavored coffees and roughly 3% flavor is used depending on the maker.

For coffee flavoring there are basically four methods: flavor solutions, flavor extraction, syrups, and oils. Flavor solutions are applied by soaking the beans in the flavoring. Shelf life on this method is short. Extraction is the process by which additional coffee flavor is added--by directly spraying on the beans--or subtracted in the case of decaffeinated coffees. Syrups are put directly into a brewed cup of coffee. Oils are put into roasted beans and are usually allowed to soak 24 hours before the beans are ground and brewed.

If buying green beans to roast for yourself, store them in a cool, dark, and dry place which will allow them to keep for an extended period of years. Decaffeinated beans cannot be stored this long and will only last about 6 months. All types of beans including green beans are located here.

Roasted beans lose some of their flavor within a few days after roasting and within an hour after grinding. Roasted beans cannot be stored for long periods like when they are green except if they are frozen. The best coffee is when you roast them yourself and grind right before brewing. There are three basic ways to roast beans at home, stove top, hot air popcorn popper, and an appliance designed for home roasting.

Roasting makes a lot of smoke so your vent must be in top shape or do as many people do, roast them outside. On a nice day this would be a great opportunity to have a gathering.

You can brew them right after roasting or up to 24 hours is considered the best time. Six hours is considered the very best time to brew after roasting. Grind them right before brewing.

I will only cover stove top roasting here because anyone can do this with regular home utensils. When roasting on the stove place in a frying pan to 350 degrees and constantly stir the beans and roast until they are the color you like. Take off of the heat at a lighter color then you want because they will darken and roast a little more. It will take from 8-15 minutes but you must stay there and stir on a continuous basis or they will burn. After removing from heat spray with a little water. Put in metal tray or bowl and stir until cool. Blow off any chaff outside if possible as you stir and cool them.

Another stove method is with a lid on the pan, put an oven thermometer inside and heat it up in there to 500 degrees. Remove thermometer then add the beans and shake constantly and roast until you you hear a crack (about 5 minutes). Roast longer and keep shaking, checking every minute to get them right before the color you like, then remove from heat and cool off as the above method.

Do not store roasted beans especially freshly roasted beans in a container that is air tight and breakable. This is because gases are escaping. The best method is bags with one way valves that allow the gas to escape but not let air in to oxidize the beans.

Storing roasted beans in a freezer will keep them as fresh as possible if they will not be brewed right away.

Related Tags: coffee, coffee roasting, coffee beans, best way to make coffee

All types of beans including decaffeinated are available here. Glenn Heitkoetter is a part time writer.

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