A Brief History of Time and Coffee
And thanks to a real “SP” kind of guy, Stephen Hawking, for giving us an insight into time and coffee.
Coffee beans in the green, stable state contain about 10% to 12.5% water, internally and externally. When roasting, the process to rid the beans of this moisture should occur in about three or four minutes and be completed before reaching a BT (bean temperature) of 212° F or 100° C.
The Maillard reaction starts when the beans start to turn white then yellow nearing 130° C. The Maillard reaction is the process when the beans start changing from yellow to tan to light brown. This period changes the sugars and other compounds into a state that will allow the beans to become roasted enough to be an almost palatable beverage. The Maillard reaction usually takes about three to four minutes and is usually complete when the BT reaches 170° C.
The final elimination of water and maturing of the roast occurs after the Maillard reaction is known as the Development Stage. This is when the beans roast enough to become a drinkable coffee and are at the commonly known point of the 1st crack stage of roasting; the 1st crack lasts from one to three minutes. The first crack is the final definition of the roasting process and most roasters agree that coffee beans should not be roasted into the 2nd crack for more than a minute.