Let’s talk about the amazing process of roasting coffee beans, shall we? You see, coffee beans aren’t really coffee, as we know it until they are roasted. The make-up of the bean is the same, from its unique qualities to its caffeine content, but the flavor you taste in the cup isn’t available until it is roasted. The true art of the roaster is to find the perfect balance of roasting so as to bring out the bean’s truest flavor.
Several different methods and “recipes” for roasting exist, but indubitably they all rely on certain combinations of heat and time. Many have compared the process to popping popcorn as the beans quite literally “pop” when they are heated to a certain temperature. Indeed, two pops! That’s water and oxygen escaping the bean in the first pop, carbon dioxide escaping in the second.
The Heat Is On
As the bean roasts in temperatures ranging from a balmy 370° degrees to a sultry 580° degrees it changes color from its natural green, through tans and medium browns; all the way to dark, chocolaty browns bordering on black. Too far and, well, you’re left with a carbonized lump of ash and that does not bode well for your precious cup of coffee.