The process of roasting coffee beans is what gets them as the coffee beans we know and love. Roasting coffee is usually necessary with fresh coffee beans as it brings out it’s natural rich flavor and aroma. Did you know coffee beans grow as little red beans, then become green when dried? This is when the beans will be shipped internationally to be roasted.
These green beans do not resemble any similarities of roasted coffee, in taste, texture or smell. Through roasting coffee beans, you can induce a natural chemical change, ensuring you bring the temperate high enough. They must then be quickly cooled. Once this is done, you will have a smooth and fragrant load of beans, ready to grind up and make your cup of coffee.
Now, let’s look through the process of roasting beans and what happens to the bean during each stage.
Once you start to roast the green beans, they will slowly start to turn yellow, letting of a grassy smell.
Then, the coffee bean will begin to crack – a bit like popcorn – but don’t worry, this isn’t a sound you should be worried about. Once the beans are making this ‘cracking’ noise, this is when they begin to roast properly and can be used if desired.
If the beans are left on the heat, after the first crack comes a much darker roast. Following this first initial type of roast comes a “Full city plus roast” and tends to be general favorite, in regards to taste and usage.
Once the beans begin to crack again, this will leave you with a much darker and stronger roast.
The final stage of roasting, should you still have left it on the heat, is when the sugar starts to burn. This will make things very smokey. This is again, darker and much stronger.
Types of Roast
At each stage of the coffee bean roasting process, you are left with a different kind of roast. There are roughly four stages, i.e. four different kinds of roast. These are light, medium, medium-dark and dark. Other names, if you need a reference or maybe you have seen them around, are:
Light: Light city, cinnamon, half city.
Medium: City roast, breakfast, American.
Medium-dark: Full city roast
Dark: Vienna roast, French roast, Italian roast, High, Continental
Okay, so you’ve seen how the bean changes within the roasting process, but you might be wondering: how do you actually roast the bean?
Well, to produce coffee beans on a large and international scale, extremely large metal machines are used to do this. However, there are ways you can roast your coffee beans from home too.
How to Home Roast
Firstly, you will need to buy green coffee beans, in their natural state. There are then a few ways you can choose from to roast the coffee yourself.
Home roasting machine
You can buy your own home roasting machine. Of course, this won’t be anywhere near the size of an industrial one, so no need to worry where you’ll put it. They can however be very pricey.
Much less expensive, yet just as effective, the classic popcorn maker device. Put them into the popcorn machine and use the stages above as a guideline. Once they are ready to your taste, put them in a bowl or metal colander and stir to cool them down quickly.
Cook on the stove
This is pretty straight forward, just make sure the room you’re doing it in is well ventilated. Heat up a frying pan and pour in about half a cup of beans. You want the pan roughly 500° F. Stir regularly and gently, do not take your eyes off as the changes can happen quickly.
The process will take around 10 minutes, keep in mind the stages of the bean and what to look out for. Cool instantly with the colander/bowl method once at desired roast.
Roasting your own coffee can be a good experience and you can experiment with your perfect blend. Alternately, if your more interested in the process than making it yourself, see what delicious beans we have in store.