There is nothing like waking up to the aroma of coffee brewed from freshly
ground coffee beans. That coffee will taste even more exceptional if
the beans are used within a few days after roasting.
In order to produce a savory cup of coffee, the coffee beans must first be
roasted. Skillful roasting is the key to great tasting coffee.
Beans may be roasted by a coffee roasting company and packaged for the
consumer, or the coffee aficionado may wish to roast his own beans.
The most flavorful coffee is produced from freshly roasted coffee
beans. As the green coffee beans roast, the sucrose in them
caramelizes, and they turn darker. A chemical reaction occurs from
the heat, and the coffee flavor and aroma are unlocked. During
roasting, coffee beans change color from green to brown, expanding to
almost double their original size. The length of roasting time
determines what darkness and flavor will be produced in the final brewed
Commercial coffee roasters begin by cleaning the coffee beans, which are
then moved to a roaster operating at temperatures between 370 and 540
degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the desired roast darkness, the
beans are roasted anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour. They
are then cooled, screened, and stabilized. Some of the dried beans
are packaged whole while others are ground before packaging.
Home roasting, which was common until the commercial roasters gained
popularity during the 20th century, has become popular again.
A new generation of coffee connoisseurs can purchase computerized
drum roasters that simplify home roasting. The traditional method
is to use a frying pan, stirring the coffee beans over a heat source until
the desired roast color is reached. The beans must be kept moving
so they will roast evenly and not burn. Coffee beans have to be
roasted hot enough and long enough to avoid a bland or baked flavor.
However, they must be watched carefully after they reach "first crack," a
snapping noise from expansion, which happens when they reach about 400
degrees Fahrenheit. The oil develops at this point, and the beans
start to darken. When the desired darkness is reached, the beans
are removed from the heat source and cooled by either cold air or cold
water. Allow the beans to rest for about 24 hours after roasting,
so that the coffee can reach peak aroma and flavor. The following
chart shows the characteristics of the most popular coffee roasts.
Name of Roast
Flavor and Aroma
Cinnamon, Half City, New England
Light body, minimal aroma
Medium Light Brown
Full body, full aroma
Full body, strong aroma
Full City, Light French, Viennese
Very full body, strong aroma
Full body, medium aroma
Very Oily, Shiny
Dark French, Italian, Spanish
Light body, mild aroma, burned, bitter taste
Roasted coffee beans are best when used within a month. Once ground,
coffee is best when brewed within 24 hours. Through the art of the
coffee roaster, green coffee beans have been transformed into the savory,
brewed beverage we all enjoy.
This Vermont-based coffee roaster strives to provide
high quality coffee with rich aroma and flavor. Green Mountain
features organic, fair trade and Signature coffee blends. www.KeurigGreenMountain.com
Founded in Rockville, Maryland by the original founders of
Starbucks Coffee, this quality coffee roaster strives to provide its
customers with fresh, flavorful, roast-dated coffee. www.Quartermaine.com
This California-based coffee company provides green coffee
beans and coffee roasting appliances to home coffee roasters.
Browse their extensive coffee cupping reviews, featuring coffees
from around the world. www.SweetMarias.com