Coffee Roasters • Coffee Grinders • Coffee DeliveryThere 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 coffee.
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.
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.
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