So what exactly happens in the roasting process? This is part 1 of a 3-part series taking you behind the scenes to give you a breakdown on what it means to roast coffee, how we approach it, what is actually happening to the coffee during a roast, and what are some of the variables we manipulate and control to make all that magic happen. Let’s begin...
What is Coffee Roasting?
Coffee roasting is the process of using heat application as a catalyst for creating a series of complex chemical reactions in the seed of a coffee cherry. The seed of a coffee cherry grown at a high altitude and picked and processed meticulously is a dense product. As a result, the goal of the heat application is to roast or cook the inside and outside of the coffee seed to reach a desired level of roast degree and unlock the potential aromatics and flavours inside the green coffee beans.
Why do we do it?
Because coffee is delicious, but usually only once roasted. The goal of roasting coffee is to create a soluble product from the green coffee seed and maximize the sweetness, acidity, aromatics, and texture inherent in the coffee that can be extracted using hot water.
How do we do it?
Roasting is a sensitive and quick process. It takes between 8 and 14 minutes for a batch of coffee to turn from a dense, flavourless green seed into the brittle, delicious, aromatic brown bean we all know so well. We control a number of variables like total roast time, heat, airflow, bean temperature, development time, and end temperature to have the roaster at the perfect temperature at the precisely right time so that the coffee reacts in the way we want it to and the coffee develops evenly from inside to outside.
What Roaster do we use?
The Loring S35kg Kestral is our roaster of choice. On top of being the most energy efficient roaster out there (it uses 80% less gas emissions) this 35kg roaster’s heat application is focused on convective heat transfer by using a power burner to heat air to extremely high temperatures and circulate it through the drum, roasting the coffee, and then cycling it back through the cyclone and out of the stack. The result is incredibly clean, and focused coffees and profiles.