Understanding Coffee Roasting

Every morning cup of coffee begins with a coffee roasting process. If the beans were not slowly heated and roasted, the coffee would not have its distinctive flavor. This roasting converts fresh green coffee beans into the dark brown and shiny ones that most consumers are familiar with.

Interestingly enough, before the 20th century, roasting was usually done in the home, but with the Industrial Revolution and introduction of the machine age, coffee roasting operations appeared in many different locations.

Roasting is best done near the location where the coffee will be sold. Though there are many companies that import roasted beans or cans of ground coffee, the ultimate results are from those beans roasted only a short period before they were used.

The Process

Not all roasting processes are alike, and there is much debate about the merits of a very dark roast versus a very light one. When looking at cans of coffee and bags of beans, it is likely that you will see an indicator that lets you know if the coffee is a “light”, “medium” or “dark” roast. Usually the darker roasts are those with the strongest or most powerful flavors and aromas. This is because the roasting process condenses the flavor and draws out many of the bean’s natural oils.

Though roasting will always have a strong effect on the flavor of the coffee, the storage and grinding methods will also play a strong role in the end results as well. For instance, once the coffee beans have done roasting and cooling, they should be packed into air-tight containers and kept in a dark, dry environment. Once a consumer purchases and opens a bag of coffee it is vitally important that they return the beans to optimal storage conditions as quickly as possible.

The grinding of coffee beans will also determine the way that it is brewed, and the finer the grinding process the stronger the flavors.

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