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5 Fascinating coffee roasting facts!

You may not know it, but here at Social Espresso, we have our own speciality coffee roastery! (elsewherecoffee.com) This means we can have full control over our coffee beans. That’s why we can always guarantee that the coffee you and your clients will drink is ethically traded, sustainable and roasted to perfection! To help you understand how coffee roasting works, and why it’s essential to crafting the perfect cup of coffee, here are 5 fascinating coffee roasting facts: 

1. Different roast temperatures produce different flavours.

After several minutes of roasting, the beans pop or crack and rapidly expand in size. This stage is known as the first crack. Beans removed soon after this stage are lightly roasted and will be lighter-bodied in flavour with an underdeveloped sweetness and grassy aroma. 

After developing through the first crack, the beans will reach a medium roast. This is the most commonly used roast profile for speciality coffee, as you are still able to taste the origin characteristics of the beans but with a slightly muted acidity. 

Next, we have darker roasts, here you’ll notice the beans adopt a glossy dark brown/blackish exterior. This is due to the high heat extracting more oil from within the beans. These type of roasts will harbour deep caramel undertones, with prominent roast characteristics. Any flavour attributes from their origin will have become eclipsed by the roast at this level. 

2. Coffee beans emit different sounds during roasting!

When roasting coffee, vaporising water leaves the beans and cause them to suddenly expand. This produces a pop or cracking sound, similar to what noise popcorn would make. There is also a second crack, which occurs further along in the roast, this sounds similar to breakfast cereal, like Rice Krispies popping. Using these sounds, a roaster can determine how far along a roast is within it’s cycle! 

3. Roasting coffee beans produces an oil. 

An oil called caffeol naturally occurs within coffee cherries. When the beans are rapidly heated up, the oils escape from within, along with CO2 gases that have formed on the inside. When the oil and CO2 react with the oxygen in the atmosphere, they coat the bean causing a sometimes oily finish. The longer beans are roasted, the more oily their surface will appear.

4. Freshly roasted coffee needs time to rest and de-gas.

Brewing a coffee straight after roasting can lead to some disappointing results, his is because the coffee needs to be degassed! De-gassing is the release of gasses (mostly CO2) from freshly roasted coffee beans. The majority of these gases leave the beans within the first few days after roasting. Problems arise when too many of these gases are still stored within the beans and are released during the brewing process, causing uneven extraction of the flavour and aroma compounds. Because of this, it’s best to leave freshly roasted beans for a few days before you make your coffee. This time scale can fluctuate based on how the beans are roasted, where they’ve been sourced from and how they’ve been treated. 

5. The average roast cycle takes around 12 minutes. 

The average roast time at Elsewhere Coffee Roasters (our roastery) is 12 minutes. As mentioned above, light to medium roasts are perfect for speciality coffee roasting, as you can still taste the distinct flavour characteristics of their origin. This is why we roast for that time frame, to enhance and highlight the coffee’s delicious natural flavour. 

We hope you’ve learnt a lot about how the coffee roasting process affects beans and their flavour. This will hopefully inform you about what type of roasts to look out for and why they taste the way they do! As always, if you’re interested in our expert coffee making services and you’d like a free quote for your event, please email jac[email protected] or get a free quote here.