As we all know, coffee beans need to be roasted before they can be brewed into a delicious cup of coffee we enjoy dearly every morning. Without the roasting process, it will only be these ordinary green beans with no special taste. But roasting coffee is not a simple process, and as coffee entrepreneurs you might need to know a thing or two about roasting. It is a really important knowledge to learn, especially if you have your own coffeehouse. Thus, here are some basic things a roasted coffee bean supplier will tell you about roasting coffee. Let’s think of it as our coffee roasting 101.
Now, the first and most important question, why are coffee beans roasted in the first place? Well, because unroasted coffee beans have neither flavor nor aroma. While raw green beans contain all the complex chemicals and physical properties from the soil they grew on, they will unleash irresistible coffee flavors and aromas only when roasted on intense heat. So, the process of roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that are locked inside the green coffee beans. Moreover, this process also changes the coffee beans’ color from green to light, medium, or dark brown depending on the roast levels, which have different heat temperatures. The roasting process may add the flavors of caramels, chocolates, flowers, and fruits to the coffee beans, making them even richer and more unique in taste. Another thing is that roasting makes the coffee beans more water-soluble.
The process of roasting coffee beans has been around since civilization realized that they could produce a fine drink from the cherries of a coffee plant. However, it was not like that at first. History has it that when coffee was first discovered around 800 A.D. in Ethiopia, coffee cherries were eaten raw. After it became quite a popular drink and made its way into Arabia, it was the Turkish people who first attempted to roast coffee beans in the 15th century. Their undeveloped method was by throwing the coffee beans into an open fire, then roasted coffee beans were crushed and the ground bits were boiled, creating a “bean broth” to be enjoyed. Can you imagine that? It seemed more like a coffee soup, didn’t it? But that is how the coffee history began.
One more thing a roasted coffee bean supplier should be aware of is that there are four different coffee roast profiles. Each profile will bring a different result to a coffee bean; thus, it depends on how you want your coffee bean to taste like. Here is a brief introduction on the roast profiles:
Light: The roasted coffee bean is light brown in appearance, with no oil on the outer surface. This is the lightest roast for coffee beans. With light roast, you can still taste much of the beans’ original character. They also have the highest level of caffeine and acid content.
Medium: This type of roasting results in medium-brown coffee beans with no oily surface. They exhibit a more balanced flavor, aroma, and level of acidity. This profile also lowered the level of caffeine.
Medium-Dark: This roast profile brings out rich brown color coffee beans with some shine to it. These beans have a fuller and heavier body compared to light and medium roast. The aromas and flavors are more pronounced, and the brewed coffee may taste slightly spicy. They also have a bittersweet aftertaste with a low level of acidity.
Dark: Like its name, the roasted coffee beans are dark brown in color. You can see a thin film of oil on the surface that lends them a glossy appearance. With this roast profile, the flavor of the roast eclipses the original flavor of the bean. The coffee beans will have a smoky, bitter, or even sour taste.
So, those are the things a roasted coffee bean supplier should know and understand off the top of their head. The bottom line is that they must be able to explain to you the basics on coffee roasting. Otherwise, they are not trustworthy enough to be your regular roasted coffee bean supplier.