The Importance of a Bean Being Roasted
It is true and indisputable (seriously…don’t even try) that the coffee bean is now and forever the most important discovery this world has ever known. But! Did you know that the coffee bean in its natural state isn’t fulfilling even half of its potential? It’s true, a coffee bean is generally useless and green until it is plucked from its tree and roasted. Making fire the SECOND most important discovery the world has ever seen (again…no argument necessary).
Before a coffee bean is ever brewed into everyone’s favorite caffeine boost it starts as a cherry. A coffee bean is essentially the seed of a coffee cherry. So before being shipped around the world coffee cherries are picked from their trees and dried. Once dry coffee beans are hulled from the cherries, graded (A+ for everyone!) and shipped from their origin countries. It isn’t until the beans makes it to their destination that the roasting begins.
Roasting isn’t a foreign word to us. At first glance roasting means to us what we assume it means to everyone—you roast chicken, or pot roast, or vegetables, simple right? Roasting coffee however, is far from simple. It is a scientific process that ultimately alters the chemical and physical properties of a coffee bean. If we had the patience to sit here and discuss things like isomerization, then we’d be able to give you an extremely detailed explanation of this fancy scientific process—but we don’t! So here it is in layman’s terms. Roasting coffee requires a certain expertise. Roasters need to be aware of a beans density, the air temperature in which it was grown and even the temperature in the roasting facility. During the roasting process flavors can be altered and emphasized, acidity can be added and decreased, it is during this important process that your coffee gets its rich flavor.
You might be surprised to hear that there is such a thing as a roasting profile. A roasting profile is an assortment of data that ultimately affects the flavor profile of the beans. You’ve undoubtedly heard of light, medium and dark roasts pertaining to the internal temperature of a batch of beans. The longer the roast, the darker the batch. Without the science of roasting we’re left with a sad, less intriguing bean that I most certainly do not want to extract delicious liquid from. What I think we’re trying to say is–THANK YOU COFFEE SCIENTISTS FOR KEEPING US AWAKE! We are eternally grateful!