How to Roast Beans for a Tasty Brew

To achieve a good roast you have to start with beans that have been skillfully selected and dried.

Some bean processors use a wash to remove the fleshy fruit from the bean and to separate different kinds of beans. Beans will each have a different density, and it is this difference that causes some beans to float at a higher level making it easier to remove or separate these beans. Others use a slower, more expensive dry-process.

Beans undergoing a dry process will result in a more subtle acid profile. The acidic nature of beans that have gone through a wet process is far more evident and, in fact, more noticeable to the coffee drinker, but a certain level of acidity is desirable. Otherwise, you will have a dull, flat cup of coffee.

As the beans are heated during the roasting process, a variety of aromas and acids are produced in different concentration levels, along with other flavor compounds also produced.

The beans take in the heat and the green beans slowly dry to a yellowish color during the first stage. Green beans are actually raw or unroasted beans, as opposed to being the color green. Properly roasted beans should have an aroma like popcorn or toast.

At around 338?-392? Fahrenheit the moisture enclosed in the bean's skin assists the sugars in the bean with their caramelization process. This is one reason why it is important for beans to have the correct moisture content which is a result of proper drying. Caramelized sugars are not as sweet so attaining the proper moisture amount is an important factor in the quality of the final brew.

Around 400? Fahrenheit, beans become a light brown color and begin to expand to almost double the original size. They also lose nearly five percent of their original weight, then to lose an additional thirteen percent as the temperature rises slightly to 428? Fahrenheit. It is also around this time that the beans release some CO2.

Once the temperature rises to an approximate 446? Fahrenheit, the roasting beans turn to a medium-dark brown color and take on an oily appearance. It is not uncommon to hear a loud popping sound from the beans during this second stage.

Roasters must be careful to not overdo it at this stage in the process due to erratic aromatic compounds that boil off as the oils on the outer coat of the bean can combine with oxygen. If this occurs, the bean can be stripped of its distinct flavors and be replaced with a burnt taste.

The goal is to produce the perfect balance of acidity, bitterness and other coffee attributes making up the final profile for that brew. Body is one term often used by coffee connoisseurs to describe a coffee profile. Although one would think the ?body? refers to the thickness of the coffee, this characteristic actually results from the fibers and types of proteins in the brew and refers to the feel on the tongue when rubbed against the top of the mouth. The body of the brew results from the drink's fat content which is largely determined by the roasting process, in addition to other conditions home roasters really cannot control.

A roast that is too light will leave too high of a concentration of bitter compounds, whereas too dark of a roast will result in a final product that is far too chocolaty and burnt in taste. The point is to experiment until you find your preferred balance and taste, and if that doesn?t work there is sure to be a nearby coffee specialty shop that has just the right brew for you!

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About The Author, Guy Morris
Guy Morris is publishing at large for http://www.coffee-espresso-maker-tips.com , a web page on the topic of saeco coffee machines . His articles on saeco coffee maker can be found on his site .