The Art of Coffee Roasting
Could there be anything better than a hot, fresh brewed cup of coffee? As you open that can of pre-ground Maxwell House Coffee, did you even know that coffee comes in different roasts? Did you know that you can roast your own coffee beans at home? If you think that the aroma of your fresh ground coffee beans can’t be beat, get a home coffee roaster, you’ll be in Java Heaven.
Roasting the coffee beans is what imparts flavor. Similar to the making of a fine wine or a hand rolled cigar, some consider the roasting of coffee beans as an art. Those that describe coffee use some of the same vocabulary they use to describe wine. Depending on the roast level chosen the beans take on different flavor characteristics. The lighter the coffee bean the less flavor it will have, the darker the coffee bean the stronger the flavor it will have.
There are generally four different categories of roast. A light roast (American) , a medium roast (Breakfast), a dark roast (French), and darkest roast (Italian or espresso). Each type of roast imparts a different appearance to the coffee beans.
When a coffee bean is roasted to an American roast the beans will have a very light color to them and they will appear dry. A medium roasted bean, or Breakfast roast will have a rich brown color and will be oily in appearance. A French roasted coffee bean will have a very oily appearance with the beans appearing very dark brown. The darkest roasted beans or Espresso beans will appear black.
Coffee roasting can easily be done in your home. Depending on the roast that you desire you can roast coffee in five to fifteen minutes. Green beans are available online from a number of sellers, as are coffee roasters. Choose different types of green coffees to sample. Drum roasters are very popular for use in the home.
It’s best to consider purchasing a roaster as it will give you the most consistent finish to your beans. Some try to roast beans in frying pans, some use hot air popcorn poppers. While each of these techniques will work, as mentioned above they don’t give a consistent finish to all the beans and you will most likely be disappointed in the result.