The Coffee Roasting Process
After selecting the best coffee beans, roasting is the next most important step in making great coffee. The green coffee is shipped to us in burlap bags, weighing as much as 150 pounds each, (Jay is transporting a bag of Colombian Excelso Coffee) The bags have interesting markings designating its name and origin. You can see Michael emptying a bag of 100% Colombian Coffee into a scale. The coffee is then weighed and transported to the roasting chamber. We roast our coffee in small batches. This allows us to carefully control the peak of each bean's flavor.
Coffee contains hundreds of compounds, including sugars, oils, proteins, and minerals. As a result of roasting, many of these compounds develop and change composition. During the roasting process, the green coffee beans gradually lose moisture. When the beans reach approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit, a series of chemical changes known as "pyrolysis" occurs.
You can hear a distinct "cracking" sound, as the beans' fibers break open and expand due to the pressure build up. Our average roasting time is between 4-17 minutes in duration depending upon what roast colors and characteristics we hope to achieve. Most of our coffee is roasted to a uniform dark brown color without any oil on the surface of the bean. We call this roast our "Full City Roast". Another popular roast that we feature is our "Vienna Roast". This roast's attribute is the dark brown bean with a small amount of oil on the bean's surface. As the demand for stronger coffees continue to grow, so grows our "French Roast". This roast is characterized by large amounts of oil on the surface of the darker colored beans. Finally, our darkest roast color is our "Italian or Espresso Roast". This coffee is black in color and has large amounts of oil on the surface. This coffee has a tendency to have a strong burnt or bitter taste. Although some major coffee chains feature this char-burnt taste, we feel that our lighter roast coffees are more pleasurable.
When we achieve the desired roast color, we then quickly cool the beans at the point of peak flavor development. This prevents the coffee beans retaining heat and continue roasting. Roasting coffee is an art; we feel that we do it right so that you experience a consistently delicious brew. For those who desire the ultimate in freshness, why not try roasting your own coffees at home. Check out our home roasting section in the 'Home Office Shopping' section.