Coffee Roasting Advice
I know basically nothing about coffee and when I go into a coffee shop, most times I have no idea what I’m ordering. So I’m going to change that. So, in these next three episodes.
I’m breaking down, outlining the three most important aspects of making that perfect cup of coffee; the bean, the roast and the brew. Next up, let’s learn about the roast.
For help learning this art, I turn to the master roaster at Dunn Brothers, Bob. It really takes that roasting process to develop the really unique flavors of coffee; the aromatics, flavor. And also, part of it is getting rid of some of the flavors in there. Not everything is desirable and something that humans like to drink.
So, there are a lot of things going on; maybe Mother Nature gave us a hundred and fifty, two hundred chemicals in that bean; we’re going to end up with close to a thousand different chemicals in the roasted product.
So, roasting it adds chemicals? Yeah, but it’s all based on what is in that bean, how it was grown, how it was nurtured, how it was processed; all these stuff is really important to the flavor of the final product when we roast it.
You can’t make a flavor that’s not there. So it all seems pretty important then. Very important Coffee Roasting Advice
So, I’m going to coach you here and I’ll let you get too far out of… so, go ahead and just throw in your coffee into the feed hopper; dump it all in. so, all we’re going to do is pin time against temperature. It’s just like a clothes dryer and they’re tumbling.
The beans will enter through our feed hopper, they’ll tumble inside of the barrel and the barrel has several ways of presenting heat to the coffee.
First of all, there are burners right next to the drum itself. So some of that hot air coming off the burners is also redirected into the drum.
Probably the best way to look at it is maybe that first one-third of the roast. We’re just trying to get rid of the moisture. I’m going to use profile we published as a guide to help us maneuver through this roast. Part of when I evaluate coffees when they come out of the roaster is, what part of this did I screw up on?
And then, you start redeveloping that profile, says, okay, obviously, I dried this bean out way too quickly and I can see it happening… oh, look right here, you can see how we’re starting to pick up some yellow. Now, it’s losing that green, greyish color and this is going to go pretty quick. This is kind of where we want to stretch our drying phase out to- the first five and a half minutes. And now look, this should have a pretty much even light yellow color to it.
Once we notice that coffee shifting from green to way just until it gets to that kind of a yellowish stage, we’ve lost most of that free moisture.
And now we’re going into another set of very complex reactions. Now, we can start developing aromatics and now look, we’ve gone into orange to brown color. Now, we’re going to start the last stage that finishes where we’re just putting the shine on this. And that starts right about the time we hear the bean crack for the first time. Now, you can smell the deep roasting notes and do you hear it? Yeah.
There it is Coffee Roasting Advice. So, we’re going to get a nice loud quick first crack and you can see this coffee has developed a real nice chocolate caramel look. Okay.
But it’s a little leathery, it’s a little gangly looking; I’d like to see a little bit more structural development. And again, that’s just a visual cue that we’ve left that aromatic development phase of the roast and now we’re to a point where we want to start deciding, how are we going to finish this? Present those floral notes? Well, maybe not.
Maybe we’ll push it a little bit more and start bringing out the fruit; maybe a little bit more bringing out the chocolate and caramel or we might take it all the way to a full French roast and get those nice smoky notes in it. And there it is.
That could have been fifteen seconds, the bean is already swelled considerably larger than it was on that last pole. And there is that coffee smell. I think maybe a few more degrees, we’ll start seeing a few little wisps of smoke and that’s going to be a good cue that it’s time to get these guys out of here.
Let’s do it. This lever goes up. Switch them up. Turn your gas off over there. Down? Yeah. Bring that air flow all the way back towards you. Perfect. Now we need to cool this coffee.
A guy could ruin a roast real quickly by not cooling it properly. Some of it will continue to cook, but another unique thing that will happen is you’ll lose sweetness in the properly roast cup of coffees. It has a lovely sweetness all of its own and if someone needs to put sugar in coffee, now they might be drinking the wrong coffee.
So any tips for me for when I roast my beans? That first moment that we put the beans in, it’s critical. Make sure you know where you’re at. You know, you’re composed. Okay. I got my beans ready, I got my stopwatch ready. I got everything I need. Once they’re in the roster, you can’t any of that. And then, at that point it’s experimentation; it’s time and temperature.
Even if you’re doing it in a frying pan on the top of your stove, try to delay that first color change for about four or five minutes of the roast. Okay. Try to slowly develop that color from yellow to orange to brown. By that time you’re around nine and a half, ten and half minutes, you should start to hear that first crack. So, use a color as a cue. And then again, cool it as quick as possible, taste it.
Now, I know the fine art of roast but I still don’t really know the differences that types of roast makes to the taste. So we return to Café Imports where they have a sample roaster, which will help me roast small batches of similar beans, compare a sample of four different roasts ranging from light, medium, medium-dark to dark roast. A little bit of grassiness.
Still, it has some sweetness to it. Can taste the kind of grassiness you’re talking about. It’s not too bad but let’s keep going and see what else we can taste. To me, this has a lot more sugar caramelization going on in the roast. So what we’ve done here is roast the coffee in a way that’s developed some sugars. It’s still balanced with acidity.
I like this roast, it’s pretty nice. Try the next one. They’re definitely getting the more roasted flavor, little burn. Yeah, you’re tasting the effects of roasting the coffee. You know what a lot of people do look for in their coffee? A lot of people like a coffee that has that roasty flavor. I think that’s where a lot of the sentiment around coffee comes from.
A lot of people remember sitting at home with their over roasted coffee. Very dark. It’s really dark, yeah. So, does it lose a lot of the sweetness the darker you get? Not necessarily. I think that there’s sort of a happy medium where you’ve developed a lot of sugars, where you’ve developed acidity and where you’re bringing out really the best characteristics in the coffee.
Okay. If you roast a coffee really darkly, you’re going to burn all the sugars away and it’s just going to taste like carbon, but if you don’t roast the coffee enough, it will taste grassy and not sweet.
Okay. I think that makes sense. I think with the second roast here, you hit a point where you developed a lot of the sugars, you develop some acidity and you didn’t apply too much roast to the coffee to overshadow that sweetness that you’re looking for.
Once again, thanks to Café Imports, I now know firsthand what effects the roast has on the taste of coffee. And I was surprised to learn that I enjoyed the medium roast best of all. And thanks to Bob at Dunn Brothers, I now have a clue what a fine art roasting coffee truly is.
Eventually, I’ll need to apply this knowledge on my own when I attempt to make a cup of coffee entirely from scratch. We’ll see how well that goes. But first, there’s still one more aspect of coffee I need to explore next time- the brew.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss these or any of our other videos. Thanks for watching.
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