Why is coffee roasted?
Why do we roast coffee?
We roast coffee to be able to extract it into the drink that we all love and consume every day.
But let's start from the beginning: the term derives from the Latin torrefacere and means "to dry".
Why is coffee roasted?
Coffee is born green, and it is roasting that it changes color, becoming brown only at the end of the roasting process.
Green, i.e. raw, coffee is dense, elastic, moist and very resistant to pressure, so it cannot be ground.
And as we all know, if the beans cannot be ground, the drink cannot be extracted.
Finally, raw coffee has not yet developed its aromatic profile and consequently, even if it were to be extracted, it would not release any taste. The drink in the cup would give unpleasant scents belonging to the herbaceous family.
This is why the roasting phase is essential to obtain the drink we love so much!
In fact, during roasting, that is cooking at high temperatures, the bean undergoes important chemical-physical changes.
Citing the main ones are:
- Volume increase;
- Weight loss;
- Change in density;
- Aroma development;
- Finally the grain becomes crumbly and it is therefore possible to grind it.
Only in this way is it possible to release all its fragrances when the hot water soaks the ground coffee and the extraction is completed.
Specifically, roasting is a process that involves three main phases:
- A first initial drying phase, in which it almost completely loses water;
- A second phase in which the bean continues to take heat from the external environment, ie the roasting environment, and begins to change color;
- After which a crack is heard which highlights the beginning of the third phase, namely:
- The development phase. It is called so precisely because all the fragrances that we will find in the cup develop.
In practice, coffee undergoes essential transformations that lead it to release more than 800 volatile substances that make up those wonderful aromas we know.
There are two decisive factors in this process: time and temperature.
In fact, to obtain refined aromas it takes the appropriate time and the temperature must never be too high. If the coffee is roasted quickly or too slowly and at too high temperatures, certain aromas will never be obtained.
And we already know this, which is why we at Caffè Ernani have chosen the Medium Roasting. In fact, with it you never get to burn the beans.
The burn is highlighted instead with a dark roast, due to too high temperatures or incorrect timing. This will show itself with a persistent and annoying bitterness in the cup.
On the other hand, if the roasting is too light, the coffee has not yet fully developed its aromatic potential.
Medium Roasting is the only one capable of maximizing all the aromas present in quality green coffees, without ever burning the beans.
Find out more about Medium Roasting >>
The next question might be: why don't all roasters use a medium roast?
Because exactly as it enhances all the aromas and qualities of raw beans, it also enhances all its defects. Defects in coffee can be unpleasant smells of wood, grass, earth, rubber, ash, or mold, insects present in grains and so on.
Therefore, if you buy a raw material with low-cost defects, the roaster will opt for a dark roast, thus hiding all the defects, with hints of ash on the nose, and bitterness to the taste.
If, on the other hand, a quality raw material is carefully and meticulously selected, the roaster does not have to hide anything, but has the sole task of enhancing the qualities of its quality coffees.
And this is precisely the work we do every day at Caffè Ernani.
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