Why do we roast coffee?
We roast coffee in order to extract it into the beverage we all love and consume every day.
But let’s start at the beginning: the term comes from the Latin torrefacere and means “to dry.”
Why is coffee roasted?
Coffee is born green, and it is by roasting that it changes color, becoming, only at the end of the roasting process, brown.
Green, i.e., raw coffee is dense, elastic, moist, and very resistant to pressure, so it is not grindable.
And as we know if you cannot grind the grains, you cannot extract the drink.
Finally, raw coffee has not yet developed its flavor profile, and as a result, even if it could be extracted, it would not release any flavor. The cup drink would give unpleasant smells belonging to the herbaceous family.
That’s why the roasting stage is essential to get the drink we love so much!
In fact, during roasting, that is, cooking at high temperature, the grain undergoes important chemical and physical changes.
- Citing the main ones are:
- Increased volume;
- Weight loss;
- Change in density;
- Aroma development;
- Finally the grain becomes crumbly and can then be ground.
Only in this way can all its fragrances be released when the hot water wets the ground coffee and the extraction is completed.
Specifically, roasting is a process that involves three main steps:
- An initial drying phase, in which it loses water almost completely;
- A second stage in which the grain continues to take heat from the external environment, i.e., the roasting environment, and begins to change color;
- After that a crack is heard that evidences the beginning of the third phase, viz:
- The development phase. It is so called precisely because it develops all the scents that we will later find in the cup.
Basically, coffee undergoes essential transformations that cause it to release more than 800 volatile substances that go to make up those wonderful aromas we know.
Two factors are decisive in this process: time and temperature.
In fact, to obtain refined flavors takes the appropriate time and the temperature should never be too high. If the coffee is roasted quickly or too slowly and at too high a temperature certain flavors will never be obtained.
And we already know this, which is why we at Ernani Coffee have chosen the Medium Roast. In fact, with it you never get to burn the grains.
Burning, on the other hand, is evidenced by dark roasting due to too high temperatures or improper timing. This will show itself with a persistent and unpleasant bitterness in the cup.
Conversely, if, on the other hand, the roast is too light, the coffee has not yet developed its full aromatic potential.
The Medium Roast is the only one that can maximize all the aromas within quality green coffees, without ever going so far as to burn the beans.
The next question might be: why then do not all roasters use a medium roast?
Because just as it enhances all the aromas and merits of raw grains, it also enhances all its flaws. Coffee defects can be unpleasant odors of wood, grass, soil, rubber, ash, or mold, insects present in the beans and so on.
Therefore, if a raw material with defects is bought cheaply, the roaster will opt for a dark roast, thus hiding all defects, with hints of ash on the nose, and bitterness on the palate.
If, on the other hand, a quality raw material is carefully and meticulously selected, the roaster does not have to hide anything, but has precisely the sole task of enhancing the merits of his quality coffees.
And that is precisely the work we do every day in Café Ernani.