Coffee, being an extremely fragile product, is subject to development or detriment at every point in its life. Our unique gas-fired roaster provides maximum control of heat and airflow during the roasting process. This is the most crucial of all steps in the life of superior coffee. We have gone to great lengths to master the roasting process in order to extract the richest nuances from our coffees. You will recognize this with every sip of every cup; appreciating the highest quality bean, roasted-on-demand for unsurpassed freshness.
What happens when you roast?
In a nutshell… a coffee bean contains more than 2,000 different chemical substances that break down into volatile aromatic compounds during the roasting process. Consequently the true flavor of coffee is developed by the roasting process through a series of complex chemical changes, caused by intense (dry) heat (a temperature of about 375F – 500F), which is a process called pyrolysis. This term is illustrated during the roast by a subtle “popping” sound, similar to popcorn popping, and is often referred to as ‘first-crack’. In this process, traces of water are evaporated and the beans expand as it exits. Within moments after this process, the beans have generally reached a ‘light roast’, however few roasters remove the beans from the roasting chamber as the more desirable characteristics are developed within a couple of minutes after the onset of pyrolysis. The further the roast is allowed to continue, more dramatic chemical changes occur as the coffee beans achieve the various color levels. Within minutes after the ‘first-crack’, a ‘second-crack’ is heard, as the oils from within the coffee beans are release, which is what gives the shiny appearance characteristic of dark and espresso roasts (which are essentially gently ‘burned’ beans).
Roast Styles & Characteristics
Roasting is an art that utilizes all of the senses and the steady hand of a master roaster. However, there remain consistent qualities that are generally produced within the labeling of the roast.
Light: Used for any high quality, high grown arabicas, to accent the flavor qualities that may be lost by darker roasting. Americans often refer to this as ‘cinnamon’ roast. This roast style creates a roast that is higher in acidity and light in body.
Medium: This is often referred to as ‘American roast’ or ‘city’ roast, indicated by the dry appearance of the bean surface. The medium roast tones down the acidic qualities to a small degree and brings out slightly more body. This can be found in most traditional ‘grocery-store’ varieties.
Viennese: Speckled with shiny patches of oil indicate this type of roast, which is also considered a ‘full-city’ or French roast. The quality flavors tend to begin leveling out in place of increased body and lowering acidity. (Can be used almost interchangeably with dark roast.)
Dark: Now were talkin’ good morning! Generally most of the coffees personal characteristics are absorbed by the sweetness that begins to develop along with a heavier body. This may also be referred to as French roast.
Continental: This is American French roasted coffee. It has a bitter chocolate color and the bean surface is covered in a consistent shiny layer of oil.
Italian: Espresso roast to you that is! This bean is sparkled with an oily surface and full of body and richness, but with very little acidity and reduced amounts of caffeine. The natural flavor of the coffee bean itself is muted to an indiscernible level, as it gives way to the bold flavor of a long roast.