The journey of the coffee beans from the coffee tree to your very own coffee mug is not easy. It isn’t simple and short either. The coffee beans undergo a long and complex to be able to be brewed into a beverage. The processes that they undergo are numerous and it is after passing through them all successfully that you get the famous roasted coffee.
Starting of with the process, stage I includes the picking of coffee berries from the trees, mostly manually. Then, according to their ripeness and color, they are sorted out and the flesh present on the berry is removed. This is done using the help of machines. In stage II, he seeds usually called the beans are fermented so as to remove the mucilage layer still present on the bean.
In stage III, after the fermentation is done, the beans are washed with massive quantities of water to remover the residue of the fermentation. This gives rise to large amounts of coffee wastewater. It is eye-opening to know that to generate coffee beans that make a single cup of coffee for you, 150 liters of water are used.
In stage IV, the seeds are finally dried using drying tables or concrete floors. Then the coffee is sorted out and labeled as green coffee. The next stage in the process is the roasting of green coffee beans. Coffee is mostly roasted before it is sold and consumed except a few exceptions.
Now roasting can be done in a number of ways. It can either be roasted by the supplier or home roasted. This process of roasting is very important as it influences the taste by changing coffee both chemically and physically. During this stage, the beans lose their weight and become less dense as the moisture is lost. When the temperature inside the bean reaches 200 degree centigrade, the actual process of roasting commences.
However, since beans differ in size and density, they roast at different temperatures. Another interesting process that occurs during roasting is caramelization. This happens when the intense het breaks down the starches in the coffee to simple sugars that turn the beans brown. Sucrose might also completely disappear during the process especially in dark roasts.
Aromatic oils, acids, and caffeine weaken, during roasting changing the flavor, At 205 °C (401 °F), other oils start to develop. One of these oils is caffeol, that is created at about 200 °C (392 °F), It is largely responsible for coffee’s distinct aroma and flavor as well.
After seeing the various colors of the roasted beans, they are classified as light, dark, medium, medium light, medium dark or very dark. Although lighter roasts have more caffeine and a stronger flavor in them due to the presence of aromatic oils and acids; dark roasts are generally more smooth and sugary because of the lesser amount of fiber in them. Moreover, longer roasting time destroys the aromatic oils and acids in the coffee beans.
A little amount of chaff is also produced during roasting due to the skin left on the bean after processing. This is then removed from the beans by air movement. However, a small amount of chaff is added to darker roasts to soak up the oils.
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