READING A COFFEE LABEL - ROAST
Roast, is one of the very last steps of the coffee journey before it becomes the black cup of magic we drink in the morning. Roast is very important in preserving the natural flavors the coffee beans possess and has a great impact on what flavors the consumer will taste when they drink the cup of coffee.
There are four main types of roast; light, medium, medium-dark, and dark or robust. Roasting is an art and takes time and patience to be able to make a great brewed cup. The difference between perfectly roasted coffee and ruined coffee can literally be a matter of seconds!
(Below, the difference between green coffee and roasted coffee.)
The process of roasting is a complex one. There are three main stages in the roasting process; drying stage, browning stage, and roasting stage. The drying stage takes about 4-8 minutes and reaches a temperature of about 160 degrees. The browning stage is when the coffee begins to develop the aroma compounds. In the browning stage, the sugars are reduced in the bean and the roasting slows down so that the flavors can develop. At the end of this stage, the beans start to crack or pop, which is known as “first crack” and thus the roasting stage begins. During the first two stages, the beans develop energy enabling them to begin cracking (you can see the cracks in the whole beans you buy from Three Fins!). The roasting stage is the stage that the roaster controls what roast profile they want to use for the specific coffee beans.
(Above, roasting coffee in our roaster at three fins).
As listed above, the four main roasts are light, medium, medium-dark, and dark or robust. Generally speaking, the lighter the roast, the fruitier flavors are enhanced. The darker the roast, the more the fruity compounds are broken down and darker more bold flavors are produced.
The next time you stop into three fins to buy your bag of perfect roasted coffee, double check the roast profile and sample some different roasts to taste a difference!