Ever wonder how your coffee is roasted?

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Before you start your roasting session, you should know what type of coffee you want to roast. You should get out your log sheet, which is a written catalog you will keep that shows details about previous roasting sessions and the times, temperatures, and amounts you roasted. You’ll also want to have a recipe sheet showing which beans will be used for your blends and the weights for each.

Next, you will turn on your roasting machine to let it warm up to approximately 400 degrees for the first type of bean you are going to roast. While the machine is warming up, you will weigh out your beans for each batch. If you plan on making a blend, you will not be roasting the blend all in one batch. Instead, you will roast each of the coffees individually that are to be used in that blend (each type of bean is roasted to its own unique style). Only after all of the beans have been roasted will you be ready to blend the coffee.

Then you will want to pour the beans into the hopper, which is the funnel on the top of the roaster. When you are ready with your stopwatch and the temperature is perfect, you will open the chute and let the beans flow by gravity into the drum, which is already turning. As the coffee gets roasted, the sugars and carbohydrates get caramelized, which create that oily look you see on finished beans. This is what gives coffee that great flavor and aroma. The longer you roast the beans, the darker they will get. But before they start to take on the look of finished coffee, they will go through a series of changes.

In the front of the roaster is a small sample scoop that can be withdrawn in order for you to visually inspect the coffee as it is roasting. The scoop is open on one side and is kept in the drum with the open side facing down so that beans don’t collect in the scoop and miss out on the roasting. When you pull a sample, you turn the handle facing up to collect an amount of beans, pull it out, inspect the beans, push the handle back in and turn it again so that the open end is again facing in the down position. (This entire process takes about two seconds.)

In the first three minutes of roasting, the beans will give off a grassy fragrance. Then they will begin to swell up and change from green to yellow to gold. By the 9-minute mark, the beans will have begun to wrinkle.

Next, gases build up inside the beans, which makes them swell up to twice their original size. This causes them to pop as the gas escapes. It’s important to note the exact time of the “first pop” on your log sheet, as the pop time will be different for each type of coffee. The swelling is important because it smoothes out the wrinkles on the surface of the bean. Now at about 10 minutes, after the first pop has occurred, the color of the bean will begin to even out, turning a light brown. This stage is referred to in the industry as a “cinnamon roast.”

Now the process speeds up. You really have to be on your toes, as seconds count toward roasting the perfect batch of coffee. At 11 minutes, the color of the bean changes to darker brown, which is commonly known as “Full City.” By 12 minutes, gases build up again and you will hear a second pop. Depending on what type of roast you are after, you may want to stop at this point. By the 15-minute mark, your beans will have become very dark. This is known as “French Roast,” which is basically the same as an “Espresso Roast.”

Once you have determined the perfect roast for your coffee, you will open the door to the drum and the beans will spill out onto the round collection table, which is part of the roaster. This table has a perforated screen on the bottom to let air pass through and a series of rakes that turn to spread the beans, allowing them to cool as quickly as possible. This cooling will stop the cooking process.

The collection table can also be used to blend the beans. After roasting, weigh out your beans according to your blend recipe and add them to the mixing table. The rake will do a good job of evenly mixing the different beans together. After mixing, your blend is ready to go.

Every Global Benefit Coffee blend is made through a micro-roasting process. This allows for the beans to be made in smaller batches to roast the freshest beans possible, rather than making large batches and have them sit around for longer periods of time. Enjoy a cup of Global Benefit Coffee today. Visit us at http://www.globalbenefit.org.

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