I take it for granted that I can roll out of bed in my pajamas and, with a few clicks of the grinder, have freshly ground coffee.
So, I set out to find out what exactly it takes to harness the nutty, earthy flavor in the bean—which all comes down to the roasting process.
Cornerstone in McMinnville, Ore. is a great location to investigate the complexities of the roasting process because they do it all themselves twice a week with a fire-powered Probat roaster.
Lacey, the manager, said several factors influence the final product, including:the original beanthe temperatureflavor additionsair quality Perhaps the most important tip is that the time roasting is not nearly as important as the temperature at which the beans are roasting.
The temperature of the roaster affects the beans: colorsizesurface texture Aaron, who is the roaster for Cornerstone, said roasting coffee is a lot like popping a bag of popcorn – you listen for the “pop,” count a few seconds (which vary depending on the roast) and then pull the beans. Roasters usually set the temperatures anywhere from 370 to 540 degrees Fahrenheit, again depending on the roast.
And here’s something most people don’t know: the darker the roast, the LESS caffeine it has. That’s because it is roasted at a higher temperature for a longer amount of time, extracting more caffeine.
So why doesn’t decaffeinated coffee taste like coal? The caffeine is extracted using other methods. So, whether you’re drinking a fine French roast or a nutty house blend, take time to consider and appreciate just how those beans got in your cup.
Here is an interview with Aaron at Cornerstone explaining where they source their beans, the equipment they use and factors that affect the roasting process.
This is the slideshow for the roasting process.