Most of us drink coffee. Some of us love its taste and flavour while others go for its stimulating effect. Although most of us drink coffee in some form many of us are not aware of the journey that the coffee that we drink has to go through before it reaches our cup as our favourite beverage.
The coffee plant can be found all over the world but mostly it is cultivated in Latin America, South East Asia, South Asia, and Africa. Coffee ranks as one of the most traded agricultural products in the world today which shows how popular it is. It is believed that the stimulating properties of the coffee plant were discovered in Ethiopia. Soon coffee was being consumed in the Arab countries and from there its use spread to other parts of the world. The fruit of the coffee plant is harvested when ripe, it is then dried and processed in order to get the beans. The beans are then roasted. There are varying ways on how to roast green coffee beans. The different methods inspire different flavours in the coffee.
Roasting is the final step in the process of making the coffee fruit ready for creating our beloved coffee beverage. Roasting is a necessary step because a drink made from the green coffee beans is going to be too acidic and unfit for drinking. In the past, coffee roasting was a task performed at home, but in the 19th century companies began to offer roasted coffee beans which they claim as being a more convenient way of enjoying the drink.
There is a problem with buying roasted coffee though. Once the coffee bean has undergone the process of roasting it deteriorates rather quickly. It loses some of its flavour with each passing day. This is the reason why you have to be sure when buying roasted coffee beans that the beans that you are buying are freshly roasted. This means that roasted coffee has a limited shelf life. One way of countering the loss of flavour of roasted coffee is to seal them in. Once the packaged is opened however the deterioration in flavour starts right away.
As you can see there is a great advantage in knowing how to roast green coffee beans and not being dependent on commercial roasted beans. There are commercial roasting machines that are available in the market right now. They can produce even and great tasting roasts. If you do not want to buy a new home coffee roaster just for roasting coffee beans then you can do your roasting in a heavy pan, or if you have it, on an iron skillet. The problem with using a frying pan or a skillet is that it is very difficult to come up with an even roast. As you practice however you will get the hang of how to roast coffee beans in the proper way.
1. Start by heating the pan or the skillet to a medium setting. Add about 8 ounces of coffee beans and then start stirring them.
2. Stirring is the most crucial part of the process. You need to stir the beans continuously and at the very least every half minute. After five to seven minutes you should hear the beans crackling and smoke should be coming out by this time as well. The beans will be browning and sound much like popcorn.
3. Watch until the beans have reached the desired level of roasting. You can judge this two ways. The first is by eyeballing the colour of the beans. You want them a nice even chocolate brown or darker. The second is by sound. After the first cracking which sounds like popcorn, the beans will start to crackle more softly like the sound of rice crispies. When this starts to happen, that is usually the best time to take them off the heat.
4. Transfer to another container and then toss them around to remove the excess coffee husks as well as to cool them. I like to use a metal colander. If you can get them to a fan quickly this will help too, as the coffee roasting continues for a few minutes after you’ve taken them off the heat. You want to cool them as quickly as possible using dry methods.
5. Leave them over night to mature and let the gas escape from the newly roasted coffee beans. The next morning they are ready to be ground and enjoy.
Roasting green coffee beans at home is not as hard as it seems. It shouldn’t take you longer than a few tries to get it down pat. And I promise you, that the green coffee beans roasted at home will make the best tasting coffee you have ever drunk.