Coffee beans have been, of course, the common theme among every post. Whether in its grounded form or when still on a tree, we have mentioned it all. But there is so much more to speak about, especially in regards to the roasting process. So today we are going to go even deeper about the process of roasting. Coffee seeds and berries undergo multi-step processing before they become the beautiful roasted bean that we all have learned to love and depend on. The first step, of course, is to pick the coffee berries by hand. The purpose of hand picking these is to ensure that only ripe berries are being picked. Using a machine to harvest berries would result in raw and overripe pickings, none of which you want as a part of your final product.
Next, the flesh of the berry is removed. This step is actually done by machine to ensure that the process occurs as quickly and efficiently as possible. After the initial berry is separated from the bean, the seeds are then fermented to remove the slimy layer of a mucilage substance that is still present on the bean. Once removed, the beans are washed with large amounts of fresh water to get rid of any fermentation residue. Finally, the beans are dried and stored. At this point in the process, we have what are known as “green beans”.
Now, we get to the actual roasting of the coffee beans. This occurs through the application of a high amount of heat. The heat creates a caramelization of the bean that breaks down starches on the bean, establishing the brown color that we all know and love. The final color of the bean determines the label which it will receive: light, dark, medium, etc.
And that is a more in-depth look at how coffee beans are roasted!