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Our Roasting Philosophy
CoffeeSociety.com's success rests entirely on the experience, skill and palate of our “Roastmaster”. A true roastmaster is the ultimate decision-maker in the process of buying, selecting cupping, and roasting each and every varietal, blend and flavored coffee we market. We are fortunate to have a highly skilled 20-year veteran roastmaster and a number of well-trained associates who call on experience, intuition, and technical feedback to produce consistent quality roasts and blends.
Here is how our roastmaster transforms our high quality arabica beans into unforgettable aromas and flavors.
The Love of Fire
Fire brings coffee beans to life. The carbohydrates in green beans must be heated to bring out their wonderful complex flavors. CoffeeSociety.com employs a number of innovative technical and mechanical modifications to its roasting equipment. These modifications and the type of fluid air roaster that we use insure some dramatic results when the roast is complete.
The Artful Journey
Journeying through the roasting process is somewhat like driving a racecar at top speeds. The roastmaster must make split second decisions and have total awareness of sound, color, smell, and that all-important intuitive sense that comes from countless attempts at the process. As the jade colored or in some cases beige colored raw coffee bean enters the roaster it begins its true development process. A couple of minutes into the adventure our roastmaster watches as the beans begin to turn an amber or straw yellow color. Their size begins to change about 5 minutes into the roast causing the “center cut” (the side with the groove running down the middle), to expand. The water that has remained chemically bonded within the bean now turns to steam and along with carbon dioxide gas, which is produced as carbohydrates decompose, a great stress is put on the bean cell walls. The pliable walls of the coffee bean expands and gives of a loud popping sound, twice as loud as that of popcorn. Papery chaff is disgorged.
The First Pop
All the while our roastmaster is keenly aware of the color and shape of the bean and the sound of the process. As this “first pop” (as the roastmaster refers to it) occurs, “pyrolysis” also takes place. This is a term that refers to all the chemical changes that occur when the interior of the bean produces its own heat and the beans raw components are broken down to form over 800 new aromatic, volatile compounds. Some of these compounds include chemicals that give wine and most foods their flavors.
The Critical Time
The excitement of the roast now heightens because the next few minutes after our “first Pop” is the most critical. So much of what affects the final flavor is now happening and this is where we separate a real roastmaster from an amateur. Now, every few seconds, our roastmaster checks a sample of the air tumbling beans using a “tryer” (a special scoop which can be inserted into the tumbling beans through a special sleeve in the roaster door). He studies their size, color, surface texture and smokiness. Depending on the coffee varietal and the degree of roast desired, the process can stop somewhere near 11 minutes with the color now a chestnut to a milk chocolate brown.
Some Additional Magic
However, many of our offerings are roasted beyond this point. For deeper and darker results, our roastmaster will move on to the “second pop”. At this point in the roasting process the color and aroma are changing rapidly and the “tryer” is being worked constantly. The beans are now absorbing more heat and that second pop or cracking sound is soon heard. The beans have reached their orgasmic finale and somewhere around 14 to 15 minutes the process comes to an end. Immediately, our roastmaster opens up a special half moon door at the front of the roaster and delivers the cascading hot roasted, aroma filled beans onto a round, shallow cooling table. This device has small air vent holes at the bottom and a metal stirring arm that circulates and cools the beans. All of the split second decision making and the amplified keenness of the roastmaster come to a breathless rest.
Over roasting will degrade the pleasant acidity that make gourmet coffee so desirable and under roasting will leave the coffee body mediocre. This process is truly an art. We are proud of our roastmaster and his talented crew and salute them every time we partake in a cup of coffeesociety.com ‘s coffee.
OUR BEANS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS AFTER ROASTING
Each of our individual offerings is described using the following standard characteristics. Take a look at our selections and their descriptions. You’ll soon understand why we sell the
“Ultimate Gourmet Coffee”
1. Body - Described in terms such as rough, watery, buttery, creamy, rich or smooth. Body is the impression of weight and texture coffee leaves at the back of the tongue.
Analyze body in a full-strength brew by moving the coffee slowly around the mouth.
Coffee with a heavy body carries its flavor well when milk is added; a lighter body
Often loses its distinct flavor with milk.
2. Aroma - The fragrance produced by fresh-brewed coffee. The intensity of aroma
depends on the length of time between roasting and brewing; as well as how well beans are shielded from moisture.
Aroma may be described as ranging from fruity to herbal to nut-like. As with wine
tasting, the aromatic property is sometimes known as bouquet.
3. Acidity - The pleasant tartness of good coffee. Acidity adds life to the cup,
accenting the characteristic flavor of a particular coffee. Acidity in coffee is not to be confused with sourness. This is a palate taste. Rather, acid coffee can be likened to a dry wine.
4. Flavor - The perception of the aromatic elements, once the coffee is in the mouth.
Adjectives such as nutty, spicy, and fruity are used to convey specific tastes in the brew.