How Much Does It Cost To Roast Coffee?
A roaster is a machine in which coffee beans are roasted. It is similar to a drum with heating and blowing. A sampler roaster is the same machine, but in miniature. Coffee houses use it to roast samples, samples of coffee from a big batch, so they know what kind of coffee they are buying. Also practice different roasting of a particular coffee variety to get a good flavor.
A regular roaster is the size of a tractor – you can’t take one home. The sample roaster, on the other hand, is a little bigger than a teapot, fits easily on the table, and after roasting it can be stowed away in the cupboard until the next time it is used.
Why Roast Coffee At Home At All
Coffee goes through several stages of processing before it goes into a cup. Initially, coffee beans are green, unroasted, and smell like hay and peas. To get a drink called “coffee,” these unroasted beans have to be pre-roasted to make them brown, brittle, and with a recognizable coffee aroma. When you go to the store and see packages of coffee on the shelves or order a cappuccino at a coffee shop, you are dealing with already roasted coffee.
What Chemical Reactions Occur When Coffee Is Roasted
Typically, stores sell factory-roasted coffee. This means that it is roasted at the factory where the coffee beans were processed, or at any other facility where the processed beans were brought in. After roasting, the coffee stays at the factory for some time until it is bought by a conventional supermarket chain.
It can go either way, but by the time the actual purchase is made, the roasting period has long gone beyond two or three months. And this is critical: after roasting coffee “lives” for three or four weeks and it is during this period that it is most delicious, rich and correct. Then it begins to evaporate – and no vacuum packaging will not help.
In the coffee world it is considered correct to drink fresh-roasted coffee, which is roasted shortly before consumption. Even better is when the coffee is roasted right before brewing, for example if the coffee house has its own roastery or you can roast the beans at home. Trying fresh roasted coffee once is enough to know the difference between factory roasted and good coffee.
What Roasters Are Available And How They Work
There Are Three Ways To Roast Coffee Beans:
- Conduction is by making contact with a heating element, such as putting coffee on a griddle.
- Convection is roasting by streams of hot air. A hair dryer works on the principle of convection.
- Radiation is when the heat source does not interact with the beans, but heats some part of the roaster. For example, when you bring your hand to the radiator and feel the heat, this is radiation.
Each method has its pros and cons, for example, too much convection dries out the beans, and radiation is difficult to control. That is why modern roasters tend to combine all three methods in different proportions
combine all three methods in different proportions.
There are four types of roasters themselves:
- Drum – in such roasters, coffee beans are poured into a drum, under which a heating element is installed. The drum itself, as a rule, rotates, stirring the beans and ensuring uniform roasting.
- Convection- roasts grains with a stream of air.
- Mixed – similar to the drum, but the drum itself is fixed, and the grains stir special paddles. The heating element in such roasters does not heat the drum itself, but creates a stream of hot air.
- Sample roasters are the only option that is suitable for home roasting of small – from 50 to 300 g – portions of coffee.
To roast coffee in a roaster, you need to pour the beans into the drum or a special box, set the desired temperature and turn on the device. The heating element will transfer the heat to the drum, and the beans will roast. Further in the article I will show how all this happens in my home sample-roaster.
What temperature to set depends on what roasting style you prefer and what results you want. It’s all individual, and every roaster is bound to screw up a few batches of grains – there’s no such thing as a mistake.