Why Are Coffee Beans Roasted?

Why do we roast?

Roasting is the process by which coffee is transformed into the fragrant, dark brown beans that we know and love.

Roasting extracts the aroma and flavor from the green coffee beans. Beans are stored green, which they retain their quality and flavor. As the beans are rapidly brought to extremely high temperatures during roasting, chemical changes occur.

Green coffee beans are derived directly from the Coffee Arabica plant and are not roasted prior to packaging and distribution to consumers.

While a cup of roasted coffee contains approximately 100mg of caffeine, an average cup of green bean coffee contains approximately 20mg of caffeine.

The majority of roasters have their own unique names for their preferred roasts, and there is little industry standardization. Roasts are generally classified into four categories: light, medium, medium-dark, and dark.

While many consumers believe that darker roasts have a higher concentration of caffeine due to their strong, rich flavor, the truth is that light roasts actually have a slightly higher concentration.

The ideal roast is a subjective choice that is occasionally influenced by national or geographic preferences. Within the four color categories, you're likely to find the following common roasts. It's prudent to inquire prior to purchasing. Between roasts, there can be a world of difference.

  • Light roasts that are not too dark are generally preferred for milder coffee varieties. These beans will have no oil on the surface because they have not been roasted long enough for the oils to rise to the surface.

  • Medium roasts frequently referred to as the American roast due to their popularity in the United States have a stronger flavor and a non-oily surface.

  • Roasts in the medium-dark range have a rich, dark color, some oil on the surface, and a slight bittersweet aftertaste.

  • Roasts in the dark result in glossy black beans with an oily surface and a strong bitter flavor. The darker the roast, the less acidity the coffee beverage will contain. Dark roast coffees range in color from slightly dark to charred, and the terms are frequently used interchangeably.

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By: Douglas

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About US | OCM Profile

OCM was started in 2007, focusing first on coffee machines, then marketing for coffee and food and beverage companies. Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with. 

OCM has also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of the modules are running in the Singapore Skillsfuture Classes in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes. 

For the readers (coffee lovers), we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners). 

To connect with coffee and F&B practitioners, join our growing F&B group on Linkedin (20 000 and growing).

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