Coffee Bean Barista Secrets: The Crema Revealed- Part Three- The Roast

Image by Gabriela Sanda from Pixabay

Welcome back to Coffee Bean Barista Secrets: The Crema Revealed-Part Three- The Roast. Grabbing a cup full of delicious, Arabica bean coffee, I holler out the window for you to get back in the car! I guess those two shots of espresso did their work. You’re pretty bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! Time waits for no man or coffee drinker.

To roast or not to roast. That is never a question.

Image by poedynchuk from Pixabay

Today, we are off to investigate the difference roasting time makes in producing different coffee roasts. Before we talk about the four types of roasted coffee, you should know that coffea beans are different from espresso beans- the roasting makes them so.

Do not think you can make espresso at home with your regular ground coffee, or regular coffee bean.

Espresso beans are a dark roast only. Dark roast espresso beans have the richest oils. These oils are mixed with other compounds within the espresso bean, producing the espresso crema. Espresso coffee comes in cute little cups. A shot of Espresso is lower in caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee. The “taste” is more concentrated, not the caffeine. – I can hear a gasp go out amongst the Espresso drinkers. You thought you were “all that and a bag of chips” didn’t you?

Different types of roasts explained:

  • Light roast- These beans do not have the oily sheen seen with other roast varieties. If you are looking for a “White Coffee”, a light roast would be a good choice. White Coffee is coffee roasted halfway through and at a lower temperature. The lower temperature makes the bean a whitish color. This makes it higher in caffeine because you’ve only roasted half the time- half the caffeine Light roast produces a very nutty and sweet taste profile. Best for cold-brew or pour-over coffee.
  • Medium roast- A bit darker but a more balanced flavor. Great for various brewing styles.
  • Dark/Extra Dark roast- A common espresso brewing bean. Visually, they have an oily sheen. Bitter in flavor.

Cupping

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

No, we are not stopping for a massage and getting the cupping technique. Cupping is a term used to describe folks who taste test coffee for a living. OM GRACIOUSNESS! Sign me up! They have an important job to do. The average cupper may taste over 100 cups of coffee, A DAY!

The cupper’s job is to assess the coffee’s aroma, flavor, sweetness, acidity, bitterness, mouthfeel, and overall balance. This assessment determines the price of the coffee bean. Then the cupper inspects the green bean before it is roasted. The inspection checks for any defects or flaws in the bean.

After the inspection, the beans are roasted in small batches, immediately ground, and then brewed with freshly boiled water in small cupping bowls. The coffee is steeped for four minutes. The floating crust of coffee grounds is broken to release the aroma. Next, the coffee rests for 10 minutes till it has sufficiently cooled. The cupper uses a large convex spoon and slurps it into his/her mouth. The slurping technique aids in aerating the coffee, giving the cupper a better taste.

Once the cupper is satisfied with the taste, they the coffee out. Spitting helps to keep the cupper’s palate fresh. And, I imagine a happy stomach!

What am I tasting?

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

When you are tasting your coffee, you are run into a variety of tastes: Sour, Bitter, Sweet, and Salty.

  • Sour- Is a desirable taste in excellent coffee. It’s the mild to sharp feeling on your tongue. The sourness occurs during the extraction part of the brewing process. Under-extraction.
  • Bitter- This taste occurs when you have Over-extracted in your brewing process. Check your grind to see if it was a coarse grind, or perhaps you over-steeped?
  • Sweet- At the time of the coffea cherries harvest, the fruit has a certain amount of natural sugar. Having a sweet taste to your coffee should signal to you the bean was cared for throughout the washing, drying, sorting, and roasting process.
  • Salty- This is considered a DEFECT by tasting experts. It would signify that there may be inorganic materials within the grounds. Or possible contamination of the mineral content. Spit it out! 🙂

All this tasting talk has my tongue feeling numb! I’ll be back next week as we continue our adventures exploring the world of coffee and secrets to be revealed. Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends, and a shot of espresso- cause you’re that sophisticated!

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