A Brief and Biased History of Roasting
Some time around 1200 AD, coffee was roasted in a firepit in the region of Ras al-Khaimah along the Arabian Gulf. It’s the oldest roasted coffee bean ever found, and predates the previous estimate by 200 years. Since it was discovered far from the areas of Harar in Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia, or a coffee cultivar: Ethiopia, or more specifically the Empire under Haile Selassie, was known as Abyssinia. The name is Latin, derived from... ...more where coffee was first discovered growing wild, it is clear that the dried seeds from the plant were traded between Arabic peoples … and its influence spread rapidly both among the religious who first used coffee to stay awake during long prayer rituals and the common folk.
The Originally coffee literature referred to the fruit of the tree as a "berry" but in time it became a cherry. It is of course neither. Nor is the... ...more was eaten directly for its sweet and stimulating pulp. The pulp was also As a defect flavor, a fruit quality in a coffee that is excessively ripe, toward rotten. Fermented flavor can be the result of poor wet-processing, over-ripe cherry, or... ...more from the seed and used to create the beverage kishir. But what the heck could anyone do with those seeds? I suppose the impetus to find a use for every part of every food item, and the knowledge that dense or unpleasant seeds could be put in the ashes of a fire to soften them or reduce unpleasant flavors led to the discovery that roasted coffee was indeed palatable. And infusing a beverage from the crushed roasted seed was a way to extract the flavor and avoid the Generally a taste defect from age; old green coffee, perhaps yellowing in color. This is due to the drying out of the coffee over time, and as the... ...more residue of the bean in the mouth (try eating 20-30 roasted beans … you’ll see what I mean!)
Roasting was always part of the coffee service ritual since the green dried seed was easy to store, and did not deteriorate over time. It was dense and could not be crushed in transit. Since all the coffee was essentially burned to a Usually used as a modifying flavor term, such as "crisp acidity" : Crisp can have several meanings, since it modifies other flavor terms. Crisp acidity might mean bracing,... ...more in a flat pan with a long handle that was held over the fire, it was indeed fragile after roasting. It made sense to roast coffee just for the group of people who were about to indulge in it… and it was not until the late 1700’s that larger scale roasting apparatus was required.
The first commercial roasters were often arranged in a battery, set into brick kilns that would hold and contain heat from the wood-fired source. Cast iron drum roasters were also used. In either case these roasters, like the humble pan held over the fire, relied on conductive heat transfer almost exclusively to roast the coffee. The coffee gained heat by its direct contact with the hot metal surfaces of the roaster.
Roasting of this type offered little control. Coffee was often roasted quite dark, and was very uneven in the Degree of Roast simply means the roast level of a coffee, how dark it has been roasted.: Degree of Roast simply means the roast level of a coffee,... ...more from bean to bean, since all the coffee could not possibly have the same amount of contact with the hot metal surfaces of the roaster.
Jabez Burns invented a different type of roaster in the 1870’s. It used a perforated metal drum that allowed the Chaff is paper-like skin that comes off the coffee in the roasting process. Chaff from roasting is part of the innermost skin (the silverskin) of the coffee fruit... ...more to separate from the coffee, and convective air flows to circulate around the batch of beans. The volume of hot convective air heated the coffee, and some supplementary heat was provided by radiant heat from the burners and hot metal of the roaster. Coffee could be roasted evenly, and also much lighter. The benefit of roasting lighter was that the coffee lost less weight in the roasting process, and more salable product emerged from the drum than was possible before.
The new convective system also allowed a longer roast time and better control of the degree of roast. An experienced operator could produce the same roast time and time again, effectively dumping the batch into a stationary cooling bin with an agitator, whereas previous roasters dumped coffee into moving cooling bins wheeled about the factory with no agitation.
Not a lot has changed from that time until the present. Small batch drum coffee roasters have either solid drums with control of convective air flow passing through them, or perforated drums. No roaster relies primarily on The transfer of heat between matter. In coffee, conduction heating is contrasted with convection heating, which occurs in a moving fluid. ...more as the heat source. For some the romance and craft of roasting is in the simple equipment we use. There are better flame controls and thermocoupled temperature monitoring, but basically the progression of the roast is built into the equipment, determined by the metals used, the burners installed, and the cooling system. Sure, I could scorch a batch of coffee in 4 minutes in my 12 Kilo Diedrich roaster, or bake it for 40 minutes, but my preferred roast time/temperatures (around 11-12.5 minutes for a City roast is what we define as the earliest palatable stage that the roast process can be stopped and result in good quality coffee. City roast occurs roughly... ...more) offer little choice in exactly how the coffee will reach that exact roast degree. It just so happens to be quite good though.
What’s this all about? Why have I chosen to write all this in a home roasting newsletter? It’s to let you know that roasting coffee is still a very simple act, perhaps far behind the technological possibilities of the present. Roasting is a set of extremely The co-presence of many aroma and flavor attributes, with multiple layers. A general impression of a coffee, similar to judgments such as "balanced" or "structured" ...more reactions induced by temperature that involve a dizzying array of beginning, middle and final compounds whose exact interrelationship is difficult to specify. At center stage are the Malliard reactions that involve many of the key coffee flavors as well as the browning color of the coffee. A perfect roast technology would maximize all the key components needed for roast reactions such as the Malliard during the stage in which the coffee gains heat, ensure that the roast reactions occur properly, and thus result in the that the maximum quantity of flavor compounds after the roast reactions have concluded. We are a long way from this kind of roast apparatus!
What most shop roasters are doing is roasting to a specific degree for a specific coffee … the “art” of roasting is determining that exact degree and dumping the batch into the cooling bin in then 15 second window that the coffee is at its target point. And that’s what the home roaster is doing too. The air or drum roasters we use at home have the basic roast curve set, and we try to roast to that exact time and temperature that we prefer, either to maximize the “original flavors” in the coffee, or to roast it darker and imbue it with “roast flavors”.
I might be understating the difficulty and skill of professional roasting here, summing it up too briefly. But I want home roasters to understand that just because a coffee is professionally roasted, means very little. The skill in professional roasting does not lay in the part of the shop where the roasting machine sits. It is over at the table where the roaster cups the samples, carefully chooses the Green coffee refers to the processed seed of the coffee tree fruit. Coffee is a flowering shrub that produces fruit. The seeds of the fruit are processed, roasted,... ...more to buy, tests it at varying degrees of roast, and finds the best way to bring out the most in the coffee’s “original flavors” or to create a stylized darker roast of it.
Yes, new technology that makes true “profile roasting” possible may change this … a roaster that can determine bean temperature points in the roast process, perhaps determining key roast chemicals like Trigonelline is a bittering compound that is reduced as the roast gets progressively darker. Trigonelline is 100% soluble in water and therefore will end up in the cup.... ...more or chlorogenic Many acids contribute to coffee flavor: acetic, malic, citric, quinic, tartaric, phosphoric, etc.: Many acids contribute to coffee flavor; malic, citric, quinic, tartaric, phosphoric, etc. See Acidity or... ...more on the fly, and making adjustments to allow the operator great control of the process. Until then, we have our own sensible palates to guide us. With that, we can enjoy great coffee. Without it, big batch or small, we’re just burning a dried seed.
Sweet Maria’s Green Coffee Offerings on 5/23/00
Coffee is a crop; it comes and goes! Our web page always has the latest list of offerings: www.sweetmarias.com
Central American 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Costa Rican Dota Conquistador 99-00 $5.60 $10.64 $24.36
Costa Rican Tarrazu La Minita 99-00 $6.95 $13.21 $30.23
Costa Rican La Pastora Tarrazu 99-00 $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Guat. Organic-FairTrd. -El Quiche $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Guatemalan coffee is considered a top quality coffee producer in Central America. Due to our proximity to Guatemala, some of the nicest coffees from this origin come to... ...more Huehuetenango -Dos Lagos $4.70 $8.93 $20.45
Guatemala Huehuetenango -Catinil $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Guatemala Oriente -Tres Marias $4.75 $9.03 $20.66
Mexican Grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, etc.: Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms... ...more Pluma -Loxicha $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Mexican San Pablo Tres Flechas $4.70 $8.93 $20.45
Nicaraguan SHG Gavilan A "coffee estate" is used to imply a farm that has its own processing facility, a wet-mill. In Spanish this is called an Hacienda. A Finca (farm) does... ...more $4.60 $8.74 $20.01
Nicaraguan SHG La Illusion $4.70 $8.93 $20.45
Panama coffee ranges from medium quality lower altitude farms to those at 1600 - 1800 meters centered in the area of Boquete in the Chirqui district near the... ...more Hartmann Songbird 99-00 $4.75 $9.03 $20.66
Panama Lerida Estate 99-00 $4.90 $9.31 $21.32
South American 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Brazil is a coffee giant . As Frank Sinatra sang, "they grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil".: Brazil is a coffee giant . As Frank Sinatra... ...more Cerrado-Monte Carmelo $4.40 $8.36 $19.14
Brazil Cerrado-Oberon 17-18 $4.70 $8.93 $20.45
Brazil Serra Negra 17-18 $4.55 $8.65 $19.79
Colombian Ibague Nevado A Colombian coffee grade referring to screen size of 17-18 screen. In the traditional bulk Arabica business, Supremo was the top grade Colombia, with Excelso one step below... ...more $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Peruvian coffees have Central American brightness but in a South American coffee flavor package overall. The good organic lots do have more of a "rustic" coffee character.: Organic... ...more SHG Organic -Cuzco $4.95 $9.41 $21.53
African- Arabian 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Ethiopian Djimmah Gr 5 $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Ethiopian Harar Gr5 Horse $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Ethiopian Sidamo Gr.5 99-00 $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Gr2 $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Kenya is the East African powerhouse of the coffee world. Both in the cup, and the way they run their trade, everything is topnotch.: Kenya is the East... ...more AB Main Crop 98-99 $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Kenya AA Kiunyu Estate 99-00 $5.80 $11.02 $25.23
Kenya AA Nyanja Estate 99-00 $5.60 $10.64 $24.36
Tanzanian A peaberry is a green coffee "bean" that has a rounded form: Coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of a flowering tree - each fruit having... ...more 99-00 $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Yemen has a coffee culture like no other place, and perhaps some of what we enjoy in this cup is due to their old style of trade...: Technically,... ...more The Yemeni type of coffee, both in terms of the family of cultivars planted there, and the general trade name.: Mokha Yemeni type of coffee, both in terms... ...more Ismaili $7.80 $14.82 $33.93
Yemen Mokha Mattari Al-Haj $7.00 $13.30 $30.45
Yemen Mokha Raimi 99-00 $6.90 $13.11 $30.02
Yemen Mokha Sana’ani -Saihi $6.90 $13.11 $30.02
Zimbabwe, formerly known as lower Rhodesia until independence in 1980, has produced great coffee since production was introduced in the 1960s. Like Zambian coffees, these coffees are often... ...more AAA Pinnacle $5.60 $10.64 $24.36
Indonesian- Indian 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Indian Monsooned Malabar AA $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Indian -Pearl Mountain Estate $4.90 $9.31 $21.32
There are several types of Abyssinia, but they are not from Ethiopia but rather Indonesia. Abyssinia 3 = AB3. PJS Cramer, a Dutch plant researcher, introduced this variety in 1928,... ...more Aged Old Brown $6.20 $11.78 $26.97
Java Gvt. Estate -Kayumas $5.10 $9.69 $22.19
Myanmar Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the taxonomic species name of the genus responsible for around 75% of the worlds commercial coffee crop.: Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the... ...more -Rubyland $3.50 $6.65 $15.23
Papua New Guinea (PNG) occupies the eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, part of Indonesia. The two primary areas for... ...more A Org-Shade $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Papua New Guinea Purosa AA $5.60 $10.64 $24.36
Sulawesi coffees are low-acid with great body and that deep, brooding cup profile akin to Sumatra. The coffee is sometimes known as Celebes, which was the Dutch colonial... ...more Toraja-Boengie Fat Bean $5.70 $10.83 $24.80
Sulawesi Toraja Gr.1 99-00 $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Sulawesi Rantapao (Monsooned) $6.10 $11.59 $26.54
Indonesians are available as a unique wet-hulled or dry-hulled (washed) coffees. Giling Basah is the name for the wet-hulling process in Bahasa language, and will have more body... ...more A trade name used for wet-hulled Sumatra coffees. It is an area and a culture group as well (spelled Mandailing often) but there is not as much coffee... ...more Gr1 DP $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Sumatra Mandheling-Triple Pick $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Sumatra Organic Gayo is ethnic group from the area of Aceh Sumatra around Lake Takengon. They use the name Gayo Coffee to market their production. The Acehnese are a different... ...more Mtn.Gr1 $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Sumatra Organic Gayoland.Gr1 $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Sumatra Blue Lintong Gr1 $5.30 $10.07 $23.06
Timor-Leste (East Timor) is a tiny island between Australia and Sulawesi, annexed by Indonesia and liberated in a referendum several years ago. Small scale coffee farming was jump-started... ...more Grade 1 -Aifu $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Islands- Blends -Etc. 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
The Kona district on the big island of Hawaii produces the best coffee from this state - clean, sweet and mild. : Ah, Hawaii... what a nice place.... ...more Kona coffee comes from farms along the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii: Kona coffee comes from farms along the Kona Coast on the Big Island... ...more Greenwell XtraFancy $15.20 $28.88 $66.12
Hawaii Kona- MorningGlory The Spanish-language term for Peaberry is the same for "snail". See Peaberry for more information on the single bean fruit of the coffee tree. A peaberry is the... ...more $16.85 $32.02 $73.30
Isle of Saint Helena $21.20 $40.28 $92.22
SM’s Moka Kadir Blend $5.80 $11.02 $25.23
SM’s A small coffee beverage, about 20 ml, prepared on an espresso machine where pressurized hot water extracted through compressed coffee.: In its most stripped-down, basic form, this is... ...more Monkey Blend $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Sweet Maria’s Fr.RoastBlend $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Malabar Gold Espresso Blend $6.00 $11.40 $26.10
Decafs 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Brazil Santos SWP means Swiss Water Process is a patented water filtration decaf method, not a chemical solvent method. The plant is in Vancouver, Canada. ...more Decaf $5.40 $10.26 $23.49
Colombian Natural Decaf $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Costa Rican SHB SWP Decaf $5.70 $10.83 $24.80
Ethiopian Sidamo Co2 Decaf $6.20 $11.78 $26.97
IndonesianOrg.KomodoBlend SWP D $6.20 $11.78 $26.97
MexicanEsmeralda Natural D $4.70 $8.93 $20.45
Papua New Guinea Org SWP D $6.00 $11.40 $26.10
Sumatra Org.GayoMtn SWP Decaf $6.30 $11.97 $27.41
Premium Robustas 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Indian Kaapi Royale Ateng is a common name for Catimor coffees widely planted in Sumatra and other Indonesia isles.: Ateng, with several subtypes, is a common name for Catimor coffees widely... ...more $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Indian Monsooned Robusta usually refers to Coffea Robusta, responsible for roughly 25% of the world's commercial coffee. Taxonomy of Robusta is debated: some sources use “Robusta” to refer to any... ...more AA $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
PapuaNewGuinea Washed Robusta $3.90 $7.41 $16.97
Sweet Maria’s Coffee Roastery
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