While the first step of great coffee is finding the right beans, the roast is what brings out their best. You know how beans from different regions of the world have different flavors? They also demand different roasting profiles that suit their natural characteristics without ruining their delicate flavors.
If you’ve ever held green beans, you know that they’re hard as rock and have a slightly grassy smell. When these are heated to the right temperature, the sugars inside the bean (yes, there are sugars!) start to undergo a cooking process. Moisture in the beans start to vaporize, and the escaping gas causes a very characteristic popping noise known as first crack. Roasting the beans further causes the sugars to caramelize and eventually the bean’s structure begins to break down – second crack – after which point flavors start to be lost and the bean can take on an ashy flavor. On a sliding scale, beans should be roasted past first crack and halted somewhere before second to maximize their flavor and body. This has to be empirically tested for each bean from each region, and constantly tested since the green bean characteristics can change from season to season. Not as easy as it sounds, right? Given these variables, we strive to maintain the best profiles for all our beans through constant testing and quality control. And because coffee has such great natural flavor, our roast profiles strive to enhance this feature and are never roasted to the point where they are black and shiny.