No matter how delicate your coffee brewing techniques, you can only get the best tastes with freshly roasted coffee prepared in small batches. You also have to find high-quality beans that are naturally grown and sourced directly from farm to roaster to brew the best blends flawlessly. If you think of coffee as only a bitter, highly acidic drink, read on.
The Science of a Perfect Cup
At first blush, it might seem like the focus on fresh roasted beans is hype, but the truth lies in simple coffee chemistry. Green coffee beans, which are actually seeds, are nearly tasteless and are very starchy if eaten. After Douglas Coffee Roaster beans are grown naturally in locations around the world, we take care to ensure that they are shipped to us quickly. Using a business model of fresh coffee delivery, we then wait until the last minute to roast the beans to your specifications, one aromatic pound at a time.
The roasting process causes a chemical process known as the Maillard reaction. In this, the molecules trapped in the green coffee beans are altered and released, leaving behind a delightful mix of water-soluble acids to tickle your taste buds. A particularly flavorful outcome of the Maillard effect, which occurs at temperatures of about 300 degrees, is caramelization. Depending on the bean, the process can also create sweetness, herbaceous notes, smoky finishes, chocolate or vanilla flavors and bright, acidic tastes.
The Importance of a Fresh Roast and Grind
Once the Maillard reaction is complete, freshly roasted beans quickly begin to lose carbon dioxide and lose flavor due to oxygen exposure. For that reason, it’s best to drink your coffee within a few days or weeks of roasting or you could miss out on the delicate flavor differences you want in high-quality beans. We can deliver your desired amount of freshly roasted coffee every month, or you can order a variety of beans and roasts as you discover which type you like best.
Note that grinding coffee increases the surface area of your beans and causes the negative interaction with oxygen to occur more quickly. We highly recommend grinding your beans at home just prior to each brew.
The Right Coffee Roast for your Palette
American tastes have trended toward dark, full-bodied roasts for many years, and these are the types typically found in espresso drinks and barista-brewed blends. As you become more familiar with the extensive variety of beans and roasts, however, you may find that a lighter roast suits your coffee cravings better.
Also known as Italian or Espresso roasts, the darkest coffee beans are made by heating the beans to temperatures of about 500 degrees. This results in a very dark color and an oily sheen, and the taste profile is generally smoky and rich. This process results in almost-complete destruction of a coffee bean’s chlorogenic acid, a major polyphenol. That means a reduction in any tart, acidic tastes but a simultaneous reduction in sweetness.
Commonly referred to as city roasts or breakfast roasts, these medium-dark beans are known for spicy flavors and aromas. This roast is accomplished by heating raw beans to about 420 degrees. These beans highlight the balanced flavor of our best Arabica blends and are a good choice for fresh coffee delivery in a home or office where coffee drinkers have varying preferences. More of the natural sugars remain intact with this roast, meaning a sweeter flavor.
Light roasts are quickly growing in popularity, and this trend toward “light city” and “New England” blends has meant a proliferation of coffees that are more highly caffeinated than darker roasts and that often feature floral and fruity notes. These beans are heated to only about 360 degrees, so most of the caffeine and chlorogenic acids — which are antioxidants — remain intact. This results in a sweet, pleasant flavor. If beans are brewed quickly after roasting, your coffee will be free of the bitterness that gives coffee a bad name.