King of the roast: 3 secrets to great coffee

Coffee blends are about as diverse as coffee drinkers. Java, mocha, American, espresso, Italian or French – there are hundreds of different types of coffee, each with their own distinct aroma and flavour. American is a medium roast with a mild flavour while French is heavily roasted with a very strong flavour. Often beans that have been roasted differently are combined to create a unique coffee blend.

Whichever way you enjoy yours, one thing all coffee drinkers agree on is that the final coffee experience depends largely on the expertise of the roasting process. Roasting involves heating the batch to exactly the right temperature in order to crack the bean, caramelise its natural sugars and extract the perfect flavour. Over roasting can spoil the intense flavours and rich aroma of the coffee bean. With so much at stake, what are the best roasting tips to creating that perfect cup of coffee?

1. Preparing the green beans

Choosing the right coffee bean will have a major effect on the roasting process and final flavour. Coffee beans are usually grouped according to their country of origin. Each bean has its own distinct colour and flavour. When ripe, the coffee berries are harvested, graded and sorted ready for washing, drying and fermentation. Various combinations are mixed to create the perfect coffee blends.

2. Roasting process

To ensure the finest flavour and aroma the beans are roasted in a highly controlled environment. As the beans become hotter, they begin to release natural oils and caramelise sugars which give them their unique flavour. Roasting can only take 15 minutes, depending on the strength of the roast desired, and the beans are carefully monitored to ensure over roasting does not ruin the flavour.

3. Packing and storing

Once roasted, the beans are cooled to prevent the roasting process continuing inside the bean. The roasted coffee beans de-­gas carbon dioxide for a few days. For best results the roasted coffee should be quickly packed into bags with a one way valve. This allows the carbon dioxide out, but no oxygen in. Packed correctly, the bean should retain its full flavour, from the roasting room right up to coffee cup.

Byron Beans is one company offering perfectly roasted beans, sourced from their certified organic farm in the Byron Bay hinterland. Check out what they have on offer by visiting them online.