I have been spending the last few weeks trying to work out all of the little details with getting this website up and running. Sadly, that has made it hard for me to write the all important post explaining coffee roasting, coffee bean weight loss, and what I’ve learned to date. Guess it’s time to start fixing that.
First thing first, how I roast the beans. I decided on a fluid bed roaster that makes me think of a giant air popper for popcorn. Not only does it allow for variable batch sizes, adjustable temperature control, and good visuals to allow for adjustments during roasting, it also harkens back to the way my grandfather home roasted his beans. This is a very personal endeavor, as I want to roast coffee beans for my customers and help them expand their coffee palate. As I work more on the roasting, and less on the website development/management, I hope to be able to share more about the roasting process with you all.
The actual process of roasting the beans is heating the coffee beans to temperatures that cause chemical changes to occur. It also causes excess moisture in the bean to evaporate. Obviously, the more heat added to the bean, the more chemical changes will occur and the greater the release of excess moisture. Once the desired bean temperature, and flavor profile, is reached, the beans are removed from the heat source and cooled as quickly as possible to prevent over roasting.
With some research, you can find information about roasting levels with the same charts I’ve found (though they are probably under copywrite restrictions, so I cannot post them here) that show a bigger range of roast levels than I am offering. The roast levels that I offer are the ones that make the most sense to me, if you are looking to drink coffee that shows each bean’s unique flavor(s). I’m still working out how to share the bean flavor profile information my vendor (yes, I’m small, so I have a vendor and don’t source directly) supplies. Feel free to drop me an email if you want more information. I’m planning on sharing my vendor’s website at some point, but I haven’t figured out the best way for that either.
Finally, the other piece of the puzzle you’ve been looking for. There are some great charts out there, if you look for them, that show bean weight loss depending on roast level. What I’ve been able to find online is about between a 14% to 20% weight loss. Due to how I’m selling my coffee, it is almost impossible to accurately predict how much coffee I should roast to get 1/2 lb or 1 lb for the batch sizes I have for sale (eventually I’ll offer larger batches, but I figure most people won’t drink 3 lbs of coffee before it starts going “stale”). Each bean variety will have it’s own weight loss, which means that I will be taking more detailed notes with every order, and eventually I’ll create and post my own findings for each bean I offer.
While I know that my first post could be better, I’m a coffee roaster, not a blogger, so I hope you all understand. I also hope you join me on this journey as we discover new coffees together. I know I’ve probably tried 15 bean varieties since February while trying to find the right beans to offer. I’ve already ordered my 3 bean offering, which should arrive in a couple of days for you all to try, so see you again soon.