The Aspiration of most coffee lovers.
As a coffee lover and and a lover of things Spanish, I travel frequently to Spain and Mallorca and indulge my passion for Torrefacto coffee.
As I write this, a flight has already been booked for my next trip to Palma in a couple of weeks.
I made some torrefacto with Colombian beans about 6 months ago, and stored a kilo away for testing purposes. As the object of sugar roasting the beans is to preserve, I wanted to see how long the coffee would last. (Reasons for sugar glazing)
This roast was made just into second crack at a temperature of @ 216C. It is a moderately light roast compared to the Robusta that I roast which is roasted darker to @230 and held for a while. The Robusta is added to a selection of dark roast berries and blended for espresso. Sometimes as many as 6 different varietals are used to achieve the right balance of bitter/acidity/sweetness which is controlled and changed through the espresso machine. I find Torrefacto works AMAZINGLY well in milk drinks. The development of the sugar coating and the addition of the steamed milk is mindblowingly good.
Some interest has been expressed in australian home roasting circles for making Torrefacto, and I have given my methodology for making it. here
I dont claim its the best way, it works and its consistent and its as mess free as possible, which in my way of thinking is a good thing when working with sugar and syrups.
Back to the Torrefacto. I added 40% of the Colombian glazed beans to Colombian 5 day old roasted berries, and ground for usage in a Siphon coffee pot. (The Torrefacto does NOT ruin your grinder or cause any problems at all). As I poured into the cup the aroma was fresh and bright. I usually add sugar to my coffee, and this time did not need to. There was not the heaviness of sweetness that sugar imparts, yet there was enough to carry the coffee ‘as is’ to suit my taste. The Torrefacto in the roast, reduces acidity in the coffee berry and makes for a mellowness without losing the fullness of the taste.
Did the age of the glazed beans cause a problem with tasting stale? No! the sugar preserved well.
I will be making a video of the process in due course.
SweetMarias is one, if not THE premier USA independent supplier for green coffee and coffee tools. They are a bunch of dedicated people doing their own thing and distributing information freely.
Color is just one of the ways to determine degree of roast. By itself, it is of limited use. When complemented by the audible cues (first and second crack) and the aromas of the roast process, it is extremely informative . Here is a You Tube video showing the color changes that occur during roasting –
|Degree of Roast, Temperature, Description
This coffee was roasted on my Probat 12 kilo so I could take advantage of the sample trier. Ignore the times, and take the temperatures as a ballpark figure.
The important thing is here is to see the transformation the coffee goes through as it roasts and what look, color, bean sizeand surface texture, corresponds to the degree of roast. ***(see note from home roaster George Steinert below).
Roasting is more about exceptions than rules. I have this page about bean color vs. ground coffee color that might be helpful. So get to it.
|(click on preview for full size image)|
1. Green unroasted coffee 0:00 – 75 f
This is a wet processed, Central American coffee, a accidental blend I have had sitting around. Each photo here are different coffee seeds from the batch I roasted sosize and shape will vary seed to seed.
2. Starting to pale 4:00 – 270 f
Drum roasters take a long time to transfer heat to coffee so there is little change in the first few minutes. In an air roaster coffee gets to this stage so much faster because of the efficient heat transference of the rapid moving air stream, so the whole warm-up phase can be as fast as two minutes.
Odd looking seeds – the near one might be a Kona Typica and the farther one perhaps the traditional Bourbon cultivar or Mundo Novo. Click on image for large photo, or here for multi-bean photo
3. Early yellow stage 6:00 – 327 f
At this point the coffee is still losing water in the form of steam and no physical expansion of the bean has taken place. The coffee has a very humid, hay-like smell at this point. All of these warm-up stages leading up to first crack are part of an endothermic process, as the coffee takes on heat, leading to the first audible roast reaction, the exothermic 1st crack.
4. Yellow-Tan stage 6:30 – 345 f
The roast is starting to assume a browner color, and a marbling appearance is starting to emerge. No bean expansion yet. The first “toasty” smells (toasted grain, bread) can be detected, and a bit less wet, humid air coming off the coffee. Note that some coffees turn a brighter and more distinct yellow at this time, such as Costa Rican and Mexican coffees.
5. Light Brown stage 8:00 – 370 f
First crack is drawing near at this point. Some bean expansion is visible as the central crack in the coffee has opened slightly. The coffee releases some silverskin or chaff.
6. Brown Stage 9:00 – 393 f
Now we are right at the door of first crack. The coffee has browned considerably, which is partly due to browning reactions from sugars, but largely due to another browning reaction called the Maillard Reaction (which also is responsible for browning of cooked beef!)
7. 1st crack begins 9:20 – 401 f
At this point, the very first popping sounds of the First Crack can be heard. This sound can be similar to popcorn pops (in distinction to the sound of the Second Crack, which has a shallower sound, more like a snap). At the point of first crack the internal bean temperature would be around 356 f.
8. 1st crack under way 10:00 – 415 f
As first crack continues the coffee still appears mottled and uneven in color. The coffee starts expanding in size and shows visible cracks. The amount of chaff in the crease of the seed is noticeably less.
First crack is an exothermic reaction; the beans are giving off heat. But then the beans quickly become endothermic, meaning that a roaster that is not adding enough heat to the process will stall the roast at this point …not a good thing. Once caramelization begins (340-400 degrees internal bean temperature) a roast that looses heat will taste “baked”, perhaps due to the disruption on long-chain polymerization. The melting point of sucrose is 370 f and corresponds to this window of temperatures when caramelization begins.
9. 1st crack finishes 10:40 – 426 f
This is considered a City Roast. First crack is done and the roast is stopped.
Notice the bean surface is smoother somewhat from expansion but still has darker marks in the coffee, like a finely etched pattern. The edges of the seed are still fairly hard. At this point the coffee starts giving off carbon dioxide.
10. City+ roast 11:05 435f
City+ means the coffee has cleared first crack, and time is allowed for an even bean surface appearance to develop.
There are only very small changes between the #9 picture above and this one, notably the edges of the bean are a bit softer. The whole stage between the first and second crack is a short period ( 15 to 30 seconds) where a lot is happening chemically to the beans. The coffee gains heat once again until its woody cellulose matrix, the bean structure itself, begins to fracture … that is, the Second Crack.
11. Full City roast 11:30 – 444 f
This image represents a Full City roast; the coffee is on the verge of 2nd crack. This might be hard to judge the first few times you roast; after a while, you will have a feel for it. The beans are have a slight sheen of oil and the edges are softer.
The internal bean temperature for second crack normally is 446 degrees farenheit. But in fact second crack is a bit less predictable than first crack, in my experience. Why? It could be due to the fact that first crack is the physical expansion of the coffee seed as water and carbon dioxide split and CO2 outgassing starts. Second Crack is the physical fracturing of the celllose matrix of the coffee. This matrix is both organized cellulose that reacts readily to heat, and not-so-organized cellulose that does not. Since every coffee is physically different in size and density due to the cultivar, origin, altitude, etc., it make sense that the particular cell matrix is different too, and not as universally consistent.
12. Full City+ roast 11:50 – 454 f
The darker side of a Full City roast is Full City +, where the coffee has barely entered 2nd crack. A few snaps are heard, and the roast is then stopped. Second crack may continue into the cooling phase – this is called “coasting”. The more effective and rapid your cooling – the better your ability to stop the roast at the degree you want.
Compare the full size images from the Full City roast and this one, and I think it is easy to see a difference. Well, maybe not easy, but the Full City+ roast is a bit fuller, more small cracks on the face (or flat side) of the bean.
13. Vienna – Light French roast12:15 – 465 f
The Vienna stage (also called Continental) to Light French stage is where you begin to find Origin Character eclipsed by Roast Character. A dark or heavy roast is at odds with buying coffee for its distinct origin qualities. Dark roast coffees tend to taste more like each other – as the differences due to distinct origins are obscured by the carbony roast flavors. Nontheless, some coffees are excellent at this stage (our Puro Scuro blend is engineered for this roast range).
By the way; Espresso is not a roast. But Northern Italian style espresso is usually roasted to 440 – 446 internal bean temperature. Southern Italian (Scura) is generally a Light French Roast or a tad darker.
14. Full French roast 12:40 – 474 f
Sugars are heavily caramelized (read as burned) and are degraded; the woody bean structure is carbonizing and the seed continues to expand and loose mass. The body of the resulting cup will be thinner/lighter as the aromatic compounds, oils, and soluble solids are being burned out of the coffee and rising up to fill your house with smoke. 474 is well beyond any roast I do on the Probat. I will go as high as 465 on a couple blends, and that’s my limit.
Notice how fast and dramatic the change is from the previous photo – all that happened in less than 30 seconds!
15. Fully carbonized 13:00 – 486 f
At this stage, the coffee can be over 25% ash; it is carbonized, dead, charcoal.
16. Imminent fire … 13:30 – 497 f
This bean is right at the verge of fire – in fact you can actually start a fire with a large batch once you dump the coffee out of the roast drum into the cool tray. The sudden rush of oxygen might be the needed ingredient for cafe del fuego. Kids, grab your marshmallows! Hope you like ’em smokey!
Needless to say, this roast level is full-on carbon and you can write your name with a coffee bean. The bean size here is smaller that photo 15 due to the randomness of the seeds selected to photograph – coffee does not get smaller at this stage…
|***Note from George Steinert, home roaster: “I see a lot of new users of the iRoast2 struggling to make sense of roast levels. I have been using the iR2 since February. I got the best success when I added the digital thermometer with thermocouple probe (both from SM) and condensed the well-documented “degree of roast” information on the SM web site into a one page chart (below). By using the temps on the chart (as measured with the thermocouple planted in the bean mass) as a “guide” and when combining that with actual experience of hearing the cracks (when they can be heard through the fan noise), the color, the smell, and the time (when using a consistent load of green beans), I have had very predictable results. I continue to use the chart as my baseline of understanding when roasting with the RK drum which I started using in June. I reference the start and end of first crack to tell me how the roast is progressing. After a while, the aroma becomes a factor. About 60-90 seconds before first crack begins, I swear I can tell it’s coming because of a characteristic aroma. Primarily I use the sounds of the crack(s) and secondarily, the time. With the iRoast2, the temp from the thermocouple gives a pretty reliable indication of where they are in the roasting process…given some flexibility regarding start and end of first crack depending on the type of beans. With the iRoast, you also have the helpful cues of color and seeing what’s happening on the surface of the bean. Users should note that First Crack is not going to necessarily begin when your thermocouple hits 401 degrees F nor end when it hits 426 F but after you’ve done a few dozen roasts you will get the feel for how to overlay the progress of the roast onto the temperatures you are reading.
George Steinert’s Degree of Roast/Temperature chart:
Please note that both Tom and George emphasize that temperature alone will NOT determine degree of roast. Each roaster is different and different beans roast slightly differently as well. All the information on this page is to be take together to help determine degree of roast – no one element (appearance, sound, temperature, etc) can determine degree of roast. Most importantly – TASTE THE COFFEE – and see what that tells you about how it roasted.
Note about High Altitude Roasting
Here is a representative image I took of the Agtron Roast Color Tiles, and might give you a basica idea of the color scale. There is a bit of glare on the left side though (most visibile on Agrton 45). Since this is such an approximation and the appearance depends so much on monitor calibration, etc, I am not going to put a ton of work into this … I am working on a better method of sharing these roast colors information.
For those that have been to Spain, and have fallen in love with the Cafe con leche and the espresso, and have tried to reproduce the taste at home and failed, its not because you made it wrong, its because of the absence of one type of roasted bean in the mix. The sugar roasted bean at which makes up 10-30% of the blend, the Torrefacto.
Encasing the bean in sugar during roasting does two things. It preserves the bean for an extended life, and also uniquely cuts down on the acidity in the taste. This enables a strong tasting coffee without bitterness or the acid bite. I have found that my coffee consumption goes way up when I go to Mallorca or Spain, (and its high to start with ) yet gratefully I dont suffer from increased heartburn. There is something about the taste of torrefacto, so much so that I decided to learn how to make it.
It has taken a year. A year of reading, watching, visiting Roasters in Spain, researching history in USA and in France. It actually is such a simple process but……. too easy to mess up if you want to put the beans through your roaster without destroying your drum or pan with caramelised sugar.
If you have a fancy miniature drum home roaster, dont do this process in it. If you have anything you want to keep as is, dont do this in it. You have been warned.
The only methods of making this are in a metal bowl with a hot air gun, or a Corretto (breadmaker) and following instructions carefully. Im taking no responsibility for your frustration or tears or ruined equipment, thats just the way it is.
The commercial machines used to manufacture torrefacto, are dedicated machines for that job. They have special pouring mechanisms for adding the sugar and special cooling so as to quickly get the sugar to dry off on each bean and not clump together. This is a small unit, the companies in Spain usually use 300-600 kilo machines.
OK.. so here I will tell you how to do it in a Corretto. (This breadmaker is being stripped for a design Im working on..but it still works fine)
Pre heat the drum to 265C and add your green beans. (I roast Torrefacto in 300gram batches) Allow the beans to ‘dry’ by leaving them on the low setting of the gun for 4 minutes or so. (During this time you will see the temp rise about 4-6 degrees a minute). Once the temp is above 130C, watch for the beans colour change to yellowish..raise your heat rate to about 10 degrees C a minute. At about 175-185C add 12% of the green bean weight, of sugar, directly into the roasting beans. Close the lid and keep roasting. At this stage, your Corretto will smoke and smell of burning caramel and neighbours might be thinking that they should call the fire service. Ignore them.
Keep a wooden spoon handy in case you have to occasionally scrape down the sides of the corretto basket if one or two beans stick. DO NOT LOSE YOUR NERVE at this point. Its easy to get panicky when seeing a gloopy mess. If you have followed these instructions concerning weights, there should not be a gloopy mess, if you havent… it will take 2 hours of cleaning involving heat, sand and lots of elbow grease.
Continue roasting the bean of your choice in the pan, to the timings that you like for that particular roast. Now the last batch I did was Old Brown Java, and I like to dump them just at the onset of second crack, however this time I let second crack develop for 20 seconds or so and then dumped.
I dump onto flat roasting tins and shake for 30 seconds so nothing will stick. If Im roasting in the UK.. The weather will cool them off in double quick time.. Once cooled the beans are completely shiny, dry to the touch and no stickiness what so ever. If you crack one open, they look exactly the same as a normally roasted bean.
If there is any sugar left in your basket, and there should not be, just the odd fleck here and there, just proceed with your next non torrefacto roast and the basket will be perfectly cleaned.
I usually mix Torrefacto at a ratio of 20% by volume to the same single origin bean. If I am doing a blend, say 30% Old Brown Java, 20% Malabar, 20% Brazil, I will use 30% Torrefacto. (If I am going for the ‘full’ taste, I will make torrefacto out of Robusta, its a personal choice)
In the cup as an espresso, there is a gentle sweetness and decided lack of too much acidity whilst retaining the strength of the coffee. In a latte.. well I just make cafe con leche. A long pour of coffee and equal amount of steamed milk. It is my favourite milk based coffee.
|Old Coffee Roasters|
While researching roaster patents, I ran across this interesting 1886 coffee patent. Be sure and read the reply I received regarding this patent from 1840Coffee, AKA Donald Schoenholt of Gillies Coffee Co., New York. Thank you, Don, for sharing this wonderful historical information on Mr. Arbuckle.
United States Patent Office
John Arbuckle, JR., Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.
Letters Patent No. 73,486, dated January 21, 1868
Improvement in Roasted Coffee.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, John Arbuckle, Jr., of the city and county of Allegheny, in the State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new and useful Improvement in “Roasted Coffee;” and I do hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description thereof.
The nature of my invention consists in roasting coffee and then coating it with a glutinous or gelatinous matter, for the purpose of retaining the aroma of the coffee, and also act as a clarifying-agent when the ground coffee has been boiled in water.
To enable others skilled in the art of “roasting coffee” to use my invention, I will proceed to describe its operation or preparation.
I take any good article of green coffee, and roast ti by any of the known means. I then cool it as quickly as possible. I then prepare a mixture of the following ingredients, in about the following proportions: One ounce of Irish moss; half an ounce of isinglass; half an ounce of gelatine; one ounce of white sugar; and twenty-four eggs. I boil the Irish moss in a quart of water, and then strain it. I then boil the isinglass and gelatine in a pint of water. I then mix the sugar and eggs well together, and when the mixture of Irish moss, isinglass, gelatine, and water has become cold, I mix the whole of the ingredients into one homogenous compound. I then pour the whole over about one hundred pounds of the roasted coffee, and stir and so manipulate the coffee that each grain will be entirely coated, after the coffee is coated, and the coasting has become dry and hard, which is accomplished by forcing currents of air through it while stirring it, for the purpose of coating it with the glutinous or gelatinous matter described.
I wish it clearly understood that I do not confine myself to the above compound of glutinous matter for coating roasted coffee, for many other compounds may be formed which will accomplish the end desired, to wit, coating roasted coffee in the manner and for the purpose set forth.
What I claim, is-
Coating roasted coffee with any glutinous or gelatinous matter, for the purpose of retaining the aroma of the coffee, and also act as a clarifying-agent, as herein described and set forth.
John Arbuckle, Jr.
Donald Schoenholt’s reply,
Mr. John Arbuckle, who went on to become the greatest coffee roaster of his generation and the creator of the first national brand, “ARIOSA,” was also one of the richest men in America during the gilded age of the 1880s and ’90s. Arbuckle Bros. produced ARIOSA, known as “the coffee that won the West,” and also roasted and packed several other popular brands, including their premium YUBAN brand (now owned by Kraft), which was the best selling brand in New York for years.
Arbuckle’s coffee was distributed in the age before lined paper bags, and coffee went stale and rancid pronto. Coating, or “glazing” as it came to be known, was a way to lengthen its shelf life by keeping air away from the beans. Many different compounds were used in the coffee trade. Arbuckle Bros. settled on a sugar based glaze. They became such a prodigious user of sugar that they decided to enter the sugar business rather than give a profit on the huge quantities they needed to others. The Sugar Trust didn’t like that much and decided to enter the coffee business to spite Arbuckle. For the better part of the next generation, the Sugar Trust’s LION COFFEE battled it out with Arbuckle’s brands throughout the courts and the cities of the nation. The first great advertising campaign in history was this coffee war. After fought to a stand-still, the sugar boys quit the coffee business, and the Arbuckle brothers were triumphant. They strode upon the national stage until their deaths in the early part of the 20th Century. Their heirs sold the business to Mr. C.W. Post (of Post Toasties and Postum fame), who was putting together a little company at that time that would be called General Foods. Mr. Post joined the Arbuckle brands with the other little roaster he had just acquired from the Cheek Neal Coffee Co.; it was called Maxwell House.
With the advent of the Pure Food & Drug Act (1906), and the development of better packaging that retained freshness longer, glazing fell out of fashion.
Sugar glazed beans, now referred to as “torrefaction coffee,” still retain a market in Spain and South America.
P.S. LION COFFEE went broke eventually and languished in the Ohio court system as just a moldy old file until found by an entrepreneur who arranged with the court to revive the brand name. It was moved to Hawaii where the lion, after two generations of slumber, roars again as a retailer, roaster and wholesaler of Hawaiian blend coffees.
1800’S ARBUCKLE BROS. TRADE CARD * COLUMBIA
GRIND YOUR COFFEE AT HOME
It will pay you well to keep a small coffee mill in your kitchen, and grind your coffee, just as you use it, one mess at a time. Coffee should not be ground until the coffee-pot is ready to receive it. Coffee will lose more of its strength and aroma, in one hour after being ground, than in six months before being ground. So long as Ariosa remains in the whole berry, our glazing, composed of choice eggs, and pure confectioners sugar, closes the pores of the coffee, and thereby all the original strength and aroma are retained. Ariosa Coffee has, during 25 years, act the standard for all other roasted coffees. So true is this, that other manufactures in recommending their goods, have known no higher praise than to say: “It’s just as good as Arbuckles.”
One of the most surprising finds for Filter and milk based coffee is Old Brown Java. I have ignored it for a number of years based on a false assumption that all weathered or matured coffee is like Monsooned Malabar, of which, I have no personal affinity for.
What a HUGE surprise in drinking this coffee. Rob Hodges of RAVE Coffee sent me some green beans to roast, and the instruction were simple, “make it a little dark”.
I have a lot of respect for the roast direction of Rob. He has a natural touch and instinct with coffee that only a fool would ignore, so trying to not be that fool, I took the beans into second crack for a minute and up to 225C. A quick look at the photo will show the oil on the surface, and the darkness of the bean. The colour of the bean is more even that the flash would suggest. (Click on pictures to enlarge)
The origins of Old Brown Java are interesting. The beans were used for ballast on sailing ships, and consequently the ‘weathering’, ie salt water and length of time produced the distinctive flavour of the brew. Nowadays, the beans are aged in a wetting and storing process for up to 3 years in order to emulate the same conditions as when loaded on ships.
The process itself removes a lot of acidity, whilst retaining the full depth of taste. I made 3 pots of Old Java, from 20 grams per 3/4 pint to 35 grams per 3/4 pint and was amazed at how the acidity did not increase with the added grinds. Old Java is a very mellow taste, with a wonderful ‘coffee’ aroma. In the drinking, there is a delightful sweetness to the cup, and an after taste of, slight herbacious woodiness.
I am going to try and blend it with some other beans and see what happens. Rob Hodge gave me a blend for milk based drink, and I think that I perhaps tried it a little too fresh, it didnt work for me. The Coffee is now 7 days old so will try again.
The Coffee plantations on the Island that produce Old Java are mainly on the East side. Im going to look for some video that I have somewhere of a plantation and upload it later.
I am not sure of which plantation Rob supplied me the beans from, but wherever the come from, roasted or green, Id be giving him a call on 01285 651884 and placing an order.