Image credit goes to “I Love Coffee”
How is your coffee roasted? This is often a question asked either by customers, prospective customers, or competitors. I would like to say it’s lovingly roasted by 2 guys in a shed with tattoo’s, handlebar moustache’s, skinny jeans, no socks with impeccable sensory awareness pallets as smooth as silk and hand packed by ninja’s! But this is not the case and nor is this the case for the majority of coffee roasted in the UK. Most coffee we drink in the UK has been commercially roasted and packaged (still lovingly) in a factory somewhere. We are extremely proud of the fact we at Hessian use a commercial roaster and don’t feel the need to pretend we are something other.
The roasting process is something that needs your undivided attention throughout the entire process to ensure this perfect consistency. I am a big believer in letting those that know what they are doing get on with it.
This is where it begins
It begins with the green coffee beans (the coffee plant seed). These arrive in large Hessian coffee sacks from which ever part of the world it is grown (always between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn). As seeds, the green coffee will not deteriorate. It’s the process of roasting that unlocks the flavour and aroma from the cells to give us coffee beans as we know them. Before these little green beans can enter the oven there are a few checks carried out.
Firstly, they are quality checked for defects or any foreign bodies that may have entered the sacks during harvest or transportation. Then small batch samples are roasted and cupped to ensure they meet our quality requirement. Roasting takes around 15 minutes at temperatures of between 200 – 230 degrees celsius. During this time the beans expand and “crack”. This cracking is fundamental in the process as it allows the aroma and flavours to develop. If the beans passed the point of no-return, which is after a second crack the beans will be ruined. This is one of the reason we use an expert to roast our coffee. They have years of experience, quality controls and state of the art roasting technology.
The cooling stage
Once roasted to our recipe, they are then cooled. This is critical as you don’t want to continue cooking the beans. Lighter roasted coffees generally have more acidity and tend to be dry, whereas darker roasts develop oils on the surface and offer a bitter taste. Caffeine levels also decrease the darker the coffee is roasted.
Getting that balance correct 100% of the time is the key to our blends. (One of which is a great taste award winner) Transported through tubes like something out of Willy Wonker and the chocolate factory, our beans are whizzed to packaging. Here they are cleverly weighed to ensure each branded kilo bag has a kilo of wonderful Hessian Coffee in it. All bags are thermally sealed with a valve to ensure any additional de-gassing can take place. The last step is where they are lovingly hand packed in our bespoke boxes ready for shipping.
Our Coffee beans, either single origin, arabica blends or mixed blend, are roasted specifically for the Hessian Coffee brand. We only use the finest grade green coffee and it is our policy to trade in an ethical, environmental and socially responsible manner. Check this out
It is a real art and science to consistently deliver quality freshly roasted coffee. So as mentioned, we are delighted to leave it with the pro’s allowing me and the others to get on with what we are good at. So next time some asks how is your coffee roasted I can send them to this blog!