Must beans be shiny???

richedie

New member
Jan 25, 2005
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I was chatting with a buddy tonight who is also a coffee nut like myself. He said he hasn't found any local roasters he likes due to the coffee all being dry, rather than shiny and slick with the natural oils. Is this a sign of better coffee or quality roasting? I haven't found that to be true because I use a lot of Torreo and La Colombe coffee out of Philadelphia and their coffees are rarely shiny and slick.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
In that case, those local roasters might actually know what they are doing. Oily bean is not a sign of better coffee or better roasting technique. Anyone can roast shiny beans by roasting to a higher temperature. At a higher temperature, at a stage known as second crack, oil liked substances that are within the bean move to beans surface. These oil liked substances are water soluble that give coffee the aroma and taste we love. It doesn't matter they are on the surface or are still within the bean, quality fresh roasted beans should all taste great. Generally speaking, a lighter roast give you more of the distinctive varietals flavors, a darker roast give you more of the bittersweet taste due to sugar carmelization. Too light you will have grassy sour coffee, too dark, you are drinking charcoal water. Anything in between is personal preference.
 

mrgnomer

New member
Jan 22, 2006
149
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Canada
richedie said:
I was chatting with a buddy tonight who is also a coffee nut like myself. He said he hasn't found any local roasters he likes due to the coffee all being dry, rather than shiny and slick with the natural oils. Is this a sign of better coffee or quality roasting? I haven't found that to be true because I use a lot of Torreo and La Colombe coffee out of Philadelphia and their coffees are rarely shiny and slick.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

I agree with what richedie says. From what I've read and experienced from home roasting, the roasting process can involve two stages.

First stage, or first crack, is reached when the bean loses enough moisture to pop, like pop corn. This is when the skin of the bean is shed as well. The bean loses mass but swells as well. The roasting can be stopped any time after this point to retain the bean's character. The beans should be brown but dry.

The next stage, if the beans continue to be heated, is second crack. At this stage the beans are roasted to the point where their cellular matrix breaks down and they crack again. At this point the oils in the beans begin to be released and might be seen coming to the surface. The sugars and other elements of the bean caramelize further to the point of burning/carbonizing. The beans are dark to black depending on how long you roast into second crack and the roast character dominates over the bean's character after a certain point.

Oily beans are a sign of roasting into second crack and not necessarily an indication of their quality or the quality of the roast. Personally I prefer to light roast quality beans to retain their character and I avoid going into second crack to the point of drawing out oils. That might be the philosophy of local commercial roasters as well. It's a matter of taste preference.
 

mrgnomer

New member
Jan 22, 2006
149
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Canada
Javamom said:
This was very informative!

I always thought dry beans werent "done"

Thanks for this!

Michelle

There's info on line about the roasting process and what happens to the the chemical make up of a bean as it roasts. As far as I know there are some elements of the bean you want to roast out while retaining other elements. These elements break down at different temperatures so the periods and level of heat you expose the beans to will determine the character in the cup.

Coffee beans are pretty complex and vary from varietal to varietal so what works for one bean might not work for another. Finally there's personal taste to consider so, as long as some bad tasting elements are roasted out, the rest is up to the creativity of the roaster.
 

topgourmetcoffee

New member
Nov 25, 2006
16
0
Fort Worth, Texas
The roast is definitely a personal preference

Whether you roast your coffee to a lite roast, medium roast or dark roast, it all is a personal preference of taste. That can vary depending on the type of bean - arabica or robusta. The quality of growing environment or location of where the coffee was grown plus the roaster and roastmaster are a big factor.

My advice for most newer gourmet coffee drinkers is find a good quality coffee roaster that can supply you with gourmet 100% arabica bean coffee grown in some of the best parts of the world. Find a coffee bean that has a description of the kind of flavor you normally enjoy or feel you might.

Then try it roasted to a lite roast, medium roast and dark roast. By comparing the same kind of quality coffee bean from the same coffee roaster is truly the only way to determine which type of roast your personal preference will be.

MHO anyway!
 

NW JAVA

New member
You say tomato-I say toadmoto..... I like dark and oily, drip and espresso. But, Also I roast therefore I never have to worry about the oils oxidizing and becoming bitter. My espresso stand uses more than 30 lbs a week, and I like the character of my calico blend, you got it, light and dark together.
 

coffeeroastersclub6

New member
Nov 30, 2006
27
0
Connecticut
richedie said:
I was chatting with a buddy tonight who is also a coffee nut like myself. He said he hasn't found any local roasters he likes due to the coffee all being dry, rather than shiny and slick with the natural oils. Is this a sign of better coffee or quality roasting? I haven't found that to be true because I use a lot of Torreo and La Colombe coffee out of Philadelphia and their coffees are rarely shiny and slick.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Not at all. The bottom line is that the darker the roast, the more shiny the beans will be due to increased extraction of the internal bean oils due to the longer roast.

Len
 

mrgnomer

New member
Jan 22, 2006
149
0
Canada
From what I know the 1st crack is due to a release of moisture in the bean as it goes through both an endothermic and exothermic reaction. The second crack is the breaking down of the cellular matrix of the bean which releases the oils that appear on the surface. A dark roast well into second crack looses the character of the bean and takes on the character of the roast. To preserve the character of the bean it's advised not to go too far into second crack if at all.
 

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