How is your coffee roasted? This is often a question asked either by customers, prospective customers, or competitors. I would like to say it is lovingly roasted by 2 guys in a shed with tattoos, handlebar moustaches, skinny jeans, no socks with impeccable sensory awareness. Men with 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. At Hessian Coffee we are extremely proud of the fact we use a commercial roaster and don’t feel the need to pretend we are something other.
The roasting process
The roasting process is something that needs your undivided attention. Attention that is required 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.
So it begins with the green coffee beans (the coffee plant seed) arriving in large Hessian coffee sacks. They come from whichever part of the world it is grown (always between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn). As seeds, the green coffee will not deteriorate and it is the process of roasting that unlocks the flavour and aroma from the cells. This gives us coffee beans as we know them. Before these little green beans can enter the oven, they are always quality checked for defects or any foreign bodies that may have entered the sacks during harvest or transportation. Next, small batch samples are roasted and cupped to ensure they meet our quality requirement.
Coffee roasting takes time
Roasting takes around 15 minutes at temperatures of between 200 – 230 degrees C. During this time the beans will expand and “crack”. This cracking is fundamental in the process as it allows the aroma and flavours to develop. If the beans pass 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 for their years of experience, quality controls and state of the art roasting technology.
Once roasted to our recipe they are cooled. Cooling is critical as you don’t want to continue cooking the beans. Lighter roast 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.
It’s about the balance
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 coffee in it. Next they get thermally sealed with a valve to ensure any additional de-gassing can take place. Lastly they are lovingly hand packed in our bespoke boxes ready for shipping.
Our Coffee beans in either single origin, arabica blends or mixed blend, are roasted specifically for the Hessian Coffee brand. By using the finest grade green coffee every time and it is our policy to trade in an ethical, environmental and socially responsible manner.
It’s 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 other guys to get on with what they are good at!