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Roasting coffee beans

Roasting coffee transforms the chemical and physical properties of green coffee beans. When roasted, the green coffee bean expands to nearly double its original size, changing in color and density.

As the bean absorbs heat, its color shifts to yellow, then to a light "cinnamon" brown, and then to a rich dark brown color. During roasting, oils appear on the surface of the bean. The roast will continue to darken until it is removed from the heat source.

Coffee can be roasted with ordinary kitchen equipment (frying pan, grill, oven, popcorn popper) or by specialised appliances. A coffee roaster is a special pan or apparatus suitable to heat up and roast green coffee beans.

The degree of roast has an effect upon coffee flavor and body. Darker roasts are generally bolder because they have less fiber content and a more sugary flavor. Lighter roasts have a more complex and therefore perceived stronger flavor from aromatic oils and acids otherwise destroyed by longer roasting times. Roasting does not alter the amount of caffeine in the bean, but does give less caffeine when the beans are measured by volume because the beans expand during roasting.

Decaffeination may also be part of the processing that coffee seeds undergo. Seeds are decaffeinated when they are still green. Many methods can remove caffeine from coffee, but all involve either soaking the green seeds in hot water (often called the "Swiss water process") or steaming them, then using a solvent to dissolve caffeine-containing oils. Decaffeination is often done by processing companies, and the extracted caffeine is usually sold to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Water filtration makes for a tastier brew and is essential for keeping machines working properly. See our Brita filtration products.

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