It can be quite a challenging task to find a more popular drink in the world than coffee. The secret key to the popularity of this miraculous drink is simple: rich taste, incredible aroma, invigorating effect, and health benefits.
But what can make your drink even more delicious and healthy? The answer is as clear as day: high-quality roasting and fresh beans. Now let’s figure out what happens during the breathtaking process of coffee roasting. While being roasted, coffee beans undergo a number of chemical reactions. All the occurring processes can be grouped into three main stages:
- 1) moisture evaporation — the liquid present in beans almost completely evaporates (with only 3% remaining), beans become lighter and more porous;
- 2) chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars (starts at a temperature of ~100°C) — essential oils are released; coffee starts to acquire its specific taste and distinctive brown colour;
- 3) caramelization (~170°C) — this process gives rise to a specific aroma emission (chocolate, caramel, spice, walnut, etc.).
And what happens next? Can freshly roasted coffee be drunk right away? Easy does it! If you make coffee from freshly roasted beans, it will taste strange and inexpressive, you can even feel a peculiar burning flavour. In order for coffee to finally become that very aromatic and rich drink, it should be let stand for a few more days.
The reactions that are set going inside the beans during roasting continue even after its completion. In that way, the process of degassing takes place for several more days — meaning that beans emit several liters of carbon dioxide on a daily basis. At the same time, it is necessary to immediately limit the contact of freshly roasted coffee with oxygen, since such an interaction gives a start to oxidative processes that are detrimental to beans.
But when exactly are freshly roasted beans ready to be brewed? Well, depending on coffee variety, different recommendations are given in regard to this issue. Anyway, the minimum time period that must pass from roasting to brewing lies within the timespan of 12-24 hours. But more often this period lasts for several days. It should be also noted that not all oxidative processes have a detrimental effect on coffee beans — sometimes the destruction of some characteristics is absolutely necessary for completeness and richness of taste. That is why there are no precise and rigid recommendations for roasting. It is crucial to find a balance of taste and aroma for each particular coffee variety. And only the experience of a roaster can come to the rescue here.
Now that we have gained detailed insight on roasting, let’s move on to the main question: what exactly are the benefits of freshly roasted coffee?
- Exceptional taste.
Freshly roasted coffee contains more than 1000 different flavour components, and it is twice as much as wine does (the product that is second-best in the taste complicity).
As you have probably already understood from all the above, the taste of coffee degrades rather quickly, becomes inexpressive and any brewed drink starts to taste bitter. Only fresh roasting and proper storage can guarantee the complexity and brightness of coffee flavour. Remember: all the palate fullness of coffee is stored in its essential oils, and these oils evaporate very quickly when in contact with external environment or while grinding.
- Distinctive aroma.
Believe me, if you smell both freshly roasted coffee and coffee that is at least a few months old, you will notice the difference right away. And this is not to mention the fact that intense, but at the same time pleasant aroma of fresh coffee potently invigorates your body and stimulates the production of endorphins — the famous “happy hormones”.
- Health benefits.
Freshly roasted coffee contains a lot of nutrients that improve health, have a beneficial effect on digestive system, and strengthen immune system.
Coffee berries contain a high level of antioxidants as well — it is even higher than in blueberries or pomegranates (both of these fruits are famous for their significant content of antioxidants). Freshly roasted coffee beans can maintain a fairly high level of these useful substances, but with the passage of time, they all evaporate along with essential oils.
Thus, the fresher the coffee — the more benefits and liveliness it brings, improving your well-being and mood! I hope that after reading this article you no longer have any doubts about which coffee to drink;)
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