Green Coffee Vs Roasted Coffee? To say the least, I found the whole procedure intimidating when I first started roasting my coffee beans at home. It’s enough to make your mind spin when it comes to special equipment, coffee kinds, and roast degrees. But now that I’m a seasoned roaster, I’ve realized that the easiest approach to grasp this process is to simplify it as much as possible. Let’s start at the beginning: what are the distinctions between green coffee vs roasted coffee?
Green coffee beans are unroasted coffee beans. Green coffee beans are unroasted, while light to dark brown coffee beans have been roasted. While green beans can be used to make coffee, the flavor is woody, acidic, and unpleasant when compared to coffee made with roasted beans.
While you probably wouldn’t brew a cup of coffee with green coffee beans, the quality of green beans does matter. If you want to start roasting coffee at home, you’ll need to know what happens to your beans during the roasting process and what constitutes an excellent unroasted bean. If you’re intrigued, keep reading!
What Is the Difference Between Green and Roasted Coffee?
The roasting process is almost magical. Coffee beans aren’t particularly appealing in their natural state. They’re tough, harsh, acidic, and generally unpleasant to eat. When raw coffee is roasted, however, chemical reactions occur inside the beans, revealing previously hidden flavors.
The inherent sugars in coffee beans begin to oxidize when exposed to heat, resulting in a process known as caramelization. Caramelization brings out the sweet, nutty flavors that are generally associated with a good cup of coffee. It’s also responsible for the dark brown color of roasted coffee beans. However, caramelization is not the only thing that happens during roasting.
Green coffee beans have a harsh, acidic flavor due to the high acid content of coffee. Coffee beans’ acidity begins to mellow and become more balanced when roasted, resulting in a significantly more agreeable taste.
The more acid is pulled out of the beans and the more caramelization occurs, the longer they are roasted.
You could believe that the goal is to eliminate as much acidity as possible, but hold your horses! Not all acids found in coffee beans are harmful. The flowery, fruity, complex flavors found in raw coffee beans are due to a combination of acids. Caramelization, on the other hand, gives your beans a deep, full-bodied flavor, but too much can result in a bitter, burnt flavor.
It helps me to conceive of roasting as a process of striking the ideal balance between the natural flavors of the coffee bean and the flavors provided during roasting. Finding the “perfect” balance is absolutely subjective, but that’s part of what makes roasting so enjoyable!
Green Coffee Vs Roasted Coffee: Major Differences
|Light to Dark Brown
|Lower acid the darker the roast
|Bitter & Woody
|Complex (nutty, flowery, smoky, caramelly)
How to Pick the Right Green Beans
It takes more than just dumping any old raw bean into the roaster to make high-quality roasted beans. It’s important to remember that you can’t boil quality into beans. If you want to make outstanding coffee, start with the best unroasted beans you can find. The question is, how can you tell if a coffee bean is of great quality?
When buying green coffee, the first thing to look for is homogeneity. Beans of varying sizes may roast unevenly, resulting in a flavor that is unexpected. Smaller beans burn more quickly than larger ones, potentially destroying your coffee!
Raw coffee can be stored for up to 18 months under optimum conditions. Green beans that are older than that quickly lose their flavor. Always check the harvest date when hunting for green coffee beans. If it’s been more than 18 months, don’t waste your time unless you want bland coffee.
Green beans frequently have information on the bag indicating how the beans were handled after harvesting. This information is crucial for determining what flavor to expect from the beans, but the nomenclature might be confusing. Here are some commonly used phrases and their definitions:
Dry Processed: The coffee plant’s fruit is sun-dried with the coffee beans still inside in this old-school manner. These beans have a delicious, chocolaty flavor with a trace of fermentation. To preserve the delicate fruity aromas, they respond best to gentler roasting processes.
Washed: This is the most prevalent method of coffee bean processing. It means that after processing, the coffee bean is removed from the fruit and promptly transferred to a holding tank to remove any remaining pulp. Washed beans have a fresh, light, and tangy flavor. Washed beans are the way to go if you want a more regular, predictable coffee flavor.
Single Source: As you might expect, this is coffee from a single origin. This means you can expect a constant flavor regardless of the country or environment. The better the label, the more specific it is. You’ll know exactly what to expect in terms of coffee flavor if you can see the exact location of the farm where the beans were harvested.
How can you determine which unroasted coffee is right for you, is a question I’m frequently asked. While the variety of possibilities can be intimidating, choosing your ideal coffee does not have to be. Consider what kinds of tastes you want in your roasted beans. Finding raw beans that fit that flavor profile is as easy as reading the bag descriptions once you’ve narrowed down the answer. Flavor descriptors are common on high-quality raw coffee beans.