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Coffee roasting

Roasting machine and coffee beans

Before the coffee bean can be used to make coffee, it has to be roasted.

The roasting process changes the color of the green coffee beans. First they turn yellow and then brown. The longer they roast the darker they become. The strongest roasts result in black beans.

At the same time, the heat causes changes in the taste and smell of the beans. Aromatic oils are released that bring out the flavor of coffee.

In the nineteenth century, people roasted their coffee at home on their stoves or over open fires. Nowadays, the commercial coffee roasters use enormous ovens to roast the coffee.

Temperature and time are carefully controlled, sometimes by computers, because just a few seconds can dramatically change the final flavor of the coffee. The roasting can be done in just a minute.

In general, a light roast gives a mild taste, a medium roast produces a well–rounded, rich flavor and aroma and a high roast gives a strong, distinctive flavor.

Roasting brings out the coffee flavour

Roastiness is one of the three basic properties of coffee commonly checked by coffee tasters in coffee production. The other two are acidity and coffeeness.


Roastiness refers to the degree of roasting applied on the coffee beans. If you call a coffee ‘roasty’ you’re saying it has a bittersweet or smoky taste that it gets from being roasted. Too much roastiness tastes burnt.

Roasting is a critical part of coffee processing as it develops and brings out the full flavour and aroma of the bean. Proper roasting requires the right temperature and the right length of roasting time. Different varieties of beans also involve different levels of roasting.

For instance, Arabica beans should not be roasted too dark in order to preserve the original characteristics of the beans. On the other hand, increasing the roast would increase the bitterness. Roasting the coffee too dark would make the coffee too bitter.

Roasting coffee beans changes their colour and flavour

There are many names for the different kinds of roast, but they generally fall under these four broad categories:

A light roast gives a mild taste. It is often used with the best quality beans because it respects the original taste. The lightest is called Light Cinnamon.

A typical medium roast will have more body and less acidity than a light roast. Also known as American Roast. A City Roast is slightly darker.

A full roast is darker, full-bodied, with a well-developed aroma. A Full City Roast is strong, but not as strong as Viennese Roast which is rich brown in color and slightly oily.

High roasts are stronger, their smoky-sweet flavor can also be bitter. French Roast beans are almost black. In the so-called Italian Roast, the bean is caramelized, black and oily.

With over seventy years of accumulated knowledge in coffee-making,  NESCAFÉ has long mastered the roasting procedure to perfection.

The expert NESCAFÉ roasters  use computer-guided roasting machines to ensure consistency in the quality of the roasted beans.

In fact, this important process is one of the most fundamental parts in producing the flavorful taste and rich aroma of NESCAFÉ coffees.

During roasting, the coffee beans expand and change in color. They turn to yellow once they absorb heat and then to brown as the beans lose their water content.

The beans turn darker as they release their oils, giving the coffee its flavor.

After roasting, the beans are ground and brewed. Then they are turned into soluble coffee and packed in jars and sachets for millions of coffee drinkers to enjoy.

One of our darkest roasts is NESCAFÉ Black Gold. To give it its unique profile, we blend mainly Arabicas with Robustas to give intensity and then dark roast them to achieve the deep, full-bodied strength we’re aiming for. The intense taste has rich, toasted notes that are beautifully balanced with a rounded smoothness.


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