Roasting transforms green coffee into the aromatic brown beans that we purchase, either whole or already ground.
To ensure freshness, roasting is always done near the country of sale to the coffee drinker. All The East India Company’s coffee beans are roasted in London.
Where once it was a manual process using copper pans, roasting is now done in machines that maintain a temperature of about 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans are kept moving throughout the entire process to avoid burning and when they reach an internal temperature of about 400 degrees, they begin to turn brown and the caffeol, or oil, locked inside the beans begins to emerge. This process, called pyrolysis is at the very heart of roasting. It is what produces the specific complex flavours and aroma of the coffee we drink.
Expert roasters use their experience to stop the roast at the optimal time to achieve the required output.