Why roast coffee beans?

In this short guide, we are going to answer the question “Why roast coffee beans?”. In addition, we will show you what roasting is and what happens in this process. Besides, we will show what types of roasting are.

Why roast coffee beans?

Coffee beans are roasted because it is in the roasting that the characteristic aroma and flavor of coffee are formed. During this process, numerous reactions occur in coffee, resulting in the formation and degradation of various compounds.

The color of roasted beans is due to reactions that occur due to the exposed temperature. The numerous volatile compounds formed give the wonderful smell of coffee.

What is the coffee roast process?

Coffee roast process is the process of transforming raw coffee into dry beans ready for grinding, creating a full-bodied, sweet, caramel-colored beverage with a complexity appreciated by any good coffee drinker. The roasting stage is, of course, fundamental to transforming coffee into the incredible drink it is.

How does the roasting happen?

The roasting happens from seven to fifteen minutes and varies the temperature of the beans from 180°C to 240°C. This process has three main phases: Pyrolysis, Caramelization and Finishing. Next, we will present each one, explaining its importance and effects on coffee and on the final result.

It is worth remembering that there are some changes for each coffee profile! 

In fact, before officially starting roasting, the first thing done is the roasting of a small sample, so that you can get to know the coffee profile and create a roast pattern that extracts the desired qualities of the beans.

Roasting is a science that manages to extract the best from coffee, being able to work with its most complex notes!

Okay, now yes: the raw coffee is placed in a large funnel at the top of the machine. It should have humidity between 11% and 12% at this stage. The smaller the amount, the greater the accuracy. 

The machine has a panel that indicates the internal temperature of the drum, air and grains. For the case studied, the roasting of a blend of Catucaí at 280°C, the green coffee was released into the machine.

As the coffee is at room temperature, the drum initially cools down as the beans begin to absorb heat. Every minute must be accompanied to have the perfect coffee at the end. On average, every minute, the temperature of the beans rises by 10°C.

What are the types of roasts?

The types of roast are light, medium and dark. Light roasting: this type of roasting makes the coffee softer, less bitter and more acidic. It is ideal for the coffee used in espresso machines. It can also be called light roast or Cinnamon (cinnamon).

Medium Roast: represents the balance between body, sweetness, bitterness and aroma. It gives a velvety touch to the coffee and is suitable for strained methods.

Dark Roast: as mentioned above, the faster the Finishing step, the more acidic the drink, as the acidity decreases over the minutes. The dark roast is appreciated for leaving the coffee with a bitter and flavorful touch. The more roasted beans release more essential oils and you can tell just by looking at the coffee, as they get shiny.

It is necessary, however, to be careful not to overcook it: the exaggerated roasting ends up burning the beans, while the very light roast does not enhance its qualities.

Commodity coffee is far from being pure like specialty coffee. That’s why the industries roast it too much, hiding the defects. The result is a very dark, bitter drink with a totally standard taste. To be able to drink, it is drunk very hot and with a lot of sugar.

The effects of drinking “burnt” coffee are not good for your health and can even cause heartburn. That’s why specialty coffees win!

Is it possible to roast coffee at home?

Yes, it is possible to roast coffee at home. Traditionally, coffee was roasted at home, in the heat of a wood stove. It is possible to find small producers who do this in cities in the interior using the “ball”, a kind of rotating pan.

We will leave here, however, a step-by-step guide on how to roast coffee at home. So, you can put into practice everything you learned in this post, exploring what you find most interesting about coffee!

First, the most obvious: you need the raw, green beans. It is available for purchase at specialty coffee shops. The options are many, so choose beans of good origin and study the characteristics of the variety.

A very important point that bears repeating: the less that is roasted at a time, the more control over the quality!

One of the most practical ways is using a popcorn pan. Leave on medium heat and stir the beans constantly with a wooden spoon, taking care not to burn them.

Note the gradual color change and aroma released at each step; It’s important to be around at all times. After the Second Crack of the beans, remove from the heat and transfer the coffee to another container that is at room temperature. This will make the heat dissipate more easily.

Then you can also add ingredients like orange zest, chocolate, cinnamon… whatever your creativity dictates! When it comes to coffee, the possibilities are endless

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

Which is Healthier – Black Coffee Or Coffee With Milk?

Why is Starbucks coffee so strong?

Why do people love coffee and beer?


In this short guide, we answered the question “Why roast coffee beans?”. In addition, we showed you what roasting is and what happens in this process. Besides, we showed what types of roasting are.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.