Coffee Roasting Temperature Control

When it comes to roasting coffee beans, one of the most important yet underrated issues that you can face is dealing with temperature control during the roasting phase. The roasting process can be quite specific, and this can make it very hard – sometimes too hard – to get the job done. The skill that you need to get right is that of temperature control. If you can balance the temperature out, then you are going to be left with the correct kind of taste, texture and strength.

However, the wrong temperature can leave you with a less that enjoyable cup of coffee. Naturally, this will make it much harder to enjoy. If you want to really have total control over the roast, then it’s recommend that you spend some time getting used to the skill of charge temperature. If you can get used to this, then you can balance out any coffee from an espresso to a filter drink with the right kind of taste

Whether you are looking to try and work with a fruity blend of coffee, or you are chasing something that is of a more chocolatey taste, getting the temperature right is going to be very important. So, what is the hidden art of getting the temperature right when it comes to making a cup of coffee? What do you need to do if you want to get this right?

Why Charge Temperature Matters

The first aspect that you need to get right during the roasting process is the charge temperature. In fact, getting it wrong can actually be quite dangerous. For example, if you were to use too low a charge temperature, then you will find that the flavour of the drink is limited. It’ll lack the flavour and depth that we’d usually hope for. This will deeply limit the quality of your beverage, and usually will leave you with a taste that you simply cannot enjoy.

This happens because, if you’re too low with the charge temperature, then the energy cannot be generated quickly enough to help make the roast work out accordingly. If you spend too long letting the temperature build up due to it being low, then the heating up process takes longer than the roast itself. This means that you can be left with a flat and dour cup of coffee. The only reason that you would want to do this is if you want to minimize the acidity level of a cup of coffee. However, it takes a lot of work to get that timing right, and would not be recommended for beginners.

By the same token, though, going too high with the temperature is likely to burn the bean from the outside. This makes your coffee cup have a dour, dry and rather astringent taste. If you want to avoid this, it’s important that you take the time to appreciate the power of temperature regulation. What, then, should be the ideal balance?

Finding Optimal Charging Temperature

So, the issue that you need to look at is going to be finding the right quality of charge temperature. You will often find that the temperature range can be quite relative to the bean, which does make getting the exact time and temperature harder. It’s recommended that you consider the size of the drum, the location of the temperature probes and also the air temperature allowed towards your roaster as much as anything else. These all play small, but significant roles in getting the job done right.

For example, you might find that anything from 191-218C is more than enough for the process. Some people, though, go lower and stay in the 160-190C range. If you are based in a location with a naturally high and warm natural climate, then you will probably be better off starting with a lower range. Anything lower than 160C may be too low, however. 

Even the location of the room and the temperature inside the room can make a big difference. Try and always do your roasting indoors, and try to avoid roasting in an area where a wind draft could head through. The air outside will always fluctuate the temperature, which can have a negative impact on the charging temperature and the time that it will take for the beans to begin to crack.

For this reason, we recommend that you spend some more time looking at the right kind of roasting. There is no absolute temperature, and it’s important to always factor in the environment, the roaster used and the kind of beans you are roasting. It’s a little complex, but if you look up the kind of beans you are using specifically, you’ll find suggestions from others who have roasted them beforehand. 

Moisture Matters

Just quickly, too, with regards to moisture content. The higher the moisture content in your beans, the more time you need to allow for the drying process. This is achieved normally by using a lower down charge temperature. It’s a hard balancing act, but the higher the moisture count, the more trial and error is needed to find that sweet point between dying them out and avoiding the coffee beans from baking.

It’s always a hard thing to get right, but if you keep tall of this in mind you should be much more likely to get a coffee blend and consistency that you are happy with. 

Paul Mason

coffee blogger

Interested to know more about Hot Coffee? Got a question about our content or perhaps want to make a suggestion? The feel free to contact us today.

We’ll be more than happy to take a look at any comments, requests or queries that you may have. Thanks for your time, and we hope that your next cup of coffee that you enjoy is the best one that you’ve had, every time! 

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