A casual coffee drinker might not often consider the role heat and chemical reactions play in the final taste, body, and aroma of their morning cup of Joe. In addition to the long excursion coffee undergoes from the harvest to the roaster—from the hands of coffee pickers, to traversing continents and international borders—there is an entire other process necessary before that coffee is ready for drinking. It is in this other process that as coffee roaster manufacturers, the San Franciscan Roaster Company plays a direct role in how your coffee tastes.
All of our roasters are constructed with American parts and the highest American craftsmanship for durability and functionality. At the same time, their architecture is inspired by a profound understanding of the roasting process and what is needed to provide the hands working the machine as much versatility as possible. From our smaller machine (the SF-1) to our biggest model (SF-75), they are all equipped for the highest quality control.
A Delicate Alchemy
Without heat, roasting a spectrum of aromatic coffees would not be possible. Roasting is a kind of delicate alchemy; the process turns the green coffee bean into the desired and fragrant brown bean with varying profiles and characteristics that all coffee lovers seek.
The roast profile depends on two things: the roaster and the roastmaster. Without a well-designed machine that allows for variance and control, the person roasting will have a difficult time managing their desired profile.
- Drying phase: The journey for the green coffee beans begins with the heating of the drums. This phase lasts a few minutes and requires careful oversight to avoid burning or scorching the beans.
- The Browning phase: At this point in the journey the main chemical reactions occur. Enter the Maillard Reaction. You may not have heard of the term, but you’ve likely witnessed the Maillard reaction when you’ve cooked anything from toast to a piece of steak. It refers to the chemical process that occurs when heat is applied and stirs the proteins (or acids) and sugars to create a new compound. This is what creates the browning in steak and, similarly, in coffee. Timing is also a big component during this phase as the roastmaster can control the time and thus the release of aromas and flavors in the bean.
- The Cracks/Development: As the process continues the beans will reach their breaking point. Here the exothermic expressions (triggered at certain temperatures) manifest through cracking and the beans release heat allowing the oils to break through the surface and creating their flavor profiles. The roastmaster will encounter the “first crack” which indicates a light roast. From here forward, the roastmaster will dictate whether they want a light, medium, or dark roast by controlling the time and temperature. As the beans roast longer, the flavor will shift from fruity and sweet flavors to bitter and more hardy or nutty flavors of a dark roast.
The San Franciscan Design
Our roasters use an optimized drum design. This means the coffee beans are rotated on the drum and heated from the outside. Our single-walled drums have calculated wall thickness that provides direct heat. This offers added command in the use of conductive and convective heat and allows control of airflow.
All of our machines come with temperature probes that measure the temperature and bean mass inside the drum. This way you can calculate the internal temperature of the beans and the moisture lost. The data is then displayed on a meter in real time, providing the roastmaster with precise information to craft their roast. San Franciscan roasters are compatible with most data-logging software for coffee roasting that allows for meticulous measurements and parameters.
The Culture of Creativity
Creating roasting profiles is an art and a science, as it requires creativity and experimentation based on an established chemical process. It demands a fundamental understanding of this exothermic journey that a coffee bean undergoes. Our specialized machinists understand all of this and translate their knowledge and expertise into practical engineering and a highly functional design. Our machines are the best equipped and most successfully crafted tools for the process and designed for this exploration.
Harness The Raw Beauty of Coffee with Your San Franciscan Roaster
Good coffee is valuable. Not because it is a desired commodity, but because it is the product of a large chain of human effort, labor, tradition, and artistry. The delicate alchemy that happens inside the roaster is a carefully studied science that roastmasters everywhere exercise in order to find the perfect roast. The San Franciscan Roaster Company is an American coffee roaster manufacturer that has mastered design and perfected construction to provide roastmasters across the globe with the most effective and best looking tool for their craft.