Coffee travels a long way before arriving at your breakfast table. Even after the growing, processing and transporting the beans are roasted and brewed by distinctive guidelines. Scroll down to take a closer look at what's going on behind the scenes.

  • Roasting

    Dry processed coffee seeds, "Green Beans", are heated in one of many ways. A pan could be used by placing the beans on a stovetop while stirring or shaking constantly. This would get pretty smoky in the kitchen though. People have converted popcorn makers and bread machines as a heating source that does all the stirring. A commercial roaster would have a large drum which either spins around above a burner or utilizes a heated airflow to roast the beans.

    The temperatures and timing of the roast will most certainly vary upon personal preference. Shorter roasts will be lighter and brighter tasting, while a longer roast will give you heavy smokey characteristics. The beans themselves ar transforming chemically due to the heat. The roasting begins around 400°F where sugars and acids begin to develop. A lower roasts allows these to remain, offering sharp or winey flavors. The dark roasts will burn off more of these, producing a deeper, smoother overall flavor.

  • Brewing

    This part of coffees journey may have more variance and experimentation then the roasting process. While camped out in the desert you could throw some grounds into boiling water to get hot cup of cowboy coffee (filter it in a sock if your the "City Slicker's" type). There are, perhaps, some more enjoyable options.

    A french press utilizes a metal screen on a plunger that squeezes the brew into a carafe. Arab or Turkish coffee uses a small copper ibriq to boil powdery coffee into a strong drink without any straining, leaving the sediment in the bottom. Espresso machines use high pressure to force steam through finely ground coffee to create a coffee extract. Automatic drip machines heat up a reservoir of water and pass it over a filter containing medium ground beans for a gravity drip system.

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