Tostatura Caffè | Roasting Days

 

In Fiorilli Caffè we roast the coffees twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

If you order from Monday to Wednesday until 00.00, the coffee will be roasted and packed on Thursday and shipped on Friday. If instead you order from Thursday to Sunday until 00.00, the roasting will take place on Monday and the shipment will start on Tuesday.

If coffee is one of the most used drink in the world, we can not say the same about Special Coffees because not so many people know about this unique coffees.
As Italians, we know coffee as espresso, in a small cup and in a modest amount. American people prefer it in a big cup, long and less concentrated. But coffee is not just that, it is a lot more.

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Following the roasting of the Special Coffee green beans is not so easy as it seems. It’s not a repetitive and automatic operation, on the contrary it’s an important moment when the difference is made by the machine but also by the hand of the operator.
The commodity, the Special Coffees, are not all the same and, having different origins with different characteristic, they will have shades and aromas always different.

 

Roasting profiles: the main details for a Special Coffee

Inside the roasting process of Special Coffees, there are “roasting profiles”, indicating the importance of two fundamental variables: Time / Temperature.
If we report roasting time and temperature on a diagram, crossing data minute by minute we will have a profile that will be useful in the roasting phase of our Special Coffee and that, of course, will change according to the Speciality Coffees variety.

tostatura artigianale | caffe speciale

 

The “test” and the artisan roasting of a Speciality Coffee

A Speciality Coffee roasted with artisan work needs a “test”. Before the roasting phase, the Artisan Master roasts a small quantity of coffee to find the ideal temperature and time of the roasting process. An important moment, because it allows to find the right roasting profile to intensify Speciality Coffee features. To do that, it is necessary to taste the selected coffee, to confirm or not the used roasting standards.
Roasting temperature can reach 300 degrees, a high value, and there are no rules about the flame level, the process duration or the temperature if not related to each Speciality Coffee, after roasting a small quantity.
So, also during the roasting, a Special Coffee does not take chances, every decision is not casual but the result of conscious choices based on tests, experience on the product and on the commodity behavior.

tostatura artigianale | speciality coffee

 

Artisan roasting and a cup of real Special Coffee

How does the roasting process influence a cup of Special Coffee?
An artisan roasting is fundamental to taste the real aroma of a Speciality Coffee. In fact, without an artisan work it is not possible to check that union of time and temperature, a distinctive factor of Special Coffees. Thanks to craftsmanship and dexterity, the commodity reveals authentically its properties, always different. On the contrary, the standardisation of the working process will bring to a product that takes no account of shades and originality of Special Coffees.

caffe speciali | tostatura artigianale

I Special Coffees are excellent products that can be described as the perfect mix of several important factors. Their rarity and supply difficulties are a direct testimony, because Special Coffees’ peculiarity is not attributable to an isolated aspect, but it comes from the whole circle of life that respects the commodity, from cultivation to packaging to the extraction method.

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Talking about Special Coffees needs knowledge, an overview on coffee extraction methods is necessary because even a small change in the method can have a strong impact on the taste. In fact all the attention in the processes before the tasting phase of a Speciality Coffee (seeding, harvest, drying, artisan work, grinding) can be lost because of an incorrect or inaccurate extraction.
The main principle is that not everything that comes from coffee (also high-quality coffee) has good flavour. And a good extraction can intensify aroma and flavour.
Experts say that a good cup of coffee contains 18-22% of coffee weight used for extraction. And the coffee strenght is the percentage of coffee in the water: the higher the percentage is, the “stronger” the coffee is.
degustazione caffe speciali | estrazione speciality_coffee

Brewing Systems and Special Coffee

Brewing Systems are brewing methods, little known and used in Italy. They intensify aroma and flavour of a Special Coffee, creating a timeless and fascinting atmosphere.
As brewing systems we recall:

  • French press: underestimate method that uses a coffee maker with a glass inside, where you put a lid with a piston, with a retinal filter to obtain ground coffee, separating the liquid from the bottom.
  • Pour-over coffee: it is called “pour-over” as it describes different brewing methods, alike in that the brewing happens with percolation, where water passes through the filter containing our particular coffee, giving off aroma and flavour.
  • Electric coffee maker with filter: its value is repeatability, but you have to choose a good quality one to intensify coffee characteristics.
  • Aeropress: it is a cheap, long-lasting and even portable method! It is a plastic pipe with a piston, perfect to quickly compress the contents.
  • Moka: invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, it is the extraction method most used by Italians; the taste of the resulting coffee is intense and bitter and it recalls the one obtained by espresso method.
  • Syphon: fascinating method that recalls an alchemist because of its glass ampule where water boils, it is characterised by two glass elements, overlapped but separated by a filter. It needs experience and dedication, important characteristics of a special coffee.

caffe speciali estrazione | degustazione speciality coffee

No Brewing System: Espresso also for Special Coffees

It’s the coffee extraction method more used in Italy, altough all over the world it is know as “the better way to drink coffee”. It is used also for Special Coffees with a roasting and grinding different from the brewing extraction method.
From the name you can easily understand the “fast” nature of this method: in about 25 seconds you can have an espresso.
It is different from the other methods because it needs a high water pressure and a temperature that doesn’t reach the boiling point.
The coffee is made for percolation and not for brewing.
estrazione caffe speciale | espresso speciality coffee

The plants from where Speciality Coffees come from are Rubiaceae family, that has 4.500 types, in which 60 are part of the Coffea kind.
In these 60 types, about 25 are more commen and marketed, and in these 25 4 have a special place in the coffee and Speciality Coffee market:

  • la Coffea Arabica
  • la Coffea Canephora (Robusta)
  • la Coffea Liberica
  • la Coffea Excelsa

In particular, Arabica and Canephora (Robusta) are cultivated with business purpose and that’s why they represent the 99% of the world production,

specie caffe speciali | varieta speciality coffee

Arabica and Special Coffees

In the world of coffees and Special Coffees there are several types of Arabica, most of which are cultivated in Ethiopia and South Africa; just a small part is cultivated outside Africa, particularly in Yemen.
From this family there are 3 branches:

  • Typica: it is considered the original one and from it other types have been selected; the fruits are usually red and the quality of the drink is excellent. It is cultivated particularly in Brazil, Colombia and Central America.
  • Bourbon:it comes from Réunion (a Madagascar island originally called Bourbon) and the strenght of the plant and the number of the flowers allow a better productivity than Typica. The beans are small and excellent with an abundant productivity.
  • Heirloom: thousands of plant varieties, some of them not catalogued yet, grow spontaneously and they are often classified as Ethiopian Heirloom.

Some mutations came from each of them, catalogued as species:

  • From TypicaJava, Sumatra, Maragogype;
  • From Bourbon SL28, SL34, Caturra, Moka, Villa Sarchi, Pacas;
  • From Heirloom Geisha/Gesha, la Kaffa.

varieta caffe speciali | speciality coffee
Also Canephora or Robusta in world of Speciality Coffee

Commercially, the term Robusta prevailed on Canephora: anyway it is the type of coffee that are not Arabica but they are also in the world of Special Coffees and not. In fact Arabica and Robusta give birth together to the world of coffee blend, where different types are mixed together.
The main characteristic of C. Canephora, different from C. Arabica, is the resistance to diseases. That’s why from 20th century the plantation of Canephora is spread in hot and humid climate areas, even if that coffee is less scented and precious than Arabica.
Coffea Canephora comes from the lowland of Tropical Africa (Uganda, Congo, the Gulf of Guinea), it is a high plant with big leaves, quite small fruits and a good productivity.

caffe speciali varieta | speciality coffee specie

Special Coffees from hybrids and crossbreeds

Hybrids are obtained by the graft of plant varieties from Arabica and Robusta, such as:

  • l’Hibrido de Timor,
  • l’Icatu
  • l’Arabusta.

Crossbreeds are obtained by a graft of several varieties of Arabica, such as:

  • Mundo Novo (Sumatra+Bourbon)
  • Catuai (Mundo Novo+Caturra)
  • Pacamara (Pacas+Maragogype).

In Speciality Coffee the production process starts a few hours after the harvest, that happens after a careful selection to identify the beans at full maturity. That’s why quality is preserved: the process influences irretriavably on the final result and that’s essential for a Special Coffee.
The way the beans are worked depends on the choices of the Special Coffee producer and also on the geographic location.
Essentially, there are 2 different production methods:

  • dry or natural treatment
  • wet treatment

But they share the same target: to get the beans ready for the dry mill.

speciality coffee | processo lavorazione

Dry or wet treatment and Speciality Coffee

The dry or natural treatment is the oldest method, where the coffee beans are eased down to dry in the sun; they will be constantly turn over for a homogeneuos drying.
The procedure gives to the beans aromas the can be excellent or even unpleasant, if insufficient attention is paid.
Being a method that does not need water resources, it is used a lot in the places with limited water access, such as in Ethiopia and in Brazil.
The beans need about 2 weeks to complete the drying: they lose their bright colour and they wilt.
Speciality Coffees can be worked also with a wet treatment, that helps the bean to lose the peel before it dries out.
The coffee beans (sometimes it is not paid attention to their level of maturity) are immersed in water to help the removal of the external layer of the peel. The mucilage covers the beans that are stuffed in tanks, according to their weight.
Now the manufacturing process of Caffè Speciali branches, creating another distinction:

  • the wet process continues with the fermentation until the separation of the mucilage, then a washing, total removal of the pulp and drying;
  • the hybrid process does not need fermentation but the drying of the beans for about 7-12 days.

lavorazione speciality coffee | caffe speciali

Selection: division between Special Coffee and conventional coffee.

Now Special Coffee beans converge into a sorting machine (a dry mill) that removes the external layer of the bean and the silver surface below. Through an optical sensor, the machine separates the beans for their colour shades.
Best quality coffee beans, still green, are selected for Special Coffees, while low-to-middle quality beans are meant for the large scale market.

caffe speciali | lavorazione processo