Roasted Beans – a combination of Science and Art. There are many factors that affect the taste of a cup of coffee. Obviously, there is the quality of the beans, how they are harvested, how they are processed, transported and delivered to the roaster. We rely on our relationships with farmers, brokers and suppliers for the quality of the beans up until we receive them. Once they are received into our roastery in Newport Tipperary, it is up to our team to store them in an optimumal environment, taking into consideration temperature and humidity levels.
At Ponaire we roast all our coffees to a profile – a step-by-step method of roasting and controlling the variables of heat, air and time in order to achieve a desired taste profile. By following and managing this rigorous methodology, we can produce the same excellent speciality coffees week after week for our clients.
When roasted there is a chemical reaction (Maillard caramelization) that occurs and brings out the natural sweetness in the coffee beans. Under roasted or very lightly roasted coffee – (which was a short-lived trend) produces less carbon-dioxide, less cremá, less aromatic lipids, and less aroma. The coffee may initially taste more fruity but the taste is also quite flat and sour (or peanutty, or grassy) with little body.
At the other extreme, over-roasted or very dark roasted coffee produces too much carbon-dioxide, lots of aroma but the coffee tastes bitter and burned. The beans of darkly roasted coffees are often oily and this oil can leave a rancid taste to a coffee.
In order to optimize the natural flavours of speciality beans that we source from around the world, Ponaire roasts only to first crack (when the internal heat of the beans causes expansion and the beans begin to open) – just as the Maillard caramelization process begins to develop the natural sweetness. There is science to properly roasting coffee, but there is an art to knowing when and how to change the variables even slightly. By practicing this art a seasoned roaster can produce amazing and surprising flavours.