Air Roasting at Raven's Brew Coffee®
Our commitment to quality at Raven’s Brew Coffee, Inc.® comes through embracing the challenging, cyclical nature of coffee harvests to achieve something elusive: consistent profiles in our coffee. Part of the process of delivering recognizable, high-quality coffee time after time is in the way we blend for profile. Another vital element is our fluid-bed air-roasting process.
Traditionally, commercial roasting is done in drum roasters. Heat is applied to a metal drum which, both through direct contact and via the hot air inside the drum, transfers the heat to the green coffee beans. A mechanical arm moves the coffee around within the drum, but the inconsistent temperatures between the internal air and the surface of the metal make it difficult to roast the beans evenly. This is true both in the process of individual roasts, and for continuity as the roaster is used throughout the day without the drum cooling entirely. Roasters often rely on observing the color of the beans to determine the roast level which, while skillful, is not a reliable indicator of consistent roasts.
With air roasting, we can achieve much more predictable results. Fluid-bed air-roasters lift the green coffee beans in a cyclone of hot air, and hot air is the only thing that touches the beans throughout the roast. When only one, controllable heat source is applied, the roast is predictably more even, resulting in precise results roast after roast. The even distribution of heat also helps to reduce acidity in the coffee.
Another bonus of air roasting is the ability to separate the chaff from the roasted beans; the dried skin of the coffee beans that comes off during the roast. Cleaning away this unwanted byproduct helps to create a cleaner, less bitter flavor. At Raven’s Brew® we take advantage of this to develop dark roasts with bold yet nuanced flavor.
Our founder, Michael Beech, originally began roasting commercially in 1992 on an 8-pound electric fluid-bed air roaster created by coffee visionary Michael Sivetz. Sivetz is credited with introducing air roasting to the commercial market, as well as advancing a newly scientific, technological approach to coffee roasting that opened new possibilities in the industry. The accuracy of the temperature readings with Sivetz’s new roasting machines allowed roasters to greatly improve quality and consistency, and his writing inspired and educated a generation of roasters.
Modern air roasters give us precise controls, automated functions and digital interfaces that allow the roaster to focus on creating the perfect roast curve. This is the name given to data representations of key information that professional roasters monitor for consistency in their roasts. Bean temperature, air temperature and the rate of temperature rise (amongst many other data points) can be monitored closely to reproduce the right roasting environment again and again. The Loring roasters that we use at Raven’s Brew Coffee® take the principles of air roasting and maximize their effect with detailed computer programming and engineering advancements. Smoke from the roast is burnt off by the roaster itself, eliminating the need for an afterburner. This removes unwanted flavor elements and reduces gas use. There are further gas efficiencies with the roaster itself, for a considerably reduced environmental impact compared to other roasters.
The aim is to keep producing the unique flavor experiences that our customers have come to love, time after time. Air roasting allows us to be confident that every pack of Raven’s Brew® coffee will be full of clean, vibrant flavor to pander to the personality of your palate.
Check out our air-roasted Pantheon of Liquid Bliss!