When most people choose to buy coffee beans, they buy them in the form they are used to: roasted to a dark color and vacuum sealed for later use. At Pearl Lemon Cafe you can buy all kinds of coffee beans this way, which allows you to brew great coffee at home, as the very best coffee is that which is crafted using grounds that just came from the grinder.
An increasing number of people, however, are looking to buy unroasted coffee beans. Understanding why they might be choosing to do so, the baristas at Pearl Lemon Cafe can also help our customers buy unroasted coffee beans.
If you don’t have any experience with unroasted coffee beans, you are probably wondering why anyone would buy unroasted coffee beans. However, if you read on, you’ll find out, and may be so intrigued that you’ll want to buy unroasted coffee beans yourself, which you can do at Pearl Lemon Cafe’s vibrant Fulham coffee shop location, or online, as a part of one of our convenient and completely customisable coffee subscriptions.
The ‘raw’ state of unroasted coffee beans is very different to the hard, brown beans most of us are used to seeing when we buy a bag of coffee beans. They have a green tint and are sometimes referred to as a ‘green coffee bean’ or even a ‘coffee cherry’.
These unroasted beans are indeed the fruit of the coffee tree, which has been “processed” or separated but not yet roasted. They contain all the fabulous flavor and taste potential of the coffee they can be used to create, just in its rawest form.
Typically, these unroasted coffee beans are quickly roasted to create the standard coffee bean product you are used to. The roasting process uses extreme heat to bring out the coffee’s characteristics and aromas by altering its chemical and mineral makeup. During this process, the moisture content of the coffee beans is also reduced.
Roasted coffee beans can have all kinds of flavours, ranging from chocolatey, flowery, caramelly, and fruity, with an aromatic nutty smell. The taste will depend on the roasting technique; the roasting process also reduces the beans’ weight by reducing their moisture content. Roasted beans also often have a higher caffeine content than unroasted beans.
When people buy unroasted coffee beans from us at Pearl Lemon Cafe they are usually doing so for one of two reasons: either to roast the beans themselves at home or to consume them in the form of green coffee, a newer subgenre of modern coffee culture that is becoming increasingly popular.
Green coffee has a milder, lighter flavor than regular coffee, and when correctly brewed, it has a slight thickness. Some people compare it to herbal tea or describe it as “grassy,” but it’s not the same. In addition, it contains more acidity than roasted coffee.
Coffee made from raw green beans likewise lacks the appearance of “coffee.” It’s usually a light amber color, with a hint of green on rare occasions.
However, these are simply minor distinctions. For many people, the most important question is whether roasted and green coffee have the same biochemical qualities, at least in terms of health and therapeutic benefits. They don’t, as it turns out.
The biggest reason that green coffee is being buzzed about in health and wellness circles is that it contains large quantities of an important antioxidant that roasting coffee beans reduces significantly.
Chlorogenic acids are chemicals found naturally in coffee beans. Blueberries, tomatoes, and aubergines all contain these acids, but coffee has higher levels than any of them.
Chlorogenic acid and one of its metabolites, caffeic acid (no relation to coffee), have been shown to have antioxidant properties. The presence of these acids is thought to be responsible for many of coffee’s health benefits.
But something strange happens when you roast coffee beans. As they gain more flavor, their chlorogenic acid levels drop dramatically.
To put it another way, green coffee is healthier than roasted coffee because unroasted coffee beans contain considerably more of the chemicals associated with medical and well being advantages, which may include reducing blood pressure and high cholesterol, improving brain function, and, according to some, losing weight.
The chances are that even if you have never done so yourself, you know someone who brews their own beer, or makes their own wine. Both have been popular hobbies for decades, and the results can be uniquely satisfying, from both a taste and personal achievement point of view.
So maybe it was inevitable, as coffee culture has exploded across the UK, that folks would become interested in the idea of ‘roasting their own’ to create their own unique coffee bean blends. And to do so, you have to buy unroasted coffee beans first!
Roasting your own small batches of coffee beans at home is, technically, easier than you might think. Really all you will need is a good roasting utensil, a hot flame, and patience.
Coffee roasters spend years honing their skills, therefore it may take a long time for you to achieve consistent results. Learning how to roast coffee beans might be a tedious process if you have extremely sensitive taste buds and only want to drink the best. If you’re prepared to tinker a little and put up with a few batches of unevenly roasted beans, though, you might find this practice to be extremely rewarding.
When selecting unroasted beans, there are four primary factors to consider. These are all important aspects in determining how your unroasted bean will taste after roasting.
Origin: The environment in which a coffee bean is cultivated has an impact on its ultimate flavor and aroma; these characteristics include humidity, climate, and soil.
Coffee Bean Variety: Coffee species and varieties, the genetic category below species, have a considerable impact on the final brewed product. There are a LOT of coffee bean varieties out there, so you will be faced with many choices here.
Growing Altitude: Higher altitudes result in colder temperatures, allowing the green coffee bean to grow at a slower rate and develop its sugar content more slowly. As a result, coffee beans cultivated at higher elevations have more sweetness, more complex flavor profiles, and higher acidity levels than those grown at lower, warmer altitudes.
When looking at altitudes, keep in mind that different countries/regions will have varying temperatures.
Coffee Bean Processing: The process of separating the coffee beans from the coffee fruit is known as processing. There are three basic approaches to this, each with its own set of outcomes. Dry/natural processing, wet/washed processing, and honey processing are the three basic methods of bean processing.
At Pearl Lemon Cafe we spend a great deal of time ensuring that all of the coffee products we offer – from that exquisite espresso so many of our customers rely on us to brew up for them every morning to the unroasted coffee beans we sell – are of the highest possible quality.
We also invest lots of time into seeking out coffee beans from all over the world. Our parent company, Pearl Lemon, is a globally-based concern, so it makes a lot of sense that our coffees come from all over the world too. It’s fair to say that we have ‘coffee scouts’ in all kinds of places!
Whatever the reason you want to buy unroasted coffee beans, we’ll be happy to oblige. If you are in town, pop into our Fulham cafe and let our expert baristas help you choose the best unroasted coffee beans for you. Or contact us to have them added to one of our coffee subscriptions.