Did you know that coffee beans are green?
Yes, coffee beans are not brown. It’s the roasting of the beans that makes it achieve its lovely shade of brown and those wonderful fragrances and aromas you smell along with the notes and acidity levels you taste when drinking that cup of coffee.
So what or whom should I say, gives this little green bean its profound characteristics?
The mighty roaster does. The roasting of the beans has more power than the brewing.
It is in the act of roasting that the flavours in the cup are shaped. The roaster manipulates the bean, to an extent (as it also depends on the type of bean). Some beans can be roasted longer, while others should be roasted to achieve their optimal flavour and avoid being burnt.
But it’s ultimately the roaster who holds the power. Through calculating different temperatures and timing, the roaster can take the green bean through the process that will determine its characteristics.
It’s amazing isn’t? That you, yes you, can wield the power and turn this humble green bean into something extraordinary that eventually brews into a damn good cup of coffee.
That is exactly what Juan Carlos did; he started roasting his own beans for his own use and pleasure. Now Juan Carlos runs a small coffee bean roasting production out of his home in Lima, Peru, which I had the pleasure of visiting.
Let me take you through my afternoon with Juan Carlos and share my experience of watching the whole coffee bean roasting process.
The food scene is changing. Not just in North America but all over the world. Take Peru for example; in the recent years it has gained some of the highest recognition in the world in terms of gastronomy excellence thanks to chefs and ambassadors like Gaston Acurio. Then you have restaurants like Central who have taken the core of Peruvian cuisine, transformed it and raised it to a higher level, quite literally.
It’s challenged our tradition and changed how the world saw our food and Peru itself. North American influences and trends like veganism, farm to table, slow food, and organic have reached some corners of Peru. You see districts like Miraflores, Barranco, San Isidro adopting them and mixing it with some Peruvian flare with the help of the millennial generation who are speaking up.
Peru is no longer the same as it was when I was nine years old. It has changed and evolved. Food is still at our core but the picture is bigger. I feel that now there is a bigger attention to ingredients, appreciation on agriculture, focus on health, and an adoption of a new style. It is influencing our food culture downright to the way we drink our coffee and have dessert.