Air Roasting vs Drum Roasting: What You Need To Know

Coffee Rosting

If you’ve read our article on air roasting coffee beans, then you’re probably curious about how it compares to other roasting methods. It’s best to understand how roasting methods differ to see what makes each roasting method special. This is easier said than done as not everyone is knowledgeable about roasting methods. 

To help you out with this, we’ve prepared a brief article on how air roasting is different from another roasting method. Considering that drum roasting is one of the most common roasting methods, it should be a good barometer of how different air roasting is. If this is something that you want to learn more about, read on as we discuss everything you need to know about air roasting and drum roasting.

Roasting Temperature

Roasting temperature is one of the most important aspects of the entire roasting process. The temperatures that the beans are roasted in will determine the flavour and characteristics of the coffee beans. 

Air roasters make use of a bed of hot air inside their roasting chamber. This keeps the beans at a consistent temperature throughout the entire roasting process. Drum roasters, on the other hand, make use of a mechanical arm that stirs the beans while they’re being roasted. And while both processes are effective at roasting coffee beans, drum roasters tend to create more inconsistent batches as the coffee beans aren’t roasted uniformly.

Flavour Contaminants

Many of you may not know this but beans are susceptible to a slew of potential flavour contaminants during the roasting process. This is why it’s important to keep the beans free from contaminants, as this can have a significant effect on the beans’ flavour.

Air roasters have a special chamber that collects the chaff and prevents it from influencing the flavour of the roasted beans. Unlike air roasters, drum roasters don’t have mechanisms in place to remove the chaff or skin that falls from the beans during roasting. 

Roasting Time

Roasting time is another important factor. The longer heat is applied, the more flavour is lost. When it comes to the method with the shorter roasting time, air roasting is just superior. A standard air roaster can roast a batch of green coffee beans (beans in their natural state) in as little as six to eight minutes, while the drum method can take upwards of 15 minutes. Considering that the drum method takes twice as long, air roasted beans tend to have a cleaner and purer flavour.

Control of the Roasting Process

When it comes to controlling the roasting process, air roasting is significantly better. This is because the doneness of the coffee beans during drum roasting is determined by the colour of the beans. This means that the beans are considered to be “done” when they reach a specific colour that’s designated by the roaster. And while a skilled roaster will be able to do this semi-consistently, there will still be batches that are different from the rest. 

On the flip side, air roasting is incredibly consistent. This is because the beans are roasted to temperature. Due to this, the beans that are roasted via this method are more or less the same every time.

Different Roasting Methods Yield Varying Results

We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you better understand these two roasting methods. And while we aren’t here to say which method is better, the information that we’ve provided here should help you come up with your own conclusions.

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