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How technology is changing the way we drink coffee

Did you know that coffee is the second biggest commodity in the world? Nearly 10% of the world’s population depends on coffee production for an income – that’s 600-800 million people.


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Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world each day. Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world.

André Smith, coffee enthusiast and owner of Bliss Coffee, says coffee represents 75% of caffeine consumed.

“Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. Coffee is nearly four times more complex than wine in aroma and flavour.”

Coffee through the ages

Coffee is perhaps as ancient as civilisation itself and yet it continues to evolve.

“Though people have been drinking coffee for centuries, it still seems as if it is growing rapidly in popularity. The reason behind this is the same as with many other industries — technology,” explains Smith.

Modern technology and coffee

“With modern technology attached to coffee roasting machines it gives the coffee roaster control over certain aspects that bring out more flavour than ever before in the history of coffee.

“This is by no means an easy process as we will try to explain. To be able to roast great coffee one must first be able to source good quality, green coffee as not all coffee is created equal. Once you have your green coffee with all the necessary information on how it was grown, harvested and processed you can start the roasting process.”

Track roasting on your laptop

Smith says you can track data of coffee roasting on your laptop.

“You start by preheating your roaster to the desired temperature for the specific coffee that you are planning to roast. You measure this by the data that can you track on your laptop. When your roaster has reached the desired temperature, you drop your green coffee beans into the roaster. Your coffee then goes through various stages that you can control by adjusting heat, airflow and drum speed which is also monitored on your laptop.”

The main stages

The three main stages are: drying, yellowing and first crack.

“At first, the coffee cracks, pops and doubles in size. From the first crack the coffee is monitored very closely to determine when to stop the process. When the process is done the beans get dropped into a cooling tray which cools the coffee down in a couple of minutes to make sure that the coffee doesn’t develop past the desired profile of your specific roast.”

Roasting techniques may differ from roaster to roaster because at the end of the day, coffee is a diverse and unique product.

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