Chapter XXV: FACTORY PREPARATION OF ROASTED COFFEE -- All About Coffee, by William H. Ukers

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Chapter XXV


Coffee roasting as a business—Wholesale coffee-roasting machinery—Separating, milling, and mixing or blending green coffee, and roasting by coal, coke, gas, and electricity—Facts about coffee roasting—Cost of roasting—Green-coffee shrinkage table—"Dry" and "wet" roasts—On roasting coffee efficiently—A typical coal roaster—Cooling and stoning—Finishing or glazing—Blending roasted coffees—Blends for restaurants—Grinding and packaging—Coffee additions and fillers—Treated coffees, and dry extracts

The coffee bean is not ready for beverage purposes until it has been properly "manufactured", that is, roasted, or "cooked". Only in this way can all the stimulating, flavoring, and aromatic principles concealed in the minute cells of the bean be extracted at one time. An infusion from green coffee has a decidedly unpleasant taste and hardly any color. Likewise, an underdone roast has a disagreeable "grassy" flavor; while an overdone roast gives a charred taste that is unpalatable to the average citizen of the United States.

Coffee Roasting as a Business

In spite of the generally admitted fact that freshly roasted coffee makes the best infusion, most of the coffee used today is not roasted at or near the place where it is brewed, but in factories that are provided with special equipment for the roasting of coffee in a wholesale way. The reasons for this are various, partly relating to the mere economy of buying and manufacturing on a large scale, and partly relating to the trained skill that is needed both for selecting suitable green coffees to make a satisfactory blend, and for the roasting work itself. The proportion of consumers (including restaurants and hotels) who roast their own coffee is so small as to be negligible, at least in the United States. The average person who buys coffee today, for brewing use, never sees green coffee at all, unless as an "educational exhibit" in some dealer's display window.

The reasons just mentioned, which have made coffee roasting a real business, all tend, of course, to make the roasting establishments of large size; but this tendency is offset by the problem of distributing the roasting coffee so that it will reach the ultimate consumer in good condition. Roasting enterprises on a comparatively small scale (not by consumers, but by sufficiently expert dealers) would probably be much more numerous on account of the "fresh-roast" argument, except for the fact that coffee-roasting machines can not be installed so easily as the grinding mills, meat-choppers, and slicing machines, that find extended use in small stores. The steam, smoke, and chaff given off by the coffee as it is roasted must be disposed of by an outdoor connection, without annoying the neighbors or creating a fire hazard.

From these general remarks, it can easily be seen that the size of individual roasting establishments will vary greatly, according to the skill of the proprietor in meeting the disadvantages of working on either the smallest or the largest scale. A wholesale plant may be considered to be one in which coffee is roasted in batches of one bag or more at a time; and with this definition, nearly all the roasting in the United States is done in a wholesale way.

[Pg 380]


General view of the roasting room of the Jewel Tea Co., Hoboken, N.J. The equipment consists of twelve Jubilee gas machines in four groups; each group having a smoke-suction fan, and a drag conveyor over the three feed hoppers. To the left is a line of flexible-arm cooler cars.

[Pg 381]

For many years the regular factory machines have been of a size suitable for roasting two bags of coffee at a time; but roasters of larger size have recently come into considerable use.

Plants treating from fifty to a hundred and fifty bags per day are the most common; but the daily capacity runs up to a thousand bags or more. The minimum cost of equipping a plant is somewhere between five thousand dollars and ten thousand dollars. The individual machines are of standard construction; but the arrangement in a particular building, especially for the larger plants, is worked out with great care and with numerous special features, so that the goods can be handled from start to finish with minimum expense for floor space, labor, power, etc.

The practical coffee roaster locates his roasting room in the top floor of his factory building, where light and ventilation are generally best. He usually has a large skylight in the roof, directly over the roasting equipment. In addition to the advantage as regards good light and the convenient discharge of smoke, steam, and odors, through the roof, the top-story location makes it possible to send the roasted coffee by gravity through the various bins which may be needed in connection with subsequent operations, such as grinding, and for temporary storage before the final packaging and shipping.

Wholesale Coffee-Roasting Machinery

The indispensable coffee operations are roasting and cooling; and in practically all United States plants the cooling is followed by "stoning". This is an air-suction operation that effects, aided by gravity, the removal of any stones or other hard material that would damage the grinding mill. The best commercial cleaning and grading of the green coffee has usually left in every bag a few small stones. These can be got rid of better after the coffee is roasted; because it is then not only lighter, but more bulky.

Milling-Machine Connections for a Two-Roaster Plant Milling-Machine Connections for a Two-Roaster Plant
Besides these three operations of roasting, cooling, and stoning, the plant may have machinery for treating the coffee both before it is roasted and after it leaves the stoner.

[Pg 382]

This is a view of the roasting room of B. Fischer & Co. and shows a battery of Burns coal roasters

[Pg 383]

Treatment of the green coffee in roasting establishments is of less importance now than in years gone by; first, because most coffees now come to market more perfectly graded and cleaned than formerly; and second, because the whole-bean appearance of the coffee has become of less account, as wholesale grinding operations have increased. Nevertheless, many plants consider it highly important to have a separator for grading the coffee closely as regards the size of the beans—and particularly for the separation of round beans, or "peaberry"—as well as milling machinery for making the coffee as clean as possible before it is roasted. One green coffee operation that has lost none of its old-time importance, but on the contrary is more needed as the plants increase in size, is the mixing of different varieties of coffee—in proportions that have been decided on by sample tests—so as to get a uniform blend.

The mixer does not blend the various coffees any more surely than a good roaster cylinder will do it, but treats batches of much larger size. This means saving a great amount of labor that would be necessary for putting the desired quantity of component coffees into each individual roaster.

A proper installation of green coffee machinery requires various bins of ample capacity, and bucket elevators by which the coffee can be sent without manual labor from one operation to another. In modern plants, all the bins and elevators are constructed of metal. The separator, with its bins and elevator, may be installed independently of the rest of the plant, the graded coffee being all bagged up again and treated as new raw stock—some of it to be held for later use, or perhaps sold again unroasted. The milling machine and the mixer, however, are usually so placed and connected that the coffee can be sent from one to the other, and to the roaster feed hoppers, without any manual labor.

When the roaster sells his product in package form ready for the consumer, he will have a packaging department in which are grinding, weighing, labeling, and packing machines and equipment. In some of the more progressive plants, particularly in the United States, all the packing units are incorporated in one machine, so that the different steps in the work are carried on automatically and in one continuous operation.

Green-Coffee-Mixer Connections
Green-Coffee-Mixer Connections

To operate at full capacity, without using the story above as well as below the mixer, requires a bucket elevator and three bins, each holding a full mixing batch. The above diagram explains this setting. The mixed coffee in the discharge bin is either drawn out into bags or sent by an elevator to a milling machine or direct to the coffee roasters. A batch ready for mixing can always be accumulated in the feed bin while the previous batch is being mixed or discharged.

The fan is usually hung to the ceiling over the mixer as indicated, and connected to the suction box by a 1-in. round pipe. The fan outlet can be carried directly out-of-doors; but the dusty discharge is objectionable in most installations, and this pipe is usually carried to a dust collector from the top of which the roof outlet is connected.

The efficient roaster-executive equips his entire plant with approved labor-saving devices. In the better establishments, the coffee is carried along by mechanical conveyors through all the operations from the first cleaning machine to the final packaging.


As already mentioned, a machine frequently found in wholesale plants is the separator, or grader. This apparatus, which is the same in principle in all countries, but varies in size and form according to local requirements, consists of a series of perforated screens. The perforations differ in size; and as the coffee is shaken on them, the small beans drop through the holes, the larger ones passing across the screen and dropping into a receptacle or chute ready for the next operation. The screens are made to grade the beans into large and small peaberry; large, medium, and small flat beans; brokens; and other commercial sizes. The average separator will grade fifteen to twenty bags of coffee in an hour.

[Pg 384]

Green-coffee-milling machine

Green-coffee-milling machine having a capacity of forty bags of green coffee per hour; with sifter, feed-pipe suction, and a final separate suction at the discharge hopper

Green-coffee separator

Green-coffee separator without fan; with feed elevator, discharge chutes, and motor drive. View of right-hand side and feed end


[Pg 385]


Milling machines, for cleaning the green coffee, operate on practically the same principle the world over, varying in capacity and details of construction. A popular type used in the United States has two metal cylinders, one set within the other, and revolving in opposite directions. The inner cylinder is ribbed with flanges, and the outer one is lined with wire cloth. As these cylinders revolve, the beans pass between them rubbing against themselves and the rough sides of the cylinders. This action serves to remove dirt and other foreign matter that may be clinging to the beans, and also gives them an attractive polish. An exhaust fan sucks away the dirt milled off in the process. This type of machine will mill about forty bags of green coffee in an hour.

Mixing or Blending Green Coffee

Most roasters blend the different types of coffee while green. Some blend them after they have been roasted separately. When blended before roasting, the coffees are mixed by a machine built especially for that purpose. The mixing machine in general use in all countries consists of a large metal cylinder which, in wholesale operations, is revolved by the factory's general power plant or by a separate motor. The cylinder is equipped on the inside with sets of reverse-screw mixing flanges that tumble the beans around until they are thoroughly blended; and there is usually a fan attachment to remove dust. This operation serves also to smooth down and to polish the surfaces of the beans, which adds to the style of the coffee when roasted. The average blending machine will mix from ten to twenty bags of coffee at a time. The actual mixing requires less than five minutes, but a longer period is needed for feeding and discharging. This is the last of the so-called "green-coffee operations". The next step is roasting.

Roasting by Coal, Coke, Gas, and Electricity

Coffee is roasted commercially in cylinder or ball receptacles revolving in heated chambers, the degree of heat reaching about 420° Fahr. The cylinder type of roaster is invariably used in the United States; while both the cylinder and the ball types are popular in England, France, Germany, Holland, and other foreign countries.

An English Four-Machine Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant
An English Four-Machine Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant
The equipment includes three Morewood indirect-flame, and one quick direct-flame machines

Each roasterman has his own opinion about the fuel that gives the best result, and throughout the world the choice lies between anthracite coal, coke, and gas; though[Pg 386] hard wood is frequently used in countries where other fuels are not available or not economical. Electric heat has been tried for commercial roasting in Germany (1906), in England (1909), and in the United States (1918); but the experimenters have always found the cost of electric fuel to be prohibitive in competition with coal and gas. An electric roaster was demonstrated at the Food Conservation Show in New York, in 1918, at a time when the federal government was urging the necessity of conserving coal as a war economy measure. The inventor claimed that his machine would reduce roasting cost, improve the flavor and the aroma, and maintain a constant and easily controlled heat. He declared also that when roasted in his devices, less coffee was required for brewing.

An expert coffee-roasting-machinery man who has been working on the development of a practical electric roaster says that if it were possible to bake the coffee in an oven, just as the baker does his bread, the fuel cost would then compare favorably with that of gas or coal. It is because the heat chamber must have an exhaust to release the chaff and smoke that the use of electricity to replace the heat loss proves prohibitive when compared with coal or gas.

In all types of coal and coke burning roasters, the cylinders are heated by a fire underneath; while in gas roasters, the flame may be underneath or within the cylinder itself. Roasters in which the heat is within the cylinder are known as direct-flame or inner-heated machines. All three systems are used in the United States and Europe.

Facts About Coffee Roasting

The modern commercial roasting outfit is as near fool-proof as human genius has been able to devise. The more advanced types are almost automatic in operation, and are designed to insure uniformity of roasts. In such machines the green coffee is conveyed to the roasting cylinder by means of bucket elevators, which pour the beans into a feed hopper. From the feed hopper, the coffee is dumped through the opening in the front head-piece into the cylinder. The cylinder is perforated, and has inside flanges which keep tossing the coffee about while the cylinder revolves, so that the coffee will not burn during the roasting process.

German Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant Equipped with Ideal-Rapid Machines German Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant Equipped with Ideal-Rapid Machines

To roast coffee by coal or coke usually requires from twenty-five to thirty minutes, depending on the moisture-content of the beans; whether they are spongy or flinty; whether a light, medium, or dark[Pg 387] roast is desired; and on the skill of the operator. Gas roasting requires from fifteen to twenty minutes. The quicker the roast, the better the coffee, is the opinion of many trade leaders, one of whom[325] says:

It is a growing belief that in roasts of short duration the largest percentage of the aromatic properties is retained. A slow roast has the effect of baking and does not give full development; also, slow roasts seldom produce bright roasts, and they usually make the coffee hard instead of brittle, even when the color standard has been attained.

French Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant Equipped with Moderne Machines French Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant Equipped with Moderne Machines

While coffees of widely varying degrees of moisture require somewhat different treatment, the consensus of opinion is that the best results are obtained from a slow fire at the beginning, until some of the moisture has been driven off, when the stronger application of heat may be given for development. An intense heat in the beginning often results in "tipping", or charring, the little germ at the end, the most sensitive part of the bean.

Scorched beans have been caught at some point in the cylinder, often in a bent flange. Burning on one face, sometimes called "kissing the cheeks", is caused by the too rapid revolution of the cylinder, so that some of the coffee "carries over". In the best practise, crowding of cylinders is avoided; many roasters making it a rule not to exceed ninety percent of the rated capacity of the cylinder.

Those operating gas roasters may effect a fuel economy by running a low grade coffee in the cylinder after the last roast has been drawn and the gas extinguished; five minutes' revolution absorbs the heat and drives off a proportion of moisture. The coffee, which may then be left in the cylinder, requires less time and fuel in the morning, and the roast is finished while the cylinder is warming up. Double roasting brightens a roast, but is a detriment to the cup quality. A dull roasting coffee may be improved by revolving the green coffee in a cylinder without heat for twenty minutes, which has the effect of milling.

The use of a small amount of water upon roasts gives better control by checking the roast at the proper point—the crucial time of its greatest heat; also, it swells and brightens the coffee, and tends to close the outer pores. While the addition of water is open to abuse, few roasters have soaked their coffees enough to offset the natural shrinkage as much as three or four percent. Such practise would result greatly to the detriment of the cup quality.

There is no universal standard for the degree to which coffee should be roasted. In the United States, there are demands for all degrees; from the light roast, in favor in England, to the extremely dark roast in vogue in France, Italy, Brazil,[Pg 388] Turkey, and in the producing countries. The North American trade recognizes these different roasts: light, cinnamon, medium, high, city, full city, French, and Italian. The city roast is a dark bean, while full city is a few degrees darker. In the French roast, the bean is cooked until the natural oil appears on the surface; and in the Italian, it is roasted to the point of actual carbonization, so that it can be easily powdered. Germany likes a roast similar to the French type; while Scandinavia prefers the high Italian roast.

In the United States, the lighter roast is favored on the Pacific coast; the darkest, in the South; and a medium-colored roast, in the Eastern states. The cinnamon roast is most favored by the trade in Boston.

While coffee roasting in the United States usually takes from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on the fuel and the machine employed, manufacturers of gas machines on the German market claim to roast it in superior fashion in from three and a half to ten minutes.[326] This subject is discussed more in detail in chapter XXXIV.

Coffee loses weight during the roasting process, the loss varying according to the degree of roasting and the nature of the bean. Coffee roasters figure, however, that the average loss is sixteen percent of the weight of the green bean. It has been estimated that one hundred pounds of coffee in the cherry produces twenty-five pounds in the parchment; that one hundred pounds in parchment produces eighty-four pounds of cleaned coffee; and that one hundred pounds of cleaned coffee produces eighty-four pounds roasted.

Jumbo Coffee Roaster, in the Arbuckle Coffee-Roasting Plant, New York Jumbo Coffee Roaster, in the Arbuckle Coffee-Roasting Plant, New York

There are four of these machines. The cylinders are twelve feet in diameter, six feet deep, and can roast 5,000 pounds of coffee every half-hour. The hard-coal brick furnace is seen at the left, from which a blower forces the heated air through a pipe into the revolving cylinder of coffee. The coffee is fed from above and is emptied into the cooling pans beneath

[Pg 389]

An Eight-Cylinder Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant An Eight-Cylinder Gas Coffee-Roasting Plant
A view of Reid, Murdoch & Co.'s roasting room, Chicago, equipped with Monitor machines

During the roasting process the coffee undergoes a great chemical change. After it has been in the cylinder a short time, the color of the bean becomes a yellowish brown, which gradually deepens as it cooks. Likewise, as the beans become heated, they shrivel up until about half done, or at the "developing" point. At this stage, they begin to swell, and then "pop open", increasing fifty percent in bulk.[327] This is when the experienced roasterman turns on all the heat he can command to finish the roasting as quickly as possible.

"Dry" and "Wet" Roasts

At frequent intervals, he thrusts his "trier"—an instrument shaped somewhat like an elongated spoon—into the cylinder, and takes out a sample of coffee to compare with his type sample. When the coffee is done, he shuts off the heat and checks the cooking by reducing the temperature of the coffee and of the cylinder as quickly as can be done. In the wet roast method he will spray the coffee, while the cylinder is still revolving, with three to four quarts of water to every 130 pounds of coffee. In the dry method he depends altogether upon his cooling apparatus.

Roasters generally are not in favor of the excessive watering of coffee in and after the roasting process for the purpose of reducing shrinkage. "Heading" the coffee, or checking the roast before turning it out of the roasting cylinder, is quite another matter and is considered legitimate. Where coffees are watered in the cylinder at the close of the roast to reduce the shrinkage, it is possible to get back only about four percent of the shrinkage by such treatment and the practise is frowned upon by the best roasters.

Generally speaking, water is turned into the roasting cylinder to quench the roast. The amount varies with the style of machine, whether gas or coal. Usually the water turns to steam, and the result is not an absorption of the water but a momentary checking of the roast with a tendency to swell and to brighten the coffee. This is, comparatively speaking, a "dry roast", but not an absolutely dry roast. It is doubtful if more than one percent of American coffee roasters employ an absolutely "dry" roast—it does not give satisfactory results. The word has been abused for advertising purposes. Of course, a dry roasted coffee is a better article for making a satisfactory beverage than one that has been soaked with water; but the word "dry" must be given a definite meaning, which the trade generally will agree to uphold, if it is to have any real meaning or value to the consumer. Until some standard for roasted coffee shall be established, it is to be feared the term "dry roast" will continue to be used for coffee roasted by almost any other process.

[Pg 390]

Upper-Story View of a Jubilee Plant, Showing Roaster, Cooler, and Stoner Equipment
Upper-Story View of a Jubilee Plant, Showing Roaster, Cooler, and Stoner Equipment
The parts under roasting-room floor are shown in the illustration below

Lower-Story View of the Same Plant from About the Same Angle Lower-Story View of the Same Plant from About the Same Angle
Showing connection from floor hopper to stoner on the left, and suspended bucket-elevator boot with four-bag dump hopper on the right

[Pg 391]

The Bureau of Chemistry held a hearing in 1914 at Washington, at which the question of a ruling on watering coffees was discussed. The trade was well represented, but no agreement was reached. It was deemed inadvisable to make a definite rule on the watering of coffee; because the water content can not be controlled, as the bean starts to absorb moisture as soon as it leaves the roaster.

On Roasting Coffee Efficiently

A.L. Burns, New York, is well qualified to speak on this subject. He says:

Burns Jubilee Gas Roaster Burns Jubilee Gas Roaster

Roasting coffee is not so difficult a matter as is often claimed by operators and "experts" who seek thus to magnify their importance; but it is nevertheless a process about which a great deal may be learned in the school of practical experience. With one of our modern machines anybody with ordinary intelligence and nerve can take off a roast after one trial which would pass muster in many establishments, but that same person applying himself to the roasting job for a week will either be turning out vastly better roasts or will have demonstrated that he never can excel as a roasterman.

Modern coffee roasting machines provide for easy control of the heat (from coal, coke, or gas fuel), for constantly mixing the coffee in such a manner that the heat is transmitted uniformly to the entire batch, for carrying away all steam and smoke rapidly, for easy testing of the progress of the roast, and for immediate discharge when desired. The operator's problem therefore is the regulation of the heat and deciding just when the desired roasting has been accomplished.

If all coffees were alike, roasting would soon be almost automatic. In some plants most of the work is on one uniform grade or blend. But coffees which vary greatly in moisture-content, in flinty or spongy nature, and in various other characteristics, will puzzle the operator until he establishes a personal acquaintance with them in various combinations in repeated roasting operations. The roasterman therefore must be able to observe closely, to draw sensible conclusions, and to remember what he learns. Roasting coffee is work of a sort which anybody can do, which a few people can do really well, and no one so well but that further improvement is possible.

There is no absolute standard of what the best roasting results are. Some dealers want the coffee beans swelled up to the bursting point, while others would object to so showy a development. Some care nothing at all about appearance as compared with cup value, while others insist on a bright style even at some sacrifice of quality. Business judgment must decide what goods can be sold most profitably.

The loss of coffee in weight in the roasting operation, or shrinkage as it is called, is a matter which offers opportunities for false claims of advantage in roasting processes. Anybody can see that if just as good roasted coffee could be produced with a lessened shrinkage there would be a chance for a decided increase in profits. It is a sort of finding-money proposition which always turns out to be too good to be true. The purpose of roasting coffee is to produce an article entirely different from green coffee, which is accomplished mainly by driving out moisture. If coffee is roasted thoroughly, inside as well as outside, so as to give the greatest roasted coffee value, it must sustain a proper loss in weight which there is no legitimate way to avoid. The amount of shrinkage varies a great deal with the kind of coffee and its age, also with the kind of roasting desired.

Adding a little water to the coffee at the end of the operation has the advantage of checking the roast at the desired point and helping to swell and brighten the coffee, but it is a practice which is sometimes abused by soaking the coffee with water so as to reduce the shrinkage. This is done either dishonestly, to steal coffee which belongs to somebody else, or foolishly; for the heavier coffee has a lessened cup value which more than counterbalances the apparent gain.

A Typical Coal Roaster

A typical United States coal roaster is shown in the accompanying cut. It is the[Pg 392] latest form of that type of Burns machine which requires a brickwork setting. The picture shows the roaster ready to operate, except for smoke pipe and power connections.

Burns Coal Roaster with Brickwork Setting Burns Coal Roaster with Brickwork Setting

The front of the machine shown has a cast-iron plate having brackets which support the cylinder front bearing, and double fire doors below for the furnace and the ash pit. The movable part of the roaster is hidden by the front head, a heavy casting which stands still except when moved by hand through a half-turn for feeding and discharging.

The cylinder is driven by gears at the back, revolving constantly at uniform speed. The inside of the cylinder is arranged with reverse-spiral flanges which mix the coffee perfectly and make uneven roasting impossible; and they discharge promptly every grain of coffee when the front-head opening is turned to the lower position. The roaster is generally operated with coal fuel, but can be used with gas by installing a suitable burner under the cylinder.

Open Perforated Cylinder with Flexible Back Head Open Perforated Cylinder with Flexible Back Head

Cost Card for Roasters
Showing the value added to the cost of green coffee by roasting
By A.C. Aborn
Basis: 16 percent Shrinkage.
34 cent a pound for Roasting.
G = Cost Green, Cents per Lb.
R = Cost Roasted, Cents per Lb.
  5   6.85 12 15.18 19 23.51 26 31.85
  518   6.99 1218 15.33 1918 23.66 2618 31.99
  514   7.14 1214 15.48 1914 23.81 2614 32.14
  538   7.29 1238 15.63 1938 23.96 2638 32.29
  512   7.44 1212 15.77 1912 24.11 2612 32.44
  558   7.59 1258 15.92 1958 24.26 2658 32.59
  534   7.74 1234 16.07 1934 24.40 2634 32.74
  578   7.89 1278 16.22 1978 24.55 2678 32.89
  6   8.04 13 16.37 20 24.70 27 33.04
  618   8.19 1318 16.52 2018 24.85 2718 33.18
  614   8.33 1314 16.67 2014 25.00 2714 33.33
  638   8.48 1338 16.82 2038 25.15 2738 33.48
  612   8.63 1312 16.97 2012 25.30 2712 33.63
  658   8.78 1358 17.11 2058 25.45 2758 33.78
  634   8.93 1334 17.26 2034 25.60 2734 33.93
  678   9.08 1378 17.41 2078 25.75 2778 34.08
  7   9.23 14 17.56 21 25.89 28 34.23
  718   9.37 1418 17.71 2118 26.04 2818 34.38
  714   9.52 1414 17.86 2114 26.19 2814 34.52
  738   9.67 1438 18.01 2138 26.34 2838 34.67
  712   9.82 1412 18.15 2112 26.49 2812 34.82
  758   9.97 1458 18.30 2158 26.64 2858 34.97
  734 10.12 1434 18.45 2134 26.79 2834 35.12
  778 10.27 1478 18.60 2178 26.93 2878 35.27
  8 10.42 15 18.75 22 27.08 29 35.42
  818 10.57 1518 18.90 2218 27.23 2918 35.57
  814 10.71 1514 19.05 2214 27.38 2914 35.71
  838 10.86 1538 19.20 2238 27.53 2938 35.86
  812 11.01 1512 19.35 2212 27.68 2912 36.01
  858 11.16 1558 19.49 2258 27.83 2958 36.16
  834 11.31 1534 19.64 2234 27.98 2934 36.31
  878 11.46 1578 19.79 2278 28.13 2978 36.46
  9 11.61 16 19.94 23 28.27 30 36.61
  918 11.76 1618 20.09 2318 28.42 3018 36.76
  914 11.90 1614 20.24 2314 28.57 3014 36.90
  938 12.05 1638 20.39 2338 28.72 3038 37.05
  912 12.20 1612 20.54 2312 28.87 3012 37.20
  958 12.35 1658 20.68 2358 29.02 3058 37.35
  934 12.50 1634 20.83 2334 29.17 3034 37.50
  978 12.65 1678 20.98 2378 29.32 3078 37.65
10 12.80 17 21.13 24 29.46 31 37.80
1018 12.95 1718 21.28 2418 29.61 3118 37.95
1014 13.10 1714 21.43 2414 29.76 3114 38.10
1038 13.24 1738 21.58 2438 29.91 3138 38.24
1012 13.39 1712 21.73 2412 30.06 3112 38.39
1058 13.54 1758 21.87 2458 30.21 3158 38.54
1034 13.69 1734 22.02 2434 30.36 3134 38.69
1078 13.84 1778 22.17 2478 30.51 3178 38.84
11 13.99 18 22.32 25 30.65 32 38.90
1118 14.14 1818 22.47 2518 30.80 3218 39.14
1114 14.29 1814 22.62 2514 30.95 3214 39.29
1138 14.43 1838 22.77 2538 31.10 3238 39.43
1112 14.58 1812 22.92 2512 31.25 3212 39.58
1158 14.73 1858 23.07 2558 31.40 3258 39.73
1134 14.88 1834 23.21 2534 31.55 3234 39.88
1178 15.03 1878 23.36 2578 31.70 3278 40.03

[Pg 393]

Showing shrinkage in roasting of raw coffee in quantities from sixty pounds up to
three hundred pounds, and at six different shrinkage percentages
Compiled by R.C. Wilhelm, New York
RAW 12% 13% 14% 15% 16% 17% RAW 12% 13% 14% 15% 16% 17% RAW 12% 13% 14% 15% 16% 17%
  60   5234   5214   5112   51   5012   4934 140 12314 12134 12012 119 11712 11614 220 19312 19112 18914 187 18434 18212
  61   5334   53   5212   5134   5114   5034 141 124 12234 12114 11934 11812 117 221 19412 19214 190 18734 18534 18312
  62   5412   54   5314   5214   52   5112 142 125 12312 122 12034 11914 11734 222 19514 19314 191 18834 18612 18414
  63   5512   5434   54   5312   53   5214 143 12534 12412 123 12112 120 11834 223 19614 194 19134 18912 18714 185
  64   5614   5534   55   5412   5334   53 144 12634 12514 12334 12212 121 11912 224 197 195 19234 19012 18814 186
  65   5714   5612   56   5514   5412   54 145 12712 12614 12434 12314 12134 12014 225 198 19534 19312 19114 189 18634
  66   58   5712   5634   56   5512   5434 146 12812 127 12512 124 12234 12114 226 199 19612 19414 192 18934 18712
  67   59   5814   5734   57   5614   5512 147 12914 128 12612 125 12312 122 227 19934 19712 19514 193 19034 18812
  68   5934   5914   5812   5734   57   5612 148 13014 12834 12714 12534 12414 12234 228 20034 19814 196 19334 19112 18914
  69   6034   60   5914   5834   58   5714 149 131 12934 12814 12634 12514 12334 229 20112 19914 197 19434 19214 190
  70   6112   61   6014   5912   5834   58 150 132 13012 129 12712 126 12412 230 20212 200 198 19512 19312 191
  71   6212   6134   61   6014   5934   59 151 133 13114 12934 12814 12634 12514 231 20314 201 19834 19612 19414 192
  72   6314   6234   62   61   6012   5934 152 13334 13214 13034 12914 12734 12614 232 204 202 19912 197 195 19212
  73   6414   6312   6234   62   6114   6012 153 13434 133 13112 130 12812 127 233 205 20234 20014 198 19534 19314
  74   65   6412   6334   63   6214   6112 154 13512 134 13212 131 12914 12734 234 206 20312 201 199 19612 194
  75   66   6514   6412   6334   63   6214 155 13612 13434 13314 13134 13014 12834 235 20634 20412 202 19934 19712 195
  76   67   66   6514   6412   6334   63 156 13714 13534 13414 13212 131 12912 236 20712 205 203 20012 198 196
  77   6734   67   6614   6512   6434   64 157 13814 13612 135 13312 132 13014 237 20812 20614 20334 20112 199 19634
  78   6834   68   67   6614   6512   6434 158 139 13712 136 13414 13234 13114 238 20912 207 20412 20214 200 19712
  79   6912   6834   68   6714   6612   6534 159 140 13814 13634 13514 13312 132 239 21014 208 20512 20314 20034 19814
  80   7012   6934   6834   68   6714   6612 160 14034 13914 13712 136 13412 13234 240 211 20834 20614 204 20112 199
  81   7114   7012   6934   69   68   6714 161 14134 140 13812 13634 13514 13334 241 212 20934 20714 20434 20212 200
  82   7214   7112   7012   6934   69   68 162 14212 141 13914 13734 136 13412 242 213 21012 208 20534 203 201
  83   73   7214   7112   7012   6934   69 163 14312 14134 14014 13812 137 13514 243 21334 21112 209 20612 204 20134
  84   74   7314   7214   7112   7012   6934 164 14414 14234 141 13912 13734 136 244 21434 21214 210 20714 205 20212
  85   7434   74   7314   7214   7114   7012 165 14514 14312 142 14014 13812 137 245 21512 213 21034 20814 20534 20314
  86   7534   7434   74   7314   7214   7114 166 146 14412 14234 141 13912 13734 246 21612 214 21112 209 20612 204
  87   7612   7534   75   74   7314   7214 167 147 14514 14312 142 14014 13812 247 21714 215 21212 210 20712 205
  88   7712   7612   7534   7434   7334   73 168 14734 14614 14412 14234 141 13912 248 218 216 213 211 208 206
  89   7812   7712   7612   7534   7434   74 169 14834 147 14514 14334 142 14014 249 219 21634 21412 21112 20914 207
  90   7914   7814   7712   7612   7534   75 170 14912 148 14614 14412 14214 141 250 220 21712 215 21212 210 20712
  91   8012   7914   7814   7712   7612   7512 171 15012 14834 147 14514 14334 142 251 221 21814 21534 21314 21034 20814
  92   81   80   7914   7814   7714   7612 172 15114 14934 148 14614 14412 14234 252 222 219 21634 214 212 209
  93   82   81   80   79   7814   7714 173 15214 15012 14834 147 14514 14312 253 22212 220 21712 215 21212 210
  94   8234   8134   8034   80   79   78 174 153 15112 14934 148 14614 14412 254 22312 221 21812 216 21314 211
  95   8334   8234   8134   8034   7934   79 175 154 15214 15012 14834 147 14514 255 22414 222 21934 21634 21414 21112
  96   8412   8312   8212   8134   8034   7934 176 155 153 15114 14912 14734 146 256 225 223 220 218 215 212
  97   8512   8412   8312   8212   8112   8012 177 15534 154 15214 15012 14834 147 257 226 22334 221 21834 216 213
  98   8614   8514   8414   8314   8212   8112 178 15634 15434 153 15114 14912 14734 258 227 22412 222 21912 21634 214
  99   8714   8614   8514   8414   8314   8214 179 15712 15534 154 15214 15014 14812 259 228 22514 22234 22014 21712 215
100   88   87   86   85   84   83 180 15812 15612 15434 153 15114 14912 260 229 226 224 221 218 216
101   89   8712   8612   8512   8412   8312 181 15914 15712 15534 15334 152 15014 261 22934 227 225 222 219 21634
102   8934   8834   8734   8634   8534   8434 182 16014 15814 15612 15434 153 151 262 23012 228 22512 22234 220 21712
103   9034   8934   8834   8712   8612   8512 183 161 15914 15712 15512 15334 152 263 23112 229 22614 22312 221 21814
104   9112   9012   8912   8812   8712   8612 184 162 160 15814 15612 15412 15234 264 232 230 227 224 222 219
105   9212   9112   9014   8914   8814   8714 185 16234 161 159 15714 15512 15312 265 233 23034 228 225 22234 220
106   9314   9214   9114   9014   89   88 186 16334 16134 160 158 15614 15412 266 234 23112 22834 226 22312 22034
107   9414   9314   92   91   90   8834 187 16412 16234 16034 159 157 15514 267 235 23214 22912 227 22414 22112
108   95   94   93   9134   9034   8934 188 16512 16312 16134 160 158 156 268 236 233 23012 228 225 222
109   96   95   9334   9234   9112   9012 189 16614 16412 16212 16034 15634 15634 269 23634 234 23114 22812 226 22314
110   9634   9534   9434   9312   9212   9134 190 16714 16514 16312 16112 15912 15734 270 23712 235 232 22912 22634 224
111   9734   9634   9512   9412   9314   9214 191 168 16614 16414 16214 16012 15812 271 23812 23534 233 23014 22712 225
112   9812   9712   9612   9514   9414   93 192 169 167 165 16314 16114 15914 272 239 237 234 231 228 226
113   9912   9814   9714   96   95   9334 193 16934 168 166 164 162 16014 273 240 23734 23434 232 229 22634
114 10012   9914   98   97   9534   9434 194 17034 16834 16634 165 163 161 274 241 23812 23512 233 230 22712
115 10114 10012   99   9734   9634   9512 195 17112 16934 16734 16534 16334 16134 275 242 23914 23612 23334 231 22814
116 102 101   9934   9812   9712   9614 196 17212 17012 16812 16612 16434 16234 276 243 240 23714 23412 232 229
117 103 10134 10012   9912   9814   97 197 17314 17112 16912 16712 16512 16312 277 24334 241 23814 23512 23234 230
118 10334 10212 10112 10014   99   98 198 17414 17214 17014 16814 16614 16414 278 24412 242 239 23612 23312 23034
119 10434 10312 10214 101 100   9834 199 175 17314 17114 16914 16714 16514 279 24512 243 240 237 23412 23112
120 10512 10412 103 102 101   9912 200 176 174 172 170 168 166 280 24612 24334 241 238 23514 23212
121 10612 10514 104 10234 10112 10012 201 177 17434 173 17034 16834 16634 281 24714 24412 24134 23834 236 23314
122 10712 106 105 10312 10212 10112 202 17734 17534 17334 17134 16934 16734 282 248 24512 24212 23912 237 234
123 10814 107 10534 10412 10314 102 203 17834 17612 17412 17212 17012 16812 283 249 24614 24314 24012 23734 235
124 109 108 10612 10512 104 103 204 17912 17712 17512 17312 17114 16914 284 250 247 244 24112 23812 23534
125 110 10834 10712 10614 105 10334 205 18012 17814 17614 17414 17214 17014 285 25034 248 245 24214 23914 23612
126 111 10912 108 107 106 10412 206 18114 17914 17714 175 173 171 286 25112 249 246 243 240 23712
127 11134 11012 10914 108 10634 10512 207 18214 180 178 176 174 17134 287 25212 24934 24634 244 241 23814
128 11212 11112 110 109 10712 106 208 183 181 179 17634 17434 17234 288 25312 25012 24712 245 242 239
129 11312 11214 111 10934 10814 107 209 184 18134 17934 17734 17512 17312 289 25414 25112 24812 24534 24234 23934
130 11412 113 112 11012 109 108 210 18434 18234 18012 17812 17612 17414 290 255 25212 24912 24612 24312 24034
131 11514 114 11234 11114 110 10834 211 18534 18312 18112 17914 17714 17514 291 256 25314 25014 24714 24412 24112
132 116 115 11312 112 111 10912 212 18612 18412 18214 18014 178 176 292 257 254 251 248 24512 24212
133 117 11534 11414 113 11134 11014 213 18712 18514 18314 181 179 17634 293 25734 255 252 249 24614 24314
134 118 11612 11512 114 11212 111 214 18814 18614 184 182 17934 17712 294 25812 256 253 250 247 244
135 11834 11712 116 11434 11314 112 215 18914 187 185 18234 18012 17812 295 25912 25634 25334 25034 24734 24434
136 11912 11812 117 11512 114 113 216 190 188 18534 18312 18112 17914 296 26012 25712 25412 25112 24812 24512
137 12012 11914 11734 11612 115 11334 217 191 18834 18612 18412 18214 180 297 26114 25812 25512 25212 24912 24612
138 12112 120 11812 11712 116 11412 218 19134 18934 18712 18514 183 181 298 262 25914 25612 25312 25012 24712
139 12214 121 11912 11814 11634 11514 219 19234 19012 18814 18614 184 18134 299 263 260 25714 25414 25114 24814

[Pg 394]

Trying the Roast Trying the Roast
Monitor Gas Roaster Monitor Gas Roaster

Cooling and Stoning

"Coffee which leaves the roaster beautifully uniform in appearance", says A.L. Burns, "may lose all uniformity by delayed or inadequate cooling. Separated beans of coffee will cool off by themselves; but when heaped together, the inner part of the mass will get hotter and even take fire.... Coffee must be spread over a considerable surface, or all kept moving, and have at the same time a lot of air forced through it. Otherwise, there will be some darkening and over-development of part of the coffee, and a loss of the uniformity which is the first requirement of good roasting."

A Group of Roasting-Room Accessories A Group of Roasting-Room Accessories

The cooling apparatus consists of a movable, box-like metal car which can be brought up to the front of the roaster to the revolving cylinders. The car has a perforated false bottom, to which is attached a powerful exhaust-fan system that sucks the heat out of the coffee. In large plants,[Pg 395] utilizing two or more floors, the tilting-type cooling car is favored. This car permits instant discharge through an opening in the floor into a receiving tank suspended from the ceiling below and connected with the stoning apparatus. Recently, a flexible-arm cooler has been invented that provides full fan suction to a cooler car at all points in its track travel from the roaster to the emptying position.

Dumping the Roast in a Coal Roasting Plant Dumping the Roast in a Coal Roasting Plant

The roasted coffee is being turned into the cooling car, equipped with a swinging "flexarm" that keeps it always in connection with a suspended header pipe; the cooling being started as soon as the coffee leaves the roaster. The cooled coffee, by tipping the box, goes into a floor hopper

The stoner, an essential part of the modern roasting plant, has for its function the removal of stones and other foreign matter of which the green-coffee operations have failed to get rid. The stoner is usually built in direct combination with the cooling equipment, and does its work by means of a gravity separation in an upward-moving column of air. The coffee passes into the suction boot of the stoner, either directly from the cooler box or from a floor hopper into which the cooler dumps, and is carried up the stoner pipe, or "riser", by an air current of ample power which can be accurately regulated. This insures the carrying up of coffee only, the stones remaining at the bottom of the machine and being dumped at intervals into a pan underneath. The coffee, passing up the riser pipe, is delivered into a large "stoner hopper" which is usually hung to the ceiling of the roasting room. The correct construction of this hopper is of great importance, as the coffee must be deposited completely without breakage, and the air must pass on through the suction fan carrying nothing except bits of loose chaff.

A different type of cooler is in the form of an upright cylinder, consisting of two metal perforated drums, one set within the other. The inner drum is sufficiently small to allow the coffee to move freely between the drums. Inside the smaller one is an exhaust pipe which draws the heat and chaff out of the coffee. This device is recommended for use only in connection with wet roasted coffee.

Still another type consists of a single perforated cylinder set horizontal with the floor, and revolving alongside of an exhaust box which sucks out the heat and chaff as the coffee is tumbled about in the cylinder. A rocking type, that is not generally employed, is constructed on the principle of the screen used by housebuilders to separate coarse sand from the fine, and is[Pg 396] pivoted at the middle so that it can be rocked end to end.

A Four-Bag Coffee Finisher A Four-Bag Coffee Finisher

Finishing or Glazing

Finishing whole-bean roasted coffee, by giving it a friction polish while it is still moist, using a glaze solution or water only, is a practise not harmful if the proper solutions are employed. Roasted coffee dulls in ordinary handling, and it is claimed that coating not only improves its appearance, but serves also to preserve the natural flavor and aroma of the bean. A machine having flat-sided wooden cylinders with ventilated heads, and operated two-thirds full of coffee so as to get an effective rolling motion, is generally employed. Coatings composed of sugar and eggs are popular, but their use should be stated on the label.

Coffee roasters are divided on this question of coffee-coating. The best thought of the trade is undoubtedly opposed to the practise when it is done to conceal inferiority or abnormally to reduce shrinkage. Some New York coffee roasters, who made a thorough investigation of the matter, found coating coffee with a wholesome material not injurious and the coated coffee better in the cup. Dr. Harvey W. Wiley found, in the celebrated Ohio case against Arbuckle Brothers, that coating coffee with sugar and eggs produced beneficial results, and that the coating preserved the bean. The Bureau of Chemistry has never issued any ruling on the subject of coating coffee.

Blending Roasted Coffee

After cooling and stoning, unless it is to be polished or glazed, the coffee is ready for grinding and packing if it has been blended in the green state. Otherwise, the next step will be to mix the different varieties before grinding, although some packers blend the different kinds after they have been ground. To mix whole-bean roasted coffee without hurting its appearance is rather difficult, and there is no regular machine for such work.

Burns Sample-Coffee Roaster Burns Sample-Coffee Roaster

Rarely is a single kind of coffee drunk straight. The common practise in all countries is to mix different varieties having opposing characteristics so as to obtain a smoother beverage. This is called blending, a process that has attained the standing of an art in the United States. Most package coffees are blends. In addition to other qualities, the practical coffee blender must have a natural aptitude for the work. He must also have long experience before he becomes proficient, and must be acquainted with the different properties of all the coffees grown, or at least of those that come to his market. Furthermore, he must know the variations in characteristics of current crops; for in most coffees no two crops are equal in trade values. Innumerable blends[Pg 397] are possible with more than a hundred different coffees to draw upon.

A blend may consist of two or more kinds of coffee, but the general practise is to employ several kinds; so that, if at any time one can not be obtained, its absence from the blend will not be so noticeable as would be the case if only two or three kinds were used.

In blending coffees, consideration is given first to the shades of flavor in the cup and next to price. The blender describes flavors as, acidy, bitter, smooth, neutral, flat, wild, grassy, groundy, sour, fermented, and hidey; and he mixes the coffees accordingly to obtain the desired taste in the cup. Naturally the wild, sour, groundy, fermented, and hidey kinds are avoided as much as possible. Coffees with a Rio flavor are used only in the cheaper blends.

Generally speaking, a properly balanced blend should have a full rich body as a basis; and to this should be added a growth to give it some acid character, and one to give it increased aroma.

Personal preference is the determining factor in making up a blend. Some blenders prefer a coffee with plenty of acid taste; while others choose the non-acid cup. For the first-named kind, the blender will mix together the coffees that have an acidy characteristic; while for a non-acidy blend, he will mix an acidy growth with one having a neutral flavor.

Lambert Economic Coffee-Roasting Outfit for Coal Fire Lambert Economic Coffee-Roasting Outfit for Coal Fire

This is a self-contained plant for one or two bags, and comprises a roaster, rotary cooler, elevator feed hopper, electric motor, and stoning and chaffing attachments. It may be equipped for gas]

Coffees can be divided into four great classes, the neutral-flavored, the sweet, the acidy, and the bitter. All East Indian coffees, except Ceylons, Malabars, and the other Hindoostan growths, are classified as bitter, as are old brown Bucaramangas, brown Bogotas, and brown Santos. The acid coffees are generally the new-crop washed varieties of the western hemisphere, such as Mexicans, Costa Ricas, Bogotas, Caracas, Guatemalas, Santos, etc. However, the acidity may be toned down by age[Pg 398] so that they become sweet or sweet-bitter. Red Santos is generally a sweet coffee, and is prized by blenders. High-grade washed Santo Domingo and Haiti coffees are sweet both when new crop and when aged.

Challenge Pulverizer Challenge Pulverizer

Practical coffee blenders do not mix two new-crop acid coffees, or two old-crop bitter kinds, unless their bitterness or acidity is counteracted by coffees with opposite flavors. One blender insists that every blend should contain three coffees.

Some Bourbon and flat-beaned Santos coffees are better when new, and some are better when old; but a blend of fine old-crop coffee with a snappy new-crop coffee gives a better result than either separately. A new-crop Bourbon and an old yellow flat bean make a better blend than a new-crop flat bean and an old-crop Bourbon. Probably the very best result in a low-priced blend may be obtained by using one-half old-crop Bourbon Santos with one-half new-crop Haiti or Santo Domingo of the cheaper grades.

Typical low-priced coffee blends in the United States may be made up of a good Santos, possibly a Bourbon, and some low-cost Mexican, Central American, Colombian, or Venezuelan coffee, the Santos counteracting these acidy Milds.

Going next higher in the scale of price, fancy old Bourbon Santos is used with one-third fancy old Cucuta or a good Trujillo.

For a blend costing about five cents more a pound retail, one-third fancy old Cucuta or Merida is blended with fancy old Bourbon Santos.

Monitor Coffee-Granulating Machine Monitor Coffee-Granulating Machine
Coles No. 22 Grinding Mill Coles No. 22 Grinding Mill

The highest-priced blend may contain two-thirds of a fine private estate Sumatra and one-third Mocha or Longberry Harari.

Alfred W. McCann, while advertising manager for Francis H. Leggett & Co., New York, in 1910, evolved a new coffee distinction based on the argument that certain coffees like Mochas, Mexicans, Bourbons, and Costa Ricas were developed in the cup[Pg 399] through the action on them of cream or milk; while others, such as Bogotas, Javas, Maracaibos, etc., flattened out when cream or milk was added. He argued, accordingly, that breakfast coffees should be made up from the former, but that the latter should not be used except for after-dinner coffees, to be drunk black.[328] William B. Harris, then coffee expert for the United States Department of Agriculture, took issue with Mr. McCann, claiming that if a coffee is watery and lacks body, it will not take kindly to milk or cream, not because the chemical action of milk or cream flattens it out, but because there is nothing there in the first place. The strength of the brew being equal, all coffees will take cream or milk, Mr. Harris held.[329]

Burns No. 12 Grinding Mill Burns No. 12 Grinding Mill
Designed for hotel and restaurant trade
Monitor Steel-Cut Grinder, Separator, and Chaffer Monitor Steel-Cut Grinder, Separator, and Chaffer

M.J. McGarty said in 1915 that he had tried out many coffees in the cup, and could not see that adding milk made any difference. However, he found that sometimes a line of coffees will contain a sample that flattens out at the drinking point (the point where the boiling water has cooled to permit of its being drunk); and he thought this was what Mr. McCann had in mind, as, by adding milk to such a coffee, it was brought back to the drinking point. In other words, it was Mr. McGarty's opinion that, in blending coffees, those coffees which hold their own from the start, or boiling point, until they become cold, or even improve right through, are more desirable for blending purposes; and that those that are best at the drinking point should be given the preference.[330]

Coffee Blends for Restaurants

William B. Harris[331] believes that the coffee of prime importance in preparing restaurant blends is Bogota. He advises the use of a full-bodied Bogota and an acid Bourbon Santos in the proportion of three-fourths Bogota to one-fourth Santos. Blends may also be made up from combinations of Bogota, Mexicans, and Guatemalas.

According to Mr. Harris, the average blend of good coffee when made up, two and one-half pounds of coffee to five gallons of water, will produce a liquor of good color and strength. For many hotels, however, this may not answer, as it is not heavy enough. More coffee must then be used, or ten percent of chicory added. A blend with chicory can be made by using two-thirds Bogota, one-third Bourbon Santos,[Pg 400] and ten percent chicory. No steward, hotel man, or restaurant man should, however, advertise "coffee" on his menu, and then serve a drink employing chicory; because, while there is no federal law against such a practise, there are state laws against it. Chicory is all right in its place; and many prefer a drink made from coffee and chicory; but such a drink can not properly be called coffee.

Hotel men should purchase their coffee in the bean, and do their own grinding. Then they need never have cause to complain that their coffee man deceived them, or that some salesman misled them. The hotel steward wishing to furnish his patrons with a heavy-bodied coffee, particularly a black after-dinner coffee, without chicory, will use three, four, or even four and one-half pounds of ground coffee to five gallons of water.

With so wide a choice of coffees to choose from, a coffee blender can make up many combinations to meet the demands of his trade. Probably no two blenders use exactly the same varieties in exactly the same proportions to make up a blend to sell at the same price. However, they all follow the same general principles laid down in the foregoing flavor classification of the world's coffees.

Johnson Carton-Filling, Weighing, and Sealing Machine Johnson Carton-Filling, Weighing, and Sealing Machine

Grinding and Packaging Coffee

Unless the coffee is to be sold in the bean, it is sent to the grinding and packing department, to be further prepared for the consumer. Since the federal food law has been in effect, the public has gained confidence in ground and bean coffee in packages; and today a large part of the coffee consumed in the United States is sold in one and two pound cartons and cans, already blended and ready for brewing.

The Ideal Steel-Cut Mill The Ideal Steel-Cut Mill

A progressive coffee-packing house may have three different styles of grinding machines; one called the granulator for turning[Pg 401] out the so-called "steel-cut" coffee; the second, a pulverizer for making a really fine grind; and the third, a grinding mill for general factory work and producing a medium-ground coffee.

Commercial coffee-grinding machines are alike in principle in all countries, the beans being crushed or broken between toothed or corrugated metal or stone members, one revolving and the other being stationary. While all grinding machines are alike in principle, they may vary in capacity and design. The average granulator will turn out about five hundred pounds of "steel-cut" coffee in an hour; the pulverizer, from seventy-five to two hundred pounds; and the average grinding mill from five hundred to six hundred pounds. Some types of grinding machines have chaff-removing attachments to remove, by air suction, the chaff from the coffee as it is being ground.

A large number of trade terms for designating different grinds of coffee are used in the United States, some of them meaning the same thing, while similar names are sometimes contradictory. A canvass of the leading American coffee packers in 1917[332] discovered that there were fifteen terms in use, and that there were thirty-four different meanings attached to them. For the term "fine" there were five different definitions; "medium" had five; "coarse", seven; "pulverized", four; "steel-cut", seven; "ground", two; "powdered", one; "percolator", two; "steel-cut-chaff-removed", one; "Turkish ground", one; while "granulated", "Greek ground", "extra fine", "standard", and "regular" were not defined.

The term "steel-cut" is generally understood to mean that in the grinding process the chaff has been removed and an approximate uniformity of granules has been obtained by sifting. The term does not necessarily mean that the grinding mills have steel burrs. In fact, most firms employ burrs made of cast-iron or of a composition metal known as "burr metal", because of its combined hardness and toughness.

The "steel-cut" idea is another of those sophistries for which American advertising methods have been largely responsible in the development of the package-coffee business in the United States. The term "steel-cut" lost all its value as an advertising catchword for the original user when every other dealer began to use it, no matter how the ground coffee was produced. When the public has been taught that coffee should be "steel-cut", it is hard to sell it ground coffee unless it is called "steel-cut"; although a truer education of the consumer would have caused him to insist on buying whole bean coffee to be ground at home.

Smyser Package-Making-and-Filling Machine at the Arbuckle Plant, New York
Smyser Package-Making-and-Filling Machine at the Arbuckle Plant, New York

This machine was invented by Henry E. Smyser of Philadelphia, who secured the first patent in 1880, but it has been much improved by the Arbuckle engineers. The half shown on the left makes the one-pound paper bags complete, including the separate lining of parchment, fills the bag, automatically inserts a premium list at the same time, packs it down, seals it, and delivers it on a short conveyor to the other half (shown on the right) where the package is wrapped in the outside glassine paper and pushed out on a table for the girls to put into shipping cases

"Steel-cut" coffee, that is, a medium-ground coffee with the chaff blown out, does not compare in cup test with coffee that has been more scientifically ground and not[Pg 402] given the chaff removal treatment that is largely associated in the public mind with the idea of the steel-cut process.

Machine for Automatically Packing Coffee in Cartons Machine for Automatically Packing Coffee in Cartons

Five distinct operations are performed by the units comprising this Pneumatic installation, viz., carton-feeding, bottom-sealing, lining, weighing and top-sealing

According to the results of the trade canvass previously referred to, it would appear that the terms most suited to convey the right idea of the different grades of grinding, and likely to be acceptable to the greatest number, would be "coarse" (for boiling, and including all the coarser grades); "medium" (for coffee made in the ordinary pot, including the so-called "steel-cut"); "fine" (like granulated sugar, and used for percolators); "very fine" (like cornmeal, and used for drip or filtration methods); "powdered" (like flour, and used for Turkish coffee).

Coffee begins to lose its strength immediately after roasting, the rate of loss increasing rapidly after grinding. In a test carried out by a Michigan coffee packer,[333] it was discovered that a mixture of a very fine with a coarse grind gives the best results in the cup. It was also determined that coarse ground coffee loses its strength more rapidly than the medium ground; while the latter deteriorates more quickly than a fine ground; and so on, down the scale. His conclusions were that the most satisfactory grind for putting into packages that are likely to stand for some time before being consumed is a mixture consisting of about ninety percent finely ground coffee and ten percent coarse. His theory is that the fine grind supplies sufficiently high body extraction; the coarse, the needful flavor and aroma. On this irregular grind a United States patent (No. 14,520) has been granted, in which the inventor claims that the ninety percent of fine eliminates the interstices—that allow too free ventilation in a coarse ground coffee—and consequently prevents the loss of the highly volatile constituents of the ten percent of coarse-ground particles, and at the same time gives a full-body extraction.

Making and Filling Containers

As stated before, a large proportion of the coffee sold in the United States is put up into packages, ready for brewing. Such containers are grouped under the name of the material of which they are made; such as tin, fiber, cardboard, paper, wood, and combinations of these materials, such as a fiber can with tin top and bottom. Generally, coffee containers are lined with chemically treated paper or foil to keep in the aroma and flavor, and to keep out moisture and contaminating odors.

As the package business grew in the United States, the machinery manufacturers kept pace; until now there are machines that, in one continuous operation, open up a "flat" paper carton, seal the bottom fold, line the carton with a protecting paper, weigh the coffee as it comes down from an overhead hopper into the carton, fold the top and seal it, and then wrap the whole package in a waxed or[Pg 403] paraffined paper, delivering the package ready for shipment without having been touched by a human hand from the first operation to the last. Such a machine can put out fifteen to eighteen thousand packages a day.

Another type of machine automatically manufactures two and three-ply paper cans such as are used widely for cereal packages. It winds the ribbons of heavy paper in a spiral shape, automatically gluing the papers together to make a can that will not permit its contents to leak out. The machine turns out its product in long cylinders, like mailing tubes, which are cut into the desired lengths to make the cans. The paper or tin tops and bottoms are stamped out on a punch press.

Coffee cans are generally filled by hand; that is, the can is placed under the spout of an automatic filling and weighing machine by an operator who slips on the cover when the can is properly filled. The weighing machine has a hopper which lets the coffee down into a device that gauges the correct amount, say a pound or two pounds, and then pours it into the can. The machine weighs the can and its contents, and if they do not show the exact predetermined weight, the device automatically operates to supply the necessary quantity. After weighing, the can is carried on a traveling belt to the labeling machine, where the label is automatically applied and glued. Then the can is put through a drying compartment to make the label stick quickly.

Complete Coffee-Cartoning Outfit in Operation Complete Coffee-Cartoning Outfit in Operation
The girl is feeding the "flats" into an Improved Johnson bottom-sealer. The carton travels to a Scott weigher on the right and thence to the top-sealer on the left

Paper bags are filled much the same way as the tin and the fiber cans. In fact, some packers fill their paper and fiber cartons by the same system; although the tendency among the largest companies is to instal the complete automatic packaging equipment, because of its speed and economy in packaging. Frequently, the weighing machines[Pg 404] are used in filling wooden and fiber drums holding twenty-five, fifty, and one hundred pounds of coffee, to be sold in bulk to the retailer.

Three Types of Automatic Coffee-Weighing Machines
Three Types of Automatic Coffee-Weighing Machines
Left—Duplex net weigher. Center—Pneumatic cross-weight machine. Right—Scott net weigher

Coffee Additions and Fillers

In all large coffee-consuming countries, coffee additions and fillers have always been used. Large numbers of French, Italian, Dutch, and German consumers insist on having chicory with their coffee, just as do many Southerners in the United States.

The chief commercial reason for using coffee additions and fillers is to keep down the cost of blends. For this purpose, chicory and many kinds of cooked cereals are most generally used; while frequently roasted and ground peas, beans, and other vegetables that will not impair the flavor or aroma of the brew, are employed in foreign countries. Before Parliament passed the Adulterant Act, some British coffee men used as fillers cacao husks, acorns, figs, and lupins, in addition to chicory and the other favorite fillers.

Up to the year 1907, when the United States Food and Drugs Act became effective, chicory and cereal additions were widely used by coffee packers and retailers in this country. With the enforcement of the law requiring the label of a package to state when a filler is employed, the use of additions gradually fell off in most sections.

In botanical description and chemical composition chicory, the most favored addition, has no relationship with coffee. When roasted and ground, it resembles coffee in appearance; but it has an entirely different flavor. However, many coffee-drinkers prefer their beverage when this alien flavor has been added to it.

Treated Coffees and Dry Extracts

The manufacture of prepared, or refined, coffees has become an important branch of the business in the United States and Europe. Prepared coffees can be divided into two general groups: treated coffees, from which the caffein has been removed to some degree; and dry coffee extracts (soluble coffee), which are readily dissolved in a cup of hot or cold water.

To decaffeinate coffee, the most common practise is to make the green beans soft by steaming under pressure, and then to apply benzol or chloroform or alcohol to the softened coffee to dissolve and to extract the caffein. Afterward, the extracting solvents are driven out of the coffee by re-steaming. However, chemists have not yet been able to expel all the caffein in treating coffee commercially, the best efforts resulting in from 0.3 to 0.07 percent remaining. After treatment, the coffee beans are then roasted, packed, and sold like ordinary coffee.

[Pg 405]

Vacuum Drum Drier Vacuum Drum Drier

Vacuum drum drier, No. 1 size; diameter of drum, 12 inches; length, 20 inches; used for converting coffee extract and other liquids into dry powder form. This is the smallest size, and was developed for drying smaller quantities of liquids than could be handled economically in the larger sizes. To provide accessibility of the interior for cleansing, the outer casing may be moved back on the track of the bedplate (as shown in the cut), so that free access may be had to the drum and interior of the casing.

Rapid-Circulation Evaporator Rapid-Circulation Evaporator

Used to concentrate coffee extracts and other liquids. The tubes are easily reached through the open door for cleansing. Interior of the vapor body is reached through a manhole.

Rear View of Drum Drier

Rear View of Drum Drier Vacuum drum dryer. No. 1 size; rear view, showing outer casing rolled back from the drum.

Cross-Section of Vacuum Drier Cross-Section of Vacuum Drier

This shows the interior arrangement and principle of operation. The drawing represents a larger size than the photograph, and while the arrangement of some parts is slightly different, the principle of operation is the same.


[Pg 406]

In manufacturing dry coffee extract in the form of a powder that is readily soluble in water, the general method is to extract the drinking properties from ground roasted coffee by means of water, and to evaporate the resulting liquid until only the coffee powder is left. Several methods have been developed and patented to prevent the valuable flavor elements from being evaporated with the water.

A typical dry-coffee-extract-making equipment consists of a battery of percolators, or "leachers", a vacuum evaporating device, and a vacuum drier. The leachers do not differ materially from the ordinary restaurant percolators, a battery usually including from three to seven units, each charge of water going through all the percolations. The resulting heavy liquid then goes to the evaporator to be concentrated into a thick liquor. The evaporator consists of a horizontal cylindrical vapor compartment connected with an inclined cylindrical steam chest in which are numerous tubes, or flues, that occupy almost the whole chest. These tubes are heated by steam. The coffee liquor is passed through the tubes at high speed and thrown with great force against a baffle plate at the opening to the vapor chest. The vapor passes around the baffle plate to a separator. The liquor drops to the lower part of the steam-chest (which is free from tubes), and is ready to be drawn out for the next process, the drying.

At this stage, the extract is a heavily concentrated syrup and is ready to be converted into powder. This is done in the vacuum drier, which consists of a hollow revolving drum surrounded by a tightly sealed cast-iron casing. The drum is heated by steam injected into its interior, and is revolved in a high vacuum. In operation, a coating of coffee liquor is applied automatically, by means of a special device, to the outside of the drum. The liquor is taken by gravity from the reservoir containing the liquid supply and is forced upward by means of a pump into the liquid supply pan, directly under the drum, with sufficient pressure to cause the liquid to adhere to the drum, the excess liquor overflowing from the pan into the reservoir. The coating on the drum is controlled or regulated by a spreader. The heat and the vacuum reduce the extract to a dry powder in less than one revolution of the drum. As the drum completes three-quarters of a turn, a scraper knife removes the coffee powder, which is delivered to a receiver below the drum. Modern vacuum-drum driers have a capacity of from twenty-five to five hundred pounds of dry soluble coffee per hour.

C.W. Trigg and W.A. Hamor were granted a patent in the United States in 1919 on a new process for making an aromatized coffee extract. In this process, the caffeol of the coffee is volatilized and is then brought into contact with an absorbing medium such as is used in the extraction of perfumes. The absorbing medium is then treated with a solvent of the caffeol, and the solution is separated from the petrolatum. Then the coffee solution is concentrated to an extract by evaporation; after which, the extract and the caffeol are combined into a soluble coffee. Five additional patents were granted on this same process in 1921.

Coffee Pot

[Pg 407]

Chapter XXV: FACTORY PREPARATION OF ROASTED COFFEE -- All About Coffee, by William H. Ukers

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