In my email inbox very early Saturday morning a customer asked, “Why is the coffee wet?” This was from one of our mainland customers several timezones away. We had a little exchange not too long ago about shipping delays. Once in a while he buys beans from different farms “to see what they are all about.” (Kona coffee farmers thank you!) It’s nice to hear the customer’s perspective and infer how one’s business seems to compare with other similar businesses. He had recently experienced a long delay in a shipment from another Kona coffee farm.
Most of the months since the pandemic shutdown, we fortunately haven’t experienced any significant slowdowns in shipping. It surprised me, in fact. But lately, just in the past couple of weeks, things have noticeably suffered with USPS. Two packages that went out on the same day reached the mainland West Coast in two days. One reached the recipient the day after that; the other stayed stuck in a San Jose, CA, USPS facility for days and didn’t get moved along for a week and a half! The recipient was IN San Jose and could have driven over, could have WALKED over, to get it.
In any case, we do like to hear from customers. Carl asked why our coffee was wet. It stuck to the sides after grinding. He found the same thing with others’ coffee. He wanted to know if that was natural.
I answered, “The coffee appears wet because of its natural oils. The more you roast it, the more oils come out, making it look wet. If you have a darker roast of ours or other coffee, you might want to note if it seems to be ‘wetter’ in your grinder.”
Before being in the coffee business, when I’d just drink coffee and not think much more about it, I used to think that oily, dark beans meant that oil was used to roast the coffee. But, no, roasting longer brings out more of the beans’ oils.
Carl then sent a photo of our coffee and another farm’s Kona coffee. Both are medium roast. Ours is on the right; the other’s on the left. Ours is a little darker and “wetter.”
Beans are roasted within a certain range. Sweet Marias specializes in helping home roasters and has a lot of tutorials and interesting info.
This one might be particularly useful for the topic of roasting and visual signs. It’s one of several articles that can be found in their library about roasting basics.
FYI, we roast to 425 degrees for medium and 433 for medium-dark.
Let us know your other coffee questions …
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Thanks. That was interesting!