Coffee beans arrive at Aroma's Santa Fe warehouse in the raw, unroasted state called "green." Green beans are essentially tasteless, and have little if any odor. Roasting is the last and most important step in the long sequence of processing that the beans go through after they are harvested.
Aroma's roasting style has its origins in the North Beach area of San Francisco. We use an even-temperatured hot air roaster on the beans. The beans are roasted on a fluid bed of hot air, rather than rotating them in a drum over a flame.
This improves the evenness and consistency of the roasts, as none of the beans come in contact with the hot metal of a drum. We roast dark to bring out the full flavor of the coffee without imposing the burnt flavor of over-roasting which is trendy and masks the use of inferior beans. We apply our style to organics as well as to the best varietals we can find.
Aroma roasts only in small batches. Coffee is then hand-packed into airtight bags with one-way valves. This custom approach to roasting and packaging ensures Aroma's high quality standards are sealed in every bag of coffee we ship.
Each of our coffee descriptions contains a Roast Indicator to help you choose the roasts that best match your individual tastes. Although general descriptions can often be misleading because the terms have come to hold different meanings coast to coast, here is how Aroma defines each of its major roasting categories:
Light /American Roast: This is our lightest roast, used primarily in our flavored coffees, but also in a few others such as our Kenya AA, Columbian, Organic SWP Mexican Tollan, and our Organic Breakfast Blend.
Full City Roast: Usually a medium roast, more or less dark cinnamon in color and with little or no oil on the surface.
Italian Roast: The next stage, when droplets of oil appear and the color is only slightly darker, handsomely speckled with dark-brown spots.
French Roast: This is the stage when oil completely covers the beans and they are the color of bittersweet chocolate. At this point the beans are heavily carbonized and you taste more of the flavor of the roast and less of the inherent flavor of the bean.