Beans with Benefits

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong”

 —R. Buckminster Fuller


At Brown Bag Coffee Roasters our search for the cleanest and healthiest coffee led us to fluid-bed roasting technology, the most improved method for roasting coffee. Fluid bed roasting has been around since 1975, but it’s rarely utilized by commercial coffee roasters. When output becomes the forefront of industry you get good ol’ fashion drum roasting. Picture a rotating cylindrical Bingo number drawer and you’ve got the right idea. Except this lottery is with your health.

In our exploration for a cleaner tasting bean with greater health benefits, Brown Bag Coffee Roasters had to tackle the elephant in the room—the chaff. Chaff is the skin, or husk of the green coffee bean that breaks apart during the expansion in the roasting process and becomes a waste product. Chaff not only alters the taste of the roast, but could come with harmful health side-effects. Drum roasting leaves the chaff burning and tumbling against the beans throughout the entire process. This potential carcinogenic waste smokes and pollutes the process leaving you with higher levels of a compound called Acrylamide. Studies referenced on PubMed.org by the National Institute of Health show acrylamide testing on rats caused several types of cancers. The majority of coffee companies, use drum roasting for maximum distribution to the masses.  While Acrylamide can still be present in Fluid Bed roasted coffee, it has been shown in lesser amounts.  

So, in our quest for excellence at BBCR we obsessed over process and discovered that a clean coffee bean not only tastes better, it’s better for you. It only seemed natural to use fluid-bed roasting for the coffee that our family and community could enjoy. What’s fluid-bed technology in a nutshell? Picture a popcorn machine evenly oscillating hot air over kernels, making fluffy light popcorn and you have the right idea. Unlike the chaff being kept locked in a metal cage along with the beans, as it does with drum roasting, fluid-bed technology separates the harmful carcinogenic waste into its cyclone collector. By freeing the bean the cyclone collector leaves the chaff waste product to be easily recycled back into the environment through composting or mulching.

Even more nerdy, fluid-bed technology has digital sensors accurately measuring the temperature and time of the roast. At the BBCR studio we have three flagship model Sonofresco fluid-bed roasters that allow us to monitor and craft unique flavour profiles with specialized software. We have custom formulated our flavour profiles from the beginning, tirelessly testing each batch until the math made sense.

With the temperature and time under control, and the waste product removed, we get to focus on what we do best—coffee. As you can tell coffee is important to us, health is our concern, family and community has always been our top priority. We would love to tell you more, if you’d like to come visit. When you sign-up for our studio tour we proudly take you through our process, interactively teaching you by tasting our different roasts and answering all of your questions.

Order online today and get our coffee sent right to your door and get a discount on our amazing coffee subscription, including free shipping!

Mmm, coffee.

Health and happiness,

Brown Bag Coffee Roasters


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