Had a weird one today – a bag of coffee roasted in Spain that at first glance looked a very odd mixture of roasts:
It wasn’t until I broke one of the shiny ones open that I worked out what was going on. Inside the dark, sticky beans the colour wasn’t nearly as dark and in fact was pretty light. I stuck one in my mouth and the weird sticky, sweet outer coating (the person I was with suggested sugar puffs as a description and he was spot on) pretty much confirmed that these were the result of the weird and rarely seen (in the uk anyways) practise of throwing sugar in the with the beans to help disguise qualities of the coffee. Back when I was just getting into coffee chemistry I managed to get hold of my first scientific paper and it was about this style of roasting. Sadly (sort of) I didn’t get to taste them. I sort of want to know more – do you need special equipment for this? How much sugar do you add? Do you spray on sugar water? Can it ever possibly actually taste nice? Anyone ever had a go?