All coffee roasting equipment roasts coffee through the same process: by creating heat that transforms the physical and chemical properties of green coffee beans into roasted coffee products. Physically, the beans turn from green to varied shades of brown. Chemically, the aromatics, acids and other flavour components are either created, balanced, or altered in a way that augments the flavour, acidity, aftertaste and body of the coffee beans as desired by the roaster.
The primary difference, however, between wood roasting and conventional roasting (gas) lies in the speed at which the internal temperature of the bean itself rises. For centuries, coffee was roasted in wood-fired ovens; however, other heat sources such as natural gas have taken over and have primarily been used to speed up the roasting process and reduce costs … not to enhance the final product.
Even with the advent of more modern heat sources, Kim Loupis, the Wood Roaster, has steadfastly refused to abandon the time-honoured, traditional, wood-fired roasting method. This results in a roasting time that takes three to four times longer than modern (gas) methods, but which allows them to retain many of the natural compounds by preserving more of the flavours within the beans. This slow roasting process results in coffee that is lower in acidity and higher in body.
You might also be thinking that similar to a wood-fired oven or grill, the smoke imparts a distinct flavour to the beans. This is the case; however, the change in flavour characteristics are very subtle, providing more of a particular imprint, rather than an altered profille.
For more information, visit: www.thewoodroaster.com