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eLightBulbs Blog > How does lighting affect coffee?

How does lighting affect coffee?

Posted by Blair Eisenbraun on May 19, 2010

Coffee is affected by light and heat in various ways, especially during roasting and storage. Here's a short list of both!

How does lighting affect coffee?

The aroma of coffee is caused by various proteins, fats, and enzymes mixed together in perfect proportion, which is unaffected by lighting.  These proteins, fats, and enzymes also create the flavor and texture of the coffee when brewed. 

Where does lighting come in?  It’s related to the effect heat has on coffee beans during storage.  Here is some info on coffee roasting and storage.



1.       Caffeol

Coffee beans are full of a volatile oil named “caffeol”.  Caffeol develops and rises to the surface of the beans while they are being roasted.  If you use a whiter light (higher color temperature bulb) you can see the caffeol oil on the surface of the bean as it is produced. 

2.       Roasting Process

According to the International Coffee Organization, coffee beans release caffeol from inside the bean when they are heated during the roasting process.  The amount of caffeol released affects flavor and is contingent upon the temperature and length of roasting time. 

3.       Coffee Bean Appearance

Caffeol begins to become visible on the outside of the bean when the internal temperature of the bean rises to between 435 and 445 degrees F.  At those temperatures the surface of the bean can start to show patches of oil, depending on the type of lighting you have. 

4.       Shades of Roast

Different people enjoy different shades of roast for their coffee.  A light roast is achieved through shorter roasting times and lower temperatures, while a dark roast results from longer roasting times and higher temperatures.  Lighting is generally irrelevant at this stage. 

5.       Storage After Roasting

Lighting has its most significant effect after roasting when the coffee beans are being stored.  Combined with the amount of air and heat, you must consider the ambient light surrounding stored coffee beans.  A dark, cool place that is airtight is the ideal storage location for well-roasted coffee beans.

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About the Author
Blair Eisenbraun
Blair is an incredibly versatile copywriter. He enjoys researching and mastering his subject matter and provides interesting and engaging commentary through his gift of writing. In his downtime, he is an avid gamer and enjoys finding the humor in life.
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