Torrefacto refers to a particular process of roasting coffee beans, common in Spain, France, Portugal, Costa Rica and Argentina. The process involves adding a certain amount of sugar during roasting in order to glaze the beans. The glazed beans are then mixed with normal roasted beans. While originally a cheap way of adding weight to the beans, a suggested reason for continued use the technique has been maintenance of the aroma and taste of the coffee. In fact the opposite is probably true and the process sharply increases the acidity and bitter taste of the coffee. The process is not followed in the rest of the coffee world.
The addition of sugar during the torrefacto roasting process increases the production of compounds with antioxidant properties. Both ground and brewed torrefacto coffee has higher antioxidant capacity than standard roasts. In addition, the espresso method of extraction yielded higher antioxidant activity than other brewing methods.
- López-Galilea I, Andueza S, di Leonardo I, Paz de Peña M, Cid C. Influence of torrefacto roast on antioxidant and pro-oxidant activity of coffee. Food Chemistry, 94;(1):75-80.