Torrefacto is a special way of roasting coffee beans, which is particularly widespread in Spain (but also in France, Portugal, Costa Rica and Argentina). What᾽s special about τorrefacto coffee is that sugar is added during roasting.
Spanish coffee blends often consist of 20% torrefacto beans and 80% traditionally roasted beans. Such a combination is also known as "Mezcla" (Spanish for "mixture"). The term “torrefacto” itself also comes from Spanish and means "roasted".
The addition of sugar is characteristic of torrefacto roasting. As a result, the beans caramelize more strongly during the roasting process and the acidity of the coffee beans is reduced, which in turn reduces the bitter taste of the coffee.
The beans caramelized by the torrefacto roasting can be recognized by their dark color and a stronger gloss compared to conventional coffee beans. Thanks to the icing with which the beans are coated during roasting, they can be roasted much darker than usual.
The sugar sealing also means that Torrefacto beans have a longer shelf life than conventional beans. Torrefacto coffee was originally created to make the beans more durable by caramelizing them and to preserve the aromas - which is what the airtight packaging does today.
Torrefacto coffee is made by using primarily Arabica beans. These beans are caramelized separately and then mixed with traditionally roasted Arabica beans.
In general, Torrefacto beans can be used in different ways to prepare any coffee specialty. The results can, however, differ slightly in terms of taste. For example, if you prepare espresso manually in the portafilter machine, Torrefacto mixtures have a rather dominant acidity.
With coffee from a fully automatic machine, on the other hand, the acid almost does not come out - the coffee tastes soft and creamy.
In general, the sugar layer on the Torrefacto beans does not result in any significant issues when using a professional coffee grinder. Only with blends that contain 60% or more Torrefacto coffee there are difficulties with common household grinders. However, professional mills usually also work with these mixtures without any problems.
Oh and don’t forget that compared to regular coffee (without milk and sugar), Torrefacto coffee has more calories due to the addition of sugar. However, the calorie content is still very low!
Let me know if you have any more questions regarding torrefacto coffee!