If you visit us on Wednesday evenings while the coffee roaster is roasting away, you may notice some points in the roast when the coffee beans start to crack and pop and sound like popcorn. Coffee can generally undergo 2 distinct cracks which provide the roastmaster with critical information of where the beans are in their development. The first crack is long and gradual and occurs when the coffee is at a very light roast. Coffee that has not had its first crack is not fit for consumption, its much to light. After you pass the light roasts and medium roast and start into a medium-dark roast, a more rapid crack occurs. This second crack indicates that the majority of the sugars in the coffee beans have caramelized and are now starting to carbonize (turn to ash). At the second crack, the coffee oils that were once in the bean are driven to the surface and the beans appear oily. The cracks also indicate points in the roast when the beans are undergoing an exothermic reaction (giving off energy) as opposed to just the endothermic reactions occurring at other times in the roast where the beans are absorbing energy.