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10 Thirsty Jobs for Beverage Snobs

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Coffee Roaster

Witnessing coffee beans turn from green to a nice roasted brown is much more involved — and takes longer — than most people think. ChrisBoswell/Thinkstock
Witnessing coffee beans turn from green to a nice roasted brown is much more involved — and takes longer — than most people think. ChrisBoswell/Thinkstock

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Another great career for a coffee lover is the coffee roaster. You can't make great coffee without high-quality beans and roasting those beans is a complicated (and some may say artistic) process. If you have strong feelings about coffee — can tell the tiniest differences between types of beans, regions and even the taste variation on the same coffee from your local shop each day — you probably have the sensibilities of a coffee roaster.

Coffee roasters actually order coffee beans while they're green. Green coffee beans stay fresh for up to 2 years. Once roasted, however, they can lose flavor within three weeks, and even shorter if the beans are ground [source: Wortman]. Roasting green coffee beans releases the oils within the bean, thus releasing the flavor of the coffee. Roast longer? Get a darker, deeper-tasting blend. Because the roasting process relies so much on air conditions and temperature, you can roast one batch of beans on a Tuesday and another batch on Wednesday and get two different-tasting coffees. Excellent coffee roasters try to keep their roasting conditions as consistent as possible, in order to keep their customer's favorite coffees tasting the same every day.

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