February 08, 2022

Torrefacto: The Story and The Facts

By Philippe Jolicoeur
Torrefacto: The Story and The Facts
Torrefacto: The Story and The Facts

Here at 1936 Coffee, we love history and tradition… it’s in our name! The world as we know it today is a mosaic weaving every single thing that has happened before, influencing the next.

Our signature 1936 Torrefacto Instant Coffee is the marriage of two distinct lineages coming together for the first time: instant coffee and Torrefacto style coffee. In one of our most recent blog posts we detailed the story and specifics of instant coffee and today we will be doing the same for Torrefacto.

Starting in 1936 Spain, General Francisco Franco directed an insurrection by the Nationalists , an alliance of Falangists, monarchists, conservatives and traditionalists, who faced resistance from government-loyal Republicans along with comunist and syndicalist anarchists. In early 1939, the Nationalists won the war, leaving them in power until General Francisco Franco’s death in 1975. Of course, this civil war would forever change the nature of Spain as a country, but it would also leave a surprising legacy on coffee that has lasted to this day.

In the time of the Civil War, the devastated country had a great shortage of coffee. To counteract this, roasters began to add sugar to coffee beans during the final stages of roasting, in an attempt to make up for the lost product. The late stages of coffee roasting reach temperatures up to 200°C, which caramelizes the sugar and marries it to the beans in the form of a dark coating around the beans. Thus was born the phenomenon that is now known around the world as ‘torrefacto’.

The practice that originated out of necessity remained a mainstay in Spain, and is now a prominent varietal in Cuba, France, Costa Rica, Argentina and Portugal. This is due to the unique flavor it imparts on the coffee, which has been described by some as a softened bitterness, since the acidity of the coffee is reduced in the process. Our signature Torrefacto instant coffee features a smooth flavor, and the Torrefacto sugar crystals add a sweet caramel-like essence to every cup. They’re also what make 1936 Torrefacto Instant Coffee perfect for recipes and desserts. Whether you’re making our favorite mocha banana muffins, using it in your morning smoothie, or using a spoonful as an ice cream topping, the timeless coffee-sugar combination is sure to blend right in and heighten your favorite recipes.

Another important aspect of Torrefacto roasted coffee that has only recently been researched is the fact that it contains higher antioxidant properties than a natural roast. The addition of sugar during the roasting process increases the development of compounds with high antioxidant activity.

A regular intake of antioxidants may reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and certain cancers. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in our body cells that we may be exposed to by any number of activities in everyday life that produce oxidative stress, such as environmental pollution, excessive exercise, smoking, and exposure to chemicals. Torrefacto Instant Coffee also makes it that much to take in all the known benefits of coffee, such as boosted metabolism, enhanced brain function, improved liver health, and decreased diabetes risk. Here at the 1936 office we’ve certainly been drinking our Torrefacto instant coffee like our life depends on it, and now it appears it might!

The truth is we believe in the powerful idea that events in history all over the world inform our culture and the world we live in today. It’s incredible to imagine how a chain of seemingly unrelated things all lead us to the world we live in today, in all its specificities. Furthermore, here at 1936 Coffee we take pride in being able to carry the torch and bring some of that culture from the past into our modern world, in ways the world has never seen before.

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