This is an utter folly, roasting coffe beans most likely DIMINISHES the caffeic acid content in the beans!
Originally Posted by jnanian
Witness this quote from wikipedia :
"Caffeic acid is a hydroxycinnamic acid, a naturally occurring organic compound. This yellow solid consists of both phenolic and acrylic functional groups. It is found in all plants because it is a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of lignin, one of the principal sources of biomass."
This indicates that caffeic acids (or rather phenolic acids) are a natural part of ALL green vegataion and the growth thereof. Cucumbers in particular are said to be very high in caffeic acid, and hopefully, noone would be fool enough to try to roast cucumbers.....?
By roasting coffee beans, we change the TASTE, because some of the phenolic acids are turned into fats (and probably theerein lies the taste I crave for every morning).
We turn to instant coffee, instead of the beans because of two reasons : its easily commercially available. Thats the most important. The second is its easy to make a concentrated solutions, this is the second, but just as important as the first. Getting the right concentration from the beans seems a pain in the butt, and leads to long developing times and more importantly, since noone guarntees whats inside the beans one might find, the results are totally unpredictable.
Roasting the beans transforms some of their contents, overroasting turns everything into charcoal, which will absorb active substances like developing agents and other stuff....
I have not found any chem. analysis of caffee-beans, but think the roasting process diminishes the caffeic acid content, however it possibly makes it more available to our use, if we used non-roasted beans or cucombers, we'd need to venture into some sort of chemical fabrication process, to try to extract the acids....
A lot of work, a lot of unnecessary work, since we already have a viable, and readily available alternative in instant coffee at our fingertips...............
Of course I'd love to develop films in cucumbers, but my first bet would be ordinary tea, like Earl Grey, or better yet, a tin of instant Herbal tea from Switzerland, that I found in the supermarket, just before Christmas!
To me, its a pity that so many people put so much weight on the coffee-part in these recipes.
Since the connection between soda and ascorbic acid was put forward, people should realize that ascorbic acid, or the reaction-result thereof in solution, sodium ascorbate, is the main developing agent here, while the coffee content is relegated to a secondary role, much like the connection between Metol and Hydroquinone in ordinary developers.
It's easy to put forward a coffee-free ascorbate developer, while an ascorbate-free coffee developer guarantees very long development times, lack of contrast and thin negatives (low ISO).
But the stamina and work load of such a project like this is of course impressive!