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haresfur

Coffee roast opinions and cultural differences

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Well it happened again. I was at a local coffee roaster and asked for their darkest roast. I got a withering glare and was informed that they only roast light. Like I had asked for a well done steak or for a vodka martini at a different type of establishment. My main espresso stand uses a pretty light roast and shares the opinion on dark roasts, although they are less supercilious about it. Pretty much every cafe in Australia uses a light roast.

 

I'm getting used to the lighter espresso, especially when brewed well, but I kind of miss being able to go to the dark side. And I find that light roasts are often higher caffeine than I want.

 

Is this light roast fetish an Aussie thing or is it a coffee snob thing? Or just the way they like it, thank you, nothing wrong with that?

 

Thoughts on different roasts. Are preferences regional - is French Roast really a French thing? What do you like and why? Does it vary with brewing method? Am I terminally un-hip?

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As with everything else, it the Money.

 

Roasting coffee beans does not have a simple rule. It depends on which coffee beans is used, the age of the roasting as well as the age of the grounding.

 

Coffee shops "in general" use a mix of coffee beans and some use a mix of roasting level in their blend.

The cheapest coffee beans make the largest profit and they use Robusta to varying degrees of blend.

 

Australia is not known for being a coffee drinkers paradise and hence I assume the taste is subjective to the availability.

 

There is also a missconception that dark roast are bitter and light roast have more beans flavor which is utter nonsense.

 

Purist will only have their Espresso with dark roasted beans......freshly roasted and ground.......FRESHLY ROASTED AND GROUND!

 

Try an Espresso made with dark roasted Arabica beans and you will never look back......and Arabica from which country also makes a huge difference.

 

 

Now whether you add sugar or not is another debate.


Edited by Nicolai (log)
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has any one tried a searzall and a steel bowl?

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there are plenty of roasting threads on sites like Home Barista.

 

coffee is a personal beverage.  and I happen to be an expert.  

 

:raz:    :raz:    :raz:  

 

all kidding aside :  Ive been home roasting for over 10 years w beans from Sweet Maria.

 

as I knew everything even before I started doing this   (  :raz: )

 

I roasted my beans darker than Tom at SW suggested.  what does he know anyway ?

 

In palo alto before I got interested in home roasting and "true" espresso there was a coffee-house of sorts, right next to the apple store.

 

how nice.

 

I wanted an espresso as I was told by People Who Knew, that their espresso was first rate.

 

knowing everything, I doubted this.  you had to go to europe for that.   I didn't know why, but that's they only place I had true espresso

 

but I went into this establishment, and they had lighter beans for their espresso than for their drip.  dummies I trhought.

 

but their espresso was the very very real deal.  I pretended they didn't give me that itsy bitsy lemon peel BTW

 

they I started roasting and got a Ranchilio then an AlexiaPID

 

it took me a year or two to try a lighter roast for the true espresso.  Tom was right.  lighter espresso in a true espresso machine comes out

 

perfectly.  its a bit sweet yet still intense.  so its true.  based on a single consistent taste preference  ( mine ) a bit lighter works much better for true

 

espresso.  darker for drip.

 

you have to find a place that makes true espresso to test this for your self if you don't make it at home w a serious machine

 

BTW   Starbucks and Peets do not make true espresso, so id not bother to start there.

 

re searzall :  it would be very difficult to use that to roast beans that then would taste good.  one scorched bean in the grind would ruin the coffee.

 

 

BTW re cultural coffee differences  :   I lived in Spain for two years growing up :  their espresso is essentially made w beans that most people else-where 

 

would be consided burnt.  French roast is different than Italian roast as people in France like their coffee a little lighter roasted than Italians.

 

more or less.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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has any one tried a searzall and a steel bowl?

Heat gun and stainless bowl yes. It works and is my standing fail safe method should my roaster go down. No Searzall roasting. I like my hands too much

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BTW:  the Coffee-House  next to Apple in Palo Alto ?  it was purchased by Starbucks, and immediately closed .

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As with everything else, it the Money.

 

Roasting coffee beans does not have a simple rule. It depends on which coffee beans is used, the age of the roasting as well as the age of the grounding.

 

Coffee shops "in general" use a mix of coffee beans and some use a mix of roasting level in their blend.

The cheapest coffee beans make the largest profit and they use Robusta to varying degrees of blend.

 

Australia is not known for being a coffee drinkers paradise and hence I assume the taste is subjective to the availability.

 

There is also a missconception that dark roast are bitter and light roast have more beans flavor which is utter nonsense.

 

Purist will only have their Espresso with dark roasted beans......freshly roasted and ground.......FRESHLY ROASTED AND GROUND!

 

Try an Espresso made with dark roasted Arabica beans and you will never look back......and Arabica from which country also makes a huge difference.

 

 

Now whether you add sugar or not is another debate.

 

Actually Australia considers itself quite the coffee drinkers paradise, and IMO deservedly so. Especially Melbourne and more and more in other cities. Even in small towns you get a mostly passable espresso - certainly better than American Bunn Pour-O-Matic drip.

 

I more or less started on darker roasts and agree they don't have to be bitter. I was surprised here at their lack of availability here - at least with fresh roasted beans. We have about 3 roasters in a city of less than 150,000 and that's because the one my main shop uses moved up to the high country. The purists here seem to be all in the light roast camp - thus the question about regional differences.

 

there are plenty of roasting threads on sites like Home Barista.

 

coffee is a personal beverage.  and I happen to be an expert.  

 

:raz:    :raz:    :raz:  

 

all kidding aside :  Ive been home roasting for over 10 years w beans from Sweet Maria.

 

as I knew everything even before I started doing this   (  :raz: )

 

I roasted my beans darker than Tom at SW suggested.  what does he know anyway ?

 

In palo alto before I got interested in home roasting and "true" espresso there was a coffee-house of sorts, right next to the apple store.

 

how nice.

 

I wanted an espresso as I was told by People Who Knew, that their espresso was first rate.

 

knowing everything, I doubted this.  you had to go to europe for that.   I didn't know why, but that's they only place I had true espresso

 

but I went into this establishment, and they had lighter beans for their espresso than for their drip.  dummies I trhought.

 

but their espresso was the very very real deal.  I pretended they didn't give me that itsy bitsy lemon peel BTW

 

they I started roasting and got a Ranchilio then an AlexiaPID

 

it took me a year or two to try a lighter roast for the true espresso.  Tom was right.  lighter espresso in a true espresso machine comes out

 

perfectly.  its a bit sweet yet still intense.  so its true.  based on a single consistent taste preference  ( mine ) a bit lighter works much better for true

 

espresso.  darker for drip.

 

you have to find a place that makes true espresso to test this for your self if you don't make it at home w a serious machine

 

BTW   Starbucks and Peets do not make true espresso, so id not bother to start there.

 

re searzall :  it would be very difficult to use that to roast beans that then would taste good.  one scorched bean in the grind would ruin the coffee.

 

 

BTW re cultural coffee differences  :   I lived in Spain for two years growing up :  their espresso is essentially made w beans that most people else-where 

 

would be consided burnt.  French roast is different than Italian roast as people in France like their coffee a little lighter roasted than Italians.

 

more or less.

 

Thanks Rotus, I come here for the expertise.  :wink:

 

I wasn't so interested in a roasting thread because we have those but maybe I will have to start if I want to explore the dark side.

 

I do like a good dark roast for drip. I was buying beans for cold brew and thought that it might go well there. I have become spoiled and very rarely make hot coffee at home. My usual place uses a small batch fresh roast blend that actually isn't my personal favorite but once they run it through their Slayer it is bliss. Couldn't stand it at home in our cheap machine. The shop owner will work with new staff for weeks before he will let them make coffee for customers. And even then, when I brought Chris Taylor in, he remade the shot because Chris doesn't adulterate his brew.


Edited by haresfur (log)
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a long time ago, before I roasted for myself  ( a key step im making the perfect cup for yourself )  i did cold brew

 

you do not get the oils you get w hot.  some think the oils are bitter some not.  a good paper filter takes out some of the oils, a gold metal filter ( I use one ) less so.

 

Ill pass on one more piece of Knowledge I learned ;

 

Given that my drip and espresso ( AlexisiaPID ) are as perfect as I can physically make them    I could buy more expensive espresso equipment, 

 

maybe this :

 

https://www.chriscoffee.com/La-Marzocco-GS3-Mechanical-Paddle-p/gs3-1g-mp.htm

 

and this :

 

https://www.chriscoffee.com/Compak-F10-Fresh-Grinder-PA-p/f10-polished.htm

 

but my espresso would not be any better as Ive reached my 'physical" max :  i.e. the tamp is the last step and that's up to you.

 

of note  :  its not just the roasting final temp that matters for espresso and drip : its the blend of beans.  the blend that works best for me for drip

 

does not work as well for espresso, and the blend for espresso not do nice for drip.  the blend for each has three different green beans in it

 

 

if interested look here :

 

http://www.home-barista.com/reviews/favorite-espressos-2015-t34047.html

 

my espresso looks like that  90 % of the time.  sometimes 95%   :raz:

 

and here :

 

http://www.home-barista.com/reviews.html

 

and here :

 

http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-grinder-reviews.html

 

and here :

 

http://www.chriscoffee.com/coffee-bean-grinder-s/2099.htm

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We have about 3 roasters in a city of less than 150,000 and that's because the one my main shop uses moved up to the high country.

Might be the one that opened up in Tawonga South just around the corner from my work.

Simon

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My first experience with espresso was when I was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco and found a great Italian resaturant in the Marina District, not too far from the Lombard street gate so was well withing walking distance (a mile or so was nothing in those days).  One of my mates was an Italian girl from Philly and she said the place was the real deal.

They had one of the huge old copper and brass machines - sounded like it was going to explode - and they used oily black beans that were ground in an equally old and ornate grinder - hand-cranked.

I was immediately hooked.  And it spoiled me for other places offering "espresso" - even the fancier and more expensive places. 

 

I like dark roasts, the darker the better but the beans have to be good to begin with.  Some beans will never be really good, no matter how they are roasted.

 

I like Starbucks dark roast coffees for regular brewing (in my Senseo - make my own pods) especially the Komodo Dragon, the Sumatra but I also buy the French Roast and blend the three together.

I also buy other French Roast coffees - Landmark San Francisco is one.  Black Knight from Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Koffee Kult and a couple of others, all tried in the past few months.

 

Has to be freshly ground, that is a given.

Freshly roasted?  Not so much.  Years ago I got some advice from a retired coffee buyer/taster (when I was playing with a roaster)  who said that coffee should have a "resting period" following roasting, depending on the type of the beans and the depth of the roast, to bring out the best flavor.  Too soon after roasting and one does not get the subtle overtones that develop, sometimes slowly, in the best beans that have been properly roasted. 

 

I'm a "supertaster" (part of the study at UCLA in 2002) so perhaps I can sense things in the brew that others can't but to me the "blond" and medium roasts are bland and insipid.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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Might be the one that opened up in Tawonga South just around the corner from my work.

Simon

 

I would guess: T'hooft

 

They used to have a cafe in Bendigo before the move. I think they did retail for a while in Mt. Beauty. Get Naked Espresso here bought their 2-head Slayer to open a second location.

 

Haven't made it up to your area but it sounds great.

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I have to agree with the glaring Aussie barista snob in the first post. As good coffee availability has improved, i've noticed my favorite roasters all use a light roast. I had a long conversation with a rep at Stumptown about this; she simply said that the darker the roast, the less the intrinsic quality of the bean comes through. Once you get to "Italian Roast," it hardly even matters what you started with. This is why dark roasts are favored by companies like Starbucks. 

 

I've noticed the same pattern at companies like Intelligentsia and Counter Culture (although I buy less of their coffee and haven't have talked to anyone there ... I can't say for sure they don't roast anything dark). Anyway, I'm sold. By far the most complex and flavorful coffees I've had are light roasts. Dark roasted beans taste to me much more one-dimensional.

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"""   the darker the roast, the less the intrinsic quality of the bean comes through  ""

 

that's very true.

 

Iver been home roasting for 15 years.  I get my green beans from SweetMaria     20 lbs / shipment.

 

coffee is a Personal Beverage, as most are.

 

however, I don't care for 'light roast'

 

to me that tastes like 'dry dirt dust ' in my mouth on a dry dusty day.

 

i have no other way to describe it.

 

Ive been trough may not a tom a beans, but Ive been careful and kept track :

 

for drip, a different mix of beans, and 5 degrees more of Roast, based on my Cooper long probe thermometer

 

however for Killer Espresso   ( I use the Alexia PID and a Compac K3 )  5 less degrees and a different blend.

 

however  if you like what you get or brew for your self, that's the only thing that matters

 

​what they tell you in ' the coffee shop ' matters little if you don't like what you're sipping.

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Do Stumptown and Counterculture beans taste like dry dirt dust to you? Maybe your idea of light roast is lighter than what they're talking about.

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I have not tried what you suggest

 

hoever, Ive done more roasts at all sorts of temps using the finest green beans from SM

 

its taken me easily  a year and 1/2 to get my green blend for the AlexiaPID just right

 

for me.

 

if any one loves coffee, they should really look into Roasting Your Own

 

at home

 

it will take you 1 - 2 years to get your own personal SweetSpot

 

but when you get there

 

as  its a personal beverage

 

it makes no difference what so ever what even the Best Roasters make

 

they do not make it for you, as only you understand what you like.

 

you can only know that by roosting yourself , as a journey that takes a bit of time

 

and a bit of thought.

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I find under-roasted coffee sour, not "dry and dusty"... people have sung the praises of "blonde roast" to me, and I've triedroasting my nice beans to that level... ugggh... <billthecat>ack thhhhpffft!</billthecat>

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the only thing important in Coffee is the second step is the most important :

 

frist step  :  get very good quality green beens    and keep track of the varieties you've  gotten

 

easy step

 

roast your own

 

not so easy but very doable if this interests you

 

sorry  no SizeAll   one burt bean an you got burnt coffee 

 

to busy or challenged to do do this   

 

Fine

 

but the commercial places you buy from >  do you like it In Your Cup ?

 

remember  :  Its In the Cup   a mighty small one for Espresso  a bigger one for Drip

 

that's It.

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Rotus, do you think Stumptown and Intelligentsia coffee tastes like dirt? Or maybe you're using a different definition of light roast than they are.

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never tasted it

 

all I know is what I roast after working for some time and keeping track of it

 

is for me,   and only me  is a great deal better than any commercial roaster can roast 

 

for me

 

if you really like coffee

 

roast your own

 

you buy Ing it 

 

then don't complain

 

just start roasting

 

or well  

 

thats what your Goitt

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I roast at home and have been doing it for about 15 yrs but know I don't have the control of a commercial drum roaster. Can you get good results at home? Yes, better than pre roasted store brand or Starbucks and many other establishments. Better than an experienced commercial roaster using the same quality beans? Not sure about that unless they over roast everything

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Seriously, Rotus, if you haven't had Stumptown or Intelligentsia, how do you know that no commercial roaster can roast as well as you?

 

Considering that I'd never encountered well-roasted coffee anywhere in NYC before those two came to town, I can only assume it's not easy. The home-roasted coffee I've had was indeed better than Starbucks ... I'll leave it at that.

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because ive worked on it 

 

for some time

 

and paid attention to each roast Ive made.

 

I will grant you that they may  Approach what i  roast 

 

but that can not ever get to what i roast for my self

 

after all, Im  the drinker

 

sooooo

 

try to roast for your self

 

in a year or two, well it'd going to not be Just Better

 

its going to Suit You !

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It's possible that what you're calling "light roast" and what people at Stumptown and Heart and Counter Culture call light roast are quite different. The term is obviously subjective and ambiguous; without side-by-side pictures it's hard to know what anyone's talking about. To get into the ballpark, I believe these guys are all roasting lighter than what was common in France and Italy (at least 20 or 30 years ago) and quite a bit lighter than what you see at Starbucks.

 

I don't think any of them do a truly pale, very light roast for their standard offerings, especially for an espresso (which would be overly bright and acidic).

 

Which also leads me to scratch my head when you talk about light roasts making coffee that tastes like dirt. Typically you'd expect the opposite; the lighter the roast, the higher the acidity. Too light = too bright. Unbalanced w/r/t tartness vs. sweetness.

 

How long do you rest the coffee after roasting? 


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Actually Australia considers itself quite the coffee drinkers paradise, and IMO deservedly so. Especially Melbourne and more and more in other cities. Even in small towns you get a mostly passable espresso - certainly better than American Bunn Pour-O-Matic drip.

 

The current world Barista champion (won is Seattle this year) comes from Canberra.

 

I know the roaster for the cafe group run by the world champion and he talks about different preferences around different parts of Australia. Sydney, for example, typically prefers a darker roast.

 

If you want dark roasted, try to get an Italian style expresso blend -- it tastes burnt to me but it may be what you are looking for.

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Re: Australian coffee, Toby's Estate has moved into NYC and has been warmly received. My local shop now carries it in place of Stumptown. It seems to be in the same league but a bit more reasonably priced. 

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