Dark Roast Coffee: It’s nothing new when it comes to medium & light roasts. They’ve become popular during the rise of the third wave of coffee. However, most people know their first cup of coffee through some dark roasted coffee (dark roast). Newer and lighter roast profiles have only become popular and accessible in recent years due to expensive, high-quality specialty coffees. You can start with this article to understand why coffee has been dark roasted historically and what the future holds for dark roasts.
Dark Roast coffee usually reaches the second, if not a bit further, crack. Coffee beans are generally dark brown, even close to black, and are easily identifiable with the shiny oil on the surface.
French roast, Italian roast, continental roast, espresso roast, New Orleans, .. all these names are for dark roasted coffee ( Dark Roast ); You can see more coffee classification by roast level to better understand!
How Industry Insiders Talk About Dark Roast
The first problem for the coffee roasting industry is that it doesn’t have a comprehensive set of standards for the roasting process. It seems it’s continuing to evolve to eliminate existing standards. “I don’t talk too much about light, medium, dark, or anything like that. The issue is more important than whether roasting develops a coffee. And then, once it’s well-developed, it can (of course) take on the look of a light, medium roast or a ‘darker’ version of it” – Tim Wendelboe, WBC First Prize 2004.
Today roasters use tools like Agtron or ColorTrack to accurately assess the roasting color of a coffee bean, thereby determining where it has gone on that roast. But at the same time, defining this process should go through the stages of the roasting cycle – specifically what happens between the first crack and the second crack—roasting too dark means that the coffee has almost lost its identity. You can take a Kenyan coffee or an Indonesian coffee and roast them hard, and they’ll taste the same.
Blue Bottle – One of the pioneers of the specialty coffee movement, also tries not to use the terms light, medium, or dark to describe their coffee. “We try not to do that unless we compare two products, for example, ‘coffee A is darker than coffee B.’ Instead, we use color, weight loss, and roasting time to set specifications for a given coffee, based on desired flavor characteristics” – Michael Philips, Director of Coffee Culture at Blue Bottle.
“Sometimes, a deep roast brings out the character of the coffee, but you can’t go too far. You need a quality nut to make sure you can roast it, or if not, roast it.” According to Martin Mayorga, founder of Mayorga Organics, an 88-point green coffee will generally taste better than an 84-point green coffee, whether it’s dark roasted. A high-quality nut will still taste better than a low-quality nut, even if it is dark roasted.
It seems we are all consolidating the abandonment of the traditional color scale of coffee roasting. And there are many good reasons for this, but how can a dark roast like Dark Roast be in the spotlight for so long?
It is deeply roasted from the perspective of specialty coffee.
Deep-roasted coffee has long been tinged with “darkness,” primarily due to poor coffee quality in the past. Roasters will “burn out” the unpleasant flavors of low-grade coffee to find more profound, more uniform, and more accessible flavors. This was an understandable way to combat low-quality coffee, but it is no longer necessary. The goal of a specialty coffee roaster is not to get rid of sour flavors but to aim for deeper, more pleasant flavors if coffee has those flavor potentials already in place.
Before the Specialty coffee industry existed, coffee was always strongly roasted. Coffee companies are often more concerned with yield (volume) than quality. Some roasters will use a low-quality coffee blend. Dark roasting can overwhelm any natural flavors in the coffee, leaving only the individual tastes of the roasting to the customer. In general, coffee is dark roasted so that all the good beans, the bad beans, and everything in between are developed to such an extent that they will taste the same. . This is a way to ensure consistency and hide any imperfections.
The difference between a dark roast and a light roast is between a fresh apple and apple sauce. Mass-produced apple sauce is made with substandard apples to be displayed on the shelves so that they become homogenous products. With fresh apples, you can taste the difference between a Granny Smith and a Fuji and the difference between unripe and rotten – Brady from Olympia Coffee Roasting.
This is a prime example of how there has always been a stereotype pervading dark roasted coffee among third-wave coffee drinkers. Even with highly prized coffees, many “modern” specialty coffee drinkers look down on darker roasted coffees, believing that it “masks” their origin and flavor characteristics—the “innate” taste of coffee.
Specialty coffee is a term for no more than 1% of all coffee grown worldwide.
There is a massive gap between specialty coffee companies and commodity coffee companies handling mass roasting. Specialty coffee companies tend to consider roasting an “art” to compliment the high-quality beans, giving customers a more “pure” experience. They try to honor their work by labeling pure market coffee the poor quality of dark roasting. Thereby, Dark Roast has become a tool that allows poor-quality coffee to be sold with a large share of the mass market.
Be more objective when it comes to dark roasting.
However, why do we become “gatekeepers” for what is right and wrong in the coffee world? As an industry, we should be careful not to tell our customers that they should only drink single-origin or lightly roasted products. There will be some limits to the way we talk about dark roast coffee like Dark Roast is not good, secondary, not worth the money – which we are inclined to do.
So, this is when we should talk about roasting coffee to make it suitable for enjoying it. Roasters need to ask themselves: “How do I take this locally grown coffee and then turn it into the best outcome for my customers and what they want to drink? The roasting process is how you compile that information” – Danny Wilson, Head Roaster at Ona Coffee.
If you buy a bag of specialty coffee from a farmer and know that this person is also selling coffee to a powerful roasting company, the same coffee you believe – is the best they have, though they don’t like to drink that way. But, what matters most is not how it is roasted but how well the farmer gets paid for their entire harvest – Tim Wendelboe.
If you source the beans well, roast them thoroughly, and build a recipe that matches that quality, the same way you would with a light or medium roast , you’ll find a quality comparable to a Dark Roast .
Dark roast; A way of calling “hobby.”
In the end, it can be said that Dark Roast is not going anywhere or going anywhere. Lighter roasts, better. That’s just 1% perception in the specialty coffee industry. There is always a vital coffee drinking segment – Where cultures in Latin America, African cultures, and many countries in Asia enjoy their coffee. If specialty coffee wants to make a significant difference, it needs to put its ego aside and see where the coffee market is going. The production of millions of tons of dark-roasted coffee around the world says everything against what the emerging Specialty coffee movement is saying – according to Martin Mayorga.
Despite people’s prejudices about dark roast coffee, there is a consensus that one should not disparage people from drinking dark roast coffee just because they like it. It is no small part of the broader coffee industry, and Specialty Coffee needs to remember that it is a small part of a much larger market.
Roasting is a complicated scientific process (although some might argue it’s more of an art) that takes years to master. Perhaps the most important thing to understand about roasting is what roasting style you prefer & where your favorite coffee comes from – how it should be roasted. Although most specialty coffee companies are known for their very light roasts, there’s nothing to say that a darker roast can’t be great.
Ultimately, the key difference is that a light roast brings out the unique flavors present in the beans while a dark roast hides them. But not all coffee in this world is special or unique enough for you to taste.
- www.perfectdailygrind.com/ Views From The Industry: Dark Roast
- www.coffeecrossroads.com /Coffee Roasts from Light to Dark