In How To Choose Your Perfect Coffee Part 1, we were talking about how our speciality coffees are changing for the better and how sophisticated we have become.
Speciality coffees are where the big changes are happening right now.
Like with our wine, we all want to know how our coffee tastes as we know what we prefer.
You can consider dark or light roast coffee in the same way you look at red or white wine. There are more levels and variations than a simple red or white. And it’s the same with coffee.
Let’s Look at How We Have Been Conditioned to Choose Our Coffee in the Supermarkets
Many of us equate dark roast with “strong” coffee to get the ultimate caffeine kick, and light coffee to be weaker. This is not how speciality coffee works.
We also think of decaf as the weakest of the weak and so tasteless that we would rather poke ourselves in the eye with a sharp stick than drink decaf coffee.
Look at a bag of retail ground coffee in your supermarket or local shop and you may see it rated 1-5 on a roast scale with 5 being the darkest roast and the strongest taste.
First of all, that theory is back to front. Dark roast coffee is burned. The taste of the actual coffee varietal is gone, masked by being burnt. If you buy as whole beans they look shiny. That’s the oils leeching out of the bean. The caffeine is lower as it’s been cooked out.
Light Roasted Coffee Has More Flavour And, Believe It or Not, the Most Caffeine
The beans are not shiny and smell completely different.
A specialist coffee roaster, often known as an artisan roaster or craft roaster will hand-roast in their beloved Diedrich, Probat, Giesen, or Petroncini. One thing you can guarantee is that they will never create a “dark roast”.
In fact, some of our roasters will never even go as far as medium, preferring to use terms such as light and light-to-medium.
This is because the best speciality coffee beans, like the best wine grapes, have a distinctive taste. The purpose of roasting is to enhance that flavour, not to cook it to death.
If you are my age (*cough*), you’ll remember green beans in school dinners. That suspiciously odd shade of green that never existed on a colour chart.
Or how about Grandma’s roast beef that was a shade of grey and needed a lot of chewing. She’d say that a beef with a hint of pink was raw and needed more cooking. (Or was that just my Grandma?)
Today, we prefer “al dente” to overcooked mush so we can still taste the food and get the vitamins and benefits.
It’s the Same with Our Coffee Beans
Great coffee often does not require milk or sugar to mask the bitter burnt taste. Even if you swear you can’t drink it without (try this, you’ll be surprised). And it tastes of more than just coffee.
Some smell of nuts and dark chocolate, some of strawberry and blueberries, others of toffee and cream.
These tastes can vary when roasted. Some of the specialists will roast specifically for filter or espresso use.
It really is an art. In fact, in 2017, our friend Dale Harris of Hasbean in Stafford became the World Barista Champion 2017.
This Is Serious Stuff
Different roasters can take the same speciality coffees and create different taste profiles. And, for your information, some are very much better than others (and that’s why we are very selective and only work with 20 or so roasters).
Coffee no longer has to be just a drink. Thanks to single origin speciality coffees and trading directly with the farmers, we can bring untold coffee types and taste profiles to your home.
Coffee Has Become An Experience
If you’d like to take a world tour of coffee, there’s no better way than a coffee subscription that sends different speciality coffees every month.
See more here at www.bluecoffeebox.com/subscribe
Missed Part 1?
Click this link – How To Choose Your Perfect Speciality Coffee Part 1