In the last two weeks we’ve covered the unique qualities of the light roast and medium, medium-dark roast coffees. This week, we’ll cover our specialty and favorite, the dark roasted coffees.
In order to reach the level of a dark roast, the beans are heated from 465°F – 485°F, to the end of the second crack and beyond. Oils can be seen on the surface of the beans, which are now dark brown in color, sometimes almost black. The level of oil correlates to how far the coffee is taken past second crack. This bean contains the least caffeine among all types. Dark Roasted coffee can give you bold bodies, richer taste, and darkness. Tastes converge towards chocolaty darkness. When drinking a dark roast, you almost exclusively taste notes from the roast, and there is little in the way of floral, berry, fruit, citrus. Because the original coffee’s qualities are mostly lost at this roast level, it’s difficult to pick out the characteristics of a specific coffee’s origin or lot. Those flavors have been burnt off or overshadowed by the flavor of full caramelization. In unskilled hands or with inexpensive green beans it can give you charred, acrid or burnt flavor.
Some common roast names for dark roasted coffee are Full City, Italian, Viennese, French, Continental, New Orleans, European, Espresso, Viennese, and Italian.
What roast level is best for espresso? Yes, it is dark roasted coffee. Why? Because, the pressure of espresso extraction tends to work best with these darker roasts because the sugar in the beans has been fully caramelized, boosting flavor.
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