When it comes to mastering the perfect cup of coffee, there are many elements to consider - it is a finely crafted skill after all! From which water to use to choosing your preferred home brew method (the V60, Chemex, Aeropress, etc.), the key is to experiment to find the perfect combination - trust us, once you find it, no coffee will ever have the same flavor.
However, there is often an overlooked factor in the repeated crafting process. That is once you have mastered your technique and have chosen to mix it with different levels of roast. The key is to match your technique to the roast profile of the selected beans. To many, this may not seem like a big deal, but we promise it will make a big difference in your preparation. For example, if you switch your beans from light to medium roast, but follow the same preparation steps each time you don't get the best of your beans. Why? Well, we are here to tell you.
The Coffee Roasting process is reduced to the correct level of extraction, as the chemical compounds in each bean are part of the flavor profile. In the typical roasting process, the fruity notes and acidity are extracted first, followed by the sugars. It's a delicate process that, if not timed properly, could lead to under-extracted bitter beans or over-extracted bitter options!
It is useful to note that light roasts are less porous than dark ones, which causes them to extract more slowly, so a slower preparation process is recommended. A darker roast doesn't taste as good with a slower brewing method like pouring and could lead to a more bitter cup of flavor - not what you're looking for!
First, let's look at their roast profiles. As standard, light roasts contain more flavors from the coffee bean throughout the roasting process, resulting in floral and citrus notes. Medium roasts have a more chocolate and nutty flavor, due to a darker roast. Finally, a dark roast is the strongest of all coffees and is a nice step before bitter. Medium and dark roasts are used to make short and spicy coffees, such as espresso. A larger infusion, to drink longer, works best with a light roast - that's the morning cup that gets you through until lunchtime.
Now that you understand roasting, let's look at the adjustments to make:
1. GRINDING SIZE
A key variable here is that the finer the coffee, the more surface exposure. Generally, finer grinds work for a lighter roast, and dark roasts work for coarser grinds. This is because darker roasts are naturally more bitter, so they would need less contact time in the water to extract them. Change the size of the grind depending on whether your roast is lighter or darker.
Bonus Tip: If you have some older light roasted beans, grind them finer, it will increase the surface area and extraction rate, which should bring back the flavor of the stale beans.
2. WATER TEMPERATURE
The hotter the water used, the hotter the extraction, and it does. This is an important factor to take into account. If you are brewing your coffee with darker roasted beans, we suggest that you use a lower temperature for the water than usual, as this will reduce the risk of over-extraction, which makes the coffee bitter. If you've opted for a lighter roast, raise the water temperature a bit to speed up extraction.
A helpful tip for your experiments: a dark roast with high temperature water will not taste as good as usual, however a lighter roast will pass the taste test when done with lower temperature water.
3. PREPARATION TIME
Adjust the time dedicated to the preparation method you have chosen. For example, pouring water in more slowly when brewing filter coffee, or allowing a French press to sit for longer before serving will produce better tasting coffee, depending on the roast. An easy way to remember this is that the lighter the roast, the longer the roast, as this allows more flavors to develop.
Keep these guidelines in mind when brewing at home and we can guarantee you a perfect cup of coffee. It's all about testing and perfecting, that's what adds fun and skill to our daily caffeine boost.
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