Light Roast Coffee or Dark Roast Coffee?
Do Light Coffee Roasts Have More Flavor?
My taste in Coffee Roasts has changed dramatically. I’ve come full circle over the years in how I like my coffee. Even when I gave up cheap canned coffee 15 years ago, it took me some time to become endeared to the very dark roasted Starbucks Coffee that is now my favorite. When I bought the dark roast coffee beans and brewed it at home, it would consistently taste flat. One day I decided to try a fresh cup at Starbucks and became sold on the piping hot, smoky flavor. In order to get that same flavor from my dark roasted coffee beans at home, I would have to use about twice the amount of coffee. So, I don’t think light roast coffee is more flavorful, but I do think the majority of lighter coffee roasts are stronger, which is why they require less coffee. It’s all in the Coffee Roasting and the Coffee Maker.
Green Coffee Roasting
Green Coffee beans are nearly odorless before they are roasted. It’s really no different than a good steak or roast. Most meat does not have a very pleasing aroma or flavor until it is heated up and cooked. But overcooking can have the opposite effect. A steak loses its flavor as it is grilled to the point where the juices are cooked out of it. Such is the case with coffee. Even the best Arabica coffee beans can only endure so much roasting before the flavors inside disappear into the smoky air. So we start with flavorless or bitter Coffee Green Beans and need to roast them to the point where Coffee Roast perfection is recognized. Under roasted coffee will taste raw and green where-as over-roasted coffee will taste more like smoke than coffee. How do we find the perfect coffee roasts when the coffee makers we most often use at home do not match that of a super-expensive Starbucks Machine made to achieve that perfect brew from the precise unlocked Coffee Roasts of their select beans? My theory is that we need to find coffee roasts that matches are coffee maker.
The Right Coffee Maker for the right Coffee Roasts
Starbucks can get away with such dark coffee beans because their brewing equipment is designed specifically to extract or unlock the magic that’s left inside of them. No less – No more – just perfection. When Coffee Beans are roasted very darkly, there is a small window in which to brew them to perfection. It stands to reason, that the water, if near boiling point, is going to do a little roasting of its own. So, my cheap Mr. Coffee – which never got very hot, isn’t going to pull much flavor out of those really dark, well-roasted beans. On the other hand, my Presto Percolator, which gets dang hot, is probably going to excessively extract what’s in those beans until the point, there’s nothing left but bitter smoky water. Ahh, so would if I tried a light roast coffee (and I mean a quality-arabica, light roast coffee), in a percolator? Wouldn’t a lighter roast coffee taste better with the help of piping hot, 205 degree water to finishing the roasting process before it reaches your cup. Sounds good in theory, but as we’ve said before, nobody ever drank a cup of theory. So, does a lighter roast coffee actually taste better from a percolator?
Percolator and Light Roast Coffee Conclusion
The answer is a resounding, yes. One of my local neighborhood coffee shops uses an expensive, but lighter coffee roaster, so I decided to put my theory to the test. The Kenya and Columbia from my local brewer, which is at least 3 shades lighter than the comparable Starbucks variety, tasted delicious in my Presto Percolator. In fact, I was so impressed with this Lighter Roast Coffee that I’ve decided to make a habit of finding quality, light roast coffee beans. Coffee snobs have been whining all this time how percolators over-extract the coffee and make it bitter. I have really never found that to be the case even with Dark Roast Coffees. However, I was not completely satisfied with the taste from my percolator until I started going with lighter coffee roasts.