It turns out there is a common misconception about “dark roast” coffee. For years I assumed that dark roast coffee came from beans that were naturally darker and richer in flavor. I wrongly assumed there different kinds of coffee beans that produced different categories of coffee flavors (light, medium, and dark) and these categories had slightly different levels of caffeine as well.
The topic came up with barista Brett the other day and he opened my eyes to the truth about dark roast and why Bean Coffee Roasters doesn’t serve dark roast coffee in any of their locations. It turns out that “dark roast” coffee has nothing to do with the kind of bean being used but is simply a matter of how any bean is roasted. Serving a dark roast coffee means roasting the bean longer and giving the coffee a stronger, charcoaled flavor.
Many coffee shops will serve dark roast coffee to their customers and many customers have grown to love the “dark roast” taste but it is essentially burnt coffee. Roasting coffee beans to a dark roast level surrenders most of the unique subtleties of the coffee bean’s flavor. If you are going to dark roast your beans, you don’t need to worry about getting premium quality beans because the dark roasting will make just about any beans taste the same. The charcoal flavor masks any unique flavor notes. The notes are still there but you won’t be able to appreciate them if the bean has been dark roasted.
I understand that many people have come to associate that dark roast flavor with good coffee and there is nothing wrong with that. The important thing is the person’s personal preference. If you like your coffee dark roasted, you should find a place that makes it that way and go there. But don’t expect to get dark roast coffee at Bean Coffee Roasters.
Zach Kneebusch, Bean Coffee Roasters’ Master Roaster, has done a huge amount of research and testing to select and roast coffee beans to be served at their very best. Zach has provided a selection of options from the lightest roast (Ethiopian), to a light roast (Guatemalan or Kenyan), to a medium roast (Indonesian/Sumatran). If you are looking for a great cup of coffee on the darker side of the spectrum, you should try the Sumatran option at Bean Coffee Roasters. The Sumatran coffee has an earthy, bold, almost bittersweet flavor that has become one of my favorites. I used to have a preference for the Ethiopian option at Bean Coffee Roasters but now I have come to love the Sumatran option to the point where it’s hard for me to choose between them.
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