Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Roast levels

Dear Reader- I have not relapsed with coffee although I almost did yesterday but was saved by an intervention of a friend. This is just a months old coffee post languishing in the drafts pile...

One morning I had a spectacular fail as a home barista- my one and only regular customer dumped his lovingly hand crafted cup of high end Ethiopean Yirgacheffe straight down the drain.  My husband hates - hates "blond" roasts as an abomination perpetuated by millennial roasters and I had conveniently forgotten all about it. I reckon you could not serve a blond roast to a civil war union soldier or an old time cowboy neither without them spitting out such weak brown stuffs.

The current trend among specialty roasters is a lighter roast as dark roasting ruins the delicate aromatics of the original bean.  When you add milk to a light roast- it just kills the flavor and the cup becomes dish rag water.  I even contemplated re-roasting or giving the beans away. In the same way you would not defile a high end tea with cow juice, these blond roasts only show their best unadorned. It was the third time I drank this Ethiopian black that I totally understood the beauty of a blond roast. Since the citrus aromatics with the lingering sweetness is not what I traditionally consider "coffee",  my prior expectations had ruined the experience. If someone had served me this brew as "tea" instead of coffee,  I would have simply appreciated the cup without hangups.

A local roaster "paid" my husband in suitably dark beans for a quickie metal job. When I tasted the crowd pleasing rich full bodied nutty taste of this dark roasted Sumatra, I quickly realized fruity high noted complexity in the morning is not an appropriate start for a working man like my husband.  Even I who only moves brain cells and a few fingers for a living prefer a dark cup in the morning- coffee or tea.   I take my light roasted Ethiopians as an early afternoon treat and have given up convincing my man that floral and fruity aromatics belong in coffee.

2 comments:

  1. The tea shop in our Capitol city served me brewed coffee leaves as "tea."

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  2. > an abomination perpetuated by millennial roasters

    Once upon a time this was called a "Cinnamon roast" and no it is not (except for the name) an innovation.

    When *$, Peet's, and their ilk took over the world there was a Great Blackening of specialty coffee. I think it was originally an idiosyncrasy of the first group of West Coast coffee vendors to use Southern Europe-style roasts for absolutely everything, using no judgement whatsoever. But when *$ became the McDonalds of coffee, they had no other option: I don't think there *is* enough annual production of really good coffee for a multinational superchain to sell a reliably reproducible brew without burning the shit out of it to make it consistent.

    "Normal" specialty coffee (to the extent that there was such a thing) in the pre-Starbucks era was roasted to a so-called "city roast," intermediate between cinnamon and the dark roasts that *$ has succeeded in making "standard."

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