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  • Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

    Are some of the "Third Wave" coffee roasters of Melbourne at risk of crashing under a cresting Wave?

    Had an interesting trip to a few coffee shops in Melbourne yesterday, a few new ones to me and a few revisits.

    Seems there has been a growing trend to roast lighter and lighter, for espresso roasts. This is to my palette leading to a lack of complexity and to overly bright or acidic notes. I got served a flat white with a real citrus kick and to me citrus and milk just dont work :P

    Was also served up a Syphon of the much hailed Esmeralda Geisha varietal which to look at was over roasted for Syphon (also overdosed) use and it brought out the Tannins and muted the florals normally associated with this bean. Possible it is just to do with this years crop compared to others I have had but to look at the roasted beans I would call it over roasted for brewed use. Also heard from another coffee shop owner of it being offered as an Espresso

    While some of this is perhaps hyper critical or super snobbish the trend seems to be there. Not particularly interested in specific names of venues due to possible libel issues but general thoughts from others would be interesting

  • #2
    Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

    I generally roast lighter, but not that sort of extreme. I think it may be a case of trying to have one roast for everything. Roast for purpose! By now you can gauge just what the demand for syphon/pourover is. Keep your normal roast depth for espresso and just do smaller batches of light roasts to keep the clarity-seekers happy.

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    • #3
      Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

      Gotta keep up with the Melbourne hipsters I guess.

      Definite move to lighter roasts for espresso down there. Not always a success.

      Variety is the spice of life.........

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      • #4
        Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

        Was also served up a Syphon of the much hailed Esmeralda Geisha varietal which to look at was over roasted for Syphon

        One of the great things about coffee is there is no right or wrong, just personal preference. I have drunk a lot of syphon coffee and each SO has their own merits. I used to believe that only light roast profiles were nice through a syphon, but meduim roasts can be amazing too.

        I tasted a light roast Brasil last week through syphon, very average, but the same bean roasted to a medium roast degree through syphon.... amazing.

        A real eye opener to what is best for what.

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        • #5
          Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

          I personally am not a big fan of light roast for espresso, as I agree this profile brings heightened acidity, fruity attributes etc. I prefer big body and complexity a medium roast creates.

          I would like to know, has anyone had a great light roast espresso coffee?

          I often wondered why companies are roasting lighter for espresso, the cynic in me says its due to less weight loss in a light roast during roasting, equating to more volume to kg weight?.......

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          • #6
            Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

            Originally posted by 26393E3D3422393E25303D3E2734510 link=1287710242/3#3 date=1287715436
            were nice through a syphon, but meduim roasts can be amazing too
            Agreed one of my favourites is the MTE478 taken just to the first snaps of second crack (certainly not timid) and the Aricha 14 that 7S had last year was great too (really bold), but the Geisha is a very different bean. I had another Geisha yesterday from Costa Rica as a paper pourover at a different location and I am not generally a paper pourover fan but that was the only brewed option. Beans were lighter in colour and a better finished cup.

            Originally posted by 06383F340E3E370E2539340E1334303F510 link=1287710242/1#1 date=1287711797
            just do smaller batches of light roasts to keep the clarity-seekers happy.  
            Given the turnover of these places they can certainly sustain specific roast levels for a given process so there is no excuse for compromise on the roasts.

            Off for a full flavoured Kenyan in a Syphon (does that make me a cannibal)

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            • #7
              Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

              Originally posted by 293631323B2D36312A3F3231283B5E0 link=1287710242/4#4 date=1287716051
              I often wondered why companies are roasting lighter for espresso, the cynic in me says its due to less weight loss in a light roast during roasting, equating to more volume to kg weight?....... Shocked
              Hardly. Roasteries waste more in spillage coffee on the ground than anything else.

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              • #8
                Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                Originally posted by 726D6A6960766D6A7164696A7360050 link=1287710242/4#4 date=1287716051
                has anyone had a great light roast espresso coffee?
                Never.

                Originally posted by 726D6A6960766D6A7164696A7360050 link=1287710242/4#4 date=1287716051
                the cynic in me says its due to less weight loss in a light roast during roasting, equating to more volume to kg weight?.
                My feeling as well, a saving of 2% is insignificant for a single roast, however over 12 months it would be substantial.

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                • #9
                  Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                  Originally posted by 4E494D424A405545424B2C0 link=1287710242/0#0 date=1287710242
                  I got served a flat white with a real citrus kick and to me citrus and milk just dont work
                  Drink it black?

                  This may be one of the issues. How does a roaster test (generally)?
                  In a cupping session this said coffee would probably be nice. The barista probably checks the coffee in a short black.

                  When I went to Market Lane a few weeks ago the coffee was as you described it. Very citrus.
                  In a short black - beautiful. My wife had it as a Soy latte. Not good, too acidic.
                  As a side note coffees with an earthy taste (generally wet hulled) dont taste that good in some soy milk. It is like adding dirt to dirt.

                  So the roaster may inadvertently be roasting for black coffee not for coffee flavoured milk.

                  Some places that get a good review here, I find are terrible. Roasted too dark. Most of the flavour disappears, very round, muted and the after taste is burnt. But the review placed here is of a latte.

                  So is it that the lighter roasted coffee is good as a black but not as a cafe latte?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                    Originally posted by 2F2C3E3E3A2C344D0 link=1287710242/8#8 date=1287785813
                    Market Lane a few weeks ago the coffee was as you described it. Very citrus
                    I wasnt mentioning any names remember Redzone and I left it to the Barista for a bean and that is what we were served as a flat white. As a Spro or a brewed coffee I think it would be nicer.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                      Originally posted by 6F686C636B617464636A0D0 link=1287710242/9#9 date=1287786415
                      I wasnt mentioning any names remember Redzone and I left it to the Barista for a bean and that is what we were served as a flat white. As a Spro or a brewed coffee I think it would be nicer.
                      Fair enough, I was just trying to bring into the discussion the point that a lighter roast may suit espresso but not milk. Also the point that some beans may suit espresso but not Soy.

                      So a "third wave" cafe needs a separate grinder for:
                      Pourover
                      Espresso
                      Latte
                      Soy Latte
                      Blend for each above
                      Decaf (would it be third wave then?)
                      ;D ;D ;D ;D

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                      • #12
                        Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                        Originally posted by 6162707074627A030 link=1287710242/10#10 date=1287787710
                        Decaf (would it be third wave then?)
                        More the trough of the third wave if you like ;D

                        Most of these places have more big Mazzers and Guatemalas than you can poke a stick at anyway. So one per bean and process is a cinch )I wish I had that problem)

                        I think some of it is perceived got to find a new experience in coffee that is wilder and different to the next guy? Maybe this is partly driving the roasting in undesirable directions instead of trying to get the best out of the beans for a brew method and compromising the result in the cup?

                        That citrus and milk thing could also be the Barista not drinking milk based coffees or their perceived taste being ok but certainly not for me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                          Can you create a blend that works well as a spro, milk-based, and soy-based? You might be chasing your tail trying to rope in all of those requirements.

                          Also places might not have enough space to have all the spare grinders and machines for each style.

                          Youre trying to keep the workflow as simple as possible, not complicate it...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                            Originally posted by 506C657D68090 link=1287710242/7#7 date=1287784085
                            My feeling as well, a saving of 2% is insignificant for a single roast, however over 12 months it would be substantial. Wink
                            With all due respect, I disagree quite strongly.

                            Commercial roasters are in the business of winning new customers and more importantly, they are in the business of ensuring consistency in their roasts.  

                            Part of the "dance" in courting new customers is the obligatory "free trial samples". Over 12 months, the quantity of "trial" coffee given away at no charge substantially dwarfs any perceived savings from yield gains on lighter roast profiles. There are also those spillages in the Roastery that David mentions, bags not being sewn up properly, defective beans, bad roasts, etc. It all adds up.

                            Consistency - some customers can be very astute in picking up slight changes in a coffee and whilst most of the time this can be passed off as barista variables, the smart customers know if the coffee has changed.

                            Unless its an improvement, the roaster is typically not going to enjoy a customer discussion as its all too easy for cafes to think the roaster has destroyed their business by giving them coffee their regulars dont like - an emotive conversation, even if it may be perceived or otherwise.

                            Bottom line - Roasters spend ridiculous amounts of time attempting to achieve consistency, so drifting lighter to save a few kilos versus the risk of alienating your customers........I wouldnt think so.

                            Originally posted by 6B687A7A7E6870090 link=1287710242/10#10 date=1287787710
                            Fair enough, I was just trying to bring into the discussion the point that a lighter roast may suit espresso but not milk. Also the point that some beans may suit espresso but not Soy.
                            Not normally the case. Depending upon the bean, most respond to darker roasts by lowering acid and therefore making a better espresso experience.

                            Around Melbourne over the last 12 months there is a trend (as BF indicated) amongst  some roasters to attempt creating a "universal" bean application, e.g. a roast batch/profile that can be used for espresso, latte, syphon, filter, basically anything, etc. or at least something that is halfway between all types.

                            This could be due, in some cases, to a distinct disconnect between the roaster preparing the bean and when/where the sale of the pack takes place (away from the roaster), the location/customer where the beans end up being delivered and finally (more likely) the baristas wanting to experiment on their customers without actually testing and validating the "application" beforehand.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Third Wave Coffee Cresting?

                              Originally posted by 4D4D4D1C2E0 link=1287710242/13#13 date=1287873943
                              With all due respect, I disagree quite strongly.
                              As is your right, Im afraid my faith in human nature is not quite as unshakable as yours

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