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A trend towards lighter roasts?

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  • A trend towards lighter roasts?

    Been roasting for 5 years now and my sweet spot for roasts are somewhere between 2nd crack and to the start of rolling second. In other words, I like my roasts tending to the dark side. I have 99% of my coffee in milk too, the 1% I actually try the shot is more for tasting purposes but I can't say I enjoy a straight shot. When I do try a shot, I find it somewhat strong (a bit strong for my liking) but I wouldn't say it is sour but at times I might detect a hint of bitterness but I might be confusing bitterness with intensity. Goes without saying my palate isn't exactly refined for espressos.

    Recently, I've had beans given to me to sample and these are beans from reputable establshments like St Ali's and others and at first appearance they are roasted very much lighter than what I've usually done. My guess is they are roasted to just shy of second crack. When I tried them, they just taste like lemon juice. Sour and acidic. But it seems all the repuatble places serve this now and I reckon they'd only serve it to meet a demand. So, is there a trend towards the "fruity" aspect now?

  • #2
    It is not a recent trend - in the sense that I have noticed it over a number of years. Most places are going as light as possible to get more of the floral and fruit notes out. Very occasionally I like this, but generally I like my coffee darker and the chocolate notes coming out - a richer, more wholesome mouthfeel and in the end more comforting as a milk based drink. Thats just me (and my family too...). I usually roast JUST into the SC with most beans and a little longer with others.

    Cheers

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    • #3
      My preferences are exactly the same as ozscott... I feel so unoriginal...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kwantfm View Post
        My preferences are exactly the same as ozscott... I feel so unoriginal...
        Nope. I was one who nearly always roasted to second crack like ozscott or just before for my manual brews. Up until recently I was noticing sourness from my espresso shots until I accidentally took a roast darker than usual. It was chocolatey and lacking in other notes but at least wasn't sour.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by flynnaus View Post
          Nope. I was one who nearly always roasted to second crack like ozscott or just before for my manual brews. Up until recently I was noticing sourness from my espresso shots until I accidentally took a roast darker than usual. It was chocolatey and lacking in other notes but at least wasn't sour.
          Mornin Flynn,

          Darker roasts are good, chocolatey is good, perhaps some of the light roast characteristics it was lacking we can well do without, like acid, citrus and thin watery (third wave) experiments being foisted on the public, sometimes at outrageous prices.

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          • #6
            Can someone explain what's this "third wave" thing?

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            • #7
              I am not sure I agree with 'foisted'. I'm guessing the cafes serving the trendy 3rd wave coffee are more likely to be patronized by those who look for that sort of coffee served as filter, syphon, etc brew. As I hardly ever buy coffee these days, I'm probably not in the know. Do these cafes not have a stock of house blend used to serve the ones who prefer a milk based brew? I would not want to buy a latte/flat white/capp (or long/short black for that matter) made with beans roasted to somewhere between first and second crack. I guess sourness can be countered by adding sugar but I don't have sugar in my coffee.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NewToEspresso View Post
                Can someone explain what's this "third wave" thing?
                Since you joined CS in 2007, shouldn't you change your username?

                The answer is in your OP:

                beans from reputable establshments like St Ali's and others and at first appearance they are roasted very much lighter than what I've usually done. My guess is they are roasted to just shy of second crack. When I tried them, they just taste like lemon juice. Sour and acidic. But it seems all the repuatble places serve this now and I reckon they'd only serve it to meet a demand. So, is there a trend towards the "fruity" aspect now?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NewToEspresso View Post
                  Can someone explain what's this "third wave" thing?
                  Morning Newtoe,

                  Third wave refers to young nerdy types reinventing the wheel, i.e. exploring new/alternative brewing methods etc.

                  We've been hearing about espresso making way for newer methods of brewing for as long as I can remember, seems to me it won't happen any time soon.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by flynnaus View Post
                    I am not sure I agree with 'foisted'. I'm guessing the cafes serving the trendy 3rd wave coffee are more likely to be patronized by those who look for that sort of coffee served as filter, syphon, etc brew. As I hardly ever buy coffee these days, I'm probably not in the know. Do these cafes not have a stock of house blend used to serve the ones who prefer a milk based brew? I would not want to buy a latte/flat white/capp (or long/short black for that matter) made with beans roasted to somewhere between first and second crack. I guess sourness can be countered by adding sugar but I don't have sugar in my coffee.
                    I think people are conflating a few different effects here. There are numerous cafes in Oz and in London (my other location of direct experience) that offer alternative brewing methods, but do not under-roast their espresso beans. Bench Espresso in the Perth CBD comes to mind (superb espresso and lattes, and great siphon coffee available if you feel like it). The cafes that I've frequented use a different different bean / roast level for the 'soft' brew stuff, but the vast majority of their business in traditional espresso, and they do that very well. If these guys are '3rd wave' then I like these '3rd wavers'.....but I wouldn't describe them as such.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by flynnaus View Post
                      Since you joined CS in 2007, shouldn't you change your username?
                      Keeping the name because I'm still new to espresso. Doesn't help that I don't like espresso straight without milk so with an unrefined palate, I reckon I'll always be new to espresso until I turn to the dark (pun pun pun) side. Even then I reckon there's so much to learn that I won't consider myself an expert until I have 1 foot in the box. Then maybe I'll consider changing my username to "Artist(Coffeesnob)-formerly-known-as-NewToEspresso"
                      Last edited by NewToEspresso; 21 August 2013, 02:17 PM. Reason: addition

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                      • #12
                        Whilst I think I would like to notice "floral & fruity notes" in my coffee, IF that means more acidity then I will pass.
                        I am a lifelong winesnob and I always make the comparison with white wines.
                        As a youngster I enjoyed rieslings, semillons, sauvignon blancs etc but in my later years I cannot tolerate the acidity of most examples of these varieties (at least until they have a bit of age)
                        I'm the same with coffee. High acidity gives me reflux in a flash.
                        Needless to say I avoid any cafes with light coloured beans in the hopper. I have no problem with new 'trends' as long as they don't find their way into my cup.

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                        • #13
                          Wow... I would have thought there were more advocates of light roasts in here but it looks like I might not be an outcast after all in my preference for darker roasts...

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                          • #14
                            Recently, using my corretto I split the beans into 2 batches. One I dump at first sign of 2nd crack, and the other just into rolling 2nd. I found doing so I gain a bit more acidity to liven up my latte whilst retaining the body and dark flavours. Beans are divided accordingly, i.e. central americans into lighter roast, robusta into darker, split the others.

                            On a related question, I can create the chocolately, caramelly, nutty and spicy aspects from my choice of beans, but does anyone have any suggestions to get that 'aroma' into a milk drink? As a primarily milk based coffee drinker I've steered clear of the beans described as 'floral' (Africans), but perhaps thats what I need? I *think* my roasting is fine, closed coretto with first crack at 11-12 and second at 15-16 like clockwork.

                            So far I've had the pleasure of sampling the Eth. Gambella, Rwan. Nyungwe, MM Gold, Elephant Hills, Magundi robusta, Peru Ceja, Colum. Volcan, Hond. Montana, Sulawesi blue peaberry, Sumatra Wahana and PNG Wahgi (my favorite as a SO)

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                            • #15
                              You can achieve the best of both worlds you know...

                              Try some single origin blending. Roast a small batch of your favourite bean and pull it before the onset of 2nd-Crack. Roast another batch the way you normally would and then try post-blending the two in different proportions, to see if you arrive at a blend that not only possesses all of the chocolatiness you strive for, but has some of the fruity goodness added in for even more interesting flavours.

                              Chocolate and dark cherries are one of my favourite foods... Mmmm

                              Mal.

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