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Thread: A trend towards lighter roasts?

  1. #1
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    A trend towards lighter roasts?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    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?

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    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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    My preferences are exactly the same as ozscott... I feel so unoriginal...

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Can someone explain what's this "third wave" thing?

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    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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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Quote 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; 21st August 2013 at 02:17 PM. Reason: addition

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Quote Originally Posted by burr View Post
    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 do think that Africans (especially Ethiopians) will help you in your cause. Roast Yirgacheffe a little lighter (prior to second crack). Sidamo, Gambella, Ghimbi and Limu all work well at first snaps of second crack in my experience.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewToEspresso View Post
    Can someone explain what's this "third wave" thing?
    The term 'third wave' has a broader definition than the negative, prejudiced and narrow one spouted by more than a few on this site.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Wave_Coffee

    You will note that the definition given in the above link does mention lighter roasts but lighter than what?
    In context with North American coffee roasting I would put forward that it means anything lighter than carbon,
    or at least coffee that is not taken well into 2nd Crack.

    In Australia, in recent times, it seems to have been used by some to promote an 'us and them' division and refers
    to anyone roasting coffee to an appropriate level for alternate brewing methods (and which is generally unpalatable when made as an espresso).
    You'd think they had committed a crime. The crime, if there is one, is making these beans into espresso and then criticising the roaster.
    Sadly, it's true that some roasters think we will all like a mid roast as an espresso............ they are deluded, for sure, but not are not
    the definition of 'third wave'.

    Even Market Lane use a darker (than their pour over) roast for their espresso and select their beans for espresso
    from the mid to low acid range.

    I find lemony, acidic coffee made as espresso distinctly distasteful but I'm under the impression that anyone
    whose roasts are (mis) classified as '3rd wave' are being subjected to what is almost trolling, just because they're different.

    As someone once said, on an earlier and similar thread, this year............ CS'ers who buy single origins, who care about the
    provenance of their coffee and how it is produced and who don't roast to well into, or past, rolling second crack are all
    THIRD WAVERS. That just about all of us.
    Last edited by chokkidog; 21st August 2013 at 05:03 PM.
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    And when we're done getting misinterpreting '3rd wave' we can get stuck into '4th wave' :-D

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rc...50952593,d.aGc

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    Funny, I just posted over in the 'Can't make good coffee with Soy' thread about third wave. I'm not sure the market drives the 'new' style of coffee so much as the desire to be 'new' causes them to offer something else to the customers who want to be seen as ahead of the curve in some way. As in any fashion, it takes a certain classiness to be able to pull it off and many of those you see frequenting places for the newness (and who subsequently vanish off to the next 'new' place) have a slightly desperate look in the backs of their eyes as they try desperately to find a way to be individual... along with the 100,000 or so 'other' individuals doing exactly the same thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    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.
    I think it is the wines. It is hard to find s crisp semillon these days - they blend it with chardonnay than add in flavour-grapes to give it some appeal. And don't even ASK for a chablis - it doesn't exist any more. I used to like a good traminer riesling but these days they seem to think fruity means sweet.

    I don't normally get reflux but I went to a place in Flinders Lane a couple of months back & tried a long strong macchiato - I had to go back to get extra milk and still couldn't finish it. Then got little upchucks as I was walking away and had to go get something to eat to calm my stomach. I'll stick with a more traditional approach.

    Mind you the 'new' style might appeal to those who like to get their caffeine from those energy drinks - I don't like even the smell of those things so can't really say, but the smell seems similar to the taste of the new fad in coffee we are seeing in the fashion places.

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    Acidity, sweetness, body... all of these things occur in context. I love acidity in white wine, couple that with some minerality and I'm pretty much in heaven. For my preferences distinct and prominent levels of acidity have less of a place in espresso, a little acidity is a requirement for balance, but a lot of acid (almost by definition for my palate) means that the end result is unbalanced. I don't want to give the impression that I'm one eyed about acidity...

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    The term 'third wave' has a broader definition than the negative, prejudiced and narrow one spouted by more than a few on this site.
    Good points and I am happy to have my perception corrected. I thought it was more about brewing methods and providing coffee suited to those methods (usually lighter). I guess I was under the misconception that the same light coffee was used for any brewing. I can accept Gold's definition of 1st, 2nd and 3rd wave as quoted by the Wikipedia article; it makes sense in that context rather than applying any negative connotation.

    In the end it doesn't matter what it's called; there are really only three kinds of coffee: good, bad and drinkable. These mean different things to different people and it's up to them to decide. Since becoming a CSer I've learned about a 4th type: 'better'. That's driven my quest for good coffee for the last 5 years and what's 'good' now is a long way from what I thought was good in 2008 because, through CS I learned what makes 'better' coffee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    Good points and I am happy to have my perception corrected. I thought it was more about brewing methods and providing coffee suited to those methods (usually lighter). I guess I was under the misconception that the same light coffee was used for any brewing.
    ...I've learned about a 4th type: 'better'
    I think that's the problem for me Flynn,

    There are some cafes which choose a very light roast and then use it as a "one fits all" solution. If it's lemon espresso and tofu soy (or a refusal to do it), I don't get why they stubbornly refuse to serve better coffee. When I feel that I should ask for some tequila and salt to down with the shot, I reckon that the better mark was missed completely. I guess if you're not able to hit the dartboard at all, become a spectator rather than a participant.

    Cheers

    Chris
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I think that's the problem for me Flynn,

    There are some cafes which choose a very light roast and then use it as a "one fits all" solution.
    Chris
    The (coffee) crime of the century. :-)
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  24. #24
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    When I feel that I should ask for some tequila and salt to down with the shot
    Hehehe. You may have indirectly stumbled on a marketing idea there Chris: the espresso 'slammer' or you could even add a worm
    chokkidog and TC like this.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Fruity/floral flavours (I've been drinking Peru Ceja de Selva lately) have turned me towards mid-blacks (to a long black as a piccolo is to a latte).

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    Had a few different coffees at a well established Brisvegas location, was asked my opinion afterwards (they know I roast) gave them the honest answer. Thin zero body,
    no mouth feel, very high acidity like sucking on a lemon. Barrista reply "yes much better as a filter style and our roaster trends all his profiles towards light medium these days"
    Nothing wrong with his response just a shame we were drinking espresso, macchiato and a flat white.

    Coffee roasted for brewing methods, perfect. But should be sold the way the roaster intended.

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Rolling sc will give max chocolate taste usually but it's a fine line here to burnt tastes also. Plus usually the roast has expanded so much by this time (on my typical 800g or higher sizes) that the corretto is no longer mixing as well and tipping can occur.

    Cheers



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