Is it just me? (A question on blond roast third wave coffee)
As of late, I have been trying more and more coffees and have found that my tongue isn't picking up the "bright" notes of espresso, namely the alleged blueberry, strawberry, and various fruit peels that people tend to associate with light roasts. All I have experienced when trying the typical "blonde roast hipster" coffees was an almost undrinkable mix of what felt like acetic acid mixed with menthol, with no sweetness at all. The difference became even more apparent when I simply ate the coffee out of the bag, and all I could taste was bitterness. However, when I do so with (less reputable) darker roasted coffees I find that there is more of a smoke, chocolate, and caramel taste, which I find that I appreciate more.
On forums, I more so tend to see people who complain about a similar problem to mine, rather than people gathering to appreciate these blond roast flavours, which all of the top roasters seem to be putting out these days.
Has anybody experienced something similar to me? Or, can someone that feels differently recommend some places, preferably in the eastern suburbs or the city, that can change my view?
Which city? :P
I'm pretty much the same, although I do appreciate fruit/citrus notes occasionally. I favour sweet, smooth, chocolate/spice flavours, as I suspect, do most coffee drinkers. I've never had a bad light/fruity roast, besides my own (and those weren't light-roasted intentionally) but it's a bit like a liqueur, something I love every now and again but would never drink daily.
The exception is an "experimental" light roast I picked up from a specialty roaster recently, which was very tasty (and my daily for the week or so the bag lasted). I never set out to attempt to identify flavours, just appreciated it for what it was; a very enjoyable taste/sensation.
One thing I will say; when people talk about a "berry-bomb", I thought it sounded like an exaggeration by people desperate to give the impression of an experienced palette, but then I had this one ristretto and it shocked me how strong and distinct the flavour was in a drink I was not expecting to taste like any sort of berry. That one is a "when it happens, you'll know about it" kinda thing.
If you're in Sydney there are two places that I think manage to bring out lots of different flavour characteristics without roasting in an overtly light fashion: Coffee Alchemy/Gumption and Tobys Estate. I've written about Coffee Alchemy/Gumption previously on this forum but a very memorable double ristretto I had at Tobys Estate (on City Rd) was an Ethiopian Sidamo Kebado which was first rate. Beautifully balanced and oozing wonderful blueberry muffin notes. I find that the best bet for berry like flavours is to nail down dry process Ethiopians with Sidamo and Harrar being the regions that most consistently deliver this profile.
If you are in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and want to know anything about coffee, have a chat with CS Sponsors Ofra & Renzo and staff at Di Bartoli 558 Oxford St, Bondi Junction.