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Thread: Light vs Dark?

  1. #1
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    Light vs Dark?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Light roast espresso is quite sour with a strong lingering aftertaste. If you enjoy eating unripe bananas, you probably find it appealing.

    Dark roast espresso is much richer tasting and distinctly more bitter with little to no sourness.
    Sure, if you don't know how to pull a light roast and think you should do it the same as a dark roast. Or if you think the charcoal ash taste of a dark roast is where it's at.
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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    The article mentions adrenal fatigue in the first few sentences, setting off my BS detectors, so I stopped reading there.
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    I think this line is a ripper:

    I myself do not drink coffee, but do enjoy a shot of espresso from time to time when out for a celebratory event.
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    This article reminds me of the "coffee research" of the 70s to late 90s (maybe later - I gave up looking).

    They tested everything using Folgers / Maxwell House / Nescafe instant coffee. Apart from any other factor, they smell more like a chemical factory than a natural beverage. Needless to say, any relationship between their "research" and that thing called "reality" was coincidental.

    If a light roast is sour then it is either a crap roast or clueless "wannabee a barista". If a dark roast is bitter - ditto.

    Enjoy your cuppa - whatever poison it contains - that is the critical factor.

    TampIt
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Or if you think the charcoal ash taste of a dark roast is where it's at.
    Somewhat presumptuous L3n, I would suggest that most espresso drinkers prefer medium to dark roasts exhibiting well developed rich chocolatey/caramel flavours, I certainly don't find them in the least bit ashy.

    On a personal level I find the taste of light roasts to be thin/watery, underdeveloped, sour, acrid, herbal, grassy, straw like, often exhibiting a citrus taste, thank goodness the third wave movement was short lived.

    Taking the above into account, I certainly recognise that those who prefer the pour over style of brewing tend to roast somewhat lighter than we espresso aficionados, and that's fine, however not to my taste.
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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I find the taste of light roasts to be thin/watery, underdeveloped, sour, acrid, herbal, grassy, straw like, often exhibiting a citrus taste, thank goodness the third wave movement was short lived.
    I had exactly that coffee at Higher Ground in Melbourne recently, so maybe it lingers in patches.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    I had exactly that coffee at Higher Ground in Melbourne recently, so maybe it lingers in patches.
    Perhaps so!

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Somewhat presumptuous L3n, I would suggest that most espresso drinkers prefer medium to dark roasts exhibiting well developed rich chocolatey/caramel flavours, I certainly don't find them in the least bit ashy.
    My presumption was that the article writer was probably drinking something like Vittoria, rather than presuming that all dark roasts are burnt. I was trying to poke fun at the people who like their coffee tasting like ash, not people who drink to the darker end of the "actually good coffee" scale.

    My usual supplier has recently stopped selling a medium roast blend he was having a harder time getting the component beans for, to a medium/dark roast blend. I've been getting used to it and learning to love it. I figured it was a good learning opportunity to get good at using a type of bean I wouldn't typically choose if given multiple options. It works quite well as a cold brew, still fine tuning the espresso.

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Somewhat presumptuous L3n, I would suggest that most espresso drinkers prefer medium to dark roasts exhibiting well developed rich chocolatey/caramel flavours, I certainly don't find them in the least bit ashy.

    On a personal level I find the taste of light roasts to be thin/watery, underdeveloped, sour, acrid, herbal, grassy, straw like, often exhibiting a citrus taste, thank goodness the third wave movement was short lived.

    Taking the above into account, I certainly recognise that those who prefer the pour over style of brewing tend to roast somewhat lighter than we espresso aficionados, and that's fine, however not to my taste.
    I think L3n was moreso referring to those darker roasts which alot of people unfortunately associate with coffee, roasted past a certain point at which roast notes take over and origin characteristics are lost. Ie burnt, ashy flavours.

    Lighter/medium roasts are certainly not all sour and grassy, and to me there is so, so much more flavour to explore in that range than in darker roasts.

    Of course each to their own, and when you get a med-darker roast right it can be just incredible, with no ashyness or charcoal.

    I much prefer a lighter (perhaps medium is more correct a term) than a darker roast, but that being said, I'm also not a fan of roasts that are too light for espresso, and that feature exactly what you're describing

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    My presumption was that the article writer was probably drinking something like Vittoria, rather than presuming that all dark roasts are burnt. I was trying to poke fun at the people who like their coffee tasting like ash, not people who drink to the darker end of the "actually good coffee" scale.

    My usual supplier has recently stopped selling a medium roast blend he was having a harder time getting the component beans for, to a medium/dark roast blend. I've been getting used to it and learning to love it. I figured it was a good learning opportunity to get good at using a type of bean I wouldn't typically choose if given multiple options. It works quite well as a cold brew, still fine tuning the espresso.
    Fair enough L3n, understand where your coming from now, guess it was presumptuous of me to assume your remark was all encompassing.
    Last edited by Yelta; 6th February 2019 at 04:48 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I thought I liked a 'dark roast' until my Daughter brought this back (more as a joke than anything) from Borneo.



    I will never forget the overpowering smell of tar upon opening the pack.

    Recent lighter roasts I have enjoyed (with a touch of citrus but not unpleasant acid) include CS Ethiopian Sidamo Ardi which is a lovely bean, and a single-origin El Salvador bean used by The Espresso Room in Tuggeranong Canberra.
    I always enjoy Campos bean which has a lovely subtle citrus character.
    That said, CS "WOW" pretty well nails it for me.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    I thought I liked a 'dark roast' until my Daughter brought this back (more as a joke than anything) from Borneo.
    I will never forget the overpowering smell of tar upon opening the pack.
    Now that's certainly a dark roast Rocky.

    Tar eh, that's a new one on me.

  14. #14
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    "100% coffee" that's a high bar!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    thank goodness the third wave movement was short lived.
    Ummmmm..... I think maybe you don’t understand the term ‘third wave coffee’ Yelta. Or maybe you’re associating it with a particular type of roasted coffee that isn’t to your liking. It’s not a great piece of terminology admittedly, but it’s oft used in a way unintended by the person who coined the fraise. We are literally right smack bang in the middle of the ‘third wave’ of modern coffee supply and consumption. Virtually all coffee retailers could be considered ‘third wave’ except for large commercial entities. The lines have been blurred since JAB and Nestle started making a raft of acquisitions, but they were never particularly defined in the first place.
    Interestingly we’re now in what one coffee historian considers the 5th period of coffee. Really we shouldn’t get bogged down in semantics as falling on loose definitions of things after the fact doesn’t necessarily make it true.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Evening Leroy.

    I associate third wave with hipster types hovering over pour over devices loaded with very lightly roasted beans that have more in common with grass than coffee.

    I'm sure there is more to it than that, but, there ya go.
    hipster-barista-with-beard-makes-coffee-in-modern-trendy-coffee-shop-cafe_rucunawl__F0000.png
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Evening Leroy.

    I associate third wave with hipster types hovering over pour over devices loaded with very lightly roasted beans that have more in common with grass than coffee.

    I'm sure there is more to it than that, but, there ya go.
    hipster-barista-with-beard-makes-coffee-in-modern-trendy-coffee-shop-cafe_rucunawl__F0000.png
    Yes many people do, which isn’t the way the term was first used. It’s actually more simple and more broad and really just refers to the fact that most modern coffee roasters and cafes place more importance on provenance and quality than was the case 20+ years ago. Basically as soon as we started differentiating origins and selling the coffee as such we were entering the ‘third wave’.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Heaps of threads on Coffee Snobs from some years ago running along similar lines of thought to mine, this is just one of them
    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-coffee-related/44563-death-3rd-wave-coffee.html

    Do a search for threads with third wave in the title plenty there, I note you also posted to this one Leroy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I think the term "third-wave" can be a bit confusing/misleading and I prefer to think about a bean in terms of it's drinking characteristics.
    I can tolerate a bit of range between the darker cocoa-laden beans and the lighter more acidic/citrus ones but ultimately it's the flavour that determines whether I will drink that bean/brand again.
    My friends who use milk and sugar are more tolerant and are happy with a more diverse range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Evening Leroy.

    I associate third wave with hipster types hovering over pour over devices loaded with very lightly roasted beans that have more in common with grass than coffee.

    I'm sure there is more to it than that, but, there ya go.
    hipster-barista-with-beard-makes-coffee-in-modern-trendy-coffee-shop-cafe_rucunawl__F0000.png
    G'day Yelta

    FWIW, I reckon Starcharcoal has done more to destroy what the guy in the street thinks a dark roast is than the "third wave hipster" has for medium & light roasts. Their "burnt past recognition as coffee and then drowned with tons of sugar or artificial flavours" in a vain hope to make it palatable has even shifted the dialogue as to what a dark roast actually is. CS15
    anyone? Definitely burnt tar or ash - I guess it depends upon the batch.
    Starsucks 1350684908.jpg


    The main problem I have with the hipsters is they use their lighter roasts before they are fully developed (i.e. it still smells green, oddly enough it is because it still IS green). Anything that smells green should never be introduced to a poor defenceless grinder. Wheatgrass anyone? Sour, acidic and citrus? All of them at once? They have also managed to muddy the waters in terms of light to medium roasts to about the same extent as Starcharcoal have with darks.

    Considering both extremes are undrinkable swill I cannot believe that either have served true coffee aficionados very well. I just hope that over time the market will sort it out - although any signs of doing so to date are scant.

    I live in hope


    TampIt
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day Yelta

    FWIW, I reckon Starcharcoal has done more to destroy what the guy in the street thinks a dark roast is than the "third wave hipster" has for medium & light roasts. Their "burnt past recognition as coffee and then drowned with tons of sugar or artificial flavours" in a vain hope to make it palatable has even shifted the dialogue as to what a dark roast actually is. CS15
    anyone? Definitely burnt tar or ash - I guess it depends upon the batch.
    Starsucks 1350684908.jpg


    The main problem I have with the hipsters is they use their lighter roasts before they are fully developed (i.e. it still smells green, oddly enough it is because it still IS green). Anything that smells green should never be introduced to a poor defenceless grinder. Wheatgrass anyone? Sour, acidic and citrus? All of them at once? They have also managed to muddy the waters in terms of light to medium roasts to about the same extent as Starcharcoal have with darks.

    Considering both extremes are undrinkable swill I cannot believe that either have served true coffee aficionados very well. I just hope that over time the market will sort it out - although any signs of doing so to date are scant.

    I live in hope


    TampIt
    Well said Tampit, couldn't have put it better myself.

    As far as charbucks are concerned it's best to remember they are on the whole operating in a market of largely immature and less than discerning taste, the sugar and sweet things help make their offerings palatable to the masses, or perhaps that should read are catering to addictions, either way it's crap.
    starbucks-drinks-.jpg

  22. #22
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    My friends who use milk and sugar are more tolerant and are happy with a more diverse range.
    Yep, milk and sugar will certainly cover a multitude of sins.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    The single-origin El Salvador bean they were using at "The Espresso Room" in Tuggeranon when I was in Canberra was just at the end of the spectrum for me in terms of acid/citrus as a 'shot/long-black drinker'.
    It was the fact that it was so skilfully handled that made it acceptable to me. In less skilled hands I would have found that bean too acidic.
    ...and there is a 'learning' for some cafes - you need to know the limits of your capabilities. If you are going to push the envelope, you need to have Baristas that understand flavour profiles and all that stuff that I don't, and who (with the assistance of their fellow Baristas) find the time to do some experimentation working out what is possible with the bean. (They were doing this at "The Espresso Room" which is why it worked.)
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    Hi Guys, It's not just charbucks (they don't warrant Capitols) that are eroding standards. How many food chains selling poor products saturated with sugar/ salt/herbs and spices are doing the same. Not to mention kids brought up on super saturated colors, loud noises outlandish scenarios, some of these kids/adults think these things are for real. I think the latest range of the most boring cars made are designed by some of them. thats enough I need a nap. John

  25. #25
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Good point Chippy, sensory overkill is a problem in all those areas.
    With maturity, a proportion of people eventually realise that they are being swamped in 'noise' and thereby missing the 'core message'. In relation to coffee, some of them turn into Coffee Snobs and eschew the coffee-flavoured confections on which they started. My Daughter was one of those and now enjoys a variety of 'serious' coffees.
    You make a perceptive observation that modern car styling has plenty of examples of 'styling overkill' - body creases/folds that are only there to try to create interest in as otherwise mundane shape. Huge air vents that don't do anything, and 'busy' styling with lots of lines and shapes that just look messy. Honda are good at this these days.



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