The roasting colour VS the taste experience: we demystify it all

Many things have changed in the world of specialty coffee and more and more of you are asking us what degree of roasting is associated with each coffee.

We often see the terms Light Roast, Medium Roast and Dark Roast in the industry. However, these words are far from being a good way to describe the experience you will have while drinking your coffee.

Our coffees are offered in a single roast version. If we had to compare, we would be mostly Medium or Light, but for us, this information has no correlation with the flavours that will be in your cup.

A profile for each coffee

When we select coffee from a farm, we evaluate different possible roasting profiles to see how the bean reacts to heat. This step determines which type of roasting will bring out the aromas and flavors that charmed us during the initial selection.

Each coffee requires a specific roasting process to reach its full potential. Some coffees require roasting at a higher exit temperature and others at a lower temperature. Each batch also requires a unique cooking time to promote its development. This development, one of the most important aspects of roasting, represents the time allocated to the Maillard reaction and the caramelization of the sugars as a function of the total roasting time.

For example, the same coffee could be developed twice, using two different percentages of development, but at the same temperature. This would result in two coffees with the same final color (in appearance) but with completely different taste profiles.

That's because a high percentage of development allows us to enhance the sweetness of a coffee while a low percentage will bring out the acidity and fruit notes.

Slow or fast roasting?

Still, there are limits to development. A coffee that has been baked for a very long time (more than 15 minutes) with a development of more than 25% always ends up tasting like a toasted and smoked cookie. A too weak development or a too fast cooking will result in herbaceous notes and a chlorophyll taste. These are called overdeveloped and underdeveloped coffees respectively.

As for the roasting color, it in no way represents the taste experience you will have.

As you can see in the image above, it is possible to have a coffee that looks medium roasted on the outside and light roasted on the inside. (This would be the case of a fast roast with a moderate exit temperature and low development). By better controlling roasting and development, it is possible to influence the internal cooking of the bean and provide uniform development. This will then be able to fully exploit the taste potential of the chosen coffee.

With us, it's all in the tasting notes

Roasted coffee has more aromatic compounds than wine. Yes, you read that right. Your little cup of morning comfort is able to offer you more taste complexity than you might expect from wines. In order to achieve this, the beans must be properly roasted and the development of certain aromatic and taste compounds accessible in our coffees must be favoured. That's why we spend a lot of time tasting each coffee and selecting three simple and representative tasting notes.

As with wine, it would be difficult to say that one coffee is better than another simply because its color is darker.

Our mission: to make you explore the world of coffee. Choose your beans according to the tasting notes that inspire and appeal to you.

Do you like rich, strong coffees?

Opt for more intense notes (dark chocolate, smoked, caramelized, etc.).

Our suggestions : L'ours noir, San Augustin Loxicha

Do you like balanced coffees?

Look for softer notes (nuts, brown sugar, spices, etc.)

Our suggestions: La sève, L’été indien

Do you like fruity coffees without acidity?

Select natural drying type coffees

Our suggestions: Le draveurUchuro naturel 

Do you like fruity and tangy coffees?

Explore the notes of fruit with citrus and watch for our Grand Cru series in the coming weeks.

Our suggestions: Finca Sabanilla miel rougeGatomboya AA


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