Medium vs Dark Coffee
In a recent newsletter, we discussed degrees of roasting and the 1990’s trend toward dark roast coffees. In explaining the trend to dark roasts, we mentioned American travel to Europe, the growing popularity of coffee houses, and other culinary phenomena, which gave rise, among some drinkers, to a preference for darker roasts.
For much of the Twentieth Century American coffee was a light roast. The Specialty Coffee Industry darkened things up, so that these more contemporary coffees are roasted medium to dark. Whatever the roast, the various shades or degrees of roast challenge our tastes and preferences.
Does an ideal roast exist? Is it attainable? Some articles on coffee roasting describe a “sweet spot” for a given coffee –Guatemalan, for example- that the Roast Master looks for. Because taste is subjective, sweet spots become based on what that particular coffee roasting group deems best.
In mathematics, 2+2=4, but what is the optimal roast for that Guatemalan? Who knows? Many Saudi Arabians think it is better very light, while for some residents of Seattle, the darker the better. It’s a fact that different types of coffee require more, or less, heat to develop good flavor, but the reality of the sweet spot is that the coffee you prefer becomes the perfect roast.
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