thank you again for sharing your experinces with different roasts in
Below is a clipping from the Instructions for the new Hot Top roaster which
you will get Tuesday. After it arrives, it would be quite interesting if
you compare the same coffee roasted to the same "stage" in your roasters ...
would you share your experiences with us?
VI. Roast Color and Flavor
The following descriptions will give you a general idea of how roast level
affects taste. These are general descriptions and will vary somewhat
depending on the beans being roasted. Donít let a description frighten you.
Try different roast levels if for no other reason than to experience all
that coffee has to offer. You may surprise yourself and find that a lighter
roast is much more pleasing than you might have thought!
Before first crack occurs, the coffee will taste grassy, and can be quite
sour. Coffee roasted this light is usually not very agreeable to a majority
of coffee drinkers.
When roasted just into the beginning of first crack, the coffee will
initially become more crisp, and acidic - like a bright wine.
Shortly before second crack, the specific features of the variety of coffee
will be most prominent. These are flavors that many people have never
experienced in coffee and can include fruity notes and chocolate tastes that
occur naturally in different coffees. This is the style generally preferred
in most of eastern America, and Northern Europe, and quite suitable for drip
coffee, especially when drank with milk. This is one of the more difficult
roasts to achieve because you have to predict when second crack will occur
and stop the roast somewhat before that point. With experience you will
learn this point. Depending on the blend, this can make a very nice straight
As the roast progresses, the acidity gradually lessens, while the body of
the coffee becomes heavier. Around second crack, the coffee also gets
increasingly sweeter. The original varietal characteristics of the coffee
beans get somewhat less pronounced, and the coffee becomes more pungent, and
spicy in flavor. As you roast further into second crack and the surface
becomes shiny, the coffee will obtain a very heavy body, and a distinctly
bittersweet taste. This is nice for an espresso used for cappuccino.
As a general rule, to obtain a brighter, light cup with more varietal
flavors, try a lower setting to get a lighter roast. This is best suitable
for drip coffee. To get less acidity and a heavier bodied coffee, use a
higher setting for a darker roast, which is usually more enjoyable for
vacuum brewing or espresso.
What roast level is best? You decide! A lot depends on the variety or blend
of the coffee you are roasting, how it will be brewed (drip, press pot,
espresso machine, etc.), and your own personal tastes. That is the joy of
owning a Hottop Bean Roaster. You decide what you like and roast to that
Don't be afraid to experiment with different roast levels. Many people think
that very dark roasted coffee is excellent, or that coffee has to be roasted
until it is oily to be good, but that is just not always true. Some of the
oily coffees purchased in stores are that way not so much because they are
dark roasted but because they are old and have been improperly stored since
they were roasted. Roasting some coffees lighter, before second crack, can
give it a wonderful taste that many people never get a chance to enjoy.
Experiment and you will find tastes you never knew existed in coffee!
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