June 22, 2016

Provoking Ratio – Part 2

Lighter Roasts:
The biggest issue is the price of the green unroasted product. As this becomes the predominant flavour it must be of a certain quality for the coffee to be competitive and enjoyable. The good news is that the yield is much better and usually levels out to match the group handle price for the café.
However, this does hit the roaster in the pocket and may limit the ability to secure certain accounts as café owners succumb to incentives such as ‘free’ equipment with their coffee contracts.

The flavour is very different and can catch customers off guard with an unexpected fruitiness. However, as customers are educated and begin to explore the cleaner, lighter coffees second cup sales should increase rather than selling one large size that require a lot of milk (and sugar). These lighter profiles usually make for better black coffee and alternatively brewed coffees, great for someone who is trying to get dairy out of their diet.

When brewing lighter roasts the attention is on the “recipe” for that particular coffee. Shots are weighed in and yield is weighed out. The time can run much longer than traditional espresso and brew temperatures are usually higher. Less crema is produced however this is no reflection of the coffee being old or stale or defected as per traditional teachings. The lack of crema in lighter roasts is simply due to the lack of carbon dioxide gas.

Lastly development, this is what separates the roasters for me. I appreciate most of all, a roaster that roasts to their ability and market and achieves a consistent development of their beans. This is better than one that roast too light and fails to achieve consistency resulting in that horrible, grassy, sour flavour which is attributed to the conflict of roast profiles within the beans themself.

Career baristas will often find themselves working with a wide range of profiles over their time and the general desired result will be to achieve the best, smoothest most balanced representation of the coffee they are serving. It can be extremely challenging for the barista to achieve quality and consistency and usually they end up carrying the blame for an unpleasant experience by a customer and for poorly representing the product the farmer worked so hard to produce.

I will finish by stating that again taste is personal, there is no right or wrong and that there is a market for a broad spectrum of roast profiles and ratios. I hope that we continue to explore and challenge what we know and that we endeavor to serve to the best of our ability.

See Part 1 here

About the author:
Timothy Sweet is a career barista with 12 years of cafe operations and coffee training. He is an accomplished latte artist, founder of the Gold Coast Coffee Project, Consigliere for Uncle Joe’s Coffee and manager of Base Espresso Broadbeach.

MPM Advertisment