Dark Roast Debunk

Medium Deeper Roots roast on the left. Very dark, unnamed coffee giant roast on the right. Note oil migration and see some of the coffees have even exploded a bit on the dark roast... no good!
Medium Deeper Roots roast on the left. Very dark, unnamed coffee giant roast on the right. Note oil migration and see some of the coffees have even exploded a bit on the dark roast... no good!

We know. You like “bold”, dark coffees. That’s ok! But we want to give you a little ammo for next time you head out to buy a dark roasted coffee and debunk a common myth about the roast level of coffees.

The main myth we want to debunk is: “Coffee is better when you can see the oils on the bean.”

As coffee is roasted, the cell structure of the bean undergoes significant change. Different chemical reactions occur to bring out or subdue certain flavor compounds depending on what the roaster is trying to accomplish. As coffee is roasted darker and darker, the cell structure of the bean starts to break down and allow those flavor compounds, contained in oils, to migrate to the outside of the bean. So, in medium to light roasts, you wont see these oils on the bean because the cell structure is still mostly in tact and keeping those flavor-containing oils safe inside the bean. The problem with having these oils on the outside of the bean is that they are exposed to air and immediately start to oxidize. Think about the time you left a glass of water on the counter overnight and tried to drink it the next day or even two days after. The water tastes old and stale due to oxidation from exposure to air. The same thing happens to the oils on the outside of the bean and immediately makes them start to taste old and stale. So if you’ve been told that seeing oil on the bean correlates to more flavor, now you know that’s not true! However, the problem still remains that you want to buy a fresh coffee that doesn’t taste oxidized but still gives you the boldness you want. We suggest you investigate what “bold” means to you whether it be dark chocolate, smoky, thick body, etc and try to find a little bit lighter roasted coffees that fit those descriptions. We suggest some African coffee origins such as Malawi and Tanzania and Asian origins such as Sumatra and Sulawesi. Though these origins don’t always display these flavor characteristics, they often do and are a great place to start looking. We know that the answer isn’t always a light roast so we offer a blend called Losantiville. It’s the darkest roast we offer and it’s on the darker side of medium roast allowing the oils to stay in the bean but still allow for a smoky, full body, dark chocolate taste experience. The important part is to find coffees roasted to the point where YOU are the one extracting those oils when you brew and are still able to taste what you like. Now that you know a little bit more, drink up!