Cravens Q&A / February
Dark Shiny Coffee Bean
Question: “Does a dark, oily coffee bean produce a stronger flavored coffee than a light bean?”
~ L. Johnston, Spokane WA
Sometimes! If only it were that easy.
A dark, oily coffee bean usually signifies a bean that has been roasted longer, thus, releasing more flavor (the oils) from the hard bean. Sadly, sometimes an oily bean can also represent staleness as the bean has sat too long and has “sweat” it’s flavor out and is no longer fresh. In the end, you must trust that your roaster ‘roasts-to-order’ and offers you fresh coffee, everyday.
Now back to your great question… In the final cup, strength of flavor is a ratio of coffee grounds to water. In other words, you can brew strong coffee with a lightly roasted bean if you leave the water in contact with the grounds longer. Conversely, you can weaken a strong, dark roasted coffee if brewed for a short period of time. However, if brewed equally, the dark roast will have a more pronounced and lingering roasted aftertaste, often associated with “strength”.
It might also be helpful to know that higher grown coffees are more flavorful. The more carefully prepared and properly roasted, the better the coffee whether light or dark. And, of course, in the end the best tasting coffee is what tastes best to you!
Italian vs French
“What do the roast names mean? What is the difference between Italian and French roast?”
~ D. Auburn, Missoula, MT
There are many roast level names for coffee and just as many reasons for using them. Northern European, Vienna, Cinnamon, American, City, Fully City, Espresso … to name a few.
Every roaster has their own designation of how a bean is roasted to completion. Not unlike a chef deciding the doneness of a steak or an artist knowing when the painting is complete. At Cravens Coffee we use roast level names to designate the degree of darkness and oil development of the bean. Development happens throughout the whole bean, not just the surface. Our lighter degrees of roast are Northern European and Vienna. The darker degrees of our roast levels are Italian and French. Each roast level is intended to bring out the “perfect point” of flavor in each bean as defined by the roaster. We thank you for putting your trust in Cravens Coffee Company.