When you get advice from other roasters, it’s important to know their taste preference.
What roast degree do they prefer ? Do they prefer clairity or a richer taste ? What kind of aromas ? How much acidity ? and so on.
We do not like the same things in coffee. But also; we don’t notice the same things. So much is going on in the taste of coffee – so we can easily get different experiences from the same coffee.
Some people immediately notice bitterness. If the coffee has any bitterness they don’t like it. Maybe they like a light roast with clairity and fruit/flowers aromas. And dislike the burnt flavours.
Others only like coffee with solid burnt flavours, but really don’t pay attention to bitterness (smoking can reduce your ability to taste bitterness). This is in the darker roast range. These people find that the light roast thin and missing what good coffee should taste like.
This is Henrik and me (Therese). He loves very dark roasted coffee – like in the Italian coffee tradition.
I find it tastes like a car workshop and awfully burnt. I don’t like it.
Read more about roast degree in the Coffee Landscape and Light versus Dark.
Normally I roast quite light (from 45 sec to 2 minutes from 1st crack start). But I am not at the lightest end of the scale. Coffee roasters like The Coffee Collective here in Denmark and Tim Wendelboe in Norway are a bit lighter than me – and they like more acidity.
George Stavrinou from Australia has the same roaster as I (a Bullet R1). He asked me what I was trying to achieve with my roast profiles regarding to taste. This was my answer to him:
My taste preference in coffee
1) Avoiding bad taste
2) Balanced in the basic tastes. No strong acidity, bitterness or sweetness. A little is fine. It should be pleasant in the mouth.
3) A big aroma. In a light roast I get a certain kind of grand aroma that I can’t associate with a specific food/flower/whatever. I like deep aromas that stays as a pleasant aftertaste for a long time.
4) Taste the characteristics of the bean.
But since we don’t percieve taste the same way it is difficult to convey in text. Tasting coffee together is the only sure way to know.
Read more about using your taste sense in the Tasting section.
Photo by Ida Kofod, headroaster at Kontra Coffee.
She took out a sample each minut during a 14 minute roast – to show the color change.