The degree of coffee roasting is one of the most relevant elements in determining the characteristics of coffee.
We have already seen how the taste of coffee is a consequence of the type of coffee (arabica or robusta), the origin, the harvesting method, and even the grinding, but it is undeniable that roasting also has a fundamental influence on the result in the cup.
At Caffè Ernani, we use only quality coffee, that is, free of defects, and therefore does not need to use roasting techniques that are primarily directed at hiding these defects. On the contrary, Caffè Ernani roasts its coffees in a way that brings out the specific and high qualities of the individual origins, and to achieve these results it has chosen a medium roast.
Let’s find out what this means by describing the visual characteristics that coffee exhibits depending on the type of roast and remembering that, during roasting, beans undergo a complicated chemical process, which also, but obviously not only, affects their color and the release of oils from the bean itself.
In espresso roasting, based on the color and the presence or absence of oils on the surface of the roasted bean, it is possible to distinguish:
- Light roasting : grains appear light brown in color and have no oils on the surface. They are characterized by higher acidity;
- Medium toasting : the shade of brown is medium and the oils are not visible on the surface. This roasting is more respectful of the coffee’s characteristics and allows its merits to emerge while ensuring an adequate balance between aromas and acidity. A medium roast coffee does not reach the second crack;
- Dark roasting , otherwise known as Italian roasting: the brown of the beans is dark, almost black, and the oils, having reached the surface, are clearly visible. Bitterness dominates the characteristics of this coffee making every other characteristic fade away during the phase following the second crack. In Italian tradition, it is considered the most suitable roast for espresso extraction, although this myth has now been dispelled.
At this point, you may wonder why on earth we don’t adopt dark roasting, and the answer is simple: if we roast poor quality origins, risking price, we would be forced to roast the coffee a lot to hide its negative characteristics, but because we invest so much in identifying higher quality coffees, we do not want to erase their positive characteristics and in fact do everything to bring them out.
Now you know why our coffee seems so different from others you are used to and why coffees are normally all very bitter and why the dark roast is normally thought to be the most suitable for espresso.
From now on, never forget to watch the coffee waiting to be ground in the bells and be wary of coffees that are too dark and oily. They will tell you that tradition dictates that coffee should be roasted that way or that it is necessary for the beans to be dark to have quality coffee, but that is not true at all; on the contrary, dark roasting only serves to make drinkable, but certainly not enjoyable, coffee of poor quality.
If you haven’t tried a medium roast coffee yet, now is the time!