Coffee…what an amazing fruit. With so many varieties and regions to choose from, how does one decide which will end up in their morning cup? For the seasoned coffee drinker, the decision can be made by preferences such as region and varietal, but the most important preference is determined by roast type.
Roast profiles are a very personal and intimate relationship between the roaster, consumer and bean. Some people go for the lighter or medium roast hoping to catch a nice floral and fruity finished product. These lighter roasts sometimes leave notes of berry, lemon, melon and black tea; the list can go on forever depending if the consumer has a heightened flavor palette. Some coffee enthusiasts crave a bolder finish. This roast type has a dark chocolate finish with an oil sheen that exuberates the smell of what first and second wave coffee drinkers call dark roast.
Both light and dark roast profiles hold a very special place in my heart. My first introduction to coffee was in the spring of 1998 in a small café nestled on the bustling street of La Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain. This is where I had my first taste of espresso and was obsessed immediately. This day pushed me into a world I never knew existed: the world of coffee.
This experience brought me to my first coffee job as a barista and then to a production roaster apprentice at a family owned coffee company. French Roast, Italian Espresso, and Seattle Starlight were the most popular. During this time period of coffee, darker was the most popular and desirable; however light and medium roasts were always an option on the menu and I found I loved the subtler notes found in these roast profiles.
As time went on and I moved on to other coffee shops in the Bay Area and Santa Cruz an underground revolution of light roast demand was surging and the third wave came in with many new coffee companies seeking the perfect profile for each varietal. I was settling into another occupation and light roast became the main menu headliner for most third wave coffee companies. I enjoyed so many different roasters in my area that the dark roast was almost forgotten. The new generation of coffee drinkers have an entirely different palette than my coffee mentors. How can light, dark and medium roasts co-exist? As I started my own coffee roasting company I wanted to honor all coffee drinkers but still roast what I felt in my heart was my best representation of coffee.
I decided that my company would offer all three types of profiles and I vowed to be fearless in my attempt to find the best roast in all three of these profiles because my belief is this: All of these profiles matter equally no matter what because your coffee matters, your opinion matters, your palette matters, your preference matters, your ritual matters. Love for coffee is universal; the intimate conversation of coffee recognizes that all love matters. Enjoy your cup of coffee whichever profile and remember where it started….one bean one roast at a time.