How to make dark roast coffee taste better

Many people like the taste of dark roast coffee, but not everyone enjoys it. The bitterness and strong flavor can make it difficult to drink for some people. Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy your dark roast coffee even more:

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There was a time after I used to love the style of darkish roasted espresso, however through the years that roasty daring taste that I used to get pleasure from started to style bitter and ashy. Not too long ago, I made a decision to revisit my outdated dark-roasted pal to see if we may enhance our relationship.

I wished to resolve the riddle on why I used to love darkish roasted espresso however now thought-about it vile. At first, I assumed it was that I had developed a greater palate. Possibly my taste expectations for espresso have been now a lot larger? That may clarify why I strongly choose medium and light-weight roasted espresso, however not why I truly grew to dislike darkish roasted espresso.

Reading: How to make dark roast coffee taste better

It was an fascinating journey and I found quite a bit. Listed below are some the methods I discovered on methods to hack a greater darkish roast espresso.

#1 Freshness is Extra Necessary

Probably the most frequent questions requested in espresso is: How lengthy will these beans keep contemporary? You may hear per week, two weeks, or extra. Coffees roasted darkish sufficient to be labeled French Roast, Italian Roast or Spanish Roast are likely to go stale very quickly. Not weeks, however days.

When espresso is roasted properly into and even past the second crack, the construction of the espresso bean is extra fragile and porous. This significantly shortens the window of freshness. I talked with one Seattle roaster that advised me a darkish French roast espresso may begin to style flat in as little as 4 days. That’s 4 days from roast. You possibly can try to seal the espresso as finest as you possibly can to protect and lengthen freshness, however a closely roasted espresso will age sooner.

When you get pleasure from espresso on the darkish aspect then hack #1 is to purchase smaller volumes of espresso extra steadily from a neighborhood roaster. When you purchase from a grocery retailer, search for a current roast date on the bag. Grocery shops will put the outdated luggage in entrance of the contemporary ones, so you might want to succeed in again for the contemporary stuff. By no means purchase a darkish roasted espresso and not using a roast date on the bag. Assume it’s stale. When you can’t discover a tremendous contemporary darkish roast on the grocery retailer, go for a medium-dark espresso. It can preserve longer and nonetheless have sufficient physique to please your darkish aspect.

The time of my life after I most loved darkish roasted espresso was after I first began residence roasting. I’d roast up one thing darkish, let it sit for someday, after which begin brewing with that espresso. What I found after a few years of residence espresso roasting was that the darker roasted coffees tasted higher on days 2-5. Then I seen a top quality drop-off. By day 8, if there was any espresso left, I might throw it away. If you’re a real darkish roast espresso fan, I extremely advocate exploring residence espresso roasting. We’ve many residence espresso roasting articles right here on INeedCoffee to get you began. By roasting your self, you possibly can be sure that your espresso is all the time contemporary and that you simply roast simply sufficient on your wants, so there may be little or no waste.

Dark Roast 2 Face

From Inanimate Objects Comics #44

#2 Scale back Brewing Temperature

The usual recommendation in the case of brewing temperatures is to brew simply off a boil, normally between 195-205 F (or 90.5-96.1 C). The implication of this recommendation is that so long as you’re within the vary, your espresso will style good. However there may be extra to the story. Lighter roasted coffees do properly on the larger finish of that vary and darker roasted coffees do higher on the decrease finish.

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I carried out just a few brewing checks utilizing the identical darkish roasted espresso brewed at 195 F and 205 F. At 205 F, the espresso had each attribute that I dislike about darkish roast. It tasted bitter and ashy. At 195 F, the espresso was smoother and was not bitter.

At 195 F, the espresso could style barely weaker to you. This downside might be solved by growing the quantity of espresso used within the brew. If you’re utilizing a 17-1 ratio (17 elements water to 1 half espresso), experiment with a 16-1 or 15-1 ratio. One other path is to increase the brew time by 30-60 seconds. This works for brewing strategies the place you possibly can management the brew time, similar to a French Press, Intelligent, or Aeropress.

Bonavita 1-Liter Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle Bonavita Electrical Kettle (Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada)

With the Bonavita, you possibly can dial within the precise temperature you need to brew your espresso. This can be a useful gizmo to haven’t just for espresso however for tea, which is, much more, temperature-sensitive.

#3 Pour a Smaller Quantity of Espresso

A number of years in the past I seen that I drink espresso at completely different speeds relying on how the espresso initially tastes. If the espresso is on the lighter roasted finish with extra delicate flavors, I drink the espresso slower, as a result of I do know because the espresso cools, it’ll proceed to evolve and style nice. With the darker roasted coffees that push the physique and chocolate notes, I’ll drink the espresso sooner. The reason being these taste traits style higher when the espresso is hotter. Because the espresso cools, these notes typically get misplaced.

I discovered that the standard declines if I spend an excessive amount of time consuming closely roasted espresso.

The answer right here is to drink smaller quantities of espresso. Again after I was brewing 16 oz mugs of darkish roasted espresso, I might not often have the ability to end the previous few ounces as the standard was nowhere close to nearly as good as the primary few ounces. If you’re brewing one cup at a time, brew much less. If you’re brewing bigger quantities and storing in a carafe, pour much less.

Genuine Joe GJO11956 Stainless Steel Everyday Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Carafe, 2L Capacity Real Joe GJO11956 Stainless Metal On a regular basis Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Carafe, 2L Capability – Amazon USA

#4 Air Roasters vs Drum Roasters

This subsequent thought is debatable, however I consider it has advantage. Roasting darkish espresso on a fluid mattress air roaster will lead to a cleaner much less burnt style than a drum roaster. When espresso roasts, chaff separates from the bean. In an air roaster, the chaff is blown out of the roasting chamber. With a rotating drum roaster, among the chaff stays on the bean. At a lighter roast, this isn’t a problem, however with darker roasts, the chaff can impart a burnt taste onto the beans.

Lowered airflow throughout roasting could also be a trigger for among the bitter notes in darker roasted espresso. Here’s a remark by donlp37 concerning air roasting on CoffeeForums:

Not solely is it (air roasting) a extra even roast, however I additionally know that a lot much less smoke is circulated across the roasting beans. This fashion darker roasts might be achieved and not using a actual charcoal or overly smokey style.

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I’m not an expert roaster, however I’ve been residence roasting espresso since 1998. The perfect darkish roast coffees I’ve had all got here from air roasters, be it a popcorn popper or the now gone Hearthware line. The drum roasters that I’ve used did an excellent job with medium and light-weight roasts however have been uneven with darker espresso.

Placing it All Collectively

To hack the perfect darkish roast espresso, I’ll use contemporary espresso beans which are only a few days off roast. I’ll solely purchase or roast sufficient beans that I plan on consuming that week. I’ll grind my espresso simply previous to brewing. I’ll use a decrease brewing temperature and brew/pour simply sufficient for a small or medium-sized mug. If I need extra espresso, I’ll brew/pour once more. If I can’t residence roast, I’ll discover a native roaster and time my visits for optimum freshness.

Up to now I haven’t mentioned the brewing technique. I may do a bunch of checks to find out which is finest, however I doubt there can be consensus throughout all espresso drinkers. For me, the most suitable choice goes to be the AeroPress. The Aeropress design permits it to brew nice espresso at decrease temperatures. That is lined in The Upside Down AeroPress Espresso Brewing Tutorial. One other glorious brewing possibility can be chilly brew espresso.

Though I don’t contemplate myself a darkish roast espresso fan, I now know just a few methods to make use of after I need to attain for one thing darker.


Making espresso with the Aeropress.


Bonavita Electrical Kettle (Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada)

Espresso Brewing Information – Our assortment of espresso brewing tutorials.

Easy methods to Retailer Espresso Beans (Ideas and Suggestions) – Our up to date article on storing espresso beans.

Roasting Espresso in a Popcorn Popper – A great way to begin residence espresso roasting is with an older popcorn popper.

Brewing photographs by Joseph Robertson of Extracted Journal, a digital espresso journal revealed for iOS and Android. He additionally teaches Espresso: The Fundamentals of Mastering Your Brew on Udemy.

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