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John Lynn – Dark vs Light Coffee Roasts. Just what is the difference?
Hey everybody, John Lynn here from Hugo coffee roasters. Just hear, do a, drink, some coffee with you guys. And talk a little bit about the degree of roast. We’re going to talk about light roast, medium roast, dark roast. We’re going to talk about how these are all different and what all these terms actually mean.
When we’re roasting coffee, um, we have green raw coffee. We’re dropping it into the roaster at a certain temperature and we are building energy and these beans waiting for them to climb. I’m trying not to. Over roast them and burn them. Try not to under roast them, stretch out our time too long and bake them.
And we’re trying to hit some sweet spots along the way. There will be, um, visual cues. Um, there will be cues that we pick up from smell, and then there’s also going to be audible pews. The first main audible cue we’re going to talk about is first track. So once the copy has already started to yellow and it’s going into its Browning phase.
Um, they copy it and you will hear these big pops, the copy’s going to start popping. And that is our first crack. Um, it’s very similar to what would happen when you’re popping popcorn. Um, in fact, when I first started roasting coffee, I would take green coffee and I would put it in those old air poppers that would kind of spin the hot air from the bottom.
The coffee would be bouncing all over the place and in about eight minutes or so, you’d start to get that popping just like popcorn. And that is, um, Once we really get rolling into that first crack, that’s kind of the start of our light roasts. Um, light rails copy is going to have a little bit more complexity to it.
It’s going to definitely have more acidity than a copied that’s been roasted longer or to a darker temperature. Um, and it’s going to have more tastes from the origin. So when we buy copies and we’re looking for copies, every copy has kind of tasting notes or flavor notes or different things that can be found in that particular copy.
You know, we can get a, um, natural process copy from Ethiopia. That’s just going to be this big fruit bomb, and it’s going to be full of raspberries and blueberries and different things like that. Or, you know, we can pick up coffee from Sumatra, that’s going to be more earthy and it’s going to have, you know, taste of mushrooms and tastes of Cedar different things.
So depending on where we are, the copies, you know, different varietals things are going to taste a little bit differently, but in that light roast, we’re going to see more acidity in that coffee. And we’re going to taste more of the uniqueness of that coffee, um, from its origins, from the farmers, from the specific, uh, varieties.
Now moving into kind of our medium roast area. That’s going to be when the first crack has actually died. So after all of the popping has stopped, um, we’re going to be right in that nice kind of medium roast range. The copy is going to be a little bit more uniform in color. It’s going to be a little bit more smooth.
Um, and we’re going to start to get a little bit more balanced or the body of the copy is going to come up. Um, so it’s going to have that nice round mouthfeel, opposed to the lighter roast that you know, won’t have as much of that. Um, the sugars are continuing. Continuing to caramelize in the copy. So we’re going to get a little bit more sweetness right there.
The acidity is going to drop body goes up. We’re going to have like a, kind of a nice balance right there. Um, we have a second audible, um, reaction that happens within the roaster and that is our second crack. Second crack is a little bit different than the first crack. The, um, second crack. Is actually the breakdown of the beans.
So that spelling cellular structure is breaking down. And we’re hearing these, um, kind of snapping noises, almost like the sound of breaking pencils. Um, So that is the actual breakdown of the beam. And that’s kind of where we start. Our dark roast is right at the first pops of second crack. And the further we go into second crack, the darker that’s going to be, and we’re going to start to see, you know, what a lot of people call those French roast and into Italian roast and things like that.
Um, and then once the second crack has fully died, um, I would say best guests, 30% of the beam is fully carbonized. Um, it’s really burned. Very very bitter, very thin, not something that, you know, a lot of people are going to enjoy drinking. So that’s kind of the stretch we see, um, from light roasts all the way through dark roasts now as a coffee roaster, um, and people who work in the coffee industry when we’re roasting coffee and we’re talking about coffee, we don’t typically use those terms like medium dark, just because there’s such a wide hooray.
Um, Going on right there. There’s a lot of different phases that we can talk about. Um, so it kind of starts at what we would call a city roast, which is kind of the lightest roast that moves into a city. Plus then we’re gonna go full city and we have full city plus. Um, and so these are our different degrees of copywriting, so we can track it even more so than just saying light roast, medium roast, dark roast.
So there’s a lot of varying factors and there, and degrees of roast. Um, with light roast or I’m sorry, with dark roasts, you’re going to get more of that kind of chocolatey flavors. You’re going to see more of that more nut flavor going on. You’re going to see more bodies. So if you’re someone who likes a really rich, um, cup of coffee, a sweet cup of coffee, a chocolate, a cup of coffee, a bold cup of coffee.
That dark roast is probably going to be something for you. If you are somebody who likes your coffee too, you know? Kind of leave a more of this mouth feel and on your tongue, which is the acidity coming in, which is our broody or copies in the light rests. Um, that’s where we’re going to see a lot of the tomato and we’re going to see a lot of the raspberry and grapefruit lemon and lime and those kinds of flavors in the light risk.
And if you’d like a copy, um, that’s a little bit. More, that’s going to drink something more, um, like a bold tea, either a black tea, um, Jasmine tea, there’s even coffee there, you know, reminiscent of like kind of three herbal teas. Um, maybe that’s more of a property for you in that medium roast is going to be a nice balance where the fruit Panda starts to die down.
The acidity kind of gets lower, but we still have a good balance where there’s not and caramel flavors are kind of coming in with chocolate flavors. Um, so. Depending on how you like to drink your coffee, kind of, depending on what your coffee that tastes like. That is three different stages that you can kind of look at.
Um, another thing I wanted to talk about was caffeine content. I’ve seen a lot of people say that, Oh, you know, dark roast has the most caffeine. It’s bold, you know, it’s the kick in the teeth. Like that’s why we like to drink dark roast. Um, and then there’s, you know, That actually isn’t factual. So when we’re roasting, we do roast out caffeine content, which is why sometimes you will see something called like a dream coffee beverage, which is a copy that hasn’t even hit first crack yet.
It’s going to taste really earthy, really grainy. A lot of hay, lots of grass, not a great flavor profile. Um, but extremely caffeinated. So people who are using these is huge energy shot boost. I’ve even seen them offered, um, and like little pills, that’s kind of weight loss, supplements. Um, so that is not something we would typically drink or call copy, but that goes to show you that we do roast out caffeine content.
Now, I don’t want to say that just because you’re drinking light roast means you’re drinking coffee with the most caffeine, the tapping content of the copy is coming from the copy. So some copies are more caffeinated than others. You’ll find dark roasts that have a higher caffeine content than light roasts, but you are roasting out caffeine as it gets darker.
But if caffeine is all you’re worried about, it’s more about the coffee or actually drinking instead of the degree of a roast. Um, let’s see. Another thing that we kind of wanted to touch on and talk about is brewing methods. We’ve had people ask, is there a wish to be brewing coffee? If I like darkness, is there a way we should be doing coffee if I like white risk?
And the answer is yes and no. So. Everything in copy, in my opinion comes down to personal preference. If you like, what you like, and you’re enjoying your cup of coffee, then you’re doing it right. You’re doing a good job. Um, but we do have brewing methods that kind of accentuate different things about different properties.
So if we do, if we look at a pour over system that has the paper filter, um, that filter is there to kind of catch a lot of the sediment. That’s going to fall on there. It’s going to create a cleaner cup. Um, and a lot of people who enjoy light rests are going to have a little bit more complexity to them are going to enjoy that brew process a little bit more because, you know, it helps you be able to taste all the different components that are in that coffee versus French press is, you know, you’re going to steep it.
You’re going to do that plunge. We’re going to pour it out and on its own because there’s no paper filter. There’s a lot more oil on that copy because it’s been steeped rather than water, just flowing through it. You know, it’s going to be a lot more bold. And so typically people who I would say drink more medium and dark roast coffees, tend to fall a little bit more towards the French press.
Um, or maybe even like the mocha pot and the people who tend to like, you know, kind of aggressive, complex, light roast copies, typically, always are going to be using, um, a brewing method with some sort of paper or metal filter. Um, so they can keep that complexity and taste all those different notes throughout their coffee.
Um, So a little bit on brewing methods, but it is all kind of about personal preference. You can have an amazing cup of coffee. That’s roasted, you know, two would be considered a light roast and a French press, and really enjoy that. You can have a copy that’s, you know, right into second crack. That’s really chocolaty.
Um, and you’re going to do that in a pour over system and it’s going to taste great. And you’re going to, you’re going to love that cup of coffee. So it’s really about preference there. Um, and since we’re on the subject of brewing copy, we want to talk about weighing your coffee. So a lot of people in their group copy and get out of the old tablespoon or whatever, and we kind of scoop your copy into your brewer.
Start brewing. There you go. The issue with that is, is that copy has a lot of moisture. And the longer we keep that copy in that roaster, the less moisture that copy is going to have. And the longer the copy’s in the roaster, the more of that coffee bean is going to expand. Um, I believe we’re looking at about 30%, um, in the size expansion from the time we start and the time we finish a coffee.
So it’s really important to weigh your copy when you’re brewing it. Because one tablespoon of one copy will weigh much differently or have a lot more coffee to it than one tablespoon of another copy. And here’s a prime example of our kind of French roast. We call black Palm and our light roast. We call them, Neutrik kind of get these as balanced we can, but both of these bags are 12 ounces.
So we can really see here that one copy. The black pop as a lot more volume to it in our light roast or a new trick right here. Um, so we do one tablespoon of this. It’s going to have a lot more coffee to it, then one tablespoon of this. So a little bit on, you know, brewing copy and why it’s important to weigh it.
And a lot of it has to do. With the roast with the beat, a lot of copies or you don’t have different densities. A lot of that comes back to the degree of, um, let’s see. I think that’s all I have for you guys today. Um, just little info on kind of how we roast coffee and when you’re in the grocery store or when you’re in your favorite coffee shop or at the roaster, can you pick up a bag?
You know, actually what you’re getting when it says. Dark roast, light, roast, weaning, and growth, and how to pick the best crop for you. Um, I want to say thank you for tuning in and we’ll see you guys soon. Have a great day. Bye-bye.