Last week I took part in a coffee event, a barista competition of sorts, in Denver. CO. I had been asked to come down and deliver an interesting tasting experience. I was scratching my head for the better part of the week trying to decide what I might do for this particular event when I was lucky enough to receive some coffees from a roaster in Chicago who had purchased the coffee via Coffee Shrub. Among the coffees were two different roasts of the same Kenya is the East African powerhouse of the coffee world. Both in the cup, and the way they run their trade, everything is topnotch.: Kenya is the East... ...more, a coffee that I was already familiar with through my own tasting so I though it could be a great way to gather some notes for the roaster from a decent sized crowd as well as serve the purpose of the talking point coffee for the event.
As many of you have probably read here and otherwise in the Sweet Maria’s Library, I’ve done plenty of side by side comparisons of different roasts of the same coffee. In order to make this particular tasting a little more interesting I added one more element. We would look at the two different roasts side by side via Cupping is a method of tasting coffee by steeping grounds in separate cups for discrete amounts of ground coffee, to reveal good flavors and defects to their fullest.... ...more, but then we would also look at the coffees side by side via a Chemex brew with a paper filter. How would the paper filtration affect our ability to taste the difference between the two roasts of the same coffee?
Now, the difference between the two roasts appeared on the surface to be a rather small difference, about 30 seconds of time during the First crack in one of two distinct heat-induced pyrolytic reactions in coffee. It is distinguished by a cracking or popping sound in the coffee, and occurs between 390... ...more. During this point of the roast there is ongoing A reaction involving sugars that occurs during coffee roasting. A caramelized sugar is less sweet, but has greater complexity of flavor and aroma. Caramelization is slower than Maillard... ...more. It’s the point of the roast where the cellular structure of the coffee is at its most elastic and the Cellulose is the principle fiber of the cell wall of coffee. It is partially ordered (crystalline) and partially disordered (amorphous). The amorphous regions are highly accessible and react... ...more is breaking down into non-sugar The co-presence of many aroma and flavor attributes, with multiple layers. A general impression of a coffee, similar to judgments such as "balanced" or "structured" ...more carbohydrates that can lend themselves to perceived How a coffee feels in the mouth or its apparent texture, a tactile sensation : A major component in the flavor profile of a coffee, it is a... ...more.
The testing was blind but the results were quite telling and almost universal in terms of preference. Most people who took part in the tasting preferred the slightly longer roast, saying it had more Sweetness is an important positive quality in fine coffees, and is one of five basic tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Savory (Umami). In coffee, sweetness is a highly... ...more, more potent of a In the cupping procedure for tasting and scoring coffee, this is the smell of the dry, ground coffee before hot water is added. The term fragrance is used... ...more, and a longer more In some coffee taster’s lexicon, “fruity” means the coffee is tainted with fruit, and “fruited” means a coffee is graced by positive fruit notes. We don't exactly see... ...more Similar to aftertaste, but it refers to the impression as the coffee leaves the palate. Aftertaste is the sensations gathered after the coffee has left the mouth. We... ...more. The shorter roast was still very nice but had more aggressively bright Acidity is a positive flavor attribute in coffee, also referred to as brightness or liveliness. It adds a brilliance to the cup, whereas low acid coffees can seem... ...more in the front of the palate with a drier, shorter finish. The preference was overwhelmingly the longer coffee. The really interesting part is that the differences between the roasts were much more evident through the Chemex brew with the paper filter. Generally, the sweetness, the perceived acidity and where they were perceived on the palate were much clearer in the filtered brew.
The cupping brew is much closer to a press pot brew and the thicker liquid can in some ways make it difficult for some tasters to look past this extra perceived mouthfeel. Cupping is honestly a method used for evaluating the coffee’s quality itself, and not necessarily the differences in roast. This is not to say that cupping to look at roast differnces is bad practice, but it can be really eye opening to look through the coffees through more than one method.