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Finding your cup of coffee

Updated: Jan 9

Good morning coffee addicts! Before you begin grinding your coffee beans for your morning cup, take a moment to look down. What color are they?

Whether you drink coffee for the morning energy boost, the robust and rich flavors or simply for the morning ritual, we want to make sure that you are drinking the perfect cup for you! In Part I of this series you hopefully learned what species of coffee is right for you and in Part II you learned about the “wet” and “dry” processing methods. Now it is time to make sure you are drinking the right roast!

While we will touch on the flavor profiles of different roasts on the spectrum — from the light fruitiness of a New England roast to the sweet caramel of a Vienna to the spicy charcoal of a French and everywhere in between — we will also talk about how different degrees of roasting affects the taste of your coffee and the amount of caffeine in the cup.

TASTE

The flavors of coffee don’t actually exist on a scale from light to dark roast. As you can probably guess by part three on a four part series on the factors that influence the way a cup off coffee tastes, flavor is influenced by a whole matrix of factors. Having said that, there are some general flavor patterns among the six of the most common roasts.

CAFFEINE

One of the most common coffee misconceptions we hear from visitors on our coffee tours at the inn is that dark roasted coffee is the most caffeinated.

Now, we love a full-bodied cup of bold black java as thick as molasses and twice as chocolately but we have to come clean. The darker the roast, the less caffeine per volume.

By volume, the most caffeinated roast is actually…

*Drumroll*

Light roast beans!

Here’s why.

Dark roast coffee is roasted for more time than light roast coffee. Caffeine is water-soluble which means that as the remaining moisture in the coffee beans is roasted away, some of the caffeine is also leaving the bean with the water.

Therefore, a bean that spends less time getting toasty will have more moisture and thus, more caffeine. It also means that the lighter the roast, the denser the bean.

Because you, me, and most coffee shops measure out beans by the scoop, i.e by volume, your cup of light roast coffee will have slightly more caffeine than a dark roast cup.

For some of you this may be old news while others may be rethinking your morning coffee orders. But before you completely change your habits, consider this.

It all depends on how the coffee beans are measured.

Like I said, when most of us measure out a portion of beans, we go by volume. But if you were to measure differently, say by using a kitchen scale and portion out your beans by weight…well that would be a whole different ballgame. It would take more dark roasts beans to match the mass of light roasts meaning that your morning cup of Joe would be made of more beans, leading to more caffeine.



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