One of the most common misconceptions in the coffee world is the difference between strong coffee and dark coffee. So often, we receive a request for stronger coffee and I ask them if they mean darker or stronger coffee at first. When I first started off roasting, I had someone say they wanted stronger coffee. I then went with a light roast hight altitude bean instead of a medium roast coffee. They tried the coffee and responded it was not strong enough, however, it made them super jittery and had them bouncing all over the place at work.
That is when I realized that they meant darker coffee, not stronger. What happens during the roasting process is that the longer the beans roast, the more the cell structure of the bean breaks down and looses a lot of the caffeine content. This is why light roast coffee has a much higher caffeine content than dark roast coffee. This common misconception that darker is stronger is actually just the opposite.
The other major difference between dark roast and light roast is that during a light roast the coffee takes on the flavor of the actual coffee bean while a dark roast will take on the profile of the actual roast. This is why personally, I love the taste of a light roast. It allows for the taste of the coffee bean as it was intended and by using only organic coffee at Sally Sues roastery we ensure its quality.
That being said, that is why there can be such a great discrepancy between dark roast vs strong roast When we roast, we use our software to step our roast down based on the rate and rise of the coffee beans cooking, and then correlate it with the bean temperature rise which provides a nice even roast.
Large organizations such as Starbucks burn their coffee beans as it is more cost efficient. This is also part of the culture that people think that their coffee should taste dark or burnt because it is more cost efficient. How so? Think about it this way, each bean is unique and grows in a unique environment which allows for a different cell structure. Therefore each bean will require different heats and rotations to ensure a smooth even roast for a light or medium roast making it that each roast needs to be adjusted. However, if you simply keep one roast temperature and burn (dark roast) the beans, no variation is needed and the roast can accommodate many bean times and origins without change, thus making it extremely efficient.
Everyone has a different palate and taste preference. We are always surprised at the wow factor we get when people taste fresh coffee and a lighter roast than they are accustomed to as it is much smoother. We highly recommend people try it in a cold coffee or cold brew to truly taste the difference.
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