We have a new Coffee 101 post for you today! Buckle up, because you’re going to get to know more about the world of specialty coffee, by diving into single origins and roast colors in one blog post. We are examining how origin and roast color work together to create your Thanksgiving Coffee experience.
Roast Color in Specialty Coffee
You can dig in deep about roast colors and what they mean here, or get the annotated version below. From light to medium to dark to french, slight adjustments in the temperature during roasting make up 80% of a coffee’s flavor. Your personal preference–whether it’s smoky or sweet or somewhere inbetween—is largely based on the temperature to which your coffee was roasted.
If you spend any time chatting with people who work in the specialty coffee industry, you’ll notice a lot of love for the light roast. Light roasts tend to be the favorite of coffee aficionados because they truly showcase the flavors unique to origin. Despite this, it’s important to remember that every coffee drinker is different, and if light roasts aren’t your favorite, that is totally okay. There are so many ways to experience coffee, and it all helps to refine your palate.
Side by Side Coffee Comparison
In day to day coffee drinking, most people don’t have the chance to compare how the different roast colors taste. The average consumer has their go-to coffee, and typically won’t vary their purchasing by much. Getting the chance to taste two roast colors from the same origin is an excellent way to compare and contrast the flavors you get from darker and lighter roasts, to truly experience an origin and learn more about what you prefer in a coffee.
Ready to try it? We have a few coffees that allow you to do a side by side comparison between different roast colors of the same origin. These coffees are grown in the same region, processed using the same method, put into the same burlap sack, but roasted in two different ways. Take a look at our flavor profiles for these coffees below, and pick the origin that interests you.
Congo Coffee: Medium and Dark
Uganda Coffee: Light and Dark
Guatemala Coffee: Light and Dark
Sumatra Coffee: Medium and Very Dark
What we want you to do, is experience these side by side. Gather the family around, invite a couple friends over, and prepare the coffee in your favorite way – whether it’s Chemex, French Press or even cowboy style. Take the time to make a batch from both roast colors, and taste them both. Let the coffee linger in your mouth, and swish it around to hit all your taste buds. Try it without your usual sweeteners or dairy products… and then try it with! You’re getting to know the characteristics unique to the coffee’s origin, while spending time understanding the difference between the darker and lighter roasts.
BONUS: Decaf Tasting!
Thanksgiving Coffee also has an option for those of you that prefer a little less caffeination. Our Decaf Nighthawks’ lineup is sourced from an organic coffee farm in Mexico, and water-processed to remove caffeine at a nearby facility. While our Light and our French are roasted separately, our Medium Roast (which we call the ‘Royal’) is actually a blend of the two. After we’ve roasted our French and Light versions of this Mexican coffee, we mix those two together to create a unique blend that becomes our Royal Decaf. Taste all three side by side to experience the variety you can get in a truly spectacular decaf.
Light: A smooth light roast with hints of milk chocolate and cinnamon
Medium: Complex and sweet enough to enjoy straight, yet bold enough to punch through milk
French: Bold and rich with intense notes of dark chocolate and toasted marshmallows