Brewing that perfect cup of coffee involves many variables and would mostly depend on your preference. It is always important to consider your roast profile apart from your preferred brewing method and brand of coffee beans and other factors to achieve that supreme taste. Adjusting coffee roast levels to perfection is an art for oneself.
But first, let’s talk about roast levels and what they exactly mean. The different roasting levels are a light roast, medium roast, and dark roast. However, there is no perfect level per se because it will all depend on the consumer. Each person has their own criteria for the perfect brew together with their recipe or technique.
In general, there are only three roasting levels, and the differences between them do not necessarily end in just flavor alone. Light roasts have more of the original flavors of the coffee beans and have citrus and floral notes, while medium roasts have more body than the light levels, and the amount of caffeine is decreased. Dark roasts have a bitter or even burnt flavor, and most espressos are achieved in this roasting level.
Getting that best cup of joe depends on the proper level of extraction. Chemical compounds are extracted when water and coffee beans are fused. The first extraction is the compound responsible for acidity, and fruity notes and sugars are then extracted, and lastly, the compounds responsible for bitterness are extracted.
When coffee is under-extracted, it may taste sour since the sugars have not been brewed properly. Light roasts are brewed slowly, so the beans have enough time to interact with water while espressos are brewed in a quick manner.
If you want to try a new set of coffee beans but only know the same recipe for your usual beans, then you need to adjust your preferred method so you will still achieve your favorite brew style. Here are some ways to tweak your recipe and enjoy your caffeine fix every time:
Smaller granules have more surface exposure, which means that the extraction process will happen a lot quicker. If you have always used medium roast and you want to switch to a light roast, then you need to grind the beans a bit more. On the other hand, if you are used to light roast and you want to go darker, just use a coarser size.
The recommended temperature ranges from 195-205 F or 90-96 C. The extraction process will go faster if you opt for a higher temperature, which is why cold brews are sweeter and mild since some compounds will not be extracted at low temperatures. To prevent over-extraction using a dark roast, make sure to lower the water temperature since it will also lessen the bitter notes. The rule of thumb is to go with a lower temperature for dark roasts and go higher with the light roasts.
This means that you have to pay attention to the brewing time, so do not choose a light roast if you want a cup of espresso. Let the light roast steep longer before the first drip so it will produce a bolder and complex flavor. It is best to adjust your technique with each brewing method, such as letting a French press sit for a while before serving or by adding water slowly if you are making filter coffee.
Take the time to know and understand the different methods of preparing coffee and as well as the other essential variables. In that way, you will be able to create that foolproof cup every single time.