Roast Degree (Color) Preferences

December 7, 2023

As much as many of us would like it to be, there’s no such thing as an objectively ideal roast degree for any given coffee. Just as the quality of coffee is always a relative issue. That’s a topic for another time though 😉

The darker the color is:

  • the level of acidity becomes lower
  • the level of bitterness becomes higher
  • the level of body is firstly increasing, then going down
  • the level of aromas’ intensity and abundance is firstly increasing, then going down

Let’s remember all these great, high quality coffees (within our bubble) have so much to offer, that the spectrum of “tasting the best” can be really wide. It all depends on the final customer’s preference.

It’s good for your ego to come to terms with the idea that there will always be people who don’t like your roasting style as much as those to whom you’re always the best. You might be more than sure that this Kenyan is roasted to perfection – super juicy, fresh, lively, complex and effervescent, but there’s a bunch of coffee geeks who prioritize depth, sweetness or body for instance, and will choose a roaster that roasts touch darker. And vice versa.

It’s vastly important to know your customer base and be aware of roast degrees you choose for them. Most likely, 99% of them have never heard about color measurement techniques, but they JUST TASTE. And sometimes brand loyalty is a matter of a few degrees on your color machine, really.

Our Roasting Tips are brought to you by Piotr Jeżewski (88 Graines Q Grader & Sourcing Director)

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