There’s some definition of chaos in terms of these two roasting faults. It’s even funnier since, logically speaking, an under roasted coffee can be naturally described as a coffee that lacks flavor development. And an underdeveloped coffee is under roasted for sure, meaning you should have tried harder 😉
But a neat distinction between these two can boil down to a very simple scheme. Let’s think in terms of a profile (heat application through the whole roast) and a roast degree (color).
An underdeveloped coffee hasn’t got enough heat during the roasting process. The roast might have been too fast, leaving the inner bean surface rawish. On the other hand, the duration might be considered as “normal”, but the amount of energy hasn’t been sufficient enough to penetrate the coffee. In both cases the resulting color measurement might hit the demanded value, but the brew has green, vegetal notes, lacking clarity and sweetness big time.
An under roasted coffee is characterized by a “good” profile, meaning it’s got sufficient energy in the start, throughout the browning phase and into the crack. It’s just been dropped too early, resulting in a roast degree that is higher than your preferred one. This one is a little more subjective, since different cultural circles will find different roast degrees perfect. But compared to your ideal color, an under roasted coffee will taste more acidic, less balanced, sharp, with lower depth and a shorter finish.
Our Roasting Tips are brought to you by Piotr Jeżewski (88 Graines Q Grader & Sourcing Director)