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Best roast level for each brewing method

July 01, 2021

Roasting is, they say, an art. He who oversees the roasting of coffee beans is called a Master Roaster- and earning this title requires years of experience, studies, and more.

This is to say that as much as coffee beans have a lot of flavor and aroma inherent to themselves, the roast is what makesthem. A single batch can be completely transformed by simply changing roast levels.

So, the question pops up: is there an ideal roast level for each brewing method? The answer is yes! Let’s go over which roasts are better for which brewing method- and why.

 

French press

Ideal roast level: Medium / Light

The French press is a great example of a brewing method that is quite flexible, yet it shines best with medium roasts. Because of its ability to draw out a lot of flavor, using a dark roast would be overkill: you’d be extracting too much bitterness.

Medium roasts are perfect for this brewing method. Light roasts are also a good fit for this brewing method!

 

Espresso machine/maker

Ideal roast level: Dark

Because the espresso is very small in volume yet very concentrated, dark roasts are favored over other types. This is because espresso is usually combined with milk to create other beverages, so the strong flavor of dark roasts help it not be lost once combined.

However, medium roasts are also acceptable. Light roasts can also be a great choice for espresso, especially if you’re drinking it black (without milk/cream/sugar).

 

Pour-over

Ideal roast level: Medium

The most balanced or neutral of all, the pour-over will always go perfectly with medium roasts. This is because pour-overs are great at retaining a lot of flavor in the final brew, yet are able to filter out some of the bitterness and sourness of coffee.

In the end, a pour-over brewing method does a great job at making a well-rounded cup of coffee without the need to balance out the flavor with sugar or milk: it’s the perfect brewing method for black coffee lovers. And so is the medium roast!

 

Cold Brew

Ideal roast level: Light / Dark.

Cold brew is special because it tones down bitterness and highlights natural sweetness. Because you don’t need heat, acidity is also greatly reduced. This is why darker roasts, usually hard to control, go great with cold brew.

However, cold brew can accommodate any type of roast. It always comes down to personal taste!

 

Moka pot

Ideal roast level: Medium - Dark.

The Moka pot is sort of a less potent espresso. Because of the material of the device, dark roasts are a risky bet, the same way that medium roasts tend to be underwhelming. Your best bet is to get a medium dark roast, which will hit just the right spot.

When in doubt, better go with a medium roast. Dark roasts and Moka pot tend to make for overly bitter coffee.

 

 

Light roasts are more of a recent phenomenon, so they still don’t have one specific brewing method that they go perfect with. But light roasts are delicious with most brewing methods and will probably be a great addition to your repertoire. We strongly suggest you try this type of roast if you haven’t already!


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