One of the most asked questions, especially for offices and in the HORECA, is what coffees are suitable for their usage.
In general, anyone with little knowledge of coffee will probably tell you, without hesitation, to get a pure origin or blend of pure Arabica Beans. Preferably in the medium roast. That’s because various studies of coffee show that Arabica has more volatile compounds that are favourable and would taste smoother. A medium roast will produce the best yield for such essential oil.
Does science really relate to a corresponding picture in real-life preference? Let’s find out.
What do the coffee statistics show?
Here are some numbers derived from the sale of coffee beans sorted by roast from our website.
In total, there are a total of 23 blends of coffee with different roast profile
Dark roast contributes 34.78% of the number of blends.
Medium roast contributes 30.43% of the number of blends.
Light roast contributes 34.78% of the number of blends.
Dark roast, constituting only 34.78% of the number of blends, accounts for up to 59.87% of sales.
Why is coffee sour?
Coffee tastes sourer when they are lighter roast. The purpose of such roasting is to preserve the flavours of the cherry that once enveloped the coffee beans.
You get to enjoy exotic flavours like the fruitiness and flowery notes that the fruit had.
Why is coffee bitter?
The darker the roast, the more bitter it gets. As the roast gets darker, more carbon dioxide will be released and more oil produced from the bean. The carbon dioxide gets trapped in the oil, and this concoction produces a thicker coffee and more crema.
Most parts of the world are more used to darker roast coffee than lighter roast.
Is a darker roast or lighter roast coffee more healthy?
Lighter roast coffee contains more antioxidants and slightly more caffeine. They contain more polyphenol phytonutrients known as chlorogenic acids, giving all the benefits we know of from coffee.
It is worth noting that Robusta, though often deemed as more unhealthy, actually has more chlorogenic acid, which promotes the antioxidant properties in coffee.
Is a darker roast or lighter roast coffee more flavourful?
If we look scientifically, lighter roast coffee is more flavourful. These tests could be done when researchers dry the espresso and measure the amount of volatile compound retained in what’s left.
However, with that said, most consumers judge coffee by the intensity and thickness of the coffee. Having more flavours in a light roast doesn’t mean the coffee is more intense. In fact, light roast coffee is less bitter and is perceived as softer and lighter coffee.
What explains the phenomenon of more consumers preferring dark roast?
We can’t tell you for sure, but there could be three main reasons.
The cost of the dark roast is generally cheaper. Since delicate profiles like the floral and fruity notes are easily disintegrated at a darker roast, more affordable Arabica beans could be chosen. Use of Robusta beans which are generally cheaper, could also be used. Robustas are cheaper because they’re very resilient and require much less care to grow. They are often grown under the sun without shades.
The coffee rust disease in the last century has almost wiped out most Arabica beans, particularly in Asia. The familiar cup of coffee you had for generations mainly consisted of Robusta beans. Robusta beans are hardy plants that could stand up against disease. Robusta and dark roasts do have a higher probability of producing more astringents, but the astringents are something familiar and expected by most drinkers.
Although Arabica beans do have more favourable aromatic profiles. These profiles could have specific characteristics that may not appeal well to all drinkers. To preserve these aromatic profiles, the coffee has to be roasted lighter, allowing the drinker to taste the cherry that once enveloped the coffee beans. The result is the coffee tends to be more acidic and the lighter roast has a much weaker body. Robusta beans produce coffee with a thicker body, and have a higher caffeine content to give the jolt of life expected from the drink.
Do cheaper robusta beans have more negative consequences on my health? Do they contain more chemicals?
On the contrary, robusta beans require less or no pesticide, herbicide or chemicals to grow well due to their resilient nature. The high caffeine in it keeps most insects away. As mentioned earlier, they could be grown openly in the sun under natural conditions. They are very sustainable and require a lot lesser water to grow.
Besides that, Robusta has higher chlorogenic acid and antioxidants for other health benefits, including improving blood pressure and metabolism.
Robusta has a higher amount of caffeine, but the coffee beans are very oily and require much less quantity to produce a cup of coffee. A traditional Italian espresso contains approximately 7g of coffee with a robusta mix. Italian coffees are typically roasted darker, which slightly reduces the amount of caffeine. A modern barista using a light or medium roast pure Arabica blend, may use up to 22g to make each coffee which proportionally increases the caffeine intake. As such, it’s unreliable to tell whether your caffeine intake is higher or lower by just looking at the type of coffee used.
Although there have been various campaigns introducing speciality coffee to the public in the past two decades.
The coffee statistics we have today are not far from the ones we saw a decade ago. It seems that most consumers still prefer the old fashion classics that give a punch to refresh their day. We do see that the sales for lighter roast coffee is increasing but that could be due to the requirement for more coffee that is usually used when using such coffee.
If you are in a fix, thinking of what to get for a group of coffee drinkers, we suggest starting with a darker roast. This should pacify most of the crowd.
And whether you are looking for a dark roast with robusta or a light roast pure Arabica. Be sure to check out what we have from https://www.finecoffeecompany.com
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