Burnt beans change the game. You might not be aware of this, but the roasting methods of coffee beans are just as important to the making coffee as the way it's brewed!
Before the coffee bean is roasted, it's actually green! Green, as in the color green, but also in terms of strength and flavor.
What turns these bouncy green beans into amazing, 'ready-to-go' coffee beans is a good roasting! Roasting the beans is what unlocks the majority of the flavors and caffeine. In fact, before the bean is roasted, it's practically useless in its basal form.
The term "Roasting" is not a blanket statement -- there are multiple variations of roast levels. Most people think, "The darker the roast, the higher the caffeine!" It's quite the opposite, actually. A lighter roast has a less exuberant flavor, but the caffeine levels are substantially higher than a darker roast.
Here are some roast levels, you might be drinking one of these! - The National Coffee Association
Light brown in color, this roast is generally preferred for milder coffee varieties. There will be no oil on the surface of these beans because they are not roasted long enough for the oils to break through to the surface.
- Light City
- Half City
This roast is medium brown in color with a stronger flavor and a non-oily surface. It’s often referred to as the American roast because it is generally preferred in the United States.
Medium dark roasts
Rich, dark color, this roast has some oil on the surface and with a slight bittersweet aftertaste.
- Full City
This roast produces shiny black beans with an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness. The darker the roast, the less acidity will be found in the coffee beverage. Dark roast coffees run from slightly dark to charred, and the names are often used interchangeably — be sure to check your beans before you buy them!
- New Orleans
Now you might be wondering, what does this have to do with cold brew? Because the beans are the first step to a great cup of coffee and since cold brewing brings out the flavor of the beans getting the roast right is critical.
There are many coffee conglomerates who boast their varieties of luxurious coffee, yet many of their flavors fall flat or no matter what bean they use from wherever in the world they all taste the same. Why? Often it's because the beans were burnt or over roasted. Even brewing coffee with the finest beans, if they were burnt it can turn right into a bitter cup of coffee.
Dark Roasts are extremely popular and are known for their rich, deep flavors but over roasting results in bitter, burnt tasting coffee, no matter how you brew it. And if you hot brew it's even more bitter tasting because of all the acids that form from heating the grounds.
Another piece to the coffee puzzle of course is the grind. Getting the grind right is essential in cold brewing. Since cold brewing requires steeping the grounds for at least 12 hours, the grind should be extra coarse to allow the grounds to fully extract. If the grind is too fine the water will stay in the grounds resulting in low extraction and low volume. Interested in finding our more about getting your grind right? Check out our Grind blog!
If you would like more information on cold brewing or coffee that is made specifically for cold brewing, check out our website!