Tag Archives: espresso

A brief word on Espresso

Espresso (not Expresso)…gotta get that in as many times as I can. Many new folks on their first roasts post photos of a very dark, Starbucks like roast. Let me get it out of the way now, that this is not a crime and not bad in any way. Deciding to learn to home roast takes time, and even a beginners first roast that was taken a little too far will most likely be better that Starbucks!. ¬†Inevitably, there is a follow up comment on forums to try it as Espresso.
So, my question is why?
Here’s my 2 cents on subject. I think everyone knows that espresso (not expresso) is not a roast profile, or a specific bean. It’s a process – a method of production and you can put any roast profile you want through it. Yes, a darker bean is more soluble than a light roast, but still…we all know what Starbucks espresso tastes like…so why would we voluntarily want to brew that at home?
I light roast can make a wonderful espresso (albeit, I’ve only ever had one I liked), but like *any* brewing method, you will need to dial in the grind and brew time params accordingly. I brew mostly espresso at home (Gaggia Classic and a Bezzera BZ10). The single biggest leap in quality after the grinders and machines was when I started just roasting for the flavor profiles, and not worrying about dark/light. I blended beans for the balance of aroma, body, sweetness, chocolate, etc. that I was after. When I was done, I had not only the espresso I wanted, but a damn good cup of coffee period.
Full City+ Roast

Full City+ Roast from the FreshRoast SR700

Ultimately, you drink what you like, and that’s the great thing about being competent in food prep…you eat/drink what you like all the time. So, if a dark roast for espresso is something you like, brew it up and don’t look back. But, don’t assume that a dark roast will work as brewed espresso.
Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong (apologies to Dennis Miller).