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You’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it… the barista in your favorite coffee shop weighs out a small volume of fresh beans, takes them to an overly large (and probably white) grinder and fiddles with a nob or dial before grinding the microscopic amount of coffee into some sort of cup made out of surgical grade steel. The barista then proceeds to prepare a paper filter in what appears to be a combination of origami and ritual hand washing…
For a drink that so many of us consume on a daily basis, there are countless myths about coffee. First and foremost, I’d like to tackle some misunderstandings around “dark roast” coffee. In no way, shape or form, is dark roast coffee “stronger” than lighter roasted coffee. Heavier on the palate, perhaps, but certainly not stronger in any functional sense of the word.
In explaining coffee to the general public, us industry-folk go to a lot of trouble to compare it to other foods products. I often compare dark roasts to over-cooked meat, talk about the body of a cup in relation to different varietals of wine, explain roasting by likening it to popping popcorn, and we are all guilty of using different fruits, vegetables and chocolates when describing the flavour profile of a particular coffee...