Light roasted coffee all taste very similar to me - Page 3

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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Jeff
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#21: Post by Jeff »

More likely a combination of roast quality and extraction technique, seen through the lens of personal preference.

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#22: Post by Milligan »

My experience with light roast is there is are wildly different tastes depending on the coffee. There is a more narrow tasty zone in extraction. Under tastes watery, acidic and can push under-roasted notes. Over tastes harsh, astringent (hard to hit true bitterness), and muddy. Right in the tasty zone is where the delicate flavors emerge. It can be hard to hit that depending on the coffee and equipment. It can be hard to evenly extract light roast enough especially with cheap grinders that produce a lot of fines, sour and astringent :(

From reading through a lot of these posts it seems folks have a hard time evenly extracting enough. It may also be a matter of adjusting one's palate to pick up the different flavors.

bznelson91
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#23: Post by bznelson91 »

I've read over this thread before, and thought about commenting, so I'll finally jump in. A little background on me: I've only been "into" specialty coffee for a couple of years, and really only in super earnest in the last year. My daily filter is the NextLevel Pulsar (which I go on and on about :) ) and light to light-medium roasts (for whatever that means, there's already been a lot written about that). I favor clarity over body, fruits and florals over nuts/chocolate, acidity over sweetness.

Based on what's been said about roasters upthread, I tend towards stuff that's not as light as Wendelboe (though I've never actually had Wendelboe, so who am I to say). My current favorite roaster is Prodigal, and I know there's religion about them, but I've had three coffees from them and they've all blown me away. I do Fellow Drops and Mistobox as subscriptions, so I end up with coffees from many different roasters, but none as consistently good as Prodigal.

I've not found any other brewer that gets ME the results that I get from the brewer I'm using now. V60 is close when it's exactly right, but I had consistency issues. Clever dripper used to be my favorite, but as an immersion brewer, it's a different experience from pourover.

So, if I settle on just the Pulsar, here's what I do with a new coffee: Make it my usual way and taste. If it's bitter or sour, I'll adjust the grind for that (Ode Gen 2 stock burrs). But if it's not bitter or sour, then there's a decision to make. Do I try changing other things? The Prodigals are more sensitive to grind than others I've tried. I can make cups that favor different flavors, but are still "perfect" in terms of bitter/sour. I've had bags from other roasters where I try three or four different things, and if I'm still not getting what I like, I send it to the "Strategic Coffee Reserve" (read: save for grinder seasoning) and get another bag. Yes, coffee is expensive, but life is too short to drink something you don't like.

Several other posters have mentioned grinders. I know I'm at the "low end" of that scale with my Ode, but it makes cups I love from a variety of sources. I also have a 1ZPresso K-Max that surprises me sometimes with what it comes up with, but again, "low end" of good grinders.

I've not drank a coffee that I'd consider "inherently sour" or "inherently bitter". I think preparation can overcome that, and if "everything" is tasting that way, it's time for workflow or hardware changes IMO. But the most important thing I've discovered, is that even if you don't have bitter or sour, the flavors can still be different with a grind/ratio/temp change, even with the same brewer, and to an even greater degree with a different brewer.

Finally, I take the "tasting notes" on the bag with a grain of salt. Sometimes, it's right on, and I can totally taste blackberry (for example). Other times, it's just "fruity", and I just go with that. Does it taste GOOD? That's the ultimate arbiter.

Brad

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#24: Post by erik82 »

jramey0406 wrote:I have to agree with OP on this. Nearly all light I have tried (several Onyx, Panther, Verve, sightglass, among others) are all extremely similar in taste, citrus or vinegar. I also roast my own and once I go past light, flavors start to diverge.

Maybe it's a grinder thing? I was using cheaper conical grinders or hand grinder (K6). I just got a DF64 g2 so maybe I need to give another go
It's also a grinder thing as using bimodal burrs (especially conicals) with light roasts will never work near as well as a modern flat burr. Using even cheaper conical burrs only makes it worse and I can understand what you're experiencing. Try some modern flat burrs and you'll come to the conclusion that light roasts taste anything but the same.

Citrus or vinegar is more a sign of bad extraction or a bad roast/mediocre green beans. My shots may have some acidity to them which is normal for lighter roasts but it shouldn't be overwhelming unless you use something like a very light roasted Kenia for espresso.

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#25: Post by Ivyb82 »

jramey0406 wrote:I have to agree with OP on this. Nearly all light I have tried (several Onyx, Panther, Verve, sightglass, among others) are all extremely similar in taste, citrus or vinegar. I also roast my own and once I go past light, flavors start to diverge.

Maybe it's a grinder thing? I was using cheaper conical grinders or hand grinder (K6). I just got a DF64 g2 so maybe I need to give another go
Those roasters you listed don't do light roasts. They are all more on the medium spectrum, which I find to all taste the same.

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#26: Post by jramey0406 »

I guess my take on what a light roast is, is different

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#27: Post by luca replying to jramey0406 »

I don't know how dark these roasts are, but I think that the suggestion is that it may be possible that they taste similar because they are too dark, not because they are too light!
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#28: Post by ojt »

Without getting too much into the dark vs light debate, maybe it's also a bad era for light roasted coffee. As Luca keeps saying there are all sorts of problems all over the place now and in fact green quality has seemingly gone down tremendously since a few years. Better roast these coffees dark, at least you'll get some taste notes.
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Jeff
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#29: Post by Jeff »

If you have to roast dark to get flavor, you've got a problem with your greens.

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#30: Post by cyan »

I'm just getting into specialty coffee so this thread was really helpful.

This might be a silly question, but are these descriptions all more pronounced in black coffee as opposed to with milk?

I'm trying to develop my appreciation for black coffee, but have always enjoyed it with milk in the past or had milk based espresso drinks.