Medium roast tastes dark after light roast

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

#1: Post by Jeff001 »

Hi all, I've been drinking lighter roast coffees lately and love it. However, I've noticed if I go back to anything more than light, even if I liked the coffee before, it has that dark roast taste. Mainly the smokey toasty flavor. The flavor is almost like how it used to taste going from medium to dark. To clarify, I'm not talking back to back tastings, I'm talking several days between the two. I'll also point out I know "light" and "medium" are subjective, but I do "know" the difference (or at least have had enough experience to distinguish relative roast levels based on sight, smell, and flavor) and the flavor changes aren't due to purchasing an overroasted batch

I just gave Hoffman's suggestion of grinding coarser, adding more coffee and dropping the brew temp, it's definitely helped and I'm fairly satisfied with the results.

I know the contrast in flavors is the culprit, but it blows my mind that the darker roast flavor is so pronounced and sticks around for a while after switching to medium roast. Anybody else experience this? Could it also be a result of needing to re-dial in?


#2: Post by scorecard »

Tolerance to bitterness or other flavours is something we develop over time. In the same way that cutting sugar out of your diet will result in the occasional sweet tasting really sweet, you're going to taste the more developed flavours more acutely if it's uncommon for your palate.

This is just my opinion, but I think there's not much you can do about it except what you're doing. Trying to extract the coffees in a gentler fashion is going to remove some of the darker flavours, but it will also likely strip away some of the complexity.

Are you brewing pour over or espresso?

Jeff001 (original poster)

#3: Post by Jeff001 (original poster) »

Thanks for the reply, and yeah I agree about tolerances. I'm strictly into pour over.

The incredible change in our perception of flavor brings yet another variable to the table.


#4: Post by RobindG »

Exactly the same here. I don't drink medium and dark anymore. I only taste roast drinking them. (Espresso only)

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#5: Post by mkane »

Same experience here. I went to drinking light/med and now dislike anything darker, smoke or not.


#6: Post by cccpu »

Once you hit a limit or burn out on something, you might find a craving for a specific flavor that is opposite what you are mainly gorging yourself on though eventually?

I know I have for espresso- I do mostly skip most things medium and keep it fairly light, and my balancing act is a nutty, chocolatey, caramelly comforting medium-dark blend from time to time.

I can't say I have felt the same way for filter coffee as much- but then again, I drink a lot less of it than espresso though!
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