The darker the roast, the hotter the coffee? - Page 2

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Postby Arpi » Feb 05, 2011, 8:47 am

another_jim wrote:I've been trying 5 coffees for the HB Homeroast competition, all roasted twice, once light, once dark. In every case, the lighter roast tastes better cool than hot, and the darker roast tastes better hot than cool.

Am I dreaming? Any theories, if I'm not?

I came to similar conclusions in another thread. Didn't think about the light-dark approach. Cheap coffee tastes better hot, meanwhile good coffee tastes better cold. Commercially, cheap coffee is roasted darker to mask the low quality.

Does coffee taste better hot or cold?


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Postby CoffeeOwl » Feb 06, 2011, 10:01 am

another_jim wrote:Yeah, I wasn't clear. I meant drinking temperatures. I found the dark roasts turned unpleasant when they cooled off; tasting like burnt pine sap.

That is my experience too, but I'm not sure if it is the drinking temperature or rather the time the shot sits (correlated of course, depending on how hot is the environment - house temperature etc.)
another_jim wrote:For brewing/pulling, I think the general rule is darker roasts at lower temperatures.

yes and so I became surprised with the topic title - mischievous ;)
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Postby AndyPanda » Nov 12, 2011, 2:37 pm

I know that fructose changes in how sweet it seems to be based on the temp. I believe that has something to do with the chemical properties of the substance itself (ring 5 vs ring 6). But I also wonder if our sensitivity to certain taste elements (sweet, bitter, sour, salty etc.) may change with temp.

I notice that when I roast a bit too dark, it may taste alright when hot but after I let the beverage cool down, the burnt taste is much more apparent.

found this site discussing taste and temp:

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Postby klino » Nov 13, 2011, 7:52 am

I think the subject of this thread is quite interesting. I think what it all comes down to is that a very hot cup of espresso like any other hot beverage or food masks the basic flavours (sweet, bitter, salt, sour). So when the espresso cooled down, the bitterness of the dark roasted beans became more pronounced making it unpleasant, whereas the increased sweetness/acidity and lower bitterness of the lighter roasted beans made the espresso more comfortable.

.... Which is why I always let my espresso sit in the cup for couple of minutes before drinking it - and therefore I don't care about prewarming the cups either. I know it contradicts some of the basic first things we learn about espresso - that the portafilter and cups should be as hot as possible so the temperature of the beverage doesn't drop too much. But if I drink an espresso right out of the machine, I find that it dulls the tongue masking the flavours - which might be a good thing if your coffee is bad to begin with. But if you have made a well-balanced quality shot, I always find that it benefits from cooling down just a bit (obviously we're not talking a huge decrease in temperature, just a few degrees)
I guess this is also the reason why professional cuppers use cooled down coffee?

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Postby another_jim » Nov 13, 2011, 5:23 pm

The trend on espresso is changing, especially in Scandinavia and England, where the top baristas are sometimes recommending letting espresso cool. I never thought about it being related to the trend towards lighter espresso roasts, although it's obvious in 20/20 hindsight that this would happen.

For me mouthfeel is an added dimension to espresso, and I've found shots from the same coffee, that taste the same cool, can taste different hot due, to differences in mouthfeel and cream from the way they are pulled. This part of the equation is still pretty cutting edge and hard to understand.