Poll: Light coffee roasts for milk drinks

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

Do you like light coffee roasts for espresso-based milk drinks?

Poll ended at December 27th, 2022, 1:39 pm

I do not like light coffee roasts period
I like them for straight espresso, but not milk drinks
I like them for both straight espresso and milk drinks
Total votes: 112

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Team HB

#1: Post by another_jim »

Very light roasts have been controversial for straight espresso. But we rarely talk about them in connection with milk drinks. So I'm starting a poll to get HBer's opinions.

Personally, I like light roasts for shots, but not for milk drinks.
Jim Schulman


#2: Post by ojt »

Generally speaking I like light roasts as black coffee (of any kind), pretty much always. Apart from very few exceptions I do not like them with milk, but there have been a few interesting examples (orange cinnamon latte anyone :) ).

Go towards medium and they start working for all uses. Question now is, what is light enough to be called light :) The ones that I liked in milk might've been actually quite medium?

For reference: I enjoy La Cabra, Nero Scuro, et al. Gardelli and some others have started roasting a bit too dark lately.


#3: Post by Splatcat »

I drink single origin light roast flat whites only. Can't abide an oily bean.


#4: Post by Plinyyounger »

I always have extra light Ethiopian on hand for milk drinks. I use a secret sweetener and almost everyone loves the drink. For my self personally, I rotate between medium and lights.
Big 98mm flat grinder, been there done that, sold it. I’m happy now.


#5: Post by Plinyyounger »

One more thing, I don't thing lights gets enough credit in milk. When doing it right, berries and sweetness are very prevalent!
Big 98mm flat grinder, been there done that, sold it. I’m happy now.


#6: Post by exidrion »

Personally, I find light roasts in milk make it taste on the sour side of things and I've yet to find one that doesn't. I like them straight, but seeing as I have a milk drink first in the morning I stick with medium to dark roasts because it's annoying switching the grind and dialing things in between coffees everyday. Others may call that sourness "fruity" or "floral" or...

...maybe I just need another grinder for light roasts :?: :mrgreen:

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BaristaBoy E61

#7: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

My preference is towards medium to dark roasts. More on the dark side with whole milk & a splash of 'Half & Half' 10% cream, chocolate notes in a double shot 18.5-g ground coffee flat white in a 5-½ oz ceramic cup.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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#8: Post by MNate »

Sounds like at least two of us only do them as milk drinks. Likely means we never do straight shots of anything. I will say the lighter the roast the less milk I use, but I need at least a 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk. And actually I may blend a lighter roast with some medium Brazil.

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BaristaBoy E61

#9: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

My milk drink ratios are 1:2. My wife likes a double decaf Macchiato shot.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"


#10: Post by BaristaBob »

Interesting topic...

I prefer all my medium to medium-dark roasts as flat whites. But last week I started dialing in a bag of Dragonfly's Leam Hammer (14 days off roast). Got it dialed in nicely as a straight double espresso (some lemon peel, some floral note, with a slight chocolate finish). Went to add three parts streamed milk and all I could taste was lemon-milk...not pleasant at all. Couldn't believe the difference between the straight up vs. with milk that I did it again the next day and yep...a sinker! :shock:
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"