Roasting for Espresso : Roasting Philosophy and Espresso

A difference in philosophy prevails among roasters in regard to espresso coffees. Some prefer to roast their espresso blends less darkly, some more. Some prefer to stop the roasting at the point where the acidy tones of the coffee are still discernible and the dark-roasted bitter-sweetness is just beginning to develop, with only patches of oil flecking the still dry surface of the bean. Others prefer a darker roast in which the characteristic bitter-sweetness of the dark roast completely dominates any remaining acidy tones, and the bean is distinctly dark brown in color and shiny with oil.

It is best to learn to associate flavor with the color and appearance of the bean rather than with name alone. For reference, almost everything you need to know about the names of roasts appears in our roast table. Roast styles used in espresso cuisine are indiciated.