Posted by RoastMonkey on September 23, 2016
Light, medium or dark? Given the evolving sophistication of coffee roasting, these terms seem virtually irrelevant. As any roaster of note will tell you, their goal is to reveal the natural flavor and complexity of the bean. What they may be less likely to tell you is that are multiple ways to reveal that natural flavor and they are only offering you one perspective.
There isn't one right way to roast coffee, just as there isn't only one right way to brew coffee. There are certainly bad way to roast coffee, just as there are bad ways to brew it, but the reality is that each roast reflects not only the beans natural flavors, but the roaster's sensibilities.
Think about it this way: While categorizing roast style as light, medium or dark now seems like a gross oversimplification of what is actually a very subtle process, we may be able to identify different roast signatures. That signature recognizes how different approaches to the roasting process affects broad strokes like acidity and body, while, if done well, still lays bare the beans' natural complexity.
All that said, our particular approach to roasting coffee is best described as "low and slow," in reference to the temperatures at which we start and end the roast and our overall roast time. We find this signature brings out the most appealing balance of acidity and body while bringing out natural flavor without producing unpleasant notes like sourness or burnt sugar. We roast each coffee roughly within this signature while attempting to emphasize what makes that bean unique. That is our signature, it's not the only right way to roast coffee.