You want to have the perfect cup of coffee, but coffee terminology like acidity, flavor aspects, roast types, robusta, city roast, french roast and more leave you feeling like you need another cup of coffee to understand? We hear you. We’re here to help clarify what micro-roasted coffee is and provide you the key information you need as you chase that elusive, micro-roasted, perfect cup of coffee.
What is micro-roasted coffee? Read on as we're going to fill you in.
Coffee drinking is all about rituals and micro-roasters are key to perfecting that ritual. Springline Coffee has long been focused on the ritual of micro-roasting. In fact at our micro-roastery, that’s the only way we make coffee. However, before we go further let’s define what ‘micro-roasted’ is and why it MATTERS.
What is Micro-Roasted Coffee exactly? Well, we believe it’s the best way to enjoy your coffee, because it’s delicious and addicting for one thing (we might be a bit biased). It’s also the best way to have an elevated, flavorful coffee. The concept of micro-roasting is simple in reality- it means roasting in small batches. Micro-roasting is done through a specially curated, and highly-controlled process that produces what we all love- a delicious cup that hits a variety of flavor notes.
Who doesn’t like control? At our micro-roastery that is just what we have! Control to curate and cultivate the cup of coffee we all keep coming back for. The micro-roasting process employs a small batch roasting approach. Unlike commercial roasters who roast hundreds of pounds during each cycle, micro-roasting is completed in batches of 150 pounds or less (Springline has found our sweet spot in our 45lb roasters). By roasting in smaller volumes, it allows for greater control of the process and ultimate freshness of the coffee. The benefits of a micro-roasted coffee from a micro-roastery, like Springline Coffee, do not end there….
At Springline Coffee, the micro-roasting process is a ritual, a rite of passage for the beans we source. Our master roasters do not use expensive machines or dynamic automation to do the heavy lifting, instead, their approach is one that balances artistry with science. The beans are the medium, roasting is the process and our master roasters, well, they are the artists. They get creative with temperature control, using exacting high heat and quick cooling ultimately delivering a more flavorful cup of coffee. The result of their craft leads to satisfying flavor, better taste, and an overall higher quality product. But, shouldn't it be that way? If you think about your ritual and how you start your day, is there anything that sets it better than that first cup of coffee?
Micro Roasts and how we get there? It starts with the beans...
Micro-roasts can either be Single Origin or the result of a blend of beans simply referred to as ‘blends’. Single origins are just that, beans sourced from a single location, the bounty of a specific country’s crop of coffee beans. We source our Single Origin beans either from one of our partner farms or from a combination of growers from a single country such as Brazil or Columbia. Our process for selecting our beans and roasting is ritualistic and rigorous. To us, Single Origin is perfection when seeking the purest approach, allowing the aficionado to experience a country’s signature taste and have the truest experience of a country’s flavor rather than having one flavor cancel another out or compete against each other. Springline’s Single Origin micro-roasts are mini-vacations, with just one sip you experience one country’s flavor at a time. The daily ritual of your coffee brewing now has the potential to give you a faraway connection and maybe even a future stamp on your passport. (Pro-tip from our Springline crew: although our coffees give you a ‘mini-vacation- if you ever have the chance to visit a coffee estate- we highly recommend it!)
Now just because Single Origin gives purity and depth of flavor we cannot discount what our master micro-roasters can do with blends of beans. Our taste buds have told us blends are good too, who does not like a pina colada or chocolate raspberry ice cream? Springline Coffee Blends are produced with carefully sourced, high-quality, arabica beans. As coffee appreciators we have all seen or heard the words “Robusta” or “Arabica”. When it comes to richness of taste and quality of product there is no contest, Arabica is where it is at. Unlike Robusta- beans that can have a jarring taste and smell with little depth- Arabica beans, before roasted, smell like sweet blueberries and when they are roasted strong notes of fruit and sugar are present. Robusta and Arabica also come from different growing environments, Robusta is easier to grow, quicker to produce, and less expensive - making them a common ingredient for larger commercial coffee companies. On the contrary, Arabica beans, unlike Robusta, can be more difficult to grow, and just like the process of micro-roasting require a substantial degree of care. They require moist and nutrient-rich soil, optimum weather conditions, and can be susceptible to damage if not handled properly. Next time you are selecting your coffee, make sure to check those beans before you put them in your cart, and like us, you will be sure to choose Arabica beans, it really is no contest!
Coffee roasters normally choose specialty names for their roasts but overall most roasts fall into one of these four categories: light, medium, medium-dark and dark.
Most coffee drinkers do not realize that there are more than one thousand chemical compounds in coffee. Another common misconception is that the darkness of a roast directly correlates with the level of caffeine. Many people often think that the darker the roast the more concentrated the level of caffeine but that is not true and it is the light roasts where a higher concentration of caffeine is found. Interestingly, it all has to do with the density of the beans, light roast = higher density beans, dark roast = lighter density beans. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of roasts:
Light roasted beans show a brown color. They are also the least oily of the roasts, because the roasting time is shorter, the oils don’t make their way to the surface of the beans.When drinking a lighter roast, you will taste diverse flavors including notes of fruitiness such as berry and lemon as well as wine and floral tones.
Medium roasts are a brown color and also, like light roasts, they are without oil on the surface of the beans. It is a favorite of many coffee aficionados as the depth of flavor has a similar diversity to that of the lighter roasts. The shorter process of roasting keeps a myriad of flavors present including fruity and floral notes.
In the medium-dark roasts, the delicate flavor begins to be overtaken by stronger notes of nut, caramel, and chocolate. The beans are a deep dark brown and do have some oil on the surface due to the extended roasting time.
Shiny, black beans with an oily surface are your dark roasts. Strong flavors of licorice, chocolate, nuts, and caramel are what dark roasts are particularly known for. The long roasting time highlights and brings out the strongest flavor of the bean to be enjoyed.
Characteristics of Taste
The flavor associated with the roasts, as well as the description of their character, can be enjoyed when sipping a micro-roasted coffee. We all lead with our nose when coffee is concerned and the aroma is what draws us into that brewed cup. Words like caramel, carbon, chocolate, fruit, floral, rich, round, and spicy all come to mind when thinking about the aroma or bouquet of a cup of coffee.
If a roast does a lively dance on your pallet and leaves a sharpness on your tongue it would have a higher acidity of taste (note that coffee is considered neutral in acid, so the acidity refers to taste rather than that of acid).
Roasts will leave a light or stronger weight on one’s tongue, this is the body of the coffee and you can find the flavor and consistency when examining the body of the coffee.
Flavor is another key characteristic of taste. How does the coffee taste? Is it smokey, is it earthy, spicy, soft and mild? Although the aroma sets the stage, while the acidity and body are the preludes, ultimately the main act is the flavor. It is here where you can expect, depending on the roast, to experience spices, fruits, nuts, chocolates, and caramels.
We hope this has been helpful information for you to find your perfect, micro-roasted cup of coffee. If you're ready to taste coffee with deep and layered flavors, made with carefully selected beans by our master roaster’s curated micro-roasting process check-out Springline Coffee's Roasts and Blends.
At Springline Coffee, we strive to only give you the best for your daily ritual, wherever the tides may take you.