Which Roast Part 1: In most cases people rarely care what kind of coffee they are sluggin’ down their gullets any morning or afternoon, as long as it’s got a decent kick to it and gets someone through the morning fog or afternoon lull. Anyone who falls into coffee snob territory though tends to pick out their coffee beans based on a few different factors varying from smell, origin, and wash type. In all honesty upping your coffee game isn’t anything too cocky its just about getting exactly what you want out of your coffee. You just might even grow some deeper appreciation for the most utilized performance enhancing substance used in the world on the daily beyond its caffeine kick.
The most basic elements of coffee starts with buying it pre-ground or whole bean. Pre-ground offers easy breezy scoop and brew mornings, whereas whole bean requires a grind(er) prior to being able to be brewed up. You also need to find the right grind settings depending on brew method. Is it worth the extra hassle to grind? Most experts suggest grinding beans within 20-30 mins of using them to make a cup of Joe, but since most of the world drinks instant coffee its definitely not necessary. Its more of a benefit\luxury to those with time and an appreciation for the different aspects in beans from different regions and different roasts.
To further differentiate coffees qualities of taste and effect we look to roast type. Most coffees fall to either a light roast or a dark roast branding. Light roasts spend less time in the roasting process and offer a brighter and more dense caffeinated experience, generally. Dark roasts are left to roasting longer and sometimes with more heat until they full cook to the well done side of color/smell and offer varying degrees of bitier tastes and more aromatic smells. There are also medium roasts which can share the best of both worlds if you find a quality roaster. These spectrums even slide between extra light, light medium, dark medium, etc… Try a few different and see what perks you up.
At the end of the day we are drinking coffee most likely for the caffeine kick, and which coffee provides the best dose is likely what everyone wants to know. The traditional information is that light roasts contain more caffeine overall, and this is true, but not that the extra roasting kills off the caffeine, but rather changes the density of the beans. So, both light and dark roasts per gram contain similar doses of caffeine but not by volume. So, if you want the exact kick from dark roast as light roast you have to make sure to weigh out the beans before grinding or scooping into your apparatus of choice.
Part 2 we will look at different types of coffee beans and some of the extremes of caffeine out there. Also, which methods might give you a caffeine edge over the traditional drip pot. Read more about Which Roast Part 1