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Scene from Starbucks on Fourth & Mission in SF

# Posted by Dave Winer on 8/19/05; 2:15:19 PM - --

A coffee geek speaks...

Kevin Newman writes:

"It is true that coffee that is roasted for a shorter time to a lighter color has more caffeine than coffee roasted longer (darker). The longer time in the roaster destroys more of the caffeine molecules.

"I work for an independent coffee roaster here in Nashville (across the street from Rex Hammock's office), and when our customers compare our coffee to that of Starbucks, they say that it is stronger, but that it tastes less bitter. That's because we use more ground coffee beans for the same volume of water (stonger), but we (generally) roast our beans a bit lighter than Starbucks does (less bitter, smoky). Part of the reason that Starbucks roasts their coffee a little longer than some others (besides that they might just think that it tastes better) is that they have a longer supply chain to deal with than we do (ours is measured in feet, not states) and that more darkly roasted coffee goes stale more slowly.

"Anyway, for some coffee geeks, 'stronger/weaker' has to so with the ratio of beans to water, and is independent from 'milder/darker' or 'lighter/darker', which is determined by the amount of time the beans were exposed to heat in the roasting stage.

"If you like the change from darker roasts to milder roasts, you might be interested in white coffee, in which the beans are just barely roasted. The flavor is very different, and there is even more caffeine."

# Posted by Dave Winer on 8/19/05; 12:52:08 AM - --


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