Fortunately, this is something we rarely hear but we suspect that independent shops following the current trend for super light roast hear it more often. As well as gourmet suppliers with light acidic coffees, there are other reasons a cup of coffee can be a disappointment. Chains offer high roast coffee made weakly, or low-grade Robusta, to boost profits probably attract this sentiment – if anyone bothered to complain.
Setting aside the greedy chains, the specialist coffee shops may not always be to blame if their customers are unhappy. The fact is that your mouth expects the same strength of coffee every time. If it’s weaker than expected (ie mild roast) it can taste bland and acidic, too strong and it will taste burnt. Oddly if you stick with the new taste after a few days, it can become the new normal.
So, what is the right roast, if any? Our espresso coffee is a carefully chosen mixture of a fairly strong medium roast with a dash of continental to give it a tang. For cafetiere we suggest you try medium strong and for filter medium or medium mild roast. But it’s entirely a matter of taste – and how you make it. So, if you like it milky you will want a higher roast than if you drink it black
How much coffee to put in? Most of the strength from good coffee made well should come from a generous measure of coffee. That is probably the main difference between the independent coffee shops and the chains. As a roastery as well as a coffee shop this is easier for us – we make a massive saving from roasting our own coffee.