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How do I roast for espresso vs. coffee?
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MikeSD
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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 7:13am
Subject: How do I roast for espresso vs. coffee?
 

Okay, so I am still waiting on my green coffee sampler from Sweet Marias.  They got backed up a bit over the holidays.  Anyway, I ordered a "regular" sampler pack.  They also had an espresso option.  My question is, is the difference between espresso the bean, the roast, or both?  (Obviously, there is a difference in how you brew it, as well.)  

I would also like to know how to go about roasting espresso if there is indeed a difference.  I don't actually have an espresso make yet, but I do have a moka pot I picked up the other day. (It was $14 for a stainless steel one, so I though, why not?) So far it just seems to be brewing stong coffee.  I also have an Aeropress coming today.  I know they don't make espresso exactly, but they are as close as I'm going to get for a while.

You guys have all been so helpful.  Thanks in advance.
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NobbyR
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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 7:29am
Subject: Re: How do I roast for espress vs. coffee?
 

Even though there is an espresso roast, which is very dark and oily, it's not mandatory for brewing espresso. Infact, most modern (third wave) espresso blends are much lighter.

 
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 8:01am
Subject: Re: How do I roast for espress vs. coffee?
 

Espresso is a drink not a roast.

Roasting for espresso is just a profile, I tend to stretch the roast out from the start of first crack to finish of roast to caramelize  more sugars for a sweeter taste and less acidity especially at lighter roasts.
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frcn
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Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:01am
Subject: Re: How do I roast for espress vs. coffee?
 

It also depends on the beans being roasted. A Colombian roasted to about one minute after the end of first (well before second) can be delicious for drip but nasty as an espresso.

 
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Frost
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Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:06am
Subject: Re: How do I roast for espresso vs. coffee?
 

It's ironic that espresso turns up the brew intensity so much, then asks the roaster (and the bean) to 'tone it down' on the intensity and forward acidity flavors. There is paradox here to reach the right balance.
The roaster has a wide margin for interpreting the flavor profile of a bean. Selecting the right bean for espresso is as important as getting the right roast profile.  In general it's as Rob stated; the roast is a bit slower with a longer finish, smoother, more body. Dry process beans with generally lower acidity and more body at lighter roasts work well for espresso.
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JonR10
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Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:34am
Subject: Re: How do I roast for espresso vs. coffee?
 

MikeSD Said:

My question is, is the difference between espresso the bean, the roast, or both?

Posted January 22, 2013 link

Both.  

Some beans work better for espresso than others.  

And, roasting for espresso generally works out best (for me) using a slightly longer, slower roast...finishing at a somewhat higher temperature (roast profile as compared for presspot or drip coffee brewing).

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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Whale
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Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 5:33am
Subject: Re: How do I roast for espresso vs. coffee?
 

As can be read from the answers so far. There is no clear answer to your question.

There is such a thing as a roast level that is often referred to as "espresso".
It is a roast level that stretches from "Vienna" to the "French" roast level but can begin as low as "Full city +". It is essentially anything above the the first few pops of the second crack. As such, the designation refers to anything that could be used in the traditional standards of espresso brewing.
A lot of people, including me, do not like this designation. It is a very large and fuzzy and does not provide any clear specificity. Because of this it is being used less and less to described a roast level by coffee enthusiasts but it is still often used by professional roaster that want too describe their coffee without giving too much information on their secret recipe.

Furthermore, as stated before, the standards for brewing of espresso drinks have been expanded, not to say eliminated, such as to "allow" brewing pretty much almost anything with an espresso machine.
I have often used coffee roasted at City in blends used in espresso and sometime even used a City + as SO. It all depends on the coffee origin, and quality, roast profile, the dose, the grinder and the espresso machine settings. But even more, it all depends on personal taste.
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