Got a call from a customer this morning. She remarked that she did not see the oil rise from our beans like she normally sees in "XYZ" Company's beans. Emphatically I commented., "You shouldn't". She was a bit shocked because she thought it was the "sign" for dark bold delicious coffee. Breaking it to her gently, I said, if you see oil rising that is THE SIGN that they are ruined, over-roasted AND just plan bad coffee.
The truth is that anyone could take the bait, it has been sold to us that it is good. I know I was once a BELIEVER! So I thought if this customer thought that, then perhaps others may believe that also. So in attempt to clarify, I found a great article by Nicholas Thompson and thought to share an excerpt of his writings since he said it so poignantly.
'Do Me a Favor. Stop Buying Bad Coffee'
..."Any self-respecting barista should be concerned primarily with quality. It's the cornerstone of the industry.... But if there is one notion, one overarching fallacy about coffee that the consumer must come to understand, it is that dark roast coffee is not only bad, but it is disrespectful.
Yep. Dark roast is terrible in more ways than one. Sorry folks. Your oily, burnt French and Italian roasts are the antithesis of what today's coffee should be. It's not your fault that you've been told to enjoy this stuff for so long. The Big Guys, in the early 2000's (and well before, in fact), redefined the cafe scene by utilizing this greasy roasting profile for a couple of reasons. For one, coffee roasted darker and longer is easier to produce consistently on a mass scale. Plus, roasting it for as long as they do reduces its mass. That makes it cheaper to ship all over the world.
Because coffee is a sensitive, fragile plant, a good farm devotes an unspeakable amount of manpower and resources in order to produce a quality lot. Farmers must pay specialized processing facilities to prepare the raw fruit before it even leaves the country of origin. Superior quality Arabica strain only grows at higher altitudes, so often times these hand-picked cherry are hauled down the sides of mountains upon the backs of mules and the heads of laborers. We as baristas, roasters and consumers must honor that. It is the very least we can do. When these valuable beans are roasted into dark, smokey blends, we begin to lose sight of how this product is supposed to taste -- what it is supposed to be in the first place."
Read the article in its entirety at Do Me a Favor. Stop Buying Bad Coffee.