Light roast vs dark roast recipes


(Curtis Rees) #1

Hi there, I’m a barista in an Italian style coffee shop so I typically work with quite dark roasts
However, I’ve been given some light roasted Guatemalan beans and am trying to work out a decent espresso recipe for them since I personally favour more citrusy/fruity coffees.
Usually I would use a V60 or Kalita for these kinds of beans at home, but at work we only serve espresso.

I’m just wondering if people typically have a different approach to light roasts vs dark roasts, or if they follow a general recipe and then start to change it up based on the shots they are getting

Any information on how you guys make your light roasts work for espresso, or advice on making espresso recipes in general would be appreciated!


(Nathan DeRuvo) #2

My understanding is that generally light roast is less soluble than dark roast. This means you might need to do some or all of the following.

  1. Grind finer
  2. Use a lower brew ratio. For example if your dark roast recipe is 18g coffee and 36g yield, try 16g coffee and 40g yield.
  3. A longer shot time(usually achieved by grinding finer). If your normal espresso tastes good at 28-30 seconds you might need to pull for 35 for the light roast.
  4. If you try all of these and nothing tastes good you could try increasing the boiler temp by 1-2°C. Or it means the coffee is too light to be enjoyable as espresso.
    Last note! I would try each of these suggestions separately and then combine them if needed. The numbers I gave are not set in stone just used for examples.

(Jasmine Segura) #3

In addition to the technical steps you need to take, be ready to taste and taste as you dial in…if you get it to a spot you like, make sure you utilize some of your regular customers to get honest feedback, it could make all the difference in whether your shop continues to order and offer
a spectrum of coffees. :coffee: