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To the discerning palate, there is far more to know about coffee than meets the eye. Like all fineries in life, a brilliant cup of coffee requires time, patience and persistence. Knowing the intricacies behind coffee species, grind size, brewing methods and coffee roast flavour profiles are all part and parcel of the home barista’s journey. Empowering oneself with the basic knowledge has the power to separate a good cup of coffee from an exceptional one.

Great coffee is like a fine wine: 


Like fine wine, artisanal coffee has progressed into a culture of its own. Tasting notes, terrain, maturity and processing form part of the amazing coffee bean adventure.

Artisanal coffee in particular has become a trending industry, one that has evolved over centuries of craftsmanship. United by a global economy of cultivars with an appreciation for the complexity behind the beverage most people start their day with. Much like the excellent grapes produced on South African soil, quality coffee seeds need just as much thought and attention in order to produce the fine flavours coffee lovers have come to love and enjoy.

To the sophisticated coffee drinker, coffee is more than just an afterthought. It’s an art form that requires the persistence of time. It is not by chance or coincidence that coffee beans are grown all around the world, from South and Central America to Indonesia, India and Ethiopia.

Different regions produce different species, each one yielding its own unique taste profile. Arabica, robusta and even the rarest, Geisha to name a few. Each seed is remarkably different, demanding a specific type of nature and nurture in order to flourish. From the terroir (Arabica prefers 800 to 2500km above sea level) and temperature to understanding the differences between single origin (coffee from the same region) and the possibilities of complex blends, there is a process required to produce a premium product.

While there is much to learn about the artisanal coffee business, understanding the roasting process is the cornerstone to becoming a bonafide home barista.


Know Your Coffee Roast Profile?  


For the novice looking to try their tamper at becoming a home barista, the first place to start is coffee roast profiles. In the simplest of terms, a coffee roast profile refers to the way a coffee seed should be roasted.

The roasting process begins with maturation when the coffee seeds are still green in colour with an earthy, grassy aroma. In fact, coffee beans don’t smell like coffee beans at all during their infantile state, which is why roasting is so important. The development process allows the coffee to develop between 800 to 1000 different aroma compounds which make up the flavour of coffee. This happens in three stages: drying, browning and roasting.


The Coffee Roast Profiles


The roasting time of the coffee bean determines its characteristics which can be broken down into four main coffee roast profiles:

Light Roast: Light brown in colour with no oil on the surface. It produces a mild coffee flavour that can be fragrant, floral, chocolatey and even fruity. Referred to as Light City, Half City, New England and Cinnamon roasts.

Medium Roast: Medium brown in colour with a non-oily surface. It is the most traditional and preferred roast amongst coffee drinkers with bitter notes of chocolate, nuts and fruit. The traditionalist’s choice of strong coffee flavours found in City, American or Breakfast roasts.

Medium-Dark Roast: These beans are rich, dark brown and semi-oily. The roast profile produces a bittersweet aftertaste and deep flavours found in Full City blends

Dark Roast: Black, oily and noticeable bitter. The dark roast profile is less acidic and has a heavier, smokier and stronger finish. Dark roasts can be found in Espresso, Viennese, Italian and French blends.


Top Tip: Look at the date of your coffee production when purchasing. Allow freshly roasted coffee beans to settle for at least two weeks before use to get the full coffee flavour. Coffee beans that have not had enough time to release their natural carbon dioxide can be very gassy and exceptionally bitter.


Our Magnificent Coffees and Coffee Roast Options: 


Original Blend – A luxurious medium roast with velvety textures and balanced flavours. Originating from Arabica coffee seeds in Central and East Africa as well as Central America. Sweet roasted nut and floral aromas with honey-comb and caramel flavours and a light citrus acidity. Available in 250g ground, coffee capsules, 500g whole bean and 1kg bags.

Dark Horse Blend – The most intense dark roast coffee profile in the MBB family. Experience the smokiness of bittersweet dark chocolate impressions with a tobacco-like aroma, hints of berries and a clear acidity. Available in 250g ground, coffee capsules, 500g whole bean and 1kg bags.

Barista Blend – Our all African coffee bean is a delightful dark roast with sweet maple and toasted nut aromas and milk chocolate and grapefruit flavours. Available in 1kg bags.

Once you have determined your preferred coffee roast, the next step is learning about the grind . Learn more about coffee grind settings and brewing methods in the next chapter of our Magnificent Coffee Chronicles.


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