Italian espresso, specialty and acid: how do you fast?

For specialty coffee extracted in espresso, it would be good to use darker roasts, more typical of Italian style. The reason explains it Andrej GodinaCaffesperto and PhD in Science, Technology and Economics in the Coffee Industry at the University of Trieste, which we interviewed during a masterclass held in La San Marco’s booth at World Of Coffee 2022.

The coffee microtower community specialty has from the very beginning adopted very clear roasting profiles, so-called Omni Roast [tostatura universale, l’idea che un caffè tostato bene si adatti a vari metodi di estrazione, ndr] which they claim is suitable for both filter and express methodsGodina pressed.

You prove that light roasted coffee is not suitable for espresso: why?

The problem is that the light roasted bean is not very porous, very dense, and with the high pressure that the espresso machine exerts on 9 bars of coffee, the water tends to pass along the coffee particles without penetrating into the interior and therefore perform a very poor solvent effect. The result is one extremely sour cup, low-filling and which does not increase the sweetness of the coffee. The roasting for espresso, a little darker, which results in a less dense and more porous bean, allows you to get a grind that slows down more the passage of water through the coffee, and because the coffee molecules penetrate better into the ground. particle and therefore to extract more, in a balanced way, without overextraction but by extracting more the positive aspects of the coffee such as sweetness, fullness and greater aromatic complexity“.

And the acidity?

It will always be there but it will be more balanced“.

So in your opinion, Omni Roast is not suitable for espresso?

The workshop wants to highlight this, as Omni Roast is not the best variant of specialty for espresso but it is a trend of a small specialty niche, while for espresso it is necessary to adopt a suitable roasting profile, so a little darker so that it enhances sweetness, which is what the Italian roaster has always sought, beyond a certain operation of dark roasting“.

Why do we love acidity in filter coffee but not looking for it in espresso?

Because espresso coffee is so concentrated, it is drunk in two sips and I have to strengthen the sweetness, not the acid. That is why Italian roasting is meaningful, and even more so in the specialty, raw materials of the highest quality, with a chemically more complex coffee bean because it was harvested at the right time, in ripening, it was often processed by natural method, and therefore requires a roasting that is suitable for that extraction method, perhaps even more than traditional coffee“.

The light roasts are typical of northern Europe, for example. But how do they do it abroad?

They use a lot to add milk, so even if the drink is very sour, the milk, especially whole milk, which is often used in specialty cafes, compensates for the lack of sweetness, dilutes it and the acid becomes pleasant. But in the end, the coffee does not come out“.

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