bye bye filter and espresso roast

posted: april 2019

for almost two years now we have been roasting more and more of our coffees in the same way regardless of intended brewing method (filter / espresso). we’ve now reached the point we’re fully convinced of this way of working and will also no longer label our coffee bags differently, as the roasts they hold are one and the same. because we love being clear and open about what we do and why we do it, we wanted to take you along our journey that lead us to this decision.

so to start off where we started off: classically coffee roasters will roast a coffee ‘darker’ for an espresso roast and ‘lighter’ for a filter roast. this would make espresso more full bodied and creamy and filter coffees brighter and fruitier. and so we did.

but then, about two years back, we started cupping our espresso roasts regularly on our weekly quality control ‘filter’ table. the espresso coffees generally cupped a bit ‘roastier’ (that is showing more flavours connected to the roasting process: burned, ashy) than their filter siblings but also showed off better body, sweetness and fullness. the other way around we started making espressos from our filter roasts and loved the full acidity - though sometimes a bit sharp - and sparkling liveliness in the cup. it seemed like both roasts could benefit from the other and then it would be actually better for both.

so we asked ourselves the question: why are we actually roasting differently for filter and espresso? at the core level of the coffee bean there are aroma components to be developed during the roasting process. as our aim is to fully develop and showcase the unique character of a specific coffee, why would we do that in a different way depending on the brewing method? we could not think of a good reason why we would do that. so we took this to heart and started working out uni (or omni) roasts. or better: just got rid of working out different roasts for filter and espresso.

we started doing this for the more fruity african coffees and were quite quickly convinced. on the more nutty, chocolaty coffees from latin america (brazil, guatemala, etc.) we took it a bit easier, but the same thing happened, we got to a curve that served both our espresso and filter brews best. so now after two years from the first thoughts about it, all of our coffees are roasted in one and the same way.

we were already fully sure that our job in roasting a coffee is to fully develop its unique aroma characteristics which originated in its terroir, variety and processing. and now we also know that - for us - differentiating between filter and espresso roast is not helping this assignment in any way. we are looking to create a roast suitable for a coffee, not for a brewing method.

the past years we kept labeling our coffee bags differently until we were fully sure and convinced that this was our path. now that we do, we are happy to share this with you and will not make the filter / espresso distinction anymore on our labels.

it’s just about the coffee itself, and how you brew it, that’s up to you!