City Roast (to all who simply don't like Light)


Hi There, Just logged in for the first time and I’ve been reading a couple of topics. Nice forum!!

Anyway, my story so far: when I finally received the IKAWA I was really really happy and as I also ordered all the 6 beans with them I could immediately start to roast…however to my dismay I didn’t (really) like the outcome!

Granted, more depth and an overall broader spectrum of taste in the coffee which was a complete new experience for me, but (for me) a REALLY dominating grassy flavour, which is typical for a light roast. Its not that I wasn’t familiar with the taste, we have a small coffee shop in town where the owner roasts her own coffee (in the shop with a Giesen roaster) and she only roasts light. Which i why I only bought coffee there once, its simply not to my liking.

So here I was, staring at an expensive piece of beautiful engineering which produced something I didn’t like.

At first I decided to try the ‘default’ roasts for 2 weeks to see if its something to get used to. Nor me nor my wife did. I really could appreciate the new flavours I found in the coffee, but I really didn’t like the grassy taste that kept dominating the entire experience. Interestingly enough after two weeks I was really clueless as to ‘now what?’

And then it hit me, I’ve been reading a LOT about the nearly everything concerning coffee, from the farming aspect upto how to pour the milk to create latte art, thus also including quite a bit on roasting principles and stupifyingly enough it never occurred to me upto then that I could use that information to create a (quite different) profile. Aka a city profile roast.

If I can figure out how I will post the profile in my next post. I’ve tried several profiles (relatively simple ones) until I hit my(!) sweet spot. Its are REALLY simple and basic profile as I find that I first need to get a grasp on the different types of coffee and their taste within my ‘taste spectrum’ before I start experimenting with ‘funky’ profiles. Anyway my profile turned out to deviate be quite a bit from any of the IKAWA roast profiles, not in principle: get it hot fast so you can get to the core of the bean without burning the outer part; but in time! It turned out that most IKAWA profiles are around 9 minutes, while my sweet spot was around 12 !

This basically is my only criticism on IKAWA (so far): lack of diversity in the roast types. They have provided a great diversity in coffee, I’m amazed what a different kinds of taste you get from the different beans, but they really should have given a broader spectrum of coffee roasts so people can experiment with that as well.

The result so far (with the profile I’ll try to share later):
My favourites: both the Ehiopia’s. The Shakiso brings out a really strong and deep dark chocolate flavour and the Kochere has a strong licorice(!) taste. The Brazil has a more ‘typical’ strong but mild espresso flavour.
Note that I have a Cellini Rocket and basically ONLY drink espresso. I also have an AeroPress but I hardly use that as often.

Well that’s my story so far. I will update when I learn more!

IKAWA Blog: Exploring Roats - Light, Medium, and Dark 🔭
What have I done wrong?

And here the profile. I hope this Works.

‘brazil dark’ freshly roasted by @ikawacoffee, here’s the recipe #IKAWAHOME -

Its called ‘brazil dark’ because I took that profile and edited it. Basically its a city roast. I had hoped to show you a picture of the profile, but im currently clueless how to do that.


Hi @rsegers! Welcome and thanks for the great post. Really glad that you’ve had the chance to play around with the IKAWA and the roast recipes. Amazing that you’ve developed and shared your own!

The roast recipes we did send with the World Selection Pack were lighter, definitely. They were developed with filter brewing in mind. If you’re interested, we did recently publish a blog (with video and roast recipes) on Roasting for Espresso. Would love your input!

Happy roasting


Thank you and indeed I noticed it while reading up in the forum. I’ve read it and im sure to test those out, thank you (though they appear still quite conservative in roasting time!

I have to note though that I tried some of them (the default IKAWA roasts) using the aeropress as well as I figured that the roasts were more for filter brew, but the grassy flavour remained. Again it did give a well balanced taste with some very sopisticated notes I’ve never ever tasted in coffee before, they were really pleasant…but there was that grassy tone through it all I can’t get use to…


Like sun tanning, You can get darker by increasing the temp and shortening the time to balance out the profile. You might be getting the grass because of the blast through the drying phase (turning green to yellow and ending around gold color). What I have to come to guess being between 300F-400F/149C-204C on a positive slope profile. But don’t be afraid to experiment!!! Drying can take place at different temps on a negative slope profile. Do you man, do you.


@rsegers Hello … great you have shared your profile. Thank you. Regarding a grassy notes … that is strange. You may be used to much (MUCH) darker roasts so you identify as grassy some layer that I do not, or, I think that may be more probable, there is some constant offset you get in your roasts due to some factor. I have noticed a slight grassy tone only when I roasted later at autumn having lower environment temperature, and I felt the same profile felt a bit underdeveloped compared to some done in warmer part of the year. Humidity might have some influence too …
Because for me, most of the time say those Ethipians were a bit too developed and I brightened them … also Guatemala and Brazil were like far from underdeveloped here.

But great you have solved it to your liking … it just feels interesting to me, would like to know if there are really some differences that can make the roast shift this much, that you might feel that grassy tone from all of them.


I dono, I find what most find grassy, I call tomato and found it very much in the sample of Burundi MHill, which was a very nice surprise to find when my roaster arrived.


Well I have quite a distance between grassy and tomato. I think also Kenyas have that tomato taste quite often. But grassy is way “greener” for me … grassy, pea like taste or this sort


I haven’t picked up grassy or tomato notes from any of the Ikawa beans in conjunction with the supplied profiles.
These profiles have clearly been carefully selected to bring out the best of the beans sweetness and flavours and imo they do just that.
If you are used to dark roasts then there is probably a palate adjustment period required to appreciate (or not).


What grinder do you use?
Do you drink black/white, with or without sugar?

I’m with you in thinking that all the Ikawa profiles are too light for my taste, but I wouldn’t describe any of them as ‘grassy’.
I rarely drink espresso, so that is one way my experience will differ, but ‘grassy’ is just a subjective term and probably used differently by many people. So all depends on what you mean when you use it.

Given your profile, you will probably find Geoff’s Espresso 2 profile too light, but might prefer one of the darker versions I mention in the same thread (just extensions of his profile). I’ve not tasted them, so can’t recommend them (yet), but they are darker. You might also want to try the dark medium spike profile from the Kickstarter page which is also around 12 minutes (but a very different shape), which I can recommend for some beans at least.



I use a Fiorenzato F4 nano for my usual coffee and I’m using a ‘adjusted’ (I put a wormwheel on it to make it stepless) Nemox for now for my roasts until the Niche Zero arrives.

I nearly always drink my coffee black (very occasionally a cappuccino) and never use sugar.

Granted, ‘Grassy’ is a subjective term, Tomato would never have occured to me, but im roasting light again and ill see what that tastes like. @All, yes I’m REALLY used to darker roasts, I drink mostly italian which are medium aka ‘City’ roasts. And yes, light coffee IS an acquired taste which I haven’t acquired (yet).

The main reason I started this topic is to open up the spectrum for ‘non-light’ coffee drinkers (like me), and exchange the ‘darker’ aspects of roasting coffee. It really took some time for me to realise that the IKAWA ‘ideal’ profiles can very well not be ideal for me (and other ‘Dark Drinkers’ like me).

@deven.patel411: yes the Burundi has it the strongest of all (Grassy notes, funny that you call it ‘tomato’ as I really can’t find that in there, but then again…taste is subjective).

By the way, while writing this Im working on a profile for a new Ethiopian I bought yesterday (Sidamo) and I started with the unedited Shakiso profile (unedited). Interestingly enough I have a really hard time finding any grassy notes in this roast (?) its mainly the after taste that gives a hint of grass. Its a very bright coffee and slightly acidic (but the brew was also slightly underextracted, so thats probably why).
Yesterday I roasted it with the profile I shared here and it turned out to be a very smooth and ‘nice’ coffee. ‘Nice’ as in: well to drink, enjoyable but far from exciting like the two IKAWA ethiopians.
Next cup will be the same coffee, with the same profile but then 2min longer (so 9 min).

edit: While roasting the 9m I had the after taste of the 7m roast in my mouth and it turned out to leave the grassy notes the most. I hardly could detect them while drinking them, but they apparently are the most lingering.
Anyway, now im drinking the 9min roast and unsurprisingly, the bright notes are slowly fading, the taste is turning ‘darker’ but they’re still there. I’ve changed my grind a bit and extracted slightly longer, so the acidity is nearly gone but has been substituted for a slightly bitter aftertaste, hinting to an overextraction (sigh…). Overall I can’t really say I like this one. It misses the bright tones of the 7min and the smoothness of the 12 min. Which will be next (and then I’ll have to stop or ill get an coffeee overdose :D)

edit2: So now im drinking the 12min. roast, Though not an extension of the the Shakiso profile, but the one shared here. And indeed the smoothness is back, all bright tones are gone (which I presume can be seen as a loss for the more light drinkers). I’ve finally got the extraction right, no acidity, no bitter. And while I noticed a slight hint of grass in the aftertaste of the 9min (which appears roughly after 1 minute after finishing the coffee), its completely gone here. Like yesterday, this is indeed a ‘nice’ coffee.


Here is something I came up with in the lab. 1st for my Sumatran peaberry comes in around 472F/244C I stop the roast 7:47. After the roast is done lay the beans out on a tray or plate to fully cool. (I do that now for all my roasts)

Slight fan adjustment

What is fast? What is slow? ROR Through the Roast

Sure I got that. Its was just unclear to me if your grassy taste is something we are used to, or if you get a shift in all your profiles due to some reasons. But, maybe its the first as you say you are a dark drinker :slight_smile:
That … tomato-ness … is I think quite easy to understand if you remember what it tastes like when you get some nice sundried tomato … its a both deep and acidic and maybe umami? (not sure if umami is correct for this one) taste … i love it in the sundried tomatos and love it also in a lot of kenyas :))


Thnx, i wil try that ons out. It’s quite a shallow slope, are you not worried that you don’t get to the core? And why the dip at 167C?


After the charge that phase is my drying phase. It is the reason why the ramp is a “shallow”(though I disagree calling it shallow) at 21*F/min for the Development. You should have no problem with getting into the core, in fact if you mess with the profile you will find it is much easier to cook the core more than the outside often leading to internal scourching. This approach is more about slow and steady.


Im running it now on the sidamo. I have to say that I really like the fact that you can exchange ideas/recipes this way.
I wasn’t sure ‘shallow’ was the correct word, but from your comment you got the gest of it. I could say that its ‘relatively’ shallow given other profiles I’ve seen. Most I’ve read mentions that you need to get to the core fast (so steep slope upto ~200-250C) and then you develop the bean further to your liking, changing temp and time with smell and crack.
So I agree for ‘development’ your slope is not shallow, but for getting to the core it is. But then again, most that I’ve read was applicable to larger ovens…
ha, while writing I hear the first crack, its around 6m30 to 7m30 (with a few individual cracks upto 8m.
It just finished and there are a couple of beans in the jar, so your cooling fan speed is a tad too high (for this bean). I see you have it on 79%, I usually have it on 69%.


Yea most of the stuff online is information for drum roasters that can give insight on how to roast but, this is a one of a kind roaster that I would be hesitant to call it just a fluid bed, it’s more like a cyclone. So it’s very unique coming with its own set of drawbacks and advantages I’m sure once the majority goes through 10-15lbs will see.

Move the cooling fan to 73-68% but the higher the better, you are right I meant to fix it but I forgot too after I roasted.

High ramp do get to the “core” but not how you imagine and are probably giving defects that people don’t realize that are there. Short and fast won’t get you to a “2nd crack” taste. In my roasts I aim to pull out as much as I can to create a well rounded cup.
Drink this profile 30min-3 days rest or the darker notes will really start to dominate.

I’m glad you like the profile.


I have been experimenting with a Sumatra Mandheling also with a darker roast. Works quiet well I though some strong chocolaty tastes does a good espresso… See what you think open to critics

‘Mandheling Sumatra | 50g’ freshly roasted by @ikawacoffee, here’s the recipe #IKAWAHOME -


I got another pound of some Sumatra in I’ll give it a whirl tomorrow but my expectations isn’t too high. I had a similar profile before I wound up at the profiles posted above.


So on today, sipping on my blueberries from Ethiopia (brag). I did a comparison of the Ikawa Sumatra Mandheling (aka ISM) profile and my A (v. 5), which I will just label as “A”.

Bean: Sumatra Wet Processed from Atu-Lintang (Sweet Maria’s), tasting notes read: C+ to FC+: Juicy body, baked apple, berry compote, grape jelly, a peety note shadowing close behind, woodsy earth tones.

ISM: I stopped at the 4th point, not trying to get past FC+, but I think I did just a little. Gold was in the early 400’s @5:03 (which I am finding to be rather consistent between all beans). The beans came out with an every so slight sheen, very dark (think ebony wood, dark chocolate), very large, easy to chew, slightly roasty taste, breaks down very easily. Tastes like “coffee”, a slight hint of sweetness. Definite tipping. Would seriously impress a friend of mine who always harps on about the “Reagan Days” (aka old timer aka old man). 16% moisture loss, the bean, not the friend.

I was not trying to go for color consistency because that would be impossible (color is based on temp IMO), I was just trying to go for what I thought each profile could pull best flavor wise.

A: I stopped this roast at 9:54, gold again in the early 400’s @5:45, the beans were more golden brown, think milk chocolate or dark golden oak. The chew was easy, but didn’t breakdown as easily as the ISM. First bean was JUICY, second bean was Sumatra-y, a little mesquite/honey mustard bbq flavor that I associate with over roasting (breaking down too much) in a Sumatra. Definite tipping. 13.4% moisture loss

Cupped 20 minutes after the roast. Following SCAA protocol:

ISM: Very mesquite nose before cracking the crust. Opens up the earthy, mesquite dominance. As it cooled down it turned to Brazil nut, Macadamia nut, (both very distinct), full body, nice lingering oil like viscosity throughout. As it cooled, the roasting note came out, not very overpowering but distinct slightly taking over the nutty flavor. I would stop it 15-25s shorter next time.

A: Also mesquite on the nose, not nearly as much, some sort of fruit juice/no acid, shy to the nose. Body thinner but still much thicker than this Ethiopian next to me, with that oily viscosity (but not as prominent), whisper of the nuts on the cold cup. It would be great to hone in on the fruit in this profile and mix it with the ISM (that would be one hellava cup). The juice is present but not distinct. The flavors play around the mesquite and the juice. No nuts but the fruit is much more enticing IMO.

On a side note with both profiles going with a distinct ramp through the gold, I’m seeing a similarity in the tipping. Even though I am too novice to taste it in the cup, I still see it and know it’s something that shouldn’t be there.
When I cut the beans the ISM profile had a distinctly lighter middle surrounded by the color outside making a band around the lighter middle, oil residue left on the knife. The A was (to my surprise) very even in color ALMOST matching the inside to outside, with the outside being a little bit lighter.