How to Taste Coffee



I also have been fairly satisfied with the roast (because the ground coffee smells good/fruity) but the cup wasn’t coming out so good so I just lowered my brew temp in my aeropress from 197 to 194*F and am gettting fruit in the hot cup and chocolate as it cools down with a nice return of the fruit flavor after I swallow.


Tried Tony Querio’s profile from the roasting for espresso video. This did not work well for my PNG coffee. I can only describe the espresso flavour as “roasted mud” (not nice). The previous roast was better but very nondescript.

Espresso from both profiles is thin and watery without much crema — so I am thinking that maybe the beans are not the greatest…

This was the Tony Querio profile which roasted a bit darker than the previous roast (based on the Rob Hoos profile)

And this is the previous (lighter) “Winner chicken dinner” roast profile I was using


Sounds like you are having more of a brewing issue then a roasting issue. Does the ground coffee smell good before you brew it? What does it smell like? When you say “thin and watery” that doesn’t sound like you are roasting coffee that is too fresh either, but if you aren’t letting it rest I don’t think you are going to get very good or distinct flavors anyways. But I am not too sure and would look for what @pavel or @george.aris has to say about it. Mainly what kind of profiles to use for doing espresso immediately, if that’s possible.

But back to thin and watery, you are roasting for your grinder and for your water (somewhat) or at least those two factors can really affect the brew result. What is the timing and weight of your espresso shot?


About 18g shots (doing by eye not weighing). And (by eye) I am having to grind finer than I would expect to get a decent shot. Which indicates that the beans may be a bit old??? Did not weigh or time shots (forgot to take a scale and timer…)

Shouldn’t be too much of a brewing issue as I am using a commercial machine — and making espresso in the same way I have for many years (so this should reduce the potential issues).

Good suggestion about smelling the grounds before brewing — I will do that. Perhaps I might have got a stinker in the “roasted mud” cup??? No idea what a stinker would smell like — but bad I assume…

By thin and watery I really mean lacking crema and concentration. If it was coffee I had bought from a (decent) roaster I would suspect it of being past it’s best = about 3 weeks old (but it is not obviously). So this probably indicates old beans???

I’m pretty sure the Querio profile changed the flavour quite a lot. I will try it again tomorrow. It certainly changed the extraction (increased solubility?) I had to grind more 2 marks coarser (on super Jolly) than for the “chicken dinner” profile.

I will try three other roast profiles tomorrow.


Thanks for the suggestions Deven :slight_smile:

It is basically a learning/experimentation stage for me — as I am still very new to roasting.

And please don’t feel obliged to comment — though any comments you make are appreciated :blush:


The other three profiles all tasted better (than the “Querio” profile).
The Querio profile tasted better a day later but still worse than the others.

I used the Adam Shaw SCA profile (from online Pro library) for one and modified it slightly for the other two. Both of my modifications tasted worse. Even though (I thought) the changes were quite small.

I will continue to experiments based on the Adam Shaw SCA profile — by making some (smaller) changes :face_with_monocle: I am beginning to realize how subtle (and difficult) roasting actually is…


I think for roasting you should define what tastes good or bad. My goal is to get lots of fruit in the cup.
I’d suggest making smaller changes if you are in the ballpark of what you thinks is good. But large changes if you feel you are not. I have a lingering feeling that there are many ways to go about getting a likable or tasty cup, but the best profile minimizes the faults/dislikes you find in the cup.


At present I am looking to get smooth, with more chocolatey flavours. But without getting the burned or carbon (ash) flavours. So trying to get “good roast flavours”.

This worked with the Adam Shaw SCAA roast - but I wanted to get a bit more chocolate. But my changed versions were too much and one tasted quite burnt (carbon - ash) — the other had more chocolate but a little bit of carbon-ash. So I am going to tweak the second one by reducing the time after 1C. And also I will make much smaller changes than before (as you said)…

It is possible that the beans have quite a low water content, so I thought I might charge at a higher temperature to get to yellowing quicker = lengthen the Maillard to get more flavour…

Even though this (Adam Shaw) profile works quite well, it starts with quite a low charge temperature (75 C). And there is a “similar” (ish) profile that starts at 150 C that I will try…


Interestingly the beans I roasted taste quite similarly developed to the beans at the cafe. However the cafe beans are roasted to a much darker colour.

So I was wondering if you had noticed anything = lighter colour on Ikawa seems to have similar (development of) taste to darker coloured beans from a drum roaster???

Of course the beans are different - so this may be because of that instead.

And here is a picture of the two beans:


What is more important in you picture is not the bean color but the chaff color, roasting deeper and darker without burning the chaff is IMO critical.

Also dry cacao is a result of overdevelopment, milk chocolate or dark chocolate bar is a good Millard(?) flavor, by taking a slow steady ramp that hits inbetween baked aroma and molasses is where I found chocolate in the Ethiopian I’ve been working on. What speed you need and for how long I am very unsure about. I am getting close with 19C/3min after I hit 204C and then I slowed down to 20C/3min for development.

This was from one test but it was close to what I wanted to get, dark roast and chocolatey notes, however I think I developed this one too much and it tastes too much like “coffee”.


Thanks Deven I will read that thread (again) — and hopefully this time I will understand it better…

This looks very helpful :innocent:

And your Marshall Etheo profile has the same general shape and time to the profile(s) I used. So hopefully your observations will apply fairly directly…


Ok ask questions in the thread, I am not sure what you need help on but I am absolutely positive that my writing needs clarification.


To be honest I think I mostly just need to keep trying things out for a few days. If/when I have questions I will post them in the other thread.


ok no problem,

Here is the profile I was talking about earlier.


Well I have been roasting some differerent beans — with more success. Panama Boquet, Guatemala Hueuhuetango, and Colombia Supremo. The quality of these is much better than the PNG — beans are all the same size and colour. I have only only had to toss 1 or 2 beans each 50g roast as opposed to tossing about 10-15% of the PNG!!!

I used the Adam Shaw SCA profile first - but it was roasting a little bit into ashy-burned. So I reduced the end temperature by 5 degrees = much better This is the first time my profile changes actually made a BIG improvement to flavour (and actually changed it to more how I wanted it to taste).

So good news it seems that I am finally starting to learn a little bit about roasting…

And finally a pic of the Colombia (the Panama and Guat look pretty similar)