La Báscula, Honduras – espresso roast


I roasted 50g of Ikawa La Báscula beans 8 days ago (25 May) using the espresso recipe. Today I pulled my first shot which came out pretty well (although perhaps a little sharp tasting; more rest may tame that). The EY was 20.5% (TDS 9.64%). But there’s one thing I wanted to query. The website store tasting notes say that this is “Possible [sic] our darkest filter roast recipe”. But it’s very light to my eye; more precisely, it measures “126 cinnamon” on a Tonino colour meter (one point lighter than a Tim Wendelboe roast I had in January). The lightest reading on the Tonino is 130. Out of curiosity, I scanned the filter recipe on the bag but that follows a different course, rising rather than dipping in the middle. I wonder if the two profiles have been mislabeled. I’ll try the filter roast, but meanwhile I thought I’d see what Ikawa makes of the discrepancy between their description and the result of the La Báscula espresso recipe.


I used the “filter” recipe today, and as I suspected it came out much darker than the “espresso” recipe, both to eye and Tonino meter (107). I don’t know if the QR codes are simply reversed on the bag, or if they are the wrong profiles altogether. I’ll give today’s “filter” roast about five days to degas and then try pulling it as espresso.


I just realised that your “darkest filter recipe yet” may indeed be intentionally darker than your “espresso” recipe for this bean, something I had failed to consider as I expected the reverse to be the case. I tried the espresso roast with 4oz of milk this morning as a flat white and it produced a pleasing, light, somewhat liquorice taste.


To further this realization, I think it is also important to note that we can develop a coffee further without raising or lowering the bean color.


Yes, but development is one thing and roast colour another. For example, if you define development as the ratio of the time between first crack and ending the roast, it can be the same, say 20%, in a medium or a light roast; but the taste will be very different. Traditionally –– and here is where I was led astray by my assumptions –– espresso is associated with a darker roast flavour than filter coffee.


Defining development like that is what I have been saying doesn’t make sense, most of my time as a home roaster. I came to this realization when the Marshal Etheo profile should be dropped 5-15s after the first pop of 1C, a 5s dev is a 2% DTR.
The roast is developing, at the beginning all the way through the end of roast.

-For us especially-

”development” can occur much differently and we can develop certain segments more than others by slowing down or speeding up, these segments (green/yellow/brown) which are significantly based on specific temp ranges. Ergo (I theorize, though observing) color is based soley on specific temperature. Texture is based on bean speed through yellow but can also be changed during the last phase. I still refer to the last phase as development to not confuse other people, mainly drum roasters, when talking profiles. But knowing that development is not in one specific place.

I think it’s important to distinguish if anyone wants to moves past the normal conventionalism that is modern roasting.


Totally agree. MAI Starts around 160c and keeps going until there are no reactants left. So the idea of a discrete MAI phase is a technical misnomer, but it does give us a useful nomenclature to share experience.

I know we can do all sorts of things with a roast profiles would be impossible for a commercial roaster. However, I also know that I am very much a beginner and at the moment am still learning how to “dial in” a roast. Given it took me over 2 years to learn how to dial in espresso, with a much faster feedback loop, I think this will be a long (and enjoyable) journey. It is why my simple approach gives me a good framework and stops me getting lost.

How roasted an espresso should be is a really interesting topic, and one I have been thinking about a lot recently…