Why are my coffee beans wet?
If your coffee beans are wet then take a closer look. What may at first glance seem like beans that have water on them, is actually the natural oil of the coffee bean after it has been released through dark roasting (aka second pop or second crack) for espresso. If you look at the picture of above, you can see that the difference in appearance is easy to spot.
So, how does this roasting technique affect the flavour?
Lets deal with what’s going on:
The oil released is by the chemical reaction caused by roasting. For a pure espresso taste, which will be strong and bitter you need to take the roasting process just passed the second crack (when roasting beans behave like popcorn and produce 2 audible cracks). If you go too far passed the second crack, then the beans will be of no use. Now if you have a skilled roaster (we do!), you can create an espresso blend that offers the classic espresso taste but with a depth of flavour notes that you might expect from a light roast.
For a fruitier experience, that is suitable for a Cafetiere etc then you should always choose a light roast.
Pretty straight forward? We think so. But what if I tell you that the beans in the picture are both intended for espresso? The batch on the left is from a competitor, and has been light roasted, even though it is labelled as an espresso. The batch on the right is our Original Joe, 4 bean blend roasted just passed second crack. One tastes fantastic (Ours!), from start to finish, and one starts well but disappears off the palate quicker than you can say, “can I have a proper espresso please!”
But, having said that, it is a matter of taste….. actually, it’s not! You might try a light espresso but you will always end up on a darker roast because it tastes so good.
Remember kids: Wet, dark roast beans for espresso = good and dry light beans for espresso = ok, but you will soon get bored of it.