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Full City Roast
24 February 2011

Medium roast coffee Dark roast coffee
"Which is better, the medium roast or dark roast?"

I get asked that question a lot.  "They're both good!" is my answer.  Everybody has their own opinion so it's a matter of personal preference.  There's a nearly infinite number of ways to roast coffee and there's no such thing as one single roast that is "best" for all occasions.

Cupping For an official coffee cupping, with score sheets, thermometers, timers, slurping and all that jazz, it's common to use a light roast.  A light roast is a good way to evaluate the underlying bean, not so good for simply enjoying a cup of coffee.  There's nothing wrong with a light roast, it just doesn't have the typical strong coffee flavor most people are used to.  With a really light roast, the beans are barely even brown.

On the opposite extreme is the dark roasts.  French roast is usually the darkest.  Get much darker and you'll have a Charcoal roast.  Large coffee companies such as Starbucks will often use a French roast.  There's nothing wrong with that if that's what you prefer.  It does seem kind of a waste on expensive Kona coffee though because the heavy roast hides the underlying coffee.  The uniqueness of the coffee is lost with really dark roasts.

Kona Earth's dark roast is on the light side for a dark roast, more of a Vienna roast.  It's still past the second crack with a dark brown color and plenty of surface oils.  It's not so dark that the coffee is angry but it very definitely has that rich coffee flavor that many long-time coffee drinkers crave.

The Kona Earth medium roast is much lighter than the dark roast, even lighter than most other medium roasts.  It's a light chocolate brown with no surface oils.  The roast is dark enough to bring out a smooth coffee flavor while still light enough to let the delicate undertones and uniqueness of our coffee shine through.

The most popular roast is Full City, about halfway between medium and dark.  Our Peaberry coffee is a Full City roast.  I'd like to offer a Full City roast of our regular coffee but we don't sell enough coffee to have a huge variety of roasts.  Maybe some day we'll sell enough coffee to carry a larger variety of roasts, for now you have to choose between Medium or Dark.  At least those are usually your only choices.

Roaster I am a coffee farmer, not a professional coffee roaster.  Roasting coffee can be a full-time job requiring talent, experience and expensive equipment.  I concentrate on growing the coffee and I hire a professional for the roasting.  There are several very good professional roasters in the Kona area and they are more than happy to roast my coffee to my exact specifications.

I recently had a large batch of coffee I needed roasted.  I drove down to my favorite roaster only to discover them running around in a panic, the roasting room filled with thick smoke.  They had just finished roasting a large batch of coffee, like they do all day long, only when they dumped it out of the roaster the exhaust fan didn't turn on like it is supposed to.

Coffee produces a lot of smoke when it is roasted.  This exhaust fan is no ordinary exhaust fan.  It is connected to an afterburner that heats up to over 800°F.  Without the afterburner there would be so much smoke that it would create a traffic hazard on the nearby road.  With the exhaust fan broken, all that smoke poured into the roasting room.  You can imagine the resulting mayhem.

If you roast coffee long enough, eventually you will have to deal with a roaster fire.  In this case nothing was actually on fire, nobody was hurt and they even managed to save that batch of coffee.  It was obvious though that my coffee would probably not get roasted any time soon.

Normally I would simply be patient, willing to wait a day or two until they could fix the exhaust fan.  In this particular instance, I was on a deadline.  No problem, there are plenty of good roasters in the area so I would simply go to one of my favorite backups.

It turned out that another of the large roasters in the area was also having problems that day so my backup roaster was busier than usual.  He still graciously agreed to roast my coffee for me.  He said he'd have it done in a couple hours.

Kona Full City Roast There's a reason I don't normally use this roaster.  The operator is a nice enough guy and very experienced, he's just not a big fan of conversation.  He did compliment me on the quality of my coffee though.  He's not the kind to offer praise lightly so that was a big compliment.  He did a great job with the roasting too, producing 100 pounds of beautiful Full City roast.  The problem was that I had asked for 50 pounds of medium roast and 50 pounds of dark roast.  At least I think that's what I had asked for.

These things happen.  I paid for the coffee then called my regular roaster.  It turned out that it was just a blown fuse and not a bad exhaust motor so they were back in business.  I happily dropped off more coffee to get it roasted the way I needed it.  I had lost a day but the coffee was still ready in time to fill the original order.  The only problem is that now I'm stuck with 100 pounds of Full City roast.

Full City roast is a very popular roast.  I wish we could carry it all the time but that would mean giving up one of the other roasts.  If it were a smaller amount I'd be selling this batch of Full City at a premium.  Instead, it is being offered at a discount.  So all of you that have requested a Full City roast, here's your chance.

Summary
There was a bit of confusion with the roaster.  The coffee is fine, great even, just not what we normally sell.  We're stuck with a surplus of Full City roast.  Our mistake, your gain.  We're offering it at a discount in the hopes that you will buy plenty.  Who knows, if it sells fast enough, maybe we'll roast another batch.

Kona Full City Roast

Sold Out

I said it was a limited time offer and indeed, the Full City roast was popular and sold out quickly.  It was popular enough that we may try another batch of Full City soon, this time on purpose.  If you missed out, be sure that you are registered and check the box labeled "Notify me of special offers."  That way you will be informed of any future deals.

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