Is coffee roasted lighter to save money? Take the poll

Starbucks' web site says, "You see, most coffee is lightly roasted as a way to cut costs."

Really? Take the poll.

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Comment by Brendon Parsons on October 10, 2009 at 12:50pm
Roasting darker also increases extractables, meaning that one can hit the "golden cup" 1.25% TDS with less coffee! Or use the same amount of coffee, and have it taste stronger (Starbucks approach). Dark roasting also increases the antioxidant content of the coffee and reduces water activity, helping to extend the shelf like of the coffee (9 months for Starbucks, gross!).
Comment by Mike McGinness on October 10, 2009 at 8:20am
I've been chasing fresh roast whole bean coffee since 1984 and roasting going on a decade. The statement is pure Bull. Lighter roasting's purpose is to accentuate varietal character versus just caramelized or even burned sugars, the roast notes. While true the darker the roast the lower the moisture content, conversely the darker the roast the more volume for a given weight and hence appears to be "more" in the bag. Also true is that lower quality even old beans can effectively be used in dark roasts simply because varietal character is so eclipsed by dark roasting. Big time money can be saved by a roaster only doing dark roasts simply because they can focus on buying cheaper beans rather then beans with soaring varietal character. Also darker roasts have a longer "perceived" shelf life because varietal character tastes fade much faster than caramelized or burned sugar tastes.
Comment by John Walker on October 10, 2009 at 6:49am
And the more bitterness you can get into your cup, the more receptive customers will be syrup suggestions.
Comment by Samuel Ho on October 10, 2009 at 4:06am
In terms of volume this statement has a certain degree of merit. The darker roast Starbucks uses has less moisture content hence more coffee is needed per /kg / lb.

Flavour however is subjective, a darker roast will result in more 'body' but roasted too dark this often equates to bitterness (or 'classical taste of coffee').

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