[Homeroast] City? City +? Full City?

David Martin davidhmartin at gmail.com
Tue Feb 23 15:06:20 CST 2010

On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 10:01 AM, Starfinder Stanley <coffee at starf.org> wrote:
> I think one of the strong
> mandates of SBs is to provide its customers with a CONSISTENT experience
> ---it seemed very important to Schultz that a customer could walk into any
> SBs anywhere in the world and feel instantly at home in a familiar setting,
> and to that end having the coffee taste the same everywhere was a crucial
> aspect.

Consistency is of utmost importance for any successful chain. I think
this helps explain *$'s success, as they've been very effective at
maintaining consistency, not just in the roast, but in the brewing
process and ambiance as well.
I used to despise *$, but I don't anymore. I save my contempt for the
many single-location mom&pop shops who can't even figure out how to
brew a decent cup, regardless of the level of roast. Also for small
local roasters who try to match or even exceed *$ / Peet's uber-dark
style, instead of realizing that their smaller scale allows them to
differentiate themselves by roasting each bean according to its
properties. On the other hand, before I started home-roasting, I had
developed the misconception that an oily surface was a natural quality
of really good beans. Even then I was probably way more knowledgeable
than the average consumer; it must be hard to try to please such an
ignorant customer base. :-)

> On that kind of scale, that guarantees consistent mediocrity
> ---there just isn't that much great coffee in the world.  I think the folks
> talking about dark roasting being an 'equalizer' of coffee flavors may be on
> to something.  I would also posit that once coffees get a little stale, they
> also lose a lot of their individual character.
> As for dark roasts, I agree with the consensus that there are few varietals
> that shine in a dark versus light roast,

SM's French Roast blend definitely falls into that category.
Come to think of it, I used to buy from a micro-roaster who had a
decaf blend that stood up to very dark roasting. The beans were like
oily black beetles, and I think this was the reason for my
misconception about oily beans.


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