Well, when I was there last, I asked them about their roast date. The stuff they had there had been roasted three days ago according to the Barista, but I think packaged coffee with a date on it would have helped. The fact it was in a bulk bin as opposed to sealed bags with a valve did kind of rub me the wrong way a little. Only because it's been my past experiences with bulk bins in Supermarkets that there's really stale stuff on the bottom, somewhat stale stuff in the middle then fresh stuff on the top. My guess is, they probably sell so much of it that having it in an open bin isn't a problem. When I was there, someone came in and asked for a kilogram of espresso blend, they gave it to him in a paper bag. They wanted about $33/kg for their coffee. Maybe they think an espresso blend has to be roasted dark?
I did notice that their espresso had a very harsh taste, but it wasn't bitter so much as just.. well.. I don't know how to describe it. I can certainly say that I found myself gasping for a glass of water after having a macchiato. (It wasn't done right, it was dry... too much foam, not enough milk.) The espressos I make at home are a bit milder than theirs, but I'm think that's because I'm using a lighter roast. I personally like my drip coffee with a dark roast. Not so much with espresso.
What should I look for to determine if coffee has been over-roasted?
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