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Do other roasts not taste good if they're made in an espresso machine?

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The is probably just personal preference. Tea tastes great in an espresso machine too :-) –  TFD Jun 3 '12 at 11:01
    
It is a common misconception that you MUST use dark roast coffee for espresso - simply NOT true. –  Rick G Jun 3 '12 at 23:57
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Actually, a light roast is preferable for good espresso. Dark roasts are too bitter and oily. Most coffee bars serve terrible espresso because of this. –  FuzzyChef Jun 4 '12 at 5:59
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Dark roast has a heavy bitter taste. As espresso usually is served pretty strong, people expect the bitter taste. Most bars serve 70/30 or 80/20 (natural/dark roast) blends. If the roast is made of the cheaper robusta bean, the coffee shop can save money.

But, you can make an excellent espresso from 100% natural roast arabica beans (I do it all the time). People will notice the difference, even though they're not conscious what it is.

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I roast my own beans, and rarely do any dark roasts. I can use the beans for either drip coffee, or to make espresso (with NO bitter taste). –  Rick G Jun 3 '12 at 23:57
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Bitter taste is not from the degree of roast. It is from the oils produced when you pass second crack.

There is a way to enjoy a dark roast espresso without the bitter taste: On your machine allow ½ a second of liquid to come out before placing the cup. Done, simple.

The oils are the first thing that comes out of the machine and for only about half a second.

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I prefer medium roast for all types of coffee. Dark roast seems to carry a burnt taste that masks the coffee flavors.

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