A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
It is a period of civil war.
Rebel coffee companies, one striking
from a Bermondsey-based office, have won
their first victory against
the evil Commodity Market.
During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to uncover
the ultimate tactic of the C-Market:
over-roasting, a method with
the power to homogenise and
destroy the public’s understanding of coffee.
Pursued by the C-Market’s
sinister agents, Pact Coffee races
home from origin, custodian
of Direct Trade sourcing that will
save farmers and restore
freedom to the industry…
Ok, that might have been gratuitous. But on today of all days, Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you…), we want to highlight the battle between good and evil, the light and dark (roast) side.
The Dark Side
Like the Sith wielding the force for evil, global coffee conglomerates use their power for evil – to keep coffee tasting bitter and boring, keep prices paid to farmers low, and to keep costs similarly low for them.
How, and why, are they doing it?
Simple – dark roasts.
Yes, it’s true. Every picture of oily, black beans… every ‘extra strong’ label… every bit of guff about coffee being intense, or powerful. That’s all supporting the fallacy that darker roasts are best.
Why are they doing it? Because roasting coffee dark strips the beans of everything individual about them. Any flavour variations, good or bad, are hidden by the taste of… burnt. It makes consumers think that coffee just tastes of ‘coffee’.
That means they can buy bad quality beans, roast them as dark as possible, let them go stale and them sell them as if that is the way coffee should be. They’re the baddies, if you haven’t got that already.
But lucky for you, innocent coffee drinkers, help is at hand. Some of us have seen the light (the light roast, that is) and we’re trying to challenge the evil coffee empire.
The light side welcomes difference, variety, diversity, freedom – it welcomes coffees that taste completely different to each other. It even welcomes coffees that don’t taste like coffee at all (or so ‘the dark side’ would have you think!).
And it does that with gentle, considered roast profiles that show off the delicate flavour balances that farmers have worked so hard to cultivate – as that’s the reason we’re paying them 25-125% over Fairtrade rates in the first place.
So next time you’re picking up a coffee on the high street, make sure you know whose side you’re on…