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Staff Picks: Take a Walk on the Dark Side.

We swear by these four incredible dark roasts.

by Maciej Kasperowicz | March 01, 2023

Developing deep roasty flavors and presenting a single-origin coffee aren’t things that we often think of as going together. Past a certain point of roast, the fibers in the coffee start taking on some smokiness no matter what coffee you’re starting with, and dark roasts start tasting similar to each other, rather than presenting the differences between say, an Ethiopia and a Colombia that you could easily taste in a medium roast.

BUT, some origins carry strong flavors that can pair really well with a dark roast and talented roasters can use those origins to create some really unique flavors. Here are a few of our favs:

Kenyas, when roasted to a light or medium roast, are some of the most tart coffees in specialty. But they also hold up really well to dark roasts for roasters brave enough to take them there. The combination of dark fruit and smoke in this coffee from Gimme is classic.

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Sumatran coffee, which tends to be quite earthy, can be a love-it-or-hate-it proposition as a medium roast. But that earthiness pairs really well with a darker roast, like in the smoke and tobacco flavor profile of this one from City of Saints.

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Caramel, nuts, chocolate–these flavors are all common in Costa Rican coffees, and they also pair well with a roasty, toasty vibe. This darker-than-usual Costa Rica from Atomic displays that pair beautifully.

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This one is for the true extra dark roast heads. Red Rooster sources coffee from five farms owned by the Castillo family in Nicaragua and takes them dark enough that roast is by far the main flavor. But you can definitely taste the quality of the coffee in how smooth this coffee is. The roast is a flavor, not just a harshness.

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Explore all dark roasts here!