What is Nordic Roast Coffee?
There are many different styles of coffee roasting. You may be familiar with terms like "medium roast" and "french roast" - but what is a nordic roast, and why do we use that term?
First off - we like the term "nordic roast" because it feels more specific than the typical light/medium/dark spectrum. Nordic style is a type of light roast, but here in the United States, what is called a "light roast" varies quite a bit based on who is roasting. If you're looking at commercial grade coffees - something marketed as a "light roast" is going to be dark and oily, and you'll be able to taste bitter, roasty flavors in the brew. Even many specialty coffee roasters are taking their light roasts farther than we are and developing some roastiness - so referring to our roasting as Nordic style is a way to signify that we're up to something a little different.
A nordic roast is a lighter roast that emphasizes the unique flavors inherent to premium, single-origin coffees. The resulting cup tends to be bright and sweet, with more floral and fruity notes and ideally no bitter, roasty tones. Typically this is achieved by hotter, faster roast cycles and lower end temperatures than other roasting styles - though we do make adjustments to each coffee's roast profile.
The thinking behind Nordic style roasting is a bit like the concept of terroir in wine-making. Producers are taking great care to grow coffees that are unique, delicious, and speak to the character of their region. We think a good roast should bring those qualities to the forefront. This generally means that nordic style roasting requires using higher-quality green coffee than other roasting styles - you Nordic roast a lower grade coffee, you'll just more clearly taste the imperfections in the cup. Many roasters in the US will take a more Nordic approach to roasting on their higher-end single-origin offerings, while using a more heavy-handed roasting style on their less-stellar offerings.