Why "Strength 5" on Coffee Packaging is Meaningless

That 1-5 (or even 6) strength rating on coffee packaging is a familiar sight, but what does it actually mean? 

Contrary to popular belief this scale actually relates to the darkness of the roast, rather than a strong flavour or high caffeine content. ‘Strength 5’ on the label just means the beans are roasted for a very long time. This leaves them very dark in colour with an oily sheen (shown in the picture) and a smokey, bitter taste. It does not actually mean the coffee is strong. 

Very dark roasts allow for greater consistency and can be used to mask poor quality beans as the bitterness becomes the dominant flavour. Artisan coffee roasters tend to favour a medium roast which has a chocolate-like colour as it brings out the many amazing flavours found in quality beans. 

A huge amount of effort goes into growing, picking and washing coffee beans, not to mention bringing them down from high altitudes and transporting from remote corners of the earth. With this in mind it seems kind of wrong to roast coffee beans beyond recognition. 

Poor quality, bitter coffee also explains why so many people naturally opt for milk and two sugars to mask the taste. 

For those seeking a strong coffee but left underwhelmed by a ‘Strength 5’, we’ve created something you will love. We use great beans with a high natural caffeine content and a medium roast for a smooth, balanced flavour. Our coffees are strong, full-bodied and taste amazing. Once you have tried our coffee you won’t want to go back to burnt disappointment!

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