Strength 10

Dark & Delicious

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Strength: 10
Classic Dark Roast
Guatemalan High Grown Volcanic
Flavour Notes: Chocolate, Wafer, Nutty
Roasted into second crack for an approaching edge of darkness profile that produces a lingering port viscosity and the notes of dark and bitter chocolate. A blend that selects the necessary hardest beans from Antigua in Guatemala that enables a roast at higher and longer heat.

Family Farm  |  Forest Coffee  |  Hand Picked  |  Uncertified Organic


In Guatemala, nestled amidst the vibrant region of Antigua, an extraordinary journey began, shaping the destiny of specialty coffee. The 1970s witnessed Antigua as a haven for alternative lifestyles, drawing in free-spirited souls from far and wide. These intrepid adventurers, often rooted in academic brilliance and inspired by the works of Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, sought a deeper connection with nature through the exploration of psychedelics such as psilocybin and magic mushrooms.

Antigua, with its rich Maya heritage, became their chosen destination, as it held a historical legacy of shamanic rituals involving these mystical mushrooms. They marveled at the breathtaking landscapes, embraced the warm hospitality of the indigenous people, and discovered a remarkably affordable way of life. The serendipity of their quest only grew stronger when they stumbled upon Antigua coffee.

Unbeknownst to them, this chance encounter would forever change the course of coffee history. Enchanted by its natural and superior taste, these coffee pioneers became fervent advocates, introducing the world to the delights of Guatemalan Antigua coffee. As they returned home, a wave of curiosity swept across the West Coast of the United States. Supermarkets, shops, and coffee houses were flooded with requests for the elusive Guatemalan Antigua. However, the precious beans were nowhere to be found.

Driven by passion and determination, these eager seekers embarked on a new journey, embracing the art of coffee roasting themselves. This marked the birth of the specialty coffee industry, a movement that would redefine the coffee experience for generations to come. Guatemalan Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) graded coffee beans emerged as a favorite for dark roast enthusiasts. Picture a seed with a denser organic structure, akin to an almond, which can withstand higher levels of heat without charring its core. This distinct quality allows for complexity in flavor profiles. A Strictly Hard Bean classification in Guatemala denotes coffee grown at an altitude of 4500 feet or above. Central American coffee origins embrace altitude as a key grading factor, as higher elevations produce a harder and more refined bean, often accompanied by superior taste.

Nature's wisdom plays a role in this exceptional transformation. At higher altitudes, coffee plants experience dry tropical heat during the day and colder nights, causing the beans to contract and slow down their growth. This extended maturation period results in denser beans, amplifying taste and acidity. It's as if the coffee bean absorbs the essence of its surrounding habitat, creating a more delightful and flavorful experience.

For lovers of dark roast, Guatemalan SHBs hold an esteemed position. Roasters meticulously assess the exterior and interior color of the beans, noting the decline in the color spread as a significant variable. A denser bean retains distinct characteristics even at darker roast levels. This interplay between roasty flavors on the outside and toasty nuances within offers a delightful complexity that captivates the palate.


Espresso blends are specially crafted and optimized for brewing espresso. They are a combination of different coffee beans carefully selected and roasted to create a range of unique flavour profiles.

The goal of any espresso blend is to achieve a harmonious balance of flavours, acidity, body, and crema—the rich, golden layer that tops a well-made espresso shot. And it is the blending allows coffee roasters to combine beans with distinct characteristics to create a more complex and well-rounded flavour in the final cup.

Espresso blends typically consist of a variety of coffee beans sourced from different regions or countries. Each component brings its own set of attributes to the blend, such as flavour notes like chocolate and nuttiness. It is with the careful selecting and combination of beans that a roaster can create a blend that showcases the best qualities of each component.

Roasting plays a crucial role in the development of an espresso blend. The beans are typically roasted to a medium to dark roast level to enhance body, sweetness, and caramelization while maintaining enough acidity to provide a balanced taste. The roast profile is carefully calibrated to ensure that the beans extract optimally during the short brewing time of an espresso shot.The resulting espresso blend is characterized by a full-bodied, intense flavour with a well-rounded acidity and a thick, velvety crema. It is specifically designed to be brewed using an espresso machine, which applies pressure to force hot water through finely ground coffee at a controlled rate, resulting in a concentrated and aromatic beverage.Our espresso blends are carefully crafted combination of coffee beans that aims to create a flavourful and balanced espresso experience, showcasing our expertise and the unique qualities of the beans used in the blend.

Like most subjective aspects of coffee, strength is subjective. It’s even hard to define. Evidently, everyone wants, like in love, something different in their relationship with coffee whether it can be in mouthfeel, viscosity or flavour.

The Strong Espresso Collection offers a range of dark roast profiles and blends that are progressively roasted darker.  Each blend takes a particular green bean origin and processing method to create a key attribute of the blend.  Then further body and flavour complexity is derived by blending an additional componentry of beans in density, size and origin.

The Table below is a guide to each of the blend attributes and mirrors the targets of the roaster, Joe, to measure the outcomes of the particular roast profile.


With the flavour of dark notes, their intensity increases as greater heat and advancing time increasingly influences the roast outcome.  The Strength figure reflects this progressive change in cup profile.Acidity There is also an inevitable change in the mouthfeel of the blend as it advances along the roast profile timeline, this is in the form of a naturally declining acidity in the cup as the related compounds, principally mild quinnic, malic and acetic acids are destroyed by the advancing heat and time. We simply express a starting point for Acidity measurement as an indicative % and this reduces to effectively zilch and a very smooth and flat cup profile is produced.

Development Time Ratio [DTR%]

Progressive time in the roaster is measured from first crack by the roaster and is calculated as time from First Crack to the end of the roast, as a percentage of total roast time.  Roasters enjoy nothing more than discussing DTR%, so we included it here for you to be part of the conversation.

First Crack and Second Crack

In the roasting process the coffee beans has two stages when they make a distinctive cracking sound.  At first crack the last of the water vapour in the bean is driven out through the porous ends of the beans and they are cinnamon in colour.  It is only at this point that you can make anything in the name of coffee.

Around an equal amount of time that the beans took to get to first crack there is a second crack sound in the roast caused by the release of carbon dioxide through the beans. At this stage the beans are going to be notably darker in colour. You can roast through and after second crack but it will not be far thereafter that the beans will simply combust and glow like burning embers.

There is no definite rule as to determine the starting point of a dark roast in description of colour or otherwise.  A roaster would certainly say that a starting point for general discussion about this starting point might be “Towards second crack.”

A definition of a coffee snob might be a person who refuses to drink a dark roast on the premise of lack of complexity in the cup. The argument is that a dark roast destroys the inherent flavour complexity of a bean, as flavour are burnt up and out of the chimney to the delight of passersby’s and replaced with a singular smooth cup.

A beans density has a lot to do with the outcome of any dark roast.  A seed that is denser in its organic structure then another, for example an almond nut is denser than a cashew nut.  Therefore it will take a lot more heat than the cashew before incinerating.  That is, its centre will still taste nutty when the cashew nut is charring at centre.   A denser or harder green coffee bean carries more flavour because it has taken a longer time to mature, it is slower growing and has gained a more fibrous structure.  It will also take the heat. A darker roast requires a blend of differing density beans in order that there is a range of dark roast flavours.  We tend towards a particular bean density and origin in any blend.

Blend Components

A strong coffee might be simply described as a coffee blend containing 100% Robusta beans as  in instant coffee.  This bean varietal is say half the price of arabica beans and it can have a very rough and ready taste reminiscent of motor oil and burnt rubber. It generates more coffee oils, and has double the caffeine.

There are an increasing amount of specialty robusta beans coming to market, Estate Robustas, sun dried and wet processed and we use this new sourcing within the blends.

1. Remove handle (portafilter) from machine.
2. Fill the portafilter with 20g of coffee ground (Adjust the measurements and times proportionally if your quantity is more or less).
3. Distribute the coffee evenly around the basket, goaling an equal bed depth when tamped.
4. Press coffee tamper firmly and evenly down on the coffee.
5. Lock the handle back into your espresso machine and start a shot.
6. This pour should take between 35 seconds (plus or minus 5 seconds) and produce 45ml of espresso including crema.
7. The espresso shot will change from a dark brown colour to a pale blonde colour before finishing.  
    Espresso should pour slowly starting as a drip and turning into a fine pour.
8. Change to a finer grind setting if the shot runs too quickly.
9. Change to a coarser grind setting if the shot runs too slowly.
10. Always use heated cups to preserve the crema.

Grinding your coffee immediately before use.
Using fresh coffee. Coffee over 3 months old is inevitably stale.
Monitoring grind size, goal a 4 minute extraction to commence with.
Water quality makes a difference, tap water is treated for health outcomes not quality. Use the best water quality you can obtain for the best result.
See our Table for indicative weights and measures for brewing.

2 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Dark & Delicious

    Posted by Jonathon Arnold on 20th Sep 2023

    Hands down the best way you can start your day. I have been a fan of Coffee Dominion since I can remember. I may not live in Townsville anymore, but my beans are only an Express Post delivery away.

  • 5

    Posted by James Colib on 25th Apr 2023