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I've noticed that most (non-specialty) places that sell coffee tend to have very dark roasts. This includes Starbucks, any Fast Food restaurant, most nicer restaurants, and hotel coffee.

I can't tolerate anything darker than Starbucks' "Blonde Roast". All their others I'd consider to be dark roast. When I buy coffee in the store and make it myself, it's never anywhere near as dark as what you get in shops. I usually get fresh beans from The Fresh Market or Caribou brand.

Is there any reason shops tend to make their coffee so dark? Or is my taste just skewed from most people's?

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    Most in what location? Worldwide? USA? The reasons may be local. – doppelgreener May 14 '15 at 2:07
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    We have no way to answer whether your taste is skewed from other people's – EdChum May 14 '15 at 9:00
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Roasting coffee dark may be used because it is easier to create a consistently flavored bean, with less monitoring and concern for flavor profiles. In the case of Starbucks they are shipping so much of their coffee to so many locations and creating so much coffee at once that it may be easier to create consistency. The darker you roast the less the flavor of the original bean matters, so it may also be used as a method to roast cheaper or lower quality beans.

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    Additionally darker roasted coffee "keeps" longer. The origin flavors of a lighter roast coffee fades quickly after roasting, the flavors from a darker roast tend to hang on a bit longer. So places mass roasting and shipping coffee get a bit more travel out of a darker roast. – Suspended User May 15 '15 at 17:03
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In addition to what have been said:

  • easier to maintain consistency as quality is lower.
  • longer preservation.

It could be added:

  • it gives more intensive taste (possibly local market demand and standards).
  • allows greater dilution.
  • possibly smaller dose in the shot extraction.

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