I bought a bag of whole bean "Medium Dark" coffee from a café which recently started roasting its own beans. To my taste it is awful, however am unsure if the coffee is burnt or just not to my taste. I am considering returning the beans.

What ways are there for telling if coffee beans are burnt?

  • They say "French roast" or "Italian roast" on the label.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 1:16

1 Answer 1


Char - smell and taste. Excessive oil coating the surface of the beans. The extracted coffee will have a flat taste. Hard to describe, but the taste will be predominately "charred" and nothing else.

Cracking a bean open may help, I don't think it should be black through and through, but I don't have any experience with that.

Can you actually return beans?

  • It depends, I think most of the time yes. The only time I can think of where it might be hard is in countries with little customer protection and transient sellers (from open markets). Even with no legal protection if the company wants to keep your custom they will probably refund or replace.
    – AnnanFay
    Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 10:32

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