(No) Fear of the Dark Roast: A Brief Look at Modcup’s Deeply Roasted Blends

(No) Fear of the Dark Roast: A Brief Look at Modcup’s Deeply Roasted Blends

At modcup, our exotic single origin coffees are championed for their dynamism in the flavor department and for their ability to showcase a key philosophy held by us as a company: 

FAC(t)01: Coffee is a Fruit

We at modcup certainly prefer single origin coffees and favor showcasing these flavor complex coffees with a lighter and more nuanced roasting approach. However, we recognize that for many coffee should taste like "coffee". We also recognize that many take their coffee "white" and not black, and that "coffee" flavors that come from a deeper and more prolonged maillard reaction pair better with milk than a lighter roasted, more nuanced and flavor complex coffee. 

We will continue to push the idea that in a modern world, people should be more open to drinking modern coffee, high quality light(er) roasted options. However that does not mean we are opposed to taking things a bit deeper in the roaster.

Emphasis on “deeper” not “darker”, as we don’t believe any of our more traditional tasting blends would classify as dark roast in any capacity. Rather, we use the term “deeper” to communicate that the beans experience further levels of caramelization the further you extend the Maillard reaction.

While our modern coffees take a quick dip in the roaster, our traditional blends go in for a full plunge. 

The approach to adding traditional style blends to our coffee offerings came out of a new found desire at modcup to make the best coffee possible for as many people as possible. In the past it was "our way or the highway": no fake sugars at our cafes, no half n half, no skim milk and certainly no deep/dark roasts. Whilst to begin with this was done with the best intentions at heart, it ultimately became elitist and non beneficial. modcups founding goal was to introduce people to specialty coffee in a non pretentious manner, so why not take specialty beans we were sourcing and go deep in the roast and give that section of the market exactly what they want. Insanely rich deep traditional style coffee. And it pairs better with milk anyway.

And so the traditional component of modcup’s roastery was born. A Yin to the mod Yang. A mods vs rockers debate could start. Which side of deep is your love?

Deeper roasted coffees are for those of you who prefer their coffees to drink with more of a dark chocolate, cooked vanilla, rich caramel and molasses vibe. These coffees are designed to pair exceptionally well with milk/cream/mylks and sugar, and still offer a classically robust cup of that morning Joe we’ve all likely had a sip of at some point. A healthy middle ground, our traditional blends show that we can still provide an excellent cup of coffee with quality at its heart to those who prefer to compliment their drink with other supporting flavors. 

We’re taking the shortest break away from our single origin darlings to talk about the traditional blends offered at modcup, and figured the spooky season would be a great time to discuss their deeper, (very slightly) darker cousins. 

The 7/6 Blend: American Diner-Style Inspired Drip Brew

Brazil/Colombia (Cafe La Granja)

Echoing the same drinking experience of grabbing breakfast at a roadside diner without the arduous commute, the 7/6 Blend is our answer to those who like to spike their morning coffee with a bit of dairy or sweetener. The 7/6 exemplifies the traditional flavor notes you’d find in an older-school mug of coffee, with sweetness and slight bitterness playing together in perfect harmony. Chocolate and brown sugar are at the forefront, and only wake up even more when a dash of milk is added to help curb any lingering acidity or robustness from the South and Central American bean combo. This cup of diner-inspired drip is right at home with a plate of your favorite breakfast foods, midday pastry, or light lunch. If someone you know likes a “coffee that just tastes like coffee”, they’re in luck.

The Casuals Blend: A Coffee Right at Home in an Italian Espresso Bar

Brazil/Colombia (Cafe La Granja)

One could hazard a guess that most non-coffee drinkers view espresso as this harsh, bitter affair only salvaged by the addition of steamed milk. This isn’t one of those espresso blends. While still traditionally flavored and leaning more into the complex flavors of higher percentage cacao, barley malt syrup, and dark Italian amaro, this blend hits all these notes without a single Robusta bean present and still finishes clean and sweet. While the Secret Affair blend served at all modcup shops hits you with a bright, zippy punch and finishes with undertones of sweet almonds, the Casuals blend doubles down on those deeper, richer flavors found in beans native to Central and South America. “Casuals” is in no way an insult or a jab either, just a recognition that lots of us start out our coffee journeys with drinks in this general ballpark of roast development. No shame in enjoying (several) shots of this stuff. Hey, if it was good enough for the Italians.....

The Classico Blend: Traditional Cold Brew Flavors at its Finest


Arguably the most popular of modcup’s traditional blends, the Classico beans deliver flavors that justify its namesake. The deepest of all modcup blends, the additional time spent in the roaster gives this blend the unofficial title of the prince of darkness on the modcup whole bean menu. In our stores we brew cold brew from this roast, the result is a rich dark chocolate and vanilla vibe with subtle aftertastes of baking spices. Brazilian and Mexican coffees blended together However you choose to brew these Brazilian and Mexica blended coffees, whether with hot or cold water, the result is an excellent canvas for other added flavors; some favorites among customers include vanilla and cream, caramel and whole milk, hazelnut and Macedama milk, and coconut with oat milk. . 

With the spooky season winding down and the holidays coming up, we’re all facing another chance to give the gift of quality coffee to our friends and loved ones. Have someone in your life who drinks a mug of the darker stuff every day? Introduce them to one of our traditional blends this holiday season and point them to our blog if their interest in the larger world of coffee piques.

I’ve personally transitioned from a cream + sugar coffee fan to someone who cannot get enough of the fruit bombs we push here at modcup, so there’s always a chance someone else follows a similar path in their journey. 

We’re all on different steps of our own personal explorations of coffee. We don’t ever want to come off as a brand that holds contempt for those who enjoy roasts with more development or people who enjoy the pleasures of sugar or dairy in their cup.

Aside from sourcing, roasting, brewing, and serving impeccable coffee, we are also in the business of educating. Talking coffee is a favorite pastime of ours and we always want to keep these discussions going. We take equal pride in being able to serve delicious blends of deeply roasted coffee as much as we do our heat-kissed single origins, and wanted to ensure we gave the former the spotlight they deserve. There's coffee for everyone here at modcup, and we’re stoked for you to try the lot. 

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