Different Coffee Roasts

The Roasting Process

The roasting process triggers chemical changes within the bean as they get roasted rapidly at a very high temperature. Once they reach the designated roast level, they are rapidly cooled to halt the process from continuing. The roasted beans are now a coffee-colored and smell like the coffee we know. The beans weigh less because they have roasted the moisture out; they are brittle and ready to be ground. This roasting process takes a very long-time master as the difference between the perfect roast and a wasted batch is a matter of seconds. These different coffee roasts can be fun to explore.

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Green Coffee Beans

A coffee bean is a seed of the Coffea plant and the source for coffee. It is the pit inside the red or purple fruit of the Coffea plant. Coffea are shrubs or small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. The coffee tree averages 20-30 feet and as they grow older, they branch less and bear more leaves and fruits. 

Roasting green coffee beans unlocks the flavor and aroma of the different coffee roasts. They store the coffee beans in their green form. In their green form, coffee beans are soft and chewy with a wood like taste. In their green form coffee beans are easily stored without loss of freshness or quality before the roasting process. 

So Many Different Coffee Roasts

Most companies have individual names for their specific brand of roasts;There are no standard rules for the naming of roasts. Which is why the choices seem so daunting and there seems to be so many different coffee roast levels? 

However, as a rule of thumb coffee roasts fall into one of four categories: light, medium, medium-dark and dark. The time spent roasting doesn’t just affect the taste of the coffee; It also affects the amount of caffeine, the acidity and the intensity. 

The difference between light and dark roast coffee?

Obviously, your preferred roast is a user level choice and, although often influenced by national preference or the coffee grown in your region. Each of us likes a slightly different coffee. That slight difference in coffees has led to many slightly varied formulas for roasting coffee beans. Below are the four main stables of roast coffee.

Light Roasts 

The roasting process as it progresses decreases the caffeine and acidity of the coffee bean. They roast light roasts for the shortest time; Therefore, light roasts are more acidic and have higher caffeine content. Light roasts are most similar in flavor to the bean of origin. They give this off by the acidity and a mild citrus overtone. To find out more about light roast coffee read our article here.

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Medium Roasts 

Medium roasts are the most common roasts used in America today. I consider the medium roasts the most balanced of the flavors.  A lot of Breakfast blends and house blends are medium roast, these have more body and evenly balanced tastes. To find out more about medium roast coffee read our article here.

 

Medium-Dark Roasts

Medium – dark roasts will glean a coating of oils on the beans surface from the high temperatures over longer roasting. These roasts are richer with full body and less acidity. To find out more about medium roast coffee read our article here.

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Dark Roasts

Even though the name implies it, the dark roasts are not bitter but moreover sweeter as the beans caramelize over the longer roasting time. This longest roasting process also gets rid of much of the acidity and gives it the fullest body with no trace of origin. The darkest roast most commonly available is French roast. Beans roasted beyond the French roast are just burnt beans. To find out more about medium roast coffee read our article here.

Conclusion

The roasting of coffee beans produces distinct flavors, fuller bodies, more or less caffeine, and more or less acidity. Making the roasting process responsible for the overall taste of the coffee. Try the four roast levels for yourself and then decide what way you like your coffee it might surprise you.