Know Your Coffee Roasts

The roasting of the coffee beans is the most important part in producing the different flavors in coffee. The range of roast is pretty straight forward. At the bottom of the spectrum is a light roast and then will go to medium, medium-dark, and finally to dark. Thus, the type of roast will vary based on the amount of time the beans are roasted and the temperature and color that the beans reach.

When beans reach the point of being a light roast, the beans will be dry, very acidic, and have a medium coffee aroma. The darker they get, the beans will become oilier and less acidy as the beans lose their moisture from the heat. The body of the coffee starts very thin on lighter roasts and then becomes bolder with medium roasts and then loses its body on darker roasts. As you can see, there are numerous effects by the roasting process on the flavor and aroma of the beans. In order to give you are good over view of the various roasts, we have compiled a list of the various roasts from light to dark.

Light Roasts

  • Cinnamon Roast– The lightest roast. Will have high acidity, a weak body, and a grainy flavor. This roast is accomplished by stopping just prior to the first cracking.
  • Light Roast / New England Roast – Will have a moderate light brown color and will display the unique flavors of the origins of the beans.

Medium Roasts

  • American Roast– This is a medium light brown with a medium amount of acidity and a full body.
  • City / European Roast - Medium brown color with a good balance of acidity. Will still be able to give the flavor of the origin of the beans. It will have a very strong aroma.
  • Full City Roast - Medium dark brown with a medium amount of acidity and a very full body.
  • Full City Plus Roast – Slightly less acidity and aroma then the Full City but with a similar full body.

Dark Roasts

  • Vienna Roast - Moderate dark brown. Slightly caramel-like tones and with less acidity. The origins of the beans become less noticeable on this roast.
  • Italian Roast– A very dark roast. Beans are almost all black and shiny. Will have a burnt smell. The coffee will be thin and will have little acidity.
  • French / Espresso Roast – Beans will be dark brown with a shiny with oil surface. Will have bittersweet and burnt tones with little acidity.
  • Spanish / Turkish Roast – Darkest roast you can find. Beans are almost to the point of being burnt. Charred flavors and very little body.