Do you know your preferred Coffee Roast Type?
Coffee is a complex substance with 800+ different flavors and aroma-inducing elements that combine to make a fine cup of coffee. Compared to coffee, wine just boasts of 200 varieties, only! Amazing, isn’t it?
But a coffee roast plays a significant role in determining the coffee taste in end – which means the degree at which coffee beans are heated or roasted comes into play. Thankfully, coffee lovers have to choose from one of the four main roast types – Light, Medium, Medium-Dark, and Dark.
Raw coffee beans are green in color and have absolutely no taste. The roasting process changes the hue color and unleashes some flavors and aromas that refresh our senses since the last four centuries. Like many things in life, people have diverse roast level preferences although not many know their preferred roast type in the first place.
Let us get that problem sorted. Here are the four roast types and their defining characteristics:
The color of a light roast is the easiest to identify as they absorb heat for a short period of time and are light brown in color. The beans crack and expand before 400 °F. Also, they do not have oil on the surface and the taste is grainy and acidic. The process in this roast burns off caffeine, thus surprisingly rendering a better jolt to the senses than other roast types.
Medium roasts are heated within the temperature range of 410 °F – 430 °F, before the “second crack”. The coffee is medium brown in color and no oil on the surface. The taste in this roast is balanced and less acidic than the light roast too, with less caffeine.
Medium – Dark Roast
These roasts are richer and darker than the other roasts with some oil appearing on bean surface. The heat is controlled within 435°F – 445°F, for the roast to end at the start and the middle of the second crack. The flavors and aromas are high and the taste of the coffee does become bittersweet.
Dark roasts are oily on the surface and are usually dark brown to black in color. The beans are heated in the range of 465°F – 485°F, right till the end of second crack and even further. It also has the least caffeine among all types of coffee roasts. It tastes bitter, smoky, burnt and is resemble tar and charcoal in texture. They are usually used in espresso shots.
Key takeaways from the roasts
- The lighter roasts have more caffeine and acidity
- The darker roasts have less caffeine and acidity with more oil on beans
- The coffee machine gets dirtier whenever there is more oil on surface
Other factors that impact the taste of the coffee is the age of the coffee beans, processing method, grind, and the method used for brewing. It is important to clean the coffee machine with special cleaning products or any coffee made through it, will taste better.
And now you are ready to roast your coffee as you like it!