Light Roast or Dark Roast?

When deciding on the type of “Roasted Coffee” you are in the mood for you have a few different choices.

Lets take a minute to get a little more education on the flavors of each Roasts on the market today. As a coffee bean roasts the flavor becomes distinct and unique. The hotter roasting temperature the darker the roast will become.

Roast are categorized from lightest to darkest here are a few to look over:

“Light Roast” also known as Cinnamon or New England Roast

A very light roast level, immediately before first crack. Light brown, toasted grain flavors with sharp acidic tones, almost tea-like in character.

“City Roast” also known as Semi-Light

Medium brown, the norm for most of the U.S., good for tasting the varietal character of a bean.

“Full city Roast”

Medium dark brown with occasional oil sheen, good for varietal character and bittersweet flavors. At the beginning of second crack.

“Full Roasts” also known as Vienna, or High Roast

Moderate dark brown with light surface oil, more bittersweet, caramel-y flavor, acidity muted. In the middle of second crack. Occasionally used for espresso blends.

“Dark Roast” also known as Double, French, Italian, Heavy, or Espresso Roast

Dark brown, shiny with oil, burnt undertones, acidity diminished. At the end of second crack. A popular roast for espresso blends.

As the bean is roasted “Darker” the flavor of acidity is reduced, as is the body of the coffee itself. The most common espresso brands are the darker roast such as the French Roast and Italian Roasts.

Roast level Notes Surface Flavor
Light Cinnamon roast, half city, New England After several minutes the beans “pop” or “crack” and visibly expand in size. This stage is called first crack. American mass-market roasters typically stop here. Dry Lighter-bodied, higher acidity, no obvious roast flavor
Medium Full city, American, regular, breakfast, brown After a few short minutes the beans reach this roast, which U.S. specialty sellers tend to prefer. Dry Sweeter than light roast; more body exhibiting more balance in acid, aroma, and complexity. Smoother than the traditional American “medium” roast, but may display fewer of the distinctive taste characteristics of the original coffee.[11]
Full Roast High, Viennese, Continental After a few more minutes the beans begin popping again, and oils rise to the surface. This is called second crack. Slightly shiny Somewhat spicy; complexity is traded for heavier body/mouth-feel. Aromas and flavors of roast become clearly evident.
Double Roast French After a few more minutes or so the beans begin to smoke. The bean sugars begin to carbonize. Very oily Smokey-sweet; light bodied, but quite intense. None of the inherent flavors of the bean are recognizable.

So the next time you are reaching for that Oh so delicious bag of espresso beans take a look at the different Roasts, the oil on the bean and specific flavor you are craving.

Coffee is the sweetest nectar! Enjoy every cup!


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