Common Differences Between Coffee Roasts

With over 800 potential flavours and scents, it pays to do a bit of research. While the caffeine content reduces the longer the beans are roasted the overall strength increases. The longer the coffee beans are roasted the darker they become, light roast coffee being a light brown colouring, to dark roast coffee that is dark brown and very oily.  But the biggest difference is likely to come in the actual taste of the coffee itself. So, let’s take a look at the four major roasts that might come into account.

Light Roast Coffee

Light roast coffee is among the most popular choices for those who like their coffee to be nice and basic. They are usually enjoyed by being heated up for the least time possible and this can give you that light brown colouring to the coffee bean in general.

However, they tend to be the coffee beans that crack at around 350-400F, and this can give you a very nice taste in general. They are usually not roasted beyond the first crack, and this means that they tend to be quite free from the oils that you might find with other coffee blends in general.

Light roast coffee is very popular for having quite earthy and acidic tastes, too. If you like your coffee to be quite natural in taste without being too harsh, then this is going to be the level of blend that you should try.

Medium Roast Coffee

Next on the list is medium roast coffee, which usually peaks at around 410-430F in terms of roasting heat. They tend to be taken off the crack just before the second crack from the heat, and this allows for the roast to be a touch more balanced than some of the blends you will likely try out there.

They are usually in a standard, medium brown colouring and usually have a large body than the light roast mentioned above. Unlike darker blends and roasts, you will find that medium roast coffee is entirely free of the oily surface, as well. Also, they tend to come with a less acidic taste and is therefore probably the most balanced or natural tasting roast of coffee.

Medium roast is often the most common kind of coffee roast used in the morning. They make up lots of coffee brands, and tends to be a good balance in taste, caffeine content and scent.

Medium-Dark Roast Coffee

This is the second strongest and darkest profile of roast, and is usually made from a very rich and dark colour. Not only does this make it very easy for you to know if they are well-roasted, but it will help you to get more from the roast as the oils being to become apparent. While not as oily as a standard dark roast bean, this will still have some of the oil covering and coating the surface of each bean.

These beans are often heated from around 435-445F, and this produces a very rich and satisfying taste texture. Usually heated to the middle of the second crack, this allows for a spicy element to come through from the rich flavours that come out from the roasting process. A common choice for those who like hotter, spicier coffee.

Dark Roast Coffee

The most common choice of ‘dark’ coffee for most people is to go for the full-on dark roast coffee solution. These are often the most popular kinds of coffee for a lot of users, and tend to give you that rich, shiny and almost oily surface as you go. Not only is this very rich and dark brown in shade, but it’s sometimes even black in terms of the tone.

The beans are heated to around 465-485F, and it gives you a very deep and rich kind of taste. The second crack is usually enough, but a lot of dark roasts go beyond the standard second crack. The roasting process reduces the richness of the caffeine, but leaves you with an almost charcoal-like taste.

Whatever kind of coffee blend you want to try out, just remember that the difference from light blends to dark blends is a lot more than just the tone and the shade!

Paul Mason

coffee blogger

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