Coffee Basics – What is the difference in coffee roasting?

Coffee Roast Type – one of the most important factors that determine the taste. Before roasting coffee beans are soft, with fresh grassy smell and almost tasteless. AT the roasting process, the raw grains turn into fragrant, flavored, crunchy grains that and called “coffee”.

The most common way to determine the degree of roasting – by grain color. The longer the roast takes, the darker the grains become. At high temperatures on surface grains appear oil. Due to the fact that coffee beans differ from each other friend in depending on varieties and growing countries, color – not the most accurate measure of the degree of roasting, but at combinations with typical temperatures for the roasting process, which give the desired chocolate hue, the color becomes a convenient way to determine the level of roasting.

Often, preferences in roasting depend on living place. For example, on The west coast of the United States is popular with darker roasting than on East. Europeans also love strong coffee, so there are French, Italian and spanish dark roasts.

There are three most common types of roasting: light, medium and dark.

Light coffee roasting

Light Coffee Roasting
Light Coffee Roasting

Appearance: light brown color, no oil on grain surfaces

Taste: pronounced sourness

Smell: saturated coffee

Temperature: 180-205 ° C

When the internal temperature of the grain reaches 205 ° C, the grain cracks and increase in size. This process is known as the “first crack” (from English – “First crack”). Light roast involves the processing of grains to first crack.

Contrary to popular belief, with light roasting, more caffeine is stored than with medium and dark. Caffeine concentration is related to coffee to water in grain: the more water, the stronger the coffee, the more it caffeine. At light roasting evaporates the least amount of water. Besides, in the grains remain the original taste and fragrance characteristic of the climate and soil in which cultivated coffee.

Some of the most popular varieties of light roasted coffee are:

  • Cinnamon (Cinnamon roast) – the lightest. It turns out at slow roasting on low temperatures.
  • Light (Light city) – higher temperature, roasting a little longer than cinnamon.

Medium coffee roasting

Medium Coffee Roasting
Medium Coffee Roasting

Appearance: chocolate color, no oil on grain surfaces

Taste: sour balance and bitterness

Smell: coffee with smoke

Temperature: 210-230 ° C

This degree of roasting is achieved in the gap between the first crack and the second. Medium roast coffee is distinguished by a perceptible toasted flavor balanced with noticeable sourness.

Most common:

  • American (American roast) – traditional degree of roasting. Grain processing lasts up to the end of the first crack.
  • City (city roast) – the most popular roast. Underlines sourness, not overlapping it fried flavor.

Dark coffee roasting

Dark Roasted Coffee
Dark Coffee Roasting

Appearance: dark chocolate, almost black, oil on grain surfaces

Taste: bitterness

Smell: coffee-toasted

Temperature: 240-250 ° C

Dark roast is obtained after the second crack. At the same time, the original aroma, characteristic of grains, is blocked by the smell of the roasting process. Grains are rarely processed at temperatures above 250 ° C, because the taste is almost coal.

Dark roast is most easily tolerated by the stomach due to the lack of a shell, which causes an increased release of acid in the body. The casing covering the grain is burned during long-term processing with high temperatures.

This type of roast is usually added to espresso mixes.


  • French (roast) – sweet-bitter tastes dominate. On Western United States leads among dark roasts.
  • Viennese (Viennese) – obtained by processing to second crack. On surface places oil.
  • Spanish – Also called dark French roast. Duration of heat treatment – before the end of the second crack. Almost coal taste, lack of original taste of coffee.

So in than same differences between the three degrees of roasting, except for different colors?

Coffee Roastings Comparison

The darker the roast, the less original taste and the aroma of the grains is felt in drink. On the foreground are roasting shades.

  • Light roasting is peculiar to sourness, dark same – more tart taste.
  • With light and medium-roasted grains remain dry, in that time as with dark roasting on their surface oil is released.
  • The darker the roast, the lower the caffeine level.

Ultimately, the difference between coffee roasting is taste and the aroma. Many prefer light roasts at in the mornings (from high content of caffeine), and dark roast later in throughout the day. The optimum degree of treatment depends on preferences.

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