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Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

Understanding the Different Types of Coffee Roasts That Exist Today

Are you attempting to become a coffee aficionado and want to learn more about roasts? Here are the different types of coffee roasts that exist today.

Are you wanting to learn all that you can about coffee? Wanting to impress someone with your knowledge of the caffeinated elixir? If so, then you’ll want to first learn about the different types of coffee roasts.

Many people have heard the term “coffee roast” but are unsure of what it means. It refers to the color of the beans. The lighter or darker the shade, the different flavors that you can expect.

See below for an in-depth guide on the different types of coffee roasts, how they’re prepared, and what the differences are. Be sure to use this as you try many different types and blends of coffee.

Light Brown Roast

First off, you have a light brown roast or “light roast”. This type of coffee roast is known for those that prefer a sweeter, and lighter (hence the name) taste to their cup of joe.

Among the most popular blends of light roast are the Starbucks Veranda light blond roast, Real Good Coffee’s breakfast blend, and Peet’s Coffee Colombia Luminosa light roast. 

The beans in a light roast coffee are dryer, thus having less of a bitter taste than their darker counterparts. That said, it still has a bevy of different flavors, often mixed with cinnamon.

It has less acidity with each sip, making it the perfect coffee roast for beginners. The more that you drink coffee, the more you can get into the darker stuff.

Be sure to invest in a coffee roaster machine that you can use for your light roast, as well as any other roast listed below that you’d like to try.

Medium Roasts

If a light roast is the coffee equivalent to a lager beer, then you can consider a medium coffee roast the “pale ale” of coffee roasts. In that, it has a bit more body, acidity, and flavor than the light brown roast is known for.

The one problem that you’ll find with medium roasts is that its definition is relative. For example, some people consider Real Good Coffee Co’s breakfast blend a light roast, others consider it a medium roast.

Among the most popular medium roasts for name brands would be Caribou’s coffee caribou blend and Kicking Horse Coffee’s smart ass medium roast. People often prefer them for their balance between acidity and toasty flavor.

At the roasting’s peak, the internal temperature of a medium roast’s beans will be around 420-degrees Fahrenheit. Like the light roast, a medium roast doesn’t have oil on the exterior of the coffee bean.

As far as caffeine amounts are concerned, medium roasts have the next highest amount to the light roast. It’s great for a mid-day pick-up where you need just enough of an energy boost to get you through the rest of the day.

Dark Roasts

When many people think of the taste of coffee, it’s usually a dark roast that they are envisioning. Dark roasts are among the most popular of all coffee roasts.

These roasts include types such as Italian espresso, french roast, continental, and Viennese roasts. 

Dark roasts beans are brown and have an oily exterior. Their internal temperature reaches somewhere around 445-degrees Fahrenheit at its peak of roasting. This is the main reason that dark roasts tend to have a roasted taste.

Some people that don’t prefer dark roasts will refer to the “burnt” taste of the bean, which is a mixture of the roast’s acidity and roasty flavor.

Some of the more popular dark roast coffee blends are Kicking Horse Coffee’s Kick-Ass blend, Raven’s Brew’s deadman’s reach, and Caribou Coffee’s mahogany dark roast. Each of these has a high acidity that dark roast lovers go crazy for.

Black Roast

As the name would imply, black roast coffee beans are almost completely black.

Just like the dark brown roast, black roast beans have oil on their surface and give off a bitter taste with the highest level of acidity.

It has an extremely low amount of caffeine, which is perfect for those who enjoy sipping on a cup of coffee throughout the entire day. That way, you won’t experience a midday caffeine crash.

At its peak, coffee makers will burn the black roast beans until it has reached 475-degrees Fahrenheit in order to achieve the burnt flavor of the coffee. The beans will actually begin to smoke at the tail end of the roasting process.

Much like grlling meat in a smoke grill, allowing the black roast coffee bean to sit in the smoke will give your cup of coffee a smoky taste.

Espresso

While people wouldn’t typically pair espresso with other coffee roasts, the espresso bean (which gives it the name) is, first and foremost, a coffee bean. 

Many times, espresso is more often associated with dark roast and black roast coffee. This is for two reasons: 1) it provides more caffeine into the low-caffeinated darker roasts and 2) it has a caramelized taste that goes perfect with the roasty taste of darker blends.

To prepare it, espresso beans are roasted at a higher temperature, ground as fine as possible, and used in an espresso machine that’s specifically suited for it.

Start Tasting the Different Types of Coffee Roasts Today

Now that you’ve learned more about the different types of coffee roasts that are out there in the world, it is time for you to start trying them.

As previously noted, you might want to start with the light roast and work your way down to the darker ones. The acidity of a dark roast might deter beginners from developing a palate for the different blends.

Be sure to browse our website for more articles on coffee roasts, as well as many other topics that you might find helpful.

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