Knowing Your Coffee Roasts
Do you get confused when hearing about different styles of roast coffee? Many people grind their beans themselves, to ensure a fresh and flavourful cup of coffee. But not as many people roast their own. Whether you are a home-
In general, lighter roasts are sharper and more acidic than darker roasts. Darker roasts have a fuller flavour. Beans that have been over-
What exactly does roasting do? The sugars, fats and starches that are within the bean are emulsified, caramelized and released. This creates the delicate coffee oil. This oil is what gives coffee its distinctive aroma and taste.
These are the basic roasting classifications used by professionals to designate the darkness of roasts. Many are used interchangeably, so be careful.
|Light Cinnamon, New England, Light, Breakfast
|Cinnamon: The bean is light brown, and dry (no oil visible). The flavour is baked or "bready", like toasted grain. There will likely be definite sour tones. There is not much body in cinnamon roasted coffee.
|New England: A term not as frequently used as the others, though this roast is apparently common in the eastern United States. It's a little darker than the cinnamon roast, but without the grainy flavour. New England roast will still have some sour tones to it.
American, Medium Brown, City, Brown
|American, Light: Medium light brown beans. This roast is the norm for eastern USA. This roast (and sometimes cinnamon as well) is the most often used for cupping or professional tasting.
|City, Medium: The colour is darker still, more of a medium brown (think chocolate). This roast is common in the western parts of the USA. This roast is a good choice to taste the differences between varietals.
Full City, Vienna, Velvet
|Full City: Medium dark brown beans. The beans will start to show some oily drops on the surface with this roast. Full City will have caramel or chocolate undertones.
Italian, Espresso, European
|Italian, French, Espresso: Beans are starting to get dark brown, and French roasted beans are shiny with oil. There is less acidity, but with burned undertones. This roast is often used when making Espresso. Many people think this is the darkest roast available, but that's not true.
Espresso, Italian, Continental
|French, Italian, Dark French: Similar to regular French, but more darker and oilier looking, and with a stronger flavour.
French, Dark French, Spanish
|Spanish: Darkest roast of all. Colour is nearly black, beans are extremely oily.