Coffee roasting is the process of heating green coffee beans to a certain temperature to develop the flavor and aroma of the coffee. The length of time and temperature at which the beans are roasted can greatly affect the final taste of the coffee.
There are three main levels of coffee roasts: light, medium, and dark. The roast level is determined by the amount of time the beans are roasted and how dark the beans become. Each level of roast brings out different characteristics in the coffee beans and results in a distinct flavor profile. Light roasts are typically milder and have a brighter acidity, while dark roasts are bolder and have a more pronounced bitterness.
Light roasts are characterized by a light brown color and a dry surface. The beans have a light body and a bright acidity, with a subtle sweetness and a smooth finish. They retain more of the original flavor characteristics of the beans, including any fruity or floral notes.
Flavor profile of light roast is lighter, less bitter and more acidic than the darker roast. Flavor notes such as citrus, berries, and caramelized sugar are common. They are commonly originating from countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and Colombia, where the beans are known for their bright and complex flavors. These regions are known for the unique variety of beans grown and the different ways the beans are processed, so each country will have a unique flavor and aroma profile.
Medium roasts have a medium brown color and a slightly oily surface. The beans have a medium body and a well-balanced acidity, with a subtle sweetness and a smooth finish. The flavor characteristics of the beans are more developed than in light roasts, but not as intense as in dark roasts.
The flavor profile of medium roast is balanced, less acidic than the light roast and less bitter than the dark roast. Flavor notes such as chocolate, nuts, and caramel are common. These roasts are good for showcasing the natural sweetness and fruitiness of a coffee bean. These are commonly from countries like Central and South America, such as Brazil, Costa Rica, and Honduras, known for their balanced and well-rounded flavor profiles.
Dark roasts have a dark brown or black color, and an oily surface. The beans have a full body and a low acidity, with a strong and bold flavor. The roasting process has essentially “roasted away” many of the origin flavors, with the roast and smoky/charred notes are dominating the flavor profile.
The flavor profile of dark roast is intense, more bitter and less acidic than the medium roast and lighter roast. Flavor notes such as dark chocolate, smoky, and burnt toast are common. Dark roast coffee beans are more common among coffee roasters and are often used in espresso blends. The countries of origin are less important, because the roasting process has heavily modified the characteristic of the beans. The beans are mostly from Central and South America, Africa and Asia, depending on the blend and the roaster’s preference.
There are three main types of coffee roasts: light, medium, and dark. Each roast level is determined by the amount of time the beans are roasted and how dark the beans become. Light roasts have a light brown color and a dry surface, are characterized by a bright acidity, subtle sweetness and a smooth finish. Medium roasts have a medium brown color, are well-balanced, with a subtle sweetness, smooth finish and a bit of chocolate and nuts notes. Finally, Dark Roasts have a dark brown or black color, an oily surface and are characterized by a full body, low acidity, strong and bold flavor with smoky and charred notes.
Personally, I suggest trying different types of roasts to discover which one you prefer. Some people like the bright acidity and subtle sweetness of light roasts, while others prefer the full body and bold flavor of dark roasts. Be adventurous and try different blends and origin beans to find the flavors that you enjoy the most.