What Do Different Levels of Roast Mean and How Do They Influence Your Coffee?
So let’s talk about roast levels, to do this we need to first establish what roasting does to the coffee beans. Before the beans go through the roasting process they are stored green, this is the optimal way to store them as their quality will not diminish over time as quickly.
The aim of roasting is to bring out the flavours and aroma locked inside of the beans by rapidly applying high temperatures and then immediately cooling them down once the desired level of roasting has been achieved.
Many people assume that the stronger or darker the roast the more caffeine the coffee beans have, however, this is an erroneous statement as actually lighter roasts are the true winners when it comes to caffeine concentration.
Now let’s dig in and learn more about all the wonderful things roasters can achieve with our favourite type of green bean.
Light & Light Medium Roast
This type of roast is beige in colour and it is often not oily on the surface as the beans have not been under high temperatures for enough time for those oils to be released. Additionally, this roast is achieved right after the first crack when roasting.
Light roasts tend to be floral or fruity with higher acidity, however, the caffeine level, as mentioned would be as it's highest with this level of roast.
This roast has a deeper brown/beige colour in appearance, the surface will not be oily, however stronger flavours can be unlocked with this level of roast compared to a lighter roast.
Specialty coffee roasters normally prefer medium roasts as they are more approachable than light roasts, therefore, less acidic and intense, while showcasing the bean's natural flavour profile.
Medium Dark Roasts
This level of roast presents an even darker and richer brown with more oil present on the surface of the bean. Additionally, this roast is achieved during the midway point of the second crack.
Medium dark roasts bring out deeper flavours out of the coffee bean while having slightly more bittersweet flavour coming through during the aftertaste.
This level of roast is almost black in colour and the bean’s surface is shiny due to oil brought out of the bean during the roasting process.
Dark roasts tend to highlight more bitter flavours and less acidity with a stronger mouthfeel, as mentioned this roast will actually have the least caffeine level out of all the other roasts.
This type of roast has been developed in order to cater for both espresso and filter brewing methods. Roasters can achieve this type of roast by using different methods during the roasting process, such as slowing down the roast to decrease acidity and highlight body and smoothness.
The optimum extraction process for this type of coffee roast relies heavily on how the coffee is grinded before it’s brewed, how fine or coarse it is.
Let us know in the comments which one is your favourite roast! And if you are still unsure about which roast might be the best for you feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our coffee experts will get in contact with you.