When it comes to coffee roasts, roastmasters usually give specialized names to their custom roasts. This results in a lack of industry standardization when it comes the naming, and can lead to a little confusion when you’re standing in the coffee aisle.
There are even some misconceptions regarding caffeine levels in darker roasts being higher, when in fact, the caffeine concentration in lighter roasts is actually higher!
We’re here to help clear up some of that confusion by laying out the differences between each type of roast.
Light Roasts are light brown in color, and offer milder coffee varieties. The beans have no oil on the surface.
These roasts are commonly referred to as a Light City, Half City, and Cinnamon Roast. They have a light, fruity smell, which is perfect for drinking black.
Medium Roasts are typically medium brown in color, with a stronger flavor, and the beans have a non-oily surface. They’re often referred to as American Roast because it’s generally preferred in the United States.
Medium Roasts are also commonly referred to as a City Roast and Breakfast Blend. They generally have a good balance of bitterness and acidity.
Medium Dark Roasts
Medium Dark Roasts possess a rich, dark color, slight bittersweet aftertaste, some oil on the surface.
They are commonly referred to as a Full City Roast and have a heavy body and bitterness.
Dark Roasts range from slightly dark to charred in color, shiny black beans, pronounced bitterness, oily surface. The darker the roast the less acidic the coffee.
They are commonly referred to as a High Roast, Continental Roast, New Orleans Roast, European Roast, Espresso, Viennese Roast, Italian Roast, and French Roast. They’re great for drinking with some milk.
A good cup of coffee is more than just picking the right roast, though. How it’s brewed and the quality of water used to brew it both effect how your coffee tastes.
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