Roasts of coffee are generally identified by the colour they exhibit, that is, dark, medium and light. Although these terms are not quite accurate to describe the different roasts, they are convenient enough for consumers to understand easily what they are buying. One can expect to come across one or more of these options while purchasing coffee beans online. Let’s have a look at the different coffee bean roasts in detail:
Light – Retain The Original Characteristics
Light roasts typically have light brown tanned colour and lack oil. But they possess the highest acidity among the three types. Besides that, they feature the indigenous characteristics of coffee prominently and are therefore used more often for cuppings. In some places, they are also known by other interesting names including Cinnamon, New England, Light City and Half City.
Medium – Feature Body & Acidity In A Balanced Way
Medium roasts feature a dark brownish colour and look richer than their ‘light’ cousins. The beans may have coffee oils visible on them as well. They are quite famous for their ability to give out aromas and flavours evidently at the time of brewing. By doing so, they maintain a favourable balance between body and acidity. While tasting the brew, one would be able to detect the original characteristics apparently. But the flavour will also feature a fuller body complemented with brightness. Medium roasts also go by several other names like City, Regular, American and Breakfast.
Dark – Have A Rich Taste & Showcase Bolder Bodies
Dark roasts have a rich dark brown shade that almost resembles the black-brownish colour of dark chocolate. They have the coffee oils clearly visible on them. Historically, they were very popular in several regions of Europe and gave rise to such terms as Spanish, Italian, French, Continental and Espresso roasts. This explains the reason why espresso is capable of standing up to plenty of sugar and milk. While drinking a brew prepared from dark roasts, it would be hard to miss bold bodies and an absolute loss of original coffee characteristics. However, the bold flavours should not be mistaken to be indicators of caffeine content. Caffeine is not the chemical which produces bolder flavours in coffee beans.
Level of roast is primarily a personal preference, because every level produces distinct qualities in beans. However, knowing whether one prefers dark, medium or light level can help in identifying new coffees.