The coffee we drink reaches us after a series of careful processing. Once the beans are removed from the fruit of the Coffee plant, either using the dry process or any other technique, the beans are then “Roasted”, to bring out the flavorful coffee that we love so much.
Roasting the Beans
Green beans do not have the characteristics of the coffee that we are used to, it is the art and science of Roasting that is critical to the taste, aroma and texture of coffee. You must have read the “Roast Date” or type of Roast written on your coffee packaging, so here is some info on your roasts:
Types of Roasts
Most Roasters have devised their own names and there is no standardization in the industry when it comes to types of Roasts, however, there are three basic types of Roast.
Light Roast (The First Crack)
When beans are roasted to their first stage of expansion, wherein the bean slightly parts (hence the name First Crack), it is called light roasting. The resultant color is a light brown and there is no oil on the surface.
Light Roasts are generally used for mild coffee types. The beans are highly aromatic, fruity and might have even floral notes, with a light-bodied profile.
Light roasted beans have the highest level of acidity.
Futher roasting of the beans brings out the true flavor potential of the coffee. Being the most preferred type of roast for most people, the Medium Roast is medium brown in color. Almost 13% weight of the bean is lost, but strong aroma and a condensed flavor profile is achieved. The surface of the beans is still non-oily.
Medium Roasts bring out the sweetness and true taste of the beans, nevertheless, they still may satisfy a preference for bitter coffee. It is also called the ‘American Roast’.
Acidity levels are lowered when beans are medium roasted.
Dark Roast (The Second Crack)
Dark roasted beans are oily, dark brown or blackish in color and have a unique flavor profile. They are known for bitterness and for leaving a spicy feeling on the tongue.
The second crack beans with their pronounced bitterness have thick flavor notes and a strong aftertaste.
The darker the roast is, the lower the acidity.
In their raw form the coffee beans retain their flavors and freshness for a longer time, however, once roasted the quality and pleasantness declines with time. The Roast Date gives you an insight into how fresh your beans are and what level of brilliance to expect. Therefore, special care needs to be exercised when storing your coffee.
Beans best kept safe and fresh, when the container is:
Opaque – No light gets in
Airtight – No moisture gets in
Cool – Stored at room temperatures or lower
Clean – No contaminants
The perfect roast is a personal choice but it is established that Coffee roasting is not just a masterful expertise, it can make or break the taste of your favorite brew and is responsible for the aromatic profile of your coffee.
Are caffeine levels dependent on the type of Roast?
There is only a slight difference in caffeine levels, which is due to change in density of the beans.
What is French Roast?
It is a type of dark roast in which the beans are almost charred and thus has a very bitter taste profile.