Coffee Roasting 101: Roast Levels

Coffee Roasting 101: Roast Levels

Welcome to our Coffee Roasting 101 guide, where we delve into the fascinating world of roast levels and their profound impact on the flavour and aroma of your coffee beans. As passionate coffee roasters, we believe that understanding roast levels is essential for every coffee enthusiast. In this blog, we'll walk you through the different roast levels, from light to dark, and explore their unique characteristics. By the end, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to choose the perfect roast level that suits your taste preferences. So, grab a fresh cup of coffee and let's embark on this flavour-filled journey!

  1. Light Roast: Embracing the Subtle Nuances

We begin our exploration with the light roast, also known as a "city roast" or "light city roast." This roast level is characterised by its light brown colour and delicate body. During the light roast, the beans retain most of their original flavors and showcase bright acidity and complex floral and fruity notes. The inherent flavours of the coffee origin, such as citrus, berries, or floral undertones, shine through in a light roast. This roast level is ideal for those who appreciate the nuanced flavours of specialty coffee and prefer a lighter-bodied, crisp cup.

  1. Medium Roast: Striking the Perfect Balance

Moving on to the medium roast, often referred to as a "city+ roast" or "medium city roast." At this stage, the beans undergo a slightly longer roasting process, resulting in a medium brown colour and a fuller body. Medium-roasted coffees strike a harmonious balance between the bright acidity of light roasts and the caramelised sweetness of darker roasts. The flavours become more pronounced, offering a delightful combination of fruitiness, sweetness, and a hint of chocolate. This roast level appeals to a wide range of palates, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts.

  1. Medium-Dark Roast: Richness with a Subtle Edge

Stepping into the medium-dark roast territory, also known as a "full city roast" or "Vienna roast," we encounter deeper, richer flavours. The beans undergo a more prolonged roasting process, resulting in a dark brown colour and a slightly oilier surface. In a medium-dark roast, the acidity mellows, and the flavours intensify, revealing notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and toasted nuts. While the origin's inherent characteristics are still discernible, the roast flavours contribute an extra layer of complexity. Medium-dark roasts strike a balance between boldness and smoothness, appealing to those who enjoy a robust yet nuanced cup of coffee.

  1. Dark Roast: Bold and Full-Bodied

Now, we arrive at the dark roast, also referred to as a "French roast" or "Italian roast." Dark-roasted beans display a deep, rich brown to almost black colour and an oily surface. This roast level is characterised by a pronounced smoky flavour, a significantly reduced acidity, and a fuller body. Dark roasts often exhibit bold flavours of dark chocolate, toasted malt, and even a hint of charred undertones. The original flavour nuances of the coffee beans give way to the roast flavours, resulting in a bittersweet, intense cup. Dark roasts are favoured by those who enjoy a strong, robust coffee experience with a velvety mouthfeel.

  1. Decoding the Impact of Roast Levels on Flavour

Understanding the impact of roast levels on flavour is crucial when selecting your coffee beans. Light roasts preserve the origin's intrinsic flavours, providing a vibrant and nuanced taste experience. Medium roasts strike a balance, enhancing the natural flavours while adding depth and sweetness. Medium-dark and dark roasts develop bolder, roast-driven flavours while maintaining a full-bodied profile.

Congratulations! You've embarked on a flavourful journey through the world of coffee roast levels. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently choose the roast level that aligns with your taste preferences and brings out the best in each coffee origin. At King Carlos Coffee Roasters, we offer a wide selection of premium specialty coffee beans, carefully roasted to perfection. Explore our range and discover the diverse flavours that await you. Elevate your coffee experience with the perfect roast level, and savour each sip as it takes you on a delightful sensory adventure.


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