Coffee roasting will affect its taste and smell. However, there are dozens of names used to describe different types of coffee. It is easy to confuse the meaning of each.
Understanding these names you will know the points about that type of coffee. It will also help you better understand the type of coffee you are drinking and learn new types of coffee. Join Helena to learn the roasting terms in the specialty coffee industry.
Standardization of calling name
If you are a coffee enthusiast, you must have heard many terms about coffee roasting. Here are some terms about the form of coffee beans (Cinnamon), the region it’s from (Viennese), or when it’s appropriate to drink (After Dinner).
Some terms are used interchangeably, others can describe a wide range of roast levels. And the name doesn’t always have to do with the taste or aroma of the coffee.
In the coffee industry, it is often regulated that dark roasted coffee usually has a higher percentage of caffeine. However, in fact, light roasts make the concentration of caffeine per bean higher. But those beans are also heavier, so there shouldn’t be much difference in the amount of caffeine in the brewing process.
Coffee roasting levels are generally divided into three main categories: light, medium, and dark. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences of each.
Light roasts are light brown in color with translucent skin. They also have no surface oil, because the beans haven’t been roasted long enough for the oil to appear.
The first crack occurs at about 205°C / 401°F. When the heat is increased, the coffee beans expand. The increased temperature causes the moisture in the coffee beans to evaporate into steam. This creates pressure, forcing the beans to expand.
Light roasts typically have a delicate, acidic flavor that retains more of the original flavor of the coffee. Lightly roasted coffee has a clean, bright flavor and subtle fruit flavors with great acidity. At this level of roasting, the coffee will have a lighter “body”.
However, light roasting can preserve much of the natural flavor of the coffee. The downside at this level of roasting is that if the coffee isn’t roasted to the right temperature it can lead to flavors not being fully developed.
Light roasts go by dozens of different names. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Light City / Half City: This roast is lighter than the Medium City roasts.
Cinnamon: to describe the color of the coffee beans, not the taste.
Blond: because the word Cinnamon creates confusion among customers, the term was popularized by Starbucks to refer to the color of coffee.
New England: This coffee is named after the region in the Northeastern United States.
After being roasted at a higher temperature for a longer time, a medium roast is darker in color than a light roast but still has no oil. The appearance and surface of coffee beans look smoother, more beautiful than those of lightly roasted coffee. At this level of roasting, the beans have passed the first crack stage and have had time to develop further.
At this stage, coffee beans will only show signs of approaching the second crack stage. Here, the coffee’s natural quality and luminosity are complemented by a fuller “body”, creating a balance between acidity and “body”.
This level of roasting provides a balance between acidity, sweetness, and “body”. The increase in sugar caramel leads to deeper fruit flavors and sometimes chocolate notes.
Light roast coffee expresses the natural flavor and sweetness of the coffee while avoiding the underdeveloped flavors that can sometimes be found on lighter roasts.
Each different coffee roasting profile makes the coffee have its own distinct flavor. You can also combine many different profiles to make that coffee full of flavor.
Common names for medium roasts may include:
American: This roast is traditionally associated with the United States.
Breakfast / Afterdinner: while both are medium roasts, After Dinner is the darker of the two
City +: this type is a bit more developed than City roast.
Full City: this is a medium-dark roast, almost reaching the second crack stage.
Dark roasted coffee has a medium brown to glossy black charcoal color. The darker the roast, the more color on the surface. These coffees have been roasted to the second crack stage, which occurs at about 230°C / 446°F.
These roasts cause the beans to lose a lot of moisture. As a result, it is less dense (the density of the grain is lighter). Most of the time, the flavor is not retained as much as light roasts. This means less refined coffee, with a bolder flavor, low acidity, high body.
It will be mildly sour or sweet and have a dark chocolate flavor. These coffees have a smoky smell and a bitter taste.
Here are a few terms for dark roasts:
Viennese: this is medium-dark roasted coffee and in the middle of a second crack. Widely used in the capital of Austria.
New Orleans: This is a city in the United States, where coffee is mainly roasted.
French: This is the type of coffee after the second crack stage.
Italian: This roast is darker than French.
Neapolitan/Spanish: these are considered the darkest roasts.
No best coffee, only the best coffee
Choosing the degree of roasting depends on personal preference, but with personal preferences, each person is different. For this reason, there is no right or wrong way to roast, only likes and dislikes, and there must be a variety of roasts to choose from.
Lightly roasted coffees are often chosen by coffee roasters. While her customers prefer slightly darker roasted coffees.
While there’s no such thing as the best roast, very dark roasts are also picky. These types of coffee are not liked by many people. The problem is that their taste is too bitter, which obscures the basic flavor of the coffee. However, this can often be affected by the control of the extraction process, the size of the coffee powder, and the water temperature.
Why different types of rice roved coffee
Most coffees have distinct flavors. However, this does not mean that you can enjoy the same flavors from coffees with the same roast level.
When creating a roast profile, coffee roasters must take into account origin, region, altitude, cultivar, density, moisture content, and processing method. As well as environmental factors such as ambient temperature and humidity.
There is a close relationship between the variety of processing methods and the roast profile. Different processing methods directly affect the chemical changes in coffee beans. Due to fermentation, the final quality of the coffee is affected.
There are many ways to adjust these steps. Some coffees need to be roasted more slowly and gently to retain their sweetness. While others must be roasted faster to retain the acidity.
Obviously, the name roast doesn’t tell the whole story. There is a lot of variation between coffees with the same roast name (or degree of roast).
Adjusting the coffee-based based rate
In addition to changing the degree of roasting affects the final taste of the coffee. The brewing and incubation methods also have a significant influence.
Since dark roasts take longer to roast at high temperatures, they are more soluble, more porous, and less dense (light density). This affects the extraction process, as different compounds are extracted at different rates. The first compounds to be extracted are those that produce fruit acids, then sweetness, and finally bitterness and astringency.
Regardless of the roast level, insufficient extraction will result in a sour coffee without the sweetness and mild bitterness needed to balance it out. While over-extracting will create a bitter taste, overpowering the compounds that produce sweetness and acidity. Good brewing is a matter of baristas having to know when to stop extraction to create a well-balanced coffee.
This means that deep-roasted coffees, which are inherently bitter, must be brewed with care. Coarser grind size and slightly lower water temperature will help slow down the extraction process, and of course, incubation time is also a factor.
For this reason, light roasting is best with slower extraction methods, such as filter coffee, and dark roasting is better suited for faster methods like espresso.
Knowing the difference between different roast names is the first step to a better understanding of coffee. And know what kind of coffee suits your coffee taste. Next time you buy coffee, look up the roast level and think about what flavor you want to enjoy.
If you are looking for something fruity or acidic, you can choose cinnamon. If you want an espresso, you can choose the Full City roast.