All about that roast?

Roasting is a heat process that turns coffee into the fragrant, dark brown beans we know and love.

Most roasters have specialized names for their favored roasts and there is very little industry standardization. This can cause some confusion when you’re buying, but in general, roasts fall into one of four color categories — light, medium, medium-dark and dark.  

Many consumers assume that the strong, rich flavor of darker roasts indicates a higher level of caffeine but the truth is there is actually almost no difference in caffeine from light to dark. In fact, it is only a 1% difference and since coffee is sold by weight, darker bags have more total caffeine that lighter as there are more beans in a bag of dark roast.

The perfect roast is a personal choice. Within the four color categories, you are likely to find common roasts as listed below. We at Java Momma try to make the roasts easy to identify in our categories. 

Light roasts

Light brown in color, this roast is generally preferred for milder coffee varieties. There will be no oil on the surface of these beans because they are not roasted long enough for the oils to break through to the surface. You may have heard them referred to as:

  • Light City
  • Half City
  • Cinnamon

Medium roasts

This roast is medium brown in color with a stronger flavor and a non-oily surface. It’s often referred to as the American roast because it is generally preferred in the United States. Java Momma flavored coffees are usually a medium roast. You may have heard them referred to as:

  • City
  • American
  • Breakfast

Medium dark roasts

Rich, dark color, this roast has some oil on the surface and with a slight bittersweet aftertaste. You may have heard them referred to as:

  • Full City

Dark roasts

This roast produces shiny black beans with an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness. The darker the roast, the less acidity will be found in the coffee beverage.  Dark roast coffees run from slightly dark to charred, and the names below are often used interchangeably:

  • High
  • Continental
  • New Orleans
  • European
  • Espresso
  • Viennese
  • Italian
  • French

Source: NCAUSA

Source: I Love Coffee

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