Different Types Of Coffee Roasts – A Complete Guide

If you have ever sniffed the fresh, alluring smell of roasted coffee beans, it’s not that hard for you to agree that there are very few things on earth that are as mesmerizing as this. As you breathe in, the magical aroma of roasted coffee takes your breath away.

But have you ever wondered what type of roasted coffee you have been drinking? Restaurants and coffee brands seem to be quite obsessed with naming different roasted versions as their own, but in reality, there are naturally, you can find only four types of coffee roasts. Today, fellas, we are going to be talking about roasted coffee beans.

Why Do You Need To Roast Coffee Beans?

Yes, that’s the question. Why do you even need to roast the coffee beans in the first place? The answer lies in the cooking method we follow for our regular food. Why do we cook? It’s because we want to make raw food become tastier and more compatible with our digestive system.

The more raw the vegetables are, the ‘close to the origin’ will it taste. Again, the more it is cooked, the less it will retain its original taste and will be influenced by the cooking method to taste a bit different – yet original.

This same method is applicable to coffee beans. The lighter it is roasted, the more raw flavor it will retain. On the other hand, the darker you roast it, it will have a different roasted flavor.

So to be on point, roasting beans is done to control the flavor of the coffee – from lighter to darker, according to the need of the taste of the person who is drinking it.

Types of Roasting

As we said, there are many names for different roasted beans around the world. But in general, there are four types of coffee bean roasting out there.

  • Light Roast Coffee
  • Medium Roast Coffee
  • Dark Roast Coffee
  • Extra Dark Roast coffee

Let’s get to know some details on each type!

Light Roast

Also popularly known as the first crack beans, the light roast beans are the lightest of the roasted coffee beans. Even though these are roasted, they are at the very beginning stage of cracking and exploding.

The look of the beans are quite pale at this stage and also look quite dry. You can tell from the light brown color of the beans and the vibe that these are pretty raw.

Being roasted, the taste of the bean won’t tell much about that it is roasted, and it will deliver some kind of acidic flavor at this point.

But that’s not a trade-off for the flavor in any way. You can still find the magical raw taste of coffee with these beans ground. The best part is, the surface of these beans are not oily.

Medium Roast

Medium roasted beans are much more roasted compared to the first-crack ones. These beans feel drier than the previous, but that doesn’t mean the flavor is lessened. On the contrary, it comes with a bit sweeter taste than the light roasted ones.

The longer you are roasting these beans, the less acidic they become and come with a better maturity in taste and flavor. This type of beans is somewhere in the middle of getting over roasted and under roasted.

In fact, this type of condensed flavor is quite popular among most American consumers.

It comes with a perfect balance of taste, smell, and acidity. As for the look, the beans are medium-brown in color and smells a bit harder than first-crack beans. The notice-worthy part is, the surface of the beans are still oil-free.

To attain a medium-roast flavor, the beans need to be roasted at 428-degree Fahrenheit. In this process, the beans tend to lose about 13% of their body weight. The thermal decomposition that occurs during the roasting session brings about the strong flavor that we enjoy!

Dark Roast

The dark roasted coffee bean is something that has a dark brown shade on it. You can immediately recognize it by the shiny dark look of it. The shiny surface is because of the trapped oil that has been unleashed after the strong roasting session. You can feel the oily surface, as well.

Before the ‘second crack’ takes place at the temperature of 446-degree Fahrenheit, the dark-roasted beans are withheld from roasting further. This gives the beans a dark look and a strong aroma.

In this stage, all the acidity of the beans is destroyed. At the same time, the coffee beans have lost all the original characteristics and turn into something new. The new version is much heavier and comes with a deep flavor and strong aroma.

Not all coffee beans are roasted till this dark. The key reason for roasting like this is that the beans may be of cheap bread. That’s why the roasting enhances the flavor and smell of the beans to a higher level.

Extra Dark Roast

This stage is known as the ‘second crack’. When the beans are roasted beyond 446-degree Fahrenheit, the beans turn quite dark and becomes popularly known as Extra Dark Roast.

These are so dark that you can even recognize these from far away. The shiny and oily surface works pretty well to make it quite noticeable.

Now, at this stage, the beans are completely acid-free. As it is known that the darker and more roasted the beans, the less acidic they are.

But the original flavor is somewhat lost, and the only flavor left is the flavor that the roasting has imparted. This type of roasting should be popularly known as burning as the beans are literally burnt in this case.

This is primarily done to eliminate the awful taste of green coffee beans that result in this poor taste due to poor processing.

At this point, the aroma will be the strongest, and you can smell it from far away. Plus, the beans will taste a bit spicy when your tongue tip touches one. As you sip the coffee to pass through your throat, you can feel the oily flavor, as well.

Some of the most common French and Espresso are found in the market are usually labeled as dark roasted.

Different types of roasts coffee comparison chart

Type of roast Colour        Taste
Light roast Light brown Light body, Toasted, High acidity
Medium roast Brown Sweet flavour, Rounded, Extra body
Dark roaset Dark brown Heavy, Full body, Bittersweet
Extra Dark roaset Black Smokey, Burnt, Intensely bitter


What is Whole Bean and Ground Coffee

As there are different types of roasting, there are also different types of beans in terms of making the coffee, as well. Depending on which type of coffee bean you like, you can select the roasting flavors later. Here are two types of beans we use on a daily basis.

Whole Bean Coffee

Whole beans are actually the coffee beans without being crushed and ground. You can use the beans in an espresso machine to grind and make your own flavor.

Ground Coffee

The ground coffee is actually the crushed and powdered version of the coffee beans. If you purchase the pre-ground coffee from the stores, it will save your time and energy. But you will not feel in control of the grinding size.

Which Roast has the Most Caffeine?

While people believe that more dark roasted coffee has more or stronger caffeine, it is a misconception. It actually reduces the coffee caffeine during the roasting process.

That is why dark roast coffee contains a few amounts of caffeine. Because dark roast coffee gets exposed to higher and longer heat.

In general, caffeine quality depends on the bean type and also the roasting process. Green coffee contains the more moisture and caffeine. while the coffee is more roasted, the less the amount of mosquitoes and caffeine in it.

Overall, there isn’t a big difference in caffeine content between the three individual roasts. A light roast will have high caffeine, and the dark roast has the lowest.

Final Words

So that was all we had to know about the different types of coffee roasts. If you were wondering before how to select the best-roasted bean for you, we hope this article has helped you to find your rudder.

It’s time to enjoy some nice, hot, brewed coffee, isn’t it!

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