The Final Step

The art of coffee roasting and the impact of roast level on flavor

Coffee roasting is the process of taking raw, green coffee beans and transforming them into the fragrant, flavorful beans that we use to brew our beloved cups of coffee. The roast level, or the degree to which the beans are roasted, can significantly impact the flavor of the coffee, and skilled coffee roasters carefully consider the roast level when creating their blends and single-origin coffees.

Table of Contents

There are three primary roast extents: lighter roasts, medium roasts, and darker roasts. Each roast level brings out different flavors and aromas in the coffee beans, and the desired roast level is often a matter of personal preference. Thus, coffee roasting is flexible to adjust to fit any type of taste buds.

Light Roast:


Less time is spent roasting lighter roast coffee, usually between 10 and 15 minutes. Coffee made from light-roasted beans has a tendency to have a lighter body and a brighter flavor. The beans are a light brown hue. The beans have a more nuanced flavor profile and stronger acidity, with flavors of fruit and berries frequently present. Shorter roasting time preserves more of the beans’ natural flavors, which are frequently impacted by the region and altitude of the bean’s cultivation.

Coffee connoisseurs who value the vibrant, complex aromas of the beans and the often-present, subtle overtones of fruit and berries frequently favor light roast coffee. As the shorter roasting time maintains more of the beans’ natural acidity, it is also a suitable option for people who want a coffee with a lighter body and a stronger acidity.

The ability to taste the distinctive flavors of many areas and single-origin coffees is one of the main advantages of light roast coffee. Shorter roasting time preserves more of the beans’ natural flavors, which can vary depending on the region and altitude of the bean’s cultivation. Coffee enthusiasts are able to sample the distinctive flavors of several areas and single-origin coffees as a result.

Medium Roasts:


The roasting process for medium roast coffee takes an extra few minutes, usually between 15 and 20. The beans have a robust body, mild acidity, and a medium-brown hue. They also have a balanced flavor profile. Medium-roasted coffee is frequently described as having a rich, smooth flavor with hints of chocolate and almonds. The sweetness that naturally exists in the beans is enhanced and rounded out by roasting.

The flavor of medium roast coffee is frequently characterized as “toasty,” with hints of caramel and chocolate. It is frequently used as the foundation for flavored coffees and espresso drinks and is a well-liked option for individuals who appreciate a well-rounded, smooth flavor profile. It is also a fantastic option for individuals who prefer their coffee robust yet are sensitive to the acidity of lighter roasts.

Generally speaking, medium roast coffee is a flexible option that can be enjoyed both on its own and in a blend. It is frequently employed in a number of coffee brewing techniques, such as drip, pour-over, and French press.

Dark Roast:


The longest roasting time for coffee is between 20 and 30 minutes for a dark roast. The beans have a robust, rich flavor and a deep, dark brown appearance. The sugars in the beans are caramelized during roasting, giving the final coffee a smokey, somewhat sweet flavor and a substantial body. Dark roast coffee has a lower acidity than light or medium roast coffee, and the flavors added during the roasting process frequently overpower the flavor of the beans.

Since its robust flavor can stand up well to the addition of milk and other components, dark roast coffee is frequently utilized as the foundation for espresso beverages. It’s also a popular option for individuals who want their coffee strong, full-bodied, and flavorful. Dark roast coffee’s rich taste and low acidity, however, may be too overpowering or unpleasant for certain people.

Dark roast coffee is often a suitable option for folks who like a strong, powerful flavor profile and are not acidity sensitive. It is frequently employed in a number of coffee brewing techniques, such as drip, pour-over, and French press.

There are various specialty roast levels in addition to the roast level that is not included in the light, medium, or dark categories. Extra light, medium light, and extra dark roasts are some of them. Some coffee fans like the distinctive flavors of these specialty roast levels since each of these roast levels has a different flavor profile.

Although not the only aspect, the roast degree has a significant impact on a coffee’s flavor. The flavor of the coffee can be affected by the type of beans, the degree of roasting, the size of the grind, the brewing technique, and the quality of the water. However, coffee roasters may produce blends and single-origin coffees with a variety of flavors by carefully considering the roast degree and other aspects.

You might be also interested in: