Coffee Bean Roasting
Ever wondered why some coffees tasted richer than others? Or how some gave off a darker, more bitter aroma? It may come naturally for many to assume the cause is from a difference in barista or cafe, but if you look closer you will find that one of the most significant determinants of a coffee’s flavour profile comes from the degree in which the coffee beans are roasted.
Roasting coffee beans releases the hundreds of different aroma compounds that make the up the flavour of our coffee. The degree of roasting these beans can be seen by an array of colour from light, to medium, to dark. This lets you know how long it has been roasted for and what kind of flavour you should expect to get from it.
If you prefer a much sweeter, and tangy taste to your coffee, then light roasted beans are probably your best fit. These beans have the shortest roasting time and typically depict a pale, light brown colour. They contain the most caffeine due to this, little to no oil, and are less bitter in comparison, giving them an overall brighter tone. This way of roasting allows them to hold more distinct and pronounced qualities from the region they were grown.
Medium roast is typically the most popular choice, perhaps attributed to its more likeable, balanced and smooth flavour. These beans have an all rounded medium flavour profile, from its colour and flavour, to its aroma and acidity level. Similarly to light roasts, this degree preserves the qualities of its origin, while also incorporating the richer, deeper taste that comes from a longer roasting time.
For something a little bolder, you may want to look into dark roasts. Dark roasts have the longest roasting time and display an even richer and darker tone than the others. These beans show less distinction of its origin and are dark brown, almost black in colour. The darker the roast is, the less dense and the more oily it becomes. This gives off a noticeably charred taste, and the brightness you would usually get with a light roast is substituted with more body.
Each degree of roasting produces different characteristics to your coffee, and it is completely up to you and your preference when it comes to choosing between light, medium, and dark roasts. But by expanding your knowledge in this area and figuring out what you like best, you can better determine and recognise new coffees you might like in future.