Coffee roast - what is and why does it matter?

Back in the day there was 1 kind of coffee… BLACK.  There were no conversations about roasts and countries and processes.  Now we have so many choices that it can be a bit overwhelming. 


What’s the difference between coffee roasts?

The roast, from light to dark, is how long the coffee bean is roasted.  Coffee beans start off green and soft with virtually no flavor.  The beans absorb heat and get darker the longer they roast.  Light roasts have more of a toasted grain taste and pronounced acidity.  They also have the most amount of caffeine.  As the beans roast longer and get hotter, more flavor builds.  By the times beans reach a dark roast, there is more of a bitter flavor and perhaps a burned aspect to them. 


How can you figure out which one you like? 

Just ask.  When you stop at your favorite coffee shop, try different roasts.  Experiment with their house blends or monthly specials or even ask for a quick sample.  When you taste one that you really like, ask for the roast and where the beans come from.  All beans taste different depending on what country they are from.  Pay attention and you’ll soon discover your perfect roast.


Quick roast comparison:

Light Roasts – lighter color, greater grain flavor, more acid flavor, most caffeine, no oil on bean

Hunter Brothers Coffee Arabica, Mexican Fair Trade, and Donut Shop

Medium Roasts – medium color, more balanced flavor, somewhat decreased caffeine level, no oil on bean

Hunter Brothers Sumatran Mandehling, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, and Organic Peru

Medium Dark Roast – darker color, heavy body of flavor and a but spicy, less caffeine, oil beginning to show on bean

Hunter Brothers Coffee Costa Rica

Dark Roasts – darkest in color, bitter or burned flavor, least caffeine level, sheen of oil on bean

Hunter Brothers French Roast, O’Dark 30

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