Coffee Beans: Light To Dark

Before roasting, coffee beans are green. A green coffee bean has none of the characteristics of a roasted bean. It is soft and spongy and smells green. Roasted coffee beans have the aroma we’ve come to recognize as coffee and weigh less because the moisture has been roasted out. They are crunchy to the bite, ready to be ground and brewed.

Coffee roasting is a process that turns green coffee beans into the more familiar fragrant, dark brown beans using heat. Numerous chemical changes take place as the beans are rapidly brought to extremely high temperatures, and then cooled quickly to stop the roasting process. Roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that is locked inside the coffee beans.

Light Roast: 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.

Medium Roast: This roast produces a non-oily surface. It is often referred to as the "American Roast" because it is the one generally preferred in the United States.

Medium–Dark Roast: This roast produces some oil on the surface and has a slight bittersweet aftertaste.

Dark Roast: This roast has an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness. The darker the roast, the less acidity will be found in the coffee beverage.

The "perfect" roast coffee is a subjective choice that is determined by personal preference. In general, lighter roasts are sharper and more acidic than the darker roasts. Darker roasts have a fuller flavor but less caffeine than the lighter ones. (One of the darkest roasts is French roasted coffee.) The roast alone doesn't determine the resulting coffee taste or quality.

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About The Author, Dmskye
Diena Zavetsky became a coffee gourmet during her college years. She is the owner of Hot Gourmet Coffee, a site that allows coffee lovers to buy coffee online. She believes that whole bean coffee should be ground just before brewing to get a fresh coffee flavor.