One of the best things about going to the grocery store is the coffee aisle. The deliciously warm scent of roasted coffee beans pulls you down the aisle, making it unmissable. If the scent wasn’t enough, there are also so many inviting options for which roast to choose from. There are beans from all around the world in every flavor and richness. In fact, it can be hard to choose the right roast or even know the difference between them.
Coffee roasts can be categorized into four different categories. Light, medium, medium-dark and dark.
Most people are under the impression that the richer and darker the coffee roast is, the more caffeine it will have. This is not true. Lighter roasts tend to have more caffeine than darker roasts. Some say that this is because darker roasts require less beans than lighter roasts to brew the same amount of coffee. In this case, the lighter roast would have more caffeine just because there are more coffee beans.
Regardless of the caffeine concentration, there are differences in the taste and richness of light and dark coffee. Lighter brews tend to be more acidic than darker brews which taste bitter.
Here are some examples of different brews that you might recognize from the grocery store or your local coffee shop.
Light roasts can be identified easily because the beans are not waxy looking like dark beans. Here are some common kinds of light roast coffee:
- Light City
- Half City
- New England Roast
Medium roasts are most commonly served in restaurants and places in America. It is most people’s preferred roast because it is richer than a light roast but not bitter like a dark roast. These are common examples of a medium roast:
- Breakfast Blend
Medium-dark roasts have some oil resting at the top of the brew, but in general the beans don’t look as waxed as dark roast beans. This coffee is slightly bitter and previews the rich roasted flavor of the coffee. Here are some common medium-dark roasts:
- Vienna Roast
- Full City
Dark roasts are commonly associated with true coffee aficionados. This is because dark coffee is the most bitter of all the roasts, making it unbearable to coffee drinkers who prefer sweet and milky cups of joe. Here are some popular dark roast coffee names:
- Italian Roast
- French Roast
- Continental Roasts
- New Orleans Roast
The world of coffee beans is a diverse and complicated one. Coffee is a universal drink for all, from those who prefer it hot or iced, or black or creamed. There is a cup of Joe waiting for you, so step outside of your comfort zone and explore the wonderful world of coffee roasting.