There are several main stages that a coffee bean goes through on the way from a tree to your cup. They are: cultivation, processing, roasting, and brewing.
Roasting is the stage where the potential of the bean, that was formed at the farm, is transformed into specific flavors and other characteristics that will flourish in your cup later. Nothing is added from the outside - it’s just a bunch of chemical reactions triggered by the high temperatures and going either one-by-one or simultaneously inside the roasting machine. And here, the knowledge and the experience of a roastmaster is crucial, because you have a small period of time (8-14 minutes on average) and really high temperatures inside (up to 220 degrees celsius) to make everything right.
That’s why you can have an extremely different experience from totally the same single origin coffee, but roasted by different roastmasters.
Professionally speaking, a particular coffee’s roast level can be measured and defined in some precise numbers using special equipment. But from a consumer’s perspective the most easy-to-understand definitions are: light/medium/dark roast. And now, we’ll try to figure out what these definitions actually mean.
Going from light to dark, in simple words, means going from acidity to sweetness to bitterness, from thin and watery body to thick and rich, from “green” and “grassy” flavors to “fruity” to “chocolate” and “ashy”.
Light roast means that a roastmaster decided to go for fruity, bright flavors, with medium to high acidity and relatively thin body. This roast truly shows the “fruity” side of coffee, with all those beautiful flowers, berries, citrus fruits, tropical fruits, and doesn’t go deeply into the caramelization stage. Usually, this roast profile suits better for filter coffee and is not so good for espresso drinkers because of unbalanced, sharp acidity that your espresso machine will produce from these beans (it’s because of the high pressure, and we shall develop this theme in another post).
Medium roast is the most balanced, where you can have both ripe fruits and berries flavors and darker, richer chocolate and nuts characteristics. Acidity is not so highlighted, while sweetness is higher and this makes the cup really complex. The texture moves from thin and watery to medium, juice-like. These coffees will go for different types of brewing such as filter coffee, espresso, coldbrew or drip bags.
Dark roasted coffee stands out for its rich, thick texture. It’s the most “old-fashioned” roast style, popular among those who prefer classic taste to modern trends. Low acidity, some caramel and chocolate sweetness, and highly perceived bitterness - that’s the common flavor profile for these coffees. We’d like to recommend these for espresso and cold brew mostly, but anyway - it’s up to your preferences, if you like such style in filter coffee - go ahead!
Amongst the coffees that you can find on our website and those that made it to the Subscription selection you will find mostly Medium and Light roast. That’s because we believe that these roast profiles can really represent the beauty and complexity of a single origin coffee, and the hard work and dedication that a coffee farmer has put into his beans. While dark roast hides the identity and uniqueness of a particular coffee, making them taste much in common.