When you walk into a coffee shop and ask for recommendations, your barista will ask you, "How do you usually like your coffee?" That is because coffee is extremely preferential. Some people enjoy delicate flavour notes that light roast coffees have. In contrast, some may experience a more robust and fuller flavour that is apparent in dark roast coffee.
Aside from factors like the coffee's varietals, origin, and process, one more element that people consider when choosing their next bag of coffee is its level of roast. All specialty coffee roasters have one goal in mind—to give the farmer, producers, and coffee justice by properly roasting the beans. Coffee roasters have the critical task of creating a roast profile that will allow the flavours of the coffee to shine.
Coffee roasting is a trial-and-error process and requires a lot of expert knowledge and patience. Finding the right roast level to ensure that these coffees shine involves a lot of efforts and tasting. Roasting and cupping sessions are necessary so that you can enjoy better coffee. Here are the facts you need to know about each roasting level:
1. Light roast coffees
Light roast coffee is a definite hit or miss for some people, especially those who enjoy their coffee dark. To get an idea of how light roast coffee tastes like, think of bright floral or fruity flavours and moderate acidity. These coffees usually have a light and delicate body that is similar to tea.
Specialty coffee roasters would find that light roast coffees allow most origins to shine because of their delicateness. It is because some origins have specific flavour notes that only come out when coffees are roasted lightly. Among the popular origins, you should try washed processed Ethiopian coffee because of its floral notes and silky mouthfeel.
When roasting light coffees, the goal is to roast the coffee well inside out. That means that the coffee is not underdeveloped and should not have grass or hay-like flavour notes.
2. Medium roast coffees
One of the popular choices for roasts is a medium roast coffee. Some coffees from different origins translate well when roasted with this type of profile.
Medium roast coffees usually have more saturated flavour notes compared to light roasts. Floral and fruity notes are more prominent, the mouthfeel and body are juicier and well-rounded, and they are overall more balanced.
Coffees from African origins shine best when roasted with a light to medium roast profile. When the coffee roaster finds the coffee's sweet spot, the flavour notes of the origin will translate well. You will experience a delicious cup of coffee, no matter what brewing method you choose.
3. Dark roast coffees
Most people are more familiar with dark roast coffee. That is because the flavour notes are more approachable, even if the body can be a bit stronger than most. Dark roast coffees have flavour notes of nuts and chocolate and tend to have a fuller and heavier body. These roasts may often have an aftertaste of caramel and a lingering finish.
Specialty coffee roasters make sure that when they roast dark coffees, they do not reach the second crack where all you can taste is ash and smoke. Dark roast coffees can be a bit difficult to achieve. When you roast a dark profile, the coffee gets hotter, and it cooks quicker. That means the roaster will have to make swifter adjustments to avoid burnt coffee.
Brazil and Colombian coffees taste their best with medium to dark roast profiles. That is because their standard flavour notes are chocolate, nuts, and different kinds of sugars.
When you try different types of roast profiles, you will find the kind of coffee you like. It's always good to check the roast profiles of the coffees you are interested in buying so that you will know what to expect. Specialty coffee beans often have descriptions of each coffee and include flavour notes and their roast levels. If you want to dive into the world of specialty coffee, exploring different roast levels and profiles is one way to start.
Are you looking for the best roaster in town? The Wood Roaster is a specialty coffee roaster in Marrickville, Sydney. We only source, roast, and serve the most excellent quality coffee from all over the world. Check out our coffee selection and coffee gear today!