Coffee Bean Roast Levels Explained

Coffee Bean Roast Levels Explained

It’s not common knowledge; I was even surprised to her the endless levels of “roast” a coffee bean can undergo. To spare you an exorbitantly long read, we will highlight the three most common roast levels and how they vary is taste, quality, price and availability.

Coffee Bean Roast Level #1: Blonde Coffee blonde roast coffee

This is your entry-level roast. It is the lightest and takes the least amount of time. Some coffee enthusiasts will argue that this roast level is the best, and anything more can be likened to overcooking a steak on the braai. Their reasoning behind this is that this level of roast allows the coffee bean just enough time to crisp up, but still retains that true coffee taste. This roast level also allows for the highest caffeine content (caffeine is “burnt away” throughout the roasting process). The lipid (natural fat) content is very low in these beans. It is rare to find a blonde roast coffee bean as it is not commonly regarded as being in-demand. Light beans are not only categorised according to their colour, but also to their “crack” level. Not “crack” crack, but rather actual splitting crack. Once beans have been roasted past 205°, they “crack” open. This is usually the time to remove blonde roast coffee beans. If a coffee bean if roasted and removed BEFORE the first crack – it is then referred to as a cinnamon roast. The more you know…

Coffee Bean Roast Level #2: Medium Roast (The Most Common Roast Level) medium roast coffee

As the title would suggest, this is the most common coffee roast level. They have a bit more “body” (fullness in flavour) to them. You can taste the difference immediately when sampling a lighter roast against a medium roast, and similarly against a darker roast. It is far easier to roast in larger batches (saves time, money, electricity and input requirements) and this is probably why it is the most popular choice. Medium roasts are not as “grainy” as lighter roasts, as more lipids have been secreted onto the beans’ surface. The caffeine content will be less than your blonde roasts, but much higher than your dark roasts. The bean is roasted to just before the “second crack” – which occurs at approximately 220°.

Coffee Bean Roast Level #3: Dark Roast dark roast coffee

Almost black in colour, self-proclaimed coffee connoisseurs stay far away from coffee beans roast to this level. Some will say it’s an abomination of the coffee bean and an insult to coffee; their reasoning is that almost all the caffeine has been burnt away and the true, honest flavour of the coffee bean has been compromised beyond repair by the overpowering roast flavour. They are roasted past the “second crack” to a temperature of around 240°C. The bean can be characterised by the smooth, oily surface it holds.

My Coffee Bean Roast Level: Which is best?  last coffee

Unfortunately, because individual tastes differ so vastly, it’s hard to categorise which coffee roast level you may enjoy most. However, we can say that if you want to experience the truest real-coffee flavour, perhaps sample a light roast coffee. Medium roast is sure to appease all tastes and dark-roast will either bowl you over or disgust you.

So, whether you are a Blonde-Roast Bombshell, a Medium-Roast Mary or a Dark-Roast Donovan, we love that you love your coffee and will always try make you happy!