Roasting a process that is done to the beans that heats the beans from the weird looking raw greenish bean into the brown, fragrant, magical wonder that we often see in coffee shops and stores. When the beans are raw, they can be kept in that way for quite a long time; once roasted, use them or lose them.
Roasting coffee beans is not something considered for those new to coffee; roasting is considered an art form and takes years to master. It has been said that roasting coffee beans takes a quick mind and quick hands.
So why roast? It makes the bean have that delicious flavor and smell. If you were to eat or smell a raw bean, it would probably remind you of grass. Imagine drinking a grassy liquid (not like the grass shots from Jamba) instead of the coffee we know and love today.
So what are the different kinds of coffee roasts?
- Light roasts, or mild roasts. These beans are lighter in color, like a light brown. The mild roast is used for softer, or milder, coffee blends. Common names for mild roasts include: light city, cinnamon, half city, and New England.
- Medium roasts. This roast is obviously a medium brown color, like a milk chocolate color. These beans have a heartier flavor and aroma. The medium roast is perhaps the most popular in the United States. Some common names for this roast include city, American, and breakfast.
- Medium-dark roast. This kind is a bit darker than medium and has a bit more flavor and aroma while not being as intense as dark roast. It has a more bittersweet taste. A common name for this roast is full city.
- Dark roasts. These beans have the most shine to them due to the longer roasting process. Due to the longer process, they have a more bitter flavor than the other kinds of roasts; however, coffee that is dark roast tends to have less acidity than the others as well. You can find variety in the dark roast arena; beans range from slightly dark to charred. Some common names for dark include high, continental, New Orleans, European, espresso, Viennese, Italian, and French.