Dark, Medium or Light Roast? Time and Temperature Make the Difference

There is nothing quite like a cup of java in the morning. You can smell it now, can’t you? That delicious fragrance and distinct taste are one of a kind.

But, coffee is anything but uniform. While there’s unbounded variety, in simplest terms, your coffee will be either a dark, medium or light roast.

Let’s take a look at each type of roast to understand your favorite cup of coffee a little better.

dark, medium, or light roast coffeeDark Roast: The Boldest of the Bunch

True to its name, the beans of a dark roast have a dark chocolate hue and generally an oily surface. These beans are roasted longer and at higher temperatures than those of other roasts, up to 430-450 degrees Fahrenheit and until the second cracking sounds of the beans are heard. As a result of this increased heat for a longer duration, they lose moisture, density and acidity and develop a bitter and bold taste.

Dark roasts actually have less caffeine than their counterparts. While a cup of dark roast coffee will have the boldest flavor, it will lack the same potency.

Medium Roast: The Happy Balance

A medium roast finds itself in between dark and light roasts in nearly all aspects. The beans have a semi-dark color and lack any oil on their surface. The taste of a medium roast is considered balanced — not too strong and just slightly sweet.

The beans are roasted until 400-430 degrees Fahrenheit and their first cracking sound, which is a temperature and duration between that of dark and light roasts. The caffeine content, acidity and aroma are also in between the two.

A medium roast is essentially the Goldilocks of coffee and is well-suited for java drinkers seeking a balance of gentleness, boldness and caffeine kick.

Light Roast: Peaceful Yet Potentdark, medium, or light roast coffee

Light roast beans are roasted at the lowest temperatures and for the shortest length of time, at 380-400 degrees Fahrenheit and just before the first crack of the bean. This results in a light brown color and no oil on their surface.

Compared to those of medium and dark roasts, lightly roasted beans retain much of their original flavor, density, moisture, acidity and caffeine as a result of their relatively minimal roasting. The flavor is gentler but is often considered more nuanced — herbal or fruity overtones can be detected stemming from the bean’s origins. Light roasts also have the most complexity and versatility with respect to aromas.

Pick Your Cup

BostonbeaN can help you learn which coffee roast is right for you and your coworkers. Contact us to schedule your hot or cold coffee brew demo. We’ll install the equipment and provide the coffee and supplies so the whole team will get a chance to try the coffee program best suited for the office.

Call us at (781) 935-3100 or fill out the contact form on our website to request a coffee consultation today!

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