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Coffee Roasting Levels Chart (With Roasting Guide)

Coffee Roasting Levels Chart: Coffee was a rare treat, only recalled to support select religious rites. But as this thick, black liquid began to travel the world and lubricate the direction of economies, it transformed into an unstoppable force. One of the most traded commodities on the planet, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are manufactured and consumed daily worldwide, despite how shocking it may sound.

Coffee is edging closer to being the most coveted beverage in the world, enticing even traditionally tea-loving nations like China and others with its beauty and allure. But why does this mad hunger exist, and how is the globe being gradually taken over by this seemingly contemporary beverage?

The cause of its bizarre predilection can be traced to its fragrant yet abrasive flavor profile, and when it comes to bringing out the finest in the flavor profiles and intricacies of raw coffee beans, the art of roasting works wonders.

The coffee beans are dried after being sourced from various lush mountains, and roasting turns them into nutty, hard nodules that are often fed into grinders. Therefore, it won’t be overstating to say that roasters are alchemists if the roast is magic! They transform coffee into a purportedly life-enhancing beverage that goes much beyond a simple caffeine surge using the magical art of exceptional roasting.

Roasting or toasting coffee: mastering the craft

We must go a bit deeper into the fundamentals before moving on to the topic of coffee roasting, and here’s the most minor expected turn in the tale: coffee beans are not beans! I’m not telling you the truth to confuse you and make you want to smack your head against the wall. What are they, then, if not beans?

The obvious response is that COFFEE BEANS ARE SEEDS THAT GROW IN HIGH ALTITUDE AREAS AND ARE GREEN, HARD, AND RATHER AROMATIC. The roasting procedure produces those well-known nodules, which are delicate, brown, and intensely scented. Because roasting is similar to toasting a piece of bread, you might even refer to it as coffee toasting.

The only distinction is that everything must be flawless here—perfect temperature, timing, and outcome. Over-roasting causes the coffee beans to burn and prevents them from producing the desired effect, which includes perfectly brown-hued and delectably scented coffee beans.

Although several pieces of intelligent roasting equipment have been developed thanks to technological advancements, which enable automation of the process, the traditional roasting method still necessitates the mastery of two specific talents. These are

1. Sight

Every skilled roaster knows that the ideal roasting process alters the texture and color of coffee beans. These visual signals allow them to track the process’s development and gauge the roast level of the beans. Darkly roasted coffees are lustrous and dark brown, while lightly roasted coffees are somewhat brown and don’t leave any oil on the top.

2. Sound

While being roasted, coffee beans make recognizable cracking noises that describe the various phases of the process. When the moisture from the uncooked seeds evaporates, and the bean expands, they break. Dark roasts are finished after the second crack, whereas medium and light roasts are finished a bit after the first crack.

Coffee Roast Levels Chart: Detailed Descriptions

There are just three distinct coffee roast level categories typically used: light, medium, and dark. But the whole narrative isn’t told in that way. Here is a little introduction to help you flawlessly understand the various coffee roast degrees. Let’s begin!

Green Coffee – Unroasted

These are the coffee cherry seeds that have been dried and occasionally water treated after decaffeination before being delivered to the roaster’s facility.

Drying Coffee

You can refer to your coffee beans as drying when they are mid-roasted, and the moisture evaporation process is well underway. They often have a lovely grass and hay scent, but you shouldn’t grind or brew your coffee with them since they taste awful.

Cinnamon Roast

At this point in the roasting process, coffee beans become edible. You can have a cup of cinnamon-roasted beans with a subtle green flavor. It’s essential to remember that the beans are currently undeveloped and are not suitable for brewing your beverage.

Light Roast

This common roast variety, sometimes referred to as city roast or New England roast, is highly valued by a group of international coffee connoisseurs. The coffee is now beginning to smell nutty and chocolaty. Pour-over brewing is advised when using a light roast coffee.

It enables the beans to soak in the water for a longer period of time, producing beans with a light-bodied, clean flavor that is balanced by subtle nuances. Additionally, it’s usually best to make hot coffee with lighter roasts and a dash of cream or milk to bring out its maximum delicacy.

Light to Medium

The light-medium roast is the final portion of the first crack. These roasts often allow you to experience the unique character and flavor of the coffee because there shouldn’t be any oil on the beans. Medium-roasted coffee has a full-bodied, vibrant flavor.

Full Medium

When the initial crack in the roasting process stops but the second crack does not, whole medium roast beans are produced. They don’t have an oily texture and provide a well-balanced taste profile that combines the different beans’ distinct flavors with the scent of roasting.

You may have the best of both worlds with this roast. A cup with full-medium roast beans can have balanced acidity and outstanding delectability.

With this comprehensive reference on coffee pH levels, you can learn more about coffee acidity.


The lines of blackness following the initial few-second cracks are known as medium-dark or entire city + roast before the medium roast touches. The beans will have a little oil coating and a good blend of the original and roasted tastes. They are also less acidic.

The best ways to brew them are using the drip coffee technique, the French Press, or cold brew, whether light-medium roasts, City + roasCityor medium-dark roasts.

These techniques call for a more exan brewing period, enabling you to extract the most excellent flavor notes. In addition, because the espresso process uses high-pressure extraction, which guarantees outstanding flavor notes, it works well with a medium roast.

Dark Roast

This stage often referred to as the Vienna roast, marks the entry of your beans into the realm of darkness. They will be shiny from the natural coffee oil applied to them and taste more roasted than the original. However, sure thick beans, such as those from Indonesia, can retain a distinct flavor of their place of origin even after being roasted to a dark color. Dark-roasted coffee beans are brighter and less acidic.

For the Aeropress and espresso procedures, dark roasts work best. Dark roasts are the greatest in specialized beverages like macchiato, mochaccino, cappuccino, latte, etc., since they have slight acidity, the taste of cacao and toasted bread, and a silky texture.

French Roast

This phase begins when the roasting process reaches the second crack’s end. The beans will lose their natural taste and be slick with oil. To put it simply, any coffee roasted to the French roast standard will taste the same. Additionally, your cup will have a burned undertone and a thinner texture.

Italian or Spanish roast

Your beans will start to smell like burning tires at this point and go from brown to black. You are strongly advised only to consume this awful substance after an unfortunate roasting incident. You can try with a Spanish or Italian roast if you’re intrigued, but you do it at your peril. I didn’t warn you, so please don’t blame me afterward.

Understanding Caffeine: The Real Story

You may have heard, like many others, that darker roasts offer more caffeine content. The reality, however, is different! Lighter roasts have a somewhat greater caffeine concentration than darker ones. The density of the beans is what causes it. The thickness of the beans will decrease with increased roasting time.

Coffee Roasting Levels Chart (With Roasting Guide)

It is said unequivocally that dark-roasted coffee beans have less caffeine than light-roasted ones. When you weigh out your coffee, this slight imbalance may be fixed. On the other hand, the slight variation in caffeine levels becomes apparent when you measure coffee by volume, for instance, using scoops. In addition, the amount taken and the brewing technique are other variables that influence caffeination.

How Can I Make My Coffee?

Coffee experimentation is an endless pursuit, and the desire to learn new techniques for brewing exceptional cups may lead to an enticing desire to roast your beans at home. But how can I roast coffee beans at home to perfection? View it right away!

Step 1: Obtain Green Unroasted Seeds

Visit a nearby retailer or get unroasted green coffee beans online. Always get the tinier, greener varieties rather than the fully roasted ones.

Warning: If you don’t want to break your teeth, never try to taste one.

It’s important to remember that the coffee beans will grow in size and lose around half of their weight after they are roasted. Therefore, purchase 2 pounds of green beans if you want to produce 1 pound of roast. Additionally, remember that each raw bean has a unique flavor profile. Therefore, before bringing them home, conduct some research and confirm your selection.

Step 2: is all about gathering the necessary equipment.

Unquestionably, you are free to purchase a pricey, commercial-style roaster. Be advised that you can only use them when you have a massive amount of coffee to roast. You may settle for an excellent countertop roaster to produce small amounts at home, and if you want to replicate it, you can use a popcorn popper or an iron pan.

Understanding the notion of roasting is essential because it centers around the goal of heating the beans in a small space and roasting them to temperatures as high as 450 degrees. Corn poppers can execute this task rather effectively. If you don’t have a popper hand, you can think about stirring the beans in a cast-iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

Step 3: Carrying on with the Roasting Process

Do you know what the most significant advantage of doing your coffee roasting is? You are in complete control of the flavor and strength of your cup. It would help to place the uncooked beans in your heating apparatus before you can begin roasting. Once finished, turn up the heat and start stirring. As you continue, s’ color will eventually transition from green to yellow.

They will eventually become a light brown, so pay attention now to ensure you don’t miss the first crack. Roast until you reach the desired level. For instance, stop roasting immediately after the first crack if you like a mild roast.

On the other hand, if you want to keep the roast darker, wait a few minutes after reaching the dark roast stage before stopping the roasting. Remind yourself to avoid letting your coffee beans go as charcoal-black as possible.

4. Calm them down.

It’s time to remove the beans and let them cool after determining the roasting level. Swish them between two metal strainers for chilling, or place them on a piece of paper. When chilling your beans, use caution because they will be pretty hot.

Allow them to breathe before moving on to step 5

Put your beans in an airtight jar once they have thoroughly cooled. But make sure you leave the lid slightly ajar for a day or two. Avoiding this might result in an explosion since roasted coffee beans often release carbon dioxide. To experience the absolute freshest coffee, it is advisable to utilize the roasted beans within five days.

You now know necessary to embrace your inner coffee snob!

A conclusion

All of it was about roasting! I hope you find my advice valuable and doable. Celebrate your love of the greatest in delectability by roasting like an expert, enjoying a personalized coffee experience each day.


How many different kinds of coffee roasts exist?

Overall, roasting levels may be divided into four groups: light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. These four roast varieties have sub-variations, such as the light roast’s cinnamon roast and New England roast. The two types of medium roasts are city and coCityte city roasts. There are two kinds of medium-dark roasts: complete city and ViCity roasts, and there are two subtypes of the dark roast: French and Spanish or Italian roasts.

How can I tell if my beans are burning?

You need to realize they are burning once they start to seem mainly black and emit a tire-burning aroma.

Can Coffee Beans Be Roasted Without a Roaster?

You can, indeed! Coffee beans may be finely roasted in an iron skillet or a popcorn popper. Place the uncooked beans in your heating apparatus and begin burning!

What degree does the “first crack” have?

The roasting temperature hits 196 °C when the “first fracture” manifests.

What occurs during the Maillard process when coffee is roasted?

The Maillard reaction is the collective name for the chemical processes that shape coffee’s taste qualities. It happens when the roast reaches a temperature of 160°C.

How long does roasting coffee beans take?

The type of roast will determine how long coffee will roast for. However, a good roast typically takes around 10 minutes to prepare.

How can the heat shock method be used to roast coffee?

The coffee beans may absorb the radiant heat from the popper or pan when you employ a heat shock approach, which allows you to utilize a higher charge temperature.

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