What is the roast level of the coffee? Why shouldn’t light, medium, and dark be used to describe roasts?

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
What is the roast level of the coffee?

Why doesn’t use ‘light,’ ‘medium,’ ‘dark.’

When using color to distinguish roast (looking at color is how most customers, even roasters, use to evaluate roast), each person will have a different view. Simple example: once you’ve seen a lot of tall buildings (like in Hong Kong or Dubai), you won’t see Bitexco as tall anymore ^^’

On the contrary, if you don’t often see tall buildings, Bitexco looks good from afar. Impression. So whether Bitexco is ‘high’ or not depends entirely on your perspective and experience.

Similarly, if you’re used to seeing coffee in jars sold at Trung Nguyen, most coffees will ‘seem’ super bright even though each has a different roast.

Back to Bitexco. Instead of saying ‘tall,’ we can say: This used to be the tallest building in Vietnam with 68 floors, a total height of 264m. Short, informative, and understandable by most people.

Talking about coffee, roasting needs the same.

Roasting process

But if we don’t use ‘light’, ‘medium’, ‘dark’, Helena will explain? To explain the roasting level of Mimosa, for example, Helena will always say: roasted to the level of City+, that is, the coffee came out of the roasting cage 2″ 30s after the first crack.

This way of saying is still challenging to understand. What is the first crack? What is City+? We need to go a little deeper.

When roasting coffee, the most crucial step is the Development stage, and one of the factors roasters need to know is the Development Time Ratio (DTR).

The development stage is counted from the first crack (when you hear the coffee beans explode) until the coffee comes out of the roasting cage. (This doesn’t mean that you can ‘develop’ just from the first crack – every second of roasting matters ).

DTR is the % of the time from the first crack to the end of the total roasting time. For example, with a 10″ roast, the first crack from 7″ 30s, your DTR is 25%.

Experience and books show that the Development stage will determine the success or failure of the roast. To put it simply: When you roast a 4kg batch of coffee beans, the amount of steam released when the beans explode will lower the temperature of the roasting cage.

If before the first crack occurs, the roaster does not charge enough heat, does not adjust the fire in time, etc. then the roasting cage temperature will drop suddenly, ROR (rate of rising; rate of increase in the heat of coffee when roasting) will be flat or sharply reduced, leading to the possibility that the batch of coffee will not be as delicious as desired. (This is a brief explanation; if you want to go more in-depth, this post will be very long).

 focuses on extending DTR up to 25% or higher when roasting Vietnamese coffee. With Mimosa, DTR is 25%, Jack is 27%, Nectar is 30%, and Robusta is 36%. With imported coffee like Guatemala and Ethiopia Aricha, we are selling, DTR is at 22%.

The reason is that each type of tomato has a different preparation method, bean density, moisture content, and flavor. Not to mention the roaster’s capacity, the total weight of the roast, the temperature and humidity of the weather will also affect the roasting process.

The 96B roaster will develop the right DTR for each type through many roasts, cuppings, and depending on the intended use.

For example, Mimosa. We tried different DTRs: 20%, 22% and 25%. The batch of 20% and 22% of dry incense is perfect. A wet scent with many fruity scents is lovely.

But when the temperature cools down, the body is thin, and the aftertaste is weak. With 25%, Mimosa doesn’t know the dry fruit flavor like the 22% batch, but the body is thick, and the coffee cup is much sweeter.

What is roast?

When roasting, coffee will turn from green to brown. Brown comes in many shades (to know exactly, you need professional tools to analyze the color), but Helena often uses the palette of Scott Rao (in The Coffee Roaster’s Companion) and Sweetmarias to illustrate the roast.

Briefly understood (image from Scott Rao’s book):

Cinnamon: the eggplant comes out of the roasting cage very early, usually right after the first crack starts

City: the eggplant comes out of the roasting cage after the first crack is over

City+: 10-15s after City; The color doesn’t change too much, but if you look closely, the beans expand a bit, and the edges are smoother.

Entire City: Coffee comes out of the roasting cage for a while before the second crack begins; coffee oil appears on the surface of some coffee beans.

Full City+: coffee comes out of the roasting cage with more oily coffee beans when the second crack starts.
Viennese roast: roasted egg out of the cage is slower than Full City+, more oil
French roast: egg color starts to turn black from brown has never been roasted to this part
Italian roast: egg from brown to black can’t think of this part

So every 2″ 30s crack will reach City+ color level? Not. As mentioned, each batch includes coffee quality, moisture content, roast weight, roaster type, skill, roaster habits, etc. There will be first crack, DTR, different colors, flavors. We cannot apply the understanding of 25% DTR = City+ to all coffees; This is Mimosa’s parameters only. Similarly, 36% DTR = Full City+ for Robusta is still too ‘bright’ for many people, but Helena is the most reasonable.

In short

When we say this coffee is good, this building is tall, this street is wide, getting up early this morning, etc., this is a relative way of saying it. Everyone will have a different understanding and interpretation.

That has training on not speaking in general. Espresso today’s ‘delicious’ way? Is it sweeter, milder sour, or has a unique flavor?

The same goes for coffee roasting. We don’t don’twhat your concept of light, medium, or dark is, so the most reasonable explanation is to use the same color level as above, along with the time of the development stage.

In addition, we never say that one roasted in the morning will be sour, and the other with a dark roast will have a thick body. We only say for each type of coffee; the roaster will have an appropriate roasting method to highlight the features wants customers to know.

This article has a lot of information we have simplified a lot. But in short: does not have roast details on the package because 1, each person has a different view of color, ‘medium’ ‘none ‘oaster is ‘light’ i’ another; 2, customers often assign roast degree to coffee flavor in a rigid way (light = sour; medium = sweet), which reduces the actual value of the beans and 3, as written, 96B promotes accuracy of information. To be precise, we will have to register: City+, DTR 25% – this is too technical and does not bring value to most customers.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *