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Coffee Roasts from Light to Dark – Slideshow

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Whether you’re a regular coffee consumer or just enjoy the occasional cup from time to time, you are likely to have one roasting profile that you consistently reach for. Roasts are one of the most misunderstood elements of the coffee brewing process, which many people confusing one flavor profile for another. Give yourself a better understanding of just what it is you are putting in your cup with our detailed roast analysis.

How Coffee Roasting Works

Before it’s roasted, the coffee bean itself is a soft, spongy, almost grassy material that is green in color. During the roasting process, chemical changes occur in the bean as it’s brought into rapidly rising temperatures before being quickly cooled down and transformed into the coffee bean we are all familiar with.

So which roasts is right for you? Well, coffee is a complex equation, and there are truthfully many different factors that come to play a role into just how your final cup will taste.

Dissecting the Common Roasts Levels

Even with all the various factors behind taste, it is the level of roasting that provides a baseline of just how rich or light your cup will taste after it’s brewed. While there is almost no end to the ways that roasts are named and described, all roasts typically fall into one of three categories – light, medium or dark.

  • Light Roasts: If you’re looking to capture the origin of your single source beans with every cup, a lighter roast is probably the right roast for you. These lighter roasted beans are generally roasted at temperatures between 356°F and 401°F and are light brown in color. Coffee from light roasts generally includes higher caffeine levels and a light bodied, more acidic taste than darker roasts.
  • Medium Roasts: Medium roasts feature a more balanced aroma, acidity and flavor than their lighter counterparts. Reaching internal temperatures between 435°F and 445°F, medium roasted beans undergo two ‘cracks’ of the bean that result in a higher roast flavor. When roasted for a slightly longer period of time, the roast becomes slightly spicier in nature, providing an even more noticeable roast taste in what is called ‘medium-dark roasts.’
  • Dark Roasts: Dark roasts include the darkest colored beans, from a rich chocolatey color to almost entirely black. With dark roasts, the roasting flavors often overwhelm the origin flavors, resulting in a more bitter and smoky taste. Most dark roasts reach an internal temperature of 464°F, giving the roast a full-bodied, heavier taste profile.

Now that you know a little more about the different roast profiles out there, it’s time to get out and try a variety of gourmet coffee blends to figure out what one best suits your preferences. In the end, the roast you choose is all about your personal preference. Find your perfect roast by sampling the gourmet coffee blends and single origin coffee beans from Fortunes Gourmet Coffee. For over 86 years, the Pittsburgh Coffee Roasters at Fortunes Coffee have provided customers with the best tasting cups of coffee money can buy. Start your search for the perfect roast and shop Fortunes Gourmet Coffee today.


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