Understanding Coffee Roast Levels

Roasting is the First stage to prepare the coffee beans for your favorite drink. It is the process that transforms the Green Coffee Beans to the flavor we need by causing them to expand and change the color, taste, fragrance and darkness. In order to get the best taste of coffee, the beans should be roasted at the time of consumption as the flavor and freshness of beans fade away with time after roasting.

Coffee Bean RoastingMost of the people who like to taste the fresh coffee tend to roast coffee at home. The coffee is considered to be fresh if it is prepared within 24 hours after roasting. The aroma and taste are maintained in freshly roasted coffee, which fade with longer time span.

Roasting is not a very typical process but requires some understanding of the different levels. These are classified according to the degree of heat and the time spend in roasting.

Coffee Roast Levels

Coffee Roast Levels

Green Beans: These beans have a shelf life of almost two years from the date of packing. These are acidic in nature and lack taste.

Drying Phase (165 °C): The first phase is the drying phase where moisture content is evaporated. Beans emit a grassy smell and turn into lighter yellowish color.

Cinnamon Roast (196 °C): This is the first roast level which is adequate for drinking. It is identified by hearing the immediate first crack. Beans turn into a light brown color, grain like character and are acidic in nature

New England Roast (205 °C): Moderate Brown Color and complex acidity levels indicating specialty roasting level by few commercial roasters.

American Roast (210 °C): Medium Brown Beans maintaining the origin character. This is again a special Roast Level which is not commonly available.

City Roast (219 °C): This is the first level that is used most commonly and is done by all the coffee roasters. It is good for tasting the actual character of coffee beans.

Full City Roast (225 °C): Medium Dark Brown in color, oil sheen on beans, and at the verge of second crack are the few characters of this roasting level. Beans also start to expand their size. This level is also used widely and is preferred for a bit stronger taste the City Roast Level.

Vienna Roast (230 °C): The beans turn into moderate dark brown in color and the origin characteristics start getting fading away. The sugar turns into caramel flavor, acidity escapes and the taste turn into a bittersweet. The surface becomes a slight oily at this level.

Italian Roast (240 °C): Dark Brown Oily Beans with all the origin character diminished. The second crack comes to an end at this level and smoke starts coming out. This roast level is bitter in taste and is preferred by strong coffee lovers only.

French Roast (245 °C):The last level of roasting where the smell will count as a bit burnt and the bean body will emit a shiny dark tone. Acidity is all gone and just bitterness survives here.Not preferred by many of the coffee lovers.

After this level, we are just burning the coffee beans and nothing else. If you already know this, it’s great else you have learned a good lesson if you really love coffee. My personal suggestion is to read this article 3-4 times, and it will set inside your mind for lifetime.

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