Coffee seems like it is as old as time itself sometimes. Everyone is drinking it, and everyone is enjoying it. It’s part of our routines and our lives. It brings us comfort, and it gets us through the day. But do you ever stop to think about why your coffee is so darn good? Just what goes into that cup of java to make it worth standing in line for every morning, or driving to see your favorite barista every day?
The Roasting Process
Did you know that coffee beans don’t begin life as a little brown bean? It turns out they are actually green! It’s the roasting process that turns them to the brown color we have come to crave and adore. When we talking about roasting a coffee bean, that is literally what happens to it: the beans are brought to very high temperatures very quickly in order to bring out the wonderful and familiar aromas that we have come to expect from our coffee. Not just anyone can roast coffee beans though; it can take years to find the perfect blend of temperature and timing to get the optimal roast. Many a bean has not lived up to expectations and coffee roasters have had to start again.
Why It’s Important to Roast Coffee Beans
The importance of roasting coffee beans properly shouldn’t be understated it is an art. When you consider the amount of work that goes into bringing a single coffee bean to life and then to market, and then eventually to fill your cup, it’s a wonder coffee doesn’t cost $400 a cup! So much care and attention go into making the perfect roasted coffee bean.
The right combination of heat and timing is everything. In order to get a certain roast: light, dark, or otherwise, the coffee beans need to be roasted for different periods of times at different temperatures. If the roaster gets it wrong, the coffee bean won’t taste as expected. In their natural state, coffee beans taste like grainy grassy beans, and no one wants to drink something that tastes like that.
A light roasted coffee is just that: light. This type of roast yields a much milder flavor of coffee and is typically enjoyed with a flavored sweetener or on its own. Some people add spices to the lighter roasted coffees to bring out some more flavors without the bitterness that sometimes can accompany a darker roast.
Medium roasted coffee beans are the kinds of coffee beans typically served a mom and pop restaurants, chain restaurants, and donut shops across the nation. This kind of coffee bean yields a darker colored coffee and a stronger flavor than the light roasts. Medium roasts aren’t as acidic as dark roasted coffees, but provide a nice robust flavor. Many people enjoy their medium roasted coffee with milk or cream and sugar or sweetener.
Medium Dark Roast
A medium dark roasted coffee bean provides a fuller bodied taste with a somewhat bitter aftertaste. This is pretty strong coffee, and the difference is noticeable. The color of the coffee is also noticeably darker than light or medium roast, and the longer the coffee is consumed, the more fragrant the aroma becomes.
Dark roasts have emerged around the country as one of the new favorites. People love to experiment with their coffee, and the dark roast movement has hit the scene. Popular donut shops put a lot of marketing dollars into popularizing their new dark roasts, and people have given them the thumbs up! Following the same pattern as other coffee roasts, dark roasted coffee beans produce a darker coffee color, bolder coffee flavor, more bitterness, and aftertaste. People will often drink dark roast coffees black (without cream or sugar) to enjoy the full effects of the coffee bean taste.
What’s in Your Coffee Cup?
When it comes to coffee, taste can be subjective. Whether you’re a fan of dark roasts or light roasts, medium or medium dark, you probably already know which roast is your favorite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up a little bit.
Dark Roasts have become increasingly popular over the last few years so you might actually find yourself enjoying a cup of dark roast even though you thought you only enjoyed light roasts. If you’re a true fan of coffee you should at least give each roast type a shot, you never know what might surprise you.