Roasting a coffee bean is a special art. For those who have studied and spent significant time behind a roaster, it can take on a ritualistic quality. The craft itself can be a tradition that is handed down for generations of families, as in the case of our Roast Master, Jeff, who is a 4th generation roaster!
To salute the magic of bringing out the different nuances of a bean’s brilliance, we’ve put together some interesting facts about roast profiles, including: what makes different roasts distinct, how our customers prefer different roasts, and facts about roasts that might surprise you!
LIGHT ROAST COFFEE:
VitaCup Gourmet Breakfast Blend (3 of 10 on darkness scale)
Most Popular with: 35-44 year olds
Can Be Found Most Often: Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Atlanta, GA
- Color: Light Brown
- Oil: No oil on surface
- Acidity: Highest
- Bitterness: Lowest
- Internal Roast Level: 180°C – 205°C (356°F – 401°F) - At 205°C it will pop, this is the “first crack” of the bean
- Characteristics: Brings out the flavor of the original coffee bean.
- You can distinguish notes of different batches, for example a Colombian from a Honduran bean.
- Pleasant for some beans and less desirable for others, depending on taste - bean notes range from floral to sour to earthy.
- AKA: Blonde, Light City, Half City, Cinnamon Roast, Breakfast Blend, Donut Blend, New England Roast
MEDIUM ROAST COFFEE:
VitaCup Gourmet House Blend (6 of 10 on darkness scale)
Most popular with 25-34 year olds
Can Be Found Most Often: San Diego, CA; Austin, TX; Phoenix, AZ
Also VitaCup Gourmet Decaf Blend (6 of 10 on darkness scale)
- Color: Medium Brown
- Oil: Little to No Oil on Surface
- Acidity: Medium
- Bitterness: Medium
- Internal Roast Level: 210°C (410°F) and 220°C (428°F) - Between the first crack and the 2nd crack
- Characteristics: Balanced flavor where bean begins caramelization, but roasting doesn’t overpower the flavor of the original bean.
- Bright fuller body with deeper roast gives a smooth finish.
- Still contains less pronounced hints of original flavor notes like berry, citrus, fruit, spice.
- AKA: True Medium Roasts: Regular Roast, American Roast, City Roast, Breakfast Roast, House Roast. Medium Dark Roasts: Full-City Roast, After Dinner Roast, and Vienna Roast.
DARK ROAST COFFEE:
- Color: Dark brown, nearly black
- Oil: Shiny oil sheen
- Acidity: Lowest
- Bitterness: Highest
- Internal Roast Level: 240°C (464°F) - 250°C (482°F) - Until all have reached 2nd crack.
- Characteristics: Bold, strong, and rich with a strong roasted flavor.
- Chocolatey, smoky, nearly burnt taste.
- Fully caramelized and no notes of original bean.
- AKA: Espresso Roast, Continental Roast, French Roast, Italian Roast, New Orleans Roast, and Spanish Roast.
WHICH ROAST HAS MORE CAFFEINE? We’ve been taught that light roasts have more caffeine than a dark roasts. While it is, technically, true that light roasts retain more caffeine the actual variance is so small that most people wouldn’t notice.
COFFEE WEIGHT BY ROAST: One scoop of dark roast is lighter than a scoop of your light roast!
WHY? When you heat up the coffee bean, it loses moisture and it’s water weight.
COFFEE SIZE BY ROAST: A dark roast scoop would have fewer beans by area!
WHY?: The fibers on the bean grow when they heat, making the dark roast beans slightly larger with the light roast slightly denser and more compact.
COFFEE ANTIOXIDANTS BY ROAST: The greener the bean, the more the natural antioxidants are preserved. As the bean roasts, the antioxidant chlorogenic acid (CGA) also gets less prominent.
CGA per 100g beans
- Green Coffee: 4.6g
- Light Roast: 1.7g
- Dark Roast: 0.3g
BUT - roasting improves the availability of MRPs (Maillard Reaction Products) which are created only through roasting and best preserved before you get to “dark roast” status. These MRPs are good for fighting free radicals and even have some antimicrobial properties!
Our favorite roast? The one that has the vitamins! What about you?