For many of us, we discovered our favorite roast level simply by trial and error. Perhaps you prefer a light roast with its complex flavors and slightly higher caffeine content. Or maybe you’d like a dark roast for a strong and bold coffee drinking experience. But if you’re just starting your coffee journey, or are looking to change things up, here’s a quick guide to the roast levels – and which one might be right for you.
Light roasted coffee means that the beans were roasted for a shorter duration or at a lower temperature than their other roast counterparts. You’ll know this roast by the lighter brown color. Light roasts also present no oil on the surface of the bean, so it will have a matte look to it rather than glossy. Light roasts coffee tend to be thought of as “mild,” but the truth is that they are actually very complex. A lighter roast allows for more of the beans natural characteristics to shine through. Many lighter roasts are described as having a fruity or floral taste. If you like a smooth drinking experience and want to get all the complex flavors, a light roast might be your best bet.
The balanced roast, these beans present as darker brown, but still little to no oil on the surface of the bean. The medium roast is a good “best of both worlds” solution if you sometimes like a bold cup of coffee, but don’t want to lose the complex little tasting notes. Medium roasts attempt to give a stronger flavor while preserving those fun tasting notes. Medium roasts tend to be the favorite of most American coffee drinkers, so you’ll be in good company if this is your preference
MEDIUM DARK ROASTS
Inching toward the full boldness of a dark roast, these beans will be dark brown and have some oil on the surface and a slightly bittersweet aftertaste. This is the last stop before the full boldness of a dark roast. Some muted characteristics of the original bean remain, but the overwhelming flavor is rich and bold.
These beans have been roasted the longest or at the highest temperature of the roasts. They are very dark brown with an oily surface. When people talk of a bold cup of coffee, this is the one they mean. At this point, the strong flavors that dominate the brew are the result of the roasting itself. The more subtle notes of the original bean have given way to a dark and bold taste. If you like your coffee with a strong point of view, this might be your favorite roast level.
So there’s a primer on the different roasts. Still don’t know where to begin? Try the Grounds & Hounds 3 blend starter kit, which features a light, medium and a dark roast. Like most of us, the best way to find your favorite roast is going to be the old fashioned way: drink a lot of coffee. Good luck!
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