The coffee roasting process is what brings out the unique characteristics of any given type of coffee. However, it's easy to overlook just how delicate the roasting process is when trying to unlock aromas and flavors by adjusting roast time and temperature. Roast too light and you end up with a fruitier coffee that has a bright acidity, but roast too dark and you end up with bitter, characterless coffee that more closely resembles charcoal.

There are two main types of coffee roasting: air roasting (using convection, where heat is applied indirectly via hot air) and drum roasting (using conduction, where heat is applied directly via a heated metal drum). Either way, coffee beans need time to degas after roasting, which allows for some carbon dioxide and other gases to be released. However, too much degassing can lead to a flat and stale tasting brew since the beans will oxidize faster.


  • Greenish Color
  • Soft and Spongy
  • Smells Grassy
  • Heavy weight, full of moisture.
  • Transported and stored in this state to preserve quality and taste.

Light Roasts:

  • Generally includes "Light City Roasts" and "Half City Roasts".
  • Lightest Brown Color
  • Brightest Acidity
  • Mild Flavor and Body
  • Full, Distinct Origin Characteristics.
  • Slightly higher caffeine content than the darker roasts below.

Medium/Light Roasts:

  • Generally includes "Cinnamon Roasts".
  • Light Brown Color
  • Bright Acidity
  • Strong Origin Characteristics

Medium Roasts:

  • Generally includes "City Roasts" and "Breakfast Roasts"
  • Medium Brown Color
  • Full Acidity
  • Good Origin Characteristics
  • Full Flavor and Body
  • Balanced
  • Most popular roast level within the U.S.

Medium/Dark Roasts:

  • Generally includes "Full City Roasts".
  • Dark Brown Color
  • Intense Body and Flavor
  • Oily Surface
  • Higher Sweetness
  • Lower Acidity

Dark Roast:

  • Generally includes "High Roasts" and "Continental Roasts".
  • French Roasts and Italian Roasts fall under this level.
  • Dark Brown / Black Color
  • Oily Surface
  • Diminished Origin Characteristics
  • Higher Bitter Notes and Char Flavor
  • Lighter weight, less moisture.
  • Lower Acidity
  • Slightly lower caffeine content than the lighter roasts above.