One of the most fundamental questions we get about coffee is: what’s the difference between light, medium, and dark roast? We get the question all the time and love it. It’s a good one. And, roast level affects the taste and experience so drastically, that we wanted to break down this classic question.
Coffee beans have an inherent fruity, sweet or bitter taste. When we roast, we make sure we’re pulling out the best flavors the bean has to offer. Like Todd says, “Roasting is like a lens, you have to adjust to get the best view.”
Without getting into the intricacies of roasting techniques and coffee cupping (though if you’re curious we’re happy to tell you), we like to confine everything into three main flavor areas.
Darker roasted, full bodied coffees tend to have flavor notes that lean towards chocolate. As the coffee roasts for a longer period of time, it loses some of the original flavor of the bean. The hotter and longer the roast, the more caramelization happens, which tends to bring out the chocolate and caramel flavors.
Medium roast coffees aren’t roasted for quite as long as darker roasts. This allows the bean to carry more of it’s original flavor, which often brings out an inherent sweetness. Many medium roasts produce a smooth and nutty taste.
Citrus is the most pronounced flavor in lighter roasted blends. The shorter the roasting time, the more natural, fruit-like flavors the coffee retains. And since coffee is actually a fruit, we often find brighter and fruitier flavors in light roasts.
Shop our extensive selection of coffees from dark to light on our website.