Although there is presently no accepted standard for labeling coffee roasts, the following will guide you when selecting coffee for sale on this website.
Light roasted coffee has spent the least amount of time in the roaster so the final coffee bean has more flavor left in it. This flavor translates to a “brighter” cup of coffee with a bit of a zing to it. It will not have a murky, roasted flavor and aftertaste. Most coffee sold in stores and restaurants is NOT light roasted and it’s possible you’ve never tasted it before. Also please don’t confuse light roast with a weak brewed coffee; as a matter of fact, since it is the least roasted it also has the most caffeine! A couple of cups of this in the morning with get you going.
Medium roasted coffee is the most common coffee sold in coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores. It’s so common in America that another name for it is American roast. The single origin unique flavor can still be enjoyed while also having a bit of the roasted flavor of coffee.
Dark roasted coffee is going to have a stronger flavor and is best enjoyed with cream and sugar to help sweeten the cup. If you’ve had Starbucks then you have had dark roasted coffee. When coffee is dark roasted the roast overwhelms the flavor and the uniqueness of single origin. Essentially, dark roasted coffee taste like dark roasted coffee regardless of where it’s from. The advantage of this is that it is easy to control the consistency of the taste. Although it has a “stronger” taste, dark roasted coffee will have the least amount of caffeine.
There are many names for the variety of roasts and many are interchangeable. Vienna, French, Italian, City, Full City, City+. In order to keep it simple on this website, I’ve narrowed it down to 3, light, medium and dark.
With Specialty custom roasted Coffee it’s possible to divide the roast more such as a Light-medium or a Medium-dark. Sometimes this will be in the descriptions of different coffees offered on this web site and I may use the labels below to differentiate.
A City roasted coffee is dropped soon after what is called “first crack” in coffee roasting. The color of the bean is light brown with no sheen but a dull finish. This is often referred to as “light roasted” coffee.
A Full City roasted coffee is left in the roaster a bit longer until “second crack.” The color will be a deep brown with a bit of oil or sheen on the bean.
A Full City+ roasted coffee is into the “second crack” and the color will be browner with more of sheen to the finish.
A French Roast is well into “second crack” and up through it producing a dark brown/back shiny bean. This is what Starbucks Pike Place will be, if not a bit darker.
Anything left in the roaster after this is an espresso roast.