The morning staple for many across the globe has been a steaming cup of coffee. It gives the necessary jolt to a sleepy mind and body to freshen up and look forward to an active day. While many are satisfied with the store-bought instant coffee, the true connoisseurs look for the perfect roasts that have their distinct aroma and flavor. Each category has been perfected over the years and ranges from dark to medium to light. Different localities of the world have different preferences when it comes to this nectar of the gods.
The unroasted bean
Coffee beans before being roasted are green in color and are soft with a naturally fresh aroma. These raw beans are essentially tasteless. The magic happens when these green beans are roasted over the flames and morph into the delicious brown beans with a chocolate crunch and aromatic extravaganza that we associate with coffee. The coffee is given its distinct characters by the place where they were grown, the age at which they are plucked and roasted, the way they are processed and ground, and even by the method of their brewing. Thus, perfecting the best cup of coffee requires great patience and complex calculation along with rigorous attention to detail. But the most important element that gives a coffee variety its soul is the way it is roasted.
As coffee is roasted, its color begins to change, and oils accumulate like a film of bliss over the beans, and the young seed is transformed into the beautifully roasted bean. While color may not be the most accurate way to describe the form of roast, it is a convenient way to do so as different roasts acquire a particular shade of that luxurious brown.
As the name suggests this type of roasts are dark brown or in some cases black in color. This flavor is for those who like that bitter taste just after they wake up to keep at bay the bitterness of the real world. Dark roasts are characterized by a sharp and burnt taste that not many can handle. The rich color is often complemented by a thin film of oil that gloriously swims in your cup of the dark roast variety. The caffeine level in this type of roast is very low because of the level to which the bean is heated. The temperature bracket inside which this particular black beauty is roasted is 465°-480° Fahrenheit. The temperature should not exceed 490 as this would lead to a thin flaky bean that will taste like the underside of a coal-powered carriage. Popular varieties of dark roast that are enjoyed by many are French Roast, Spanish Roast, Continental Roast, Espresso Roast etc.
Medium roast coffee is for those who like everything perfectly balanced. With a medium brown color like caramel, this roast has a smooth flavor that has an earthy vibe to it. Less grainy than it’s a lighter cousin and less bitter than its darker counterpart, the medium roast provides a much more global flavor that has a beautiful aroma and aftertaste. This variety has less caffeine than a light roast, but more than the dark roast and thus is sure to give you the right amount of boost when you feel sleepy. There is no oil showing on its surface and the temperature bracket for its roasting is from 410° F to 428° F. There is also something called medium-dark roast that has similar characteristics as its predecessors but leans more in relation towards the dark roast. For instance, it shows the beginning of the initial thin layer of oil and has a denser feel to it.
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These light brown beads of pure energy pack the most amount of caffeine and have no oil on their surface. The lower amount of roasting ensures the most retaining of the original flavor of the coffee bean. These are cooked from 356° F to 401°F. When it’s ready to come out, the beans pop or crack and become slightly larger. This crack is significant as cooking beyond this crack gives rise to medium and dark roast. Some common varieties of light roast are New England Roast, Cinnamon Roast, and Light City etc.
The perfect coffee sometimes feels like the only thing that matters in life. Thus to achieve this treasure, one must know how it comes to become the dark pearls that they are. So the next time you buy your coffee, you know what to choose.