U Roast 2

Your Home Coffee Roasting Guide – Because You Should Enjoy the Full Flavour of Freshly Roasted Coffee

Reference Guide to Coffee Roast Styles [Infographic]


So, you started roasting your own coffee, but you still have many questions in your head:

  • What is the best time to stop my roast (after the first crack, second crack or when the beans start to get oily)?
  • How to get less acidic coffee or sweeter, or full bodied?
  • What is the popular name for the roast I like?
  • How to describe the taste and flavor of my favorite roast?  etc.

These and other questions regarding the roasting styles may be answered with the following Infographic, based on Kenneth Davids’ book “Home Coffee Roasting”.

The Quick Reference Guide to Coffee Roast Styles InfographicWhat is missing in this Infopraphic is when the bean surface changes from dry to shiny. During the roast stages from Cinnamon to Medium-high/ Regular City the bean surface is dry. From the beginning of the Second Crack (between 225ºC and 230 C°), the beans start to release oil. The surface of the beans become shiny at French/Espresso Roast stage and it gets very shiny at the last stage.

Please note, that beyond this point the coffee is burned and has no body, tastes like charred rubber, the oils are driven off the surface of the bean and the roast is worthless.

Tasting terminology explained:

Acidity – very important and many times misunderstood. An acidic coffee is brisk and bright. Coffee lacking acidity tend to taste bland and lifeless. Coffees from Yemen, Kenya, Zimbabwe have a typical fruity acidity. The darker a coffee is roasted, the less acidity it has.

Body is a sensation of heaviness in the mouth. As coffee reaches a medium to dark brown roast, body increases, and as it goes to very dark roasts, body decreases again.

Aroma is less developed in very light roasts, gets to its pick in medium to medium-dark roasts, and decreases and simplifies in very dark roasts.

Complexity – represents a wide range of sensation. The pick is reached from medium to moderately dark roasts, used for espresso.

Depth – tricky and subjective term. Describes the resonance or sensual power behind the sensations that drive the taste of the coffee.

Varietal distinction – qualities that distinguish one single origin coffee from another.

Sweetness – in medium-dark through moderately dark roasts the development of sugars combined with the partial elimination of certain bitter flavor components, give the cup a rounded, soft taste and rich body without flatness. Naturally sweeter green coffees (like Brazilian, Guatemalan, Yemeni) make sweeter dark roasts.

Pungency – describe the distinctive, bitter twist that dark roasting contributes to taste. The lovers of dark roasts know and honor this sensation.

Let me know your comments! Do you find my Infographic helpful?

Until next time – Nadia



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One thought on “Reference Guide to Coffee Roast Styles [Infographic]

  1. Hi, very useful article, thank you!
    Want to learn more!

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