As coffee roasters, we often get asked questions about roast colour such as:

In this post we will discuss how roast colour changes the flavour of your coffee and which roast colour would best suit you.

What is roast colour?

Roast colour is a simplified term for what would be the coffee’s roast profile. Depending on how the coffee is roasted, the colour will change and the flavour will be drastically altered. It can be quite confusing, especially if you are only just starting to learn about the world of freshly roasted coffee.

What is roast flavour?

Roast flavour is the taste that comes from the roasting process. A lighter roast will present less roast flavour and more of the coffee’s unique flavour. A darker roast will reduce the unique flavour, creating a more consistent taste.

Typically these flavours include: tobacco, bitterness, smoke, spice, dark cocoa, toast, etc.

Dark roasted coffee

A dark roasted coffee is what many people have grown up with and become accustomed to. Typically a dark roasted coffee will be low in acidity but with an amplified bitterness and quite a heavy body.

The colour will start as dark brown and can even reach black depending on the roasting profile and the flavour the roaster is trying to achieve. If roasted dark enough, you’ll find that the oils are drawn out of the coffee, giving them a glossy surface.

This roast colour will make flavours such as smoke, spice, toast and dark cocoa more intense, it will also make all the relevant aromas more present in the cup. The darker the roast, the less of the unique flavour of the coffee we will get and the more “roast flavour” we will find in the cup.

Dark roasted coffees are best suited to espresso and milk based drinks. Our Italian blend is a very popular dark roast option, as well as our India Monsoon and Indonesia Java if you are after single origin.

Medium roasted coffee

A medium roast is a good middle ground. A much more balanced flavour where the roast flavour is working alongside the coffees unique flavour. Typically a medium roasted coffee will be balanced in terms of acidity, bitterness and body.

The colour will be a milk chocolate sort of colour, potentially going toward dark chocolate colour but not quite reaching that level of darkness. You won’t find any oil present on these beans straight away, you may find some oil is drawn out a month or so later if you have not managed to finish it off!

Medium roasted coffees are very versatile and can work as a filter coffee, espresso or milk based drink. Our House blend is a great option to try, or you could sample our Mexico El Selecto or Peru which are great examples of medium roasted coffee.

Light roasted coffee

A light roasted coffee will have the most unique flavour of the bunch. Acidity will be heightened and bitterness will be low. With a high quality origin, you will find sweetness and fruitiness in the cup. This is the kind of roast you would want if you are looking to taste flavour notes such as blueberry, jasmin, vanilla, etc.

The colour will be a lot lighter than a medium roast and you’ll notice the beans are a bit “wrinkled” comapred to the more developed medium or dark roasted counterparts. You won’t find any oils on beans roasted to this colour.

Light roasted coffees are typically best for drip / filter coffee. Personally, I would recommend trying out our Nicaragua Jinotega or Guatemala Huehuetenango as great first time light roast coffees.

So what should you pick?

To summarise, it all comes down to personal prefence and to some degree what you are used to.

Do not be afraid to experiment! At Hormozi Coffee, we have you spolied for you choice, it would be a shame to not take advantage of that and experience all that you. Trying something new is half the fun!

P.S. keep in mind that we have put recommendations on each of our single origin coffees for what roast colour and what drink they best suit.

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