What is the difference in dark roasted coffee verses light roasted coffee.

Dark Roast or Light Roast: Coffee drinkers would agree that nothing beats that first cup of coffee in the morning. It starts the day off right and gets the blood pumping. Different people prefer different types of coffee and their opinion usually is based on the roast of the coffee bean. Understanding coffee roasting and how the process changes the chemical makeup of the bean is insightful regardless of whether a dark roast or a light roast is preferred.

Roasting the coffee beans change them from green, bitter tasting beans to aromatic, exquisite beans that create a delicious hot beverage enjoyed around the world. Coffee roasting is a process that is usually handled at either the coffee plantations or companies dedicated to roasting coffee beans. In recent years individuals have begun roasting coffee beans at home although it takes practice to get the roasting process perfected.


During the roasting process the beans must be kept moving to prevent them from scorching and to get an even roast throughout the batch. There must also be a way to quickly cool the beans so that the roasting stops immediately at just the right moment. The darkness or lightness of the roast depends on how long the beans are left in the roaster and the temperatures used during the roasting process.

Dark roasted coffee beans create a coffee that have a taste similar to the roasting and is much more chemically altered than lighter roasts. Light roasts have more of the natural coffee flavors that are inherited from the growing regions. Some of the most exquisite coffee roasts are light roasted coffees such as Kona or Java. These coffees are more expensive coffees that are considered worth the cost due to the natural full flavor of the bean.

Coffee roasting starts with the lightest roasts which are also known as City roasted beans. These beans are light or medium in color and have the roasting process stopped at one full crack of the bean. The crack occurs during the roasting process and is a sign that full roasting is underway. When the coffee beans have a second crack or have started into the second crack they are called Full City roasts or medium roasted coffee beans. These beans retain a great deal of their natural, earthy flavors but have begun to change taste due to the chemical processes that are beginning to occur.

Dark roasted coffee beans have been left in the roaster much longer. The oils inside the beans have started to come to the top of the bean causing their chemical alteration to be much stronger. These are typically Vienna roasted or Italian roasted coffee beans. These coffee beans contain tastes that point to their growing origin but the roasting process has added more flavors that are stronger. The strongest roasted coffee is French Roast. These coffee beans are very dark beans that have been roasted to the point of burning the oil of the bean. This makes the bean very dark in color and very shiny due to the oil covering the bean. Roasting this dark totally changes the flavor of the bean. Some people prefer this flavor while others believe it destroys the coffee beans natural flavors.

Understanding the coffee roasting process doesn't change a person's opinion of which roast is preferred but it does help to understand how the coffee beans arrive at the flavors that are loved by many people. Coffee roasting creates the coffee flavors that people crave daily. Light or dark is all a matter of opinion.

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