Detailed explanation of coffee roasting

Regarding coffee roasting, there are different expressions: Light, Medium, Dark, Vienna, City, Filter and so on. All of the different names are related to different degrees of roasting.


What you should remember is that roasting is a process of developing the original flavor and aroma of coffee beans. However, if you over-roast the coffee, it can create extra flavor that can kill the coffee's characteristic flavor. Lightly roasted beans are sour and astringent (like that of undercooked food). At the other extreme, over-roasted beans are bitter, smoky and rather unpleasant to taste.

While specialty coffee lovers tend to opt for lighter roasts, the truth is that the best roast will depend on the bean, how it was brewed, and of course, the consumer's taste preference. Learn more about it below!

* Light roast - also known as "cinnamon" and "City", while "City Plus" is usually a light-medium roast for the purpose of highlighting the fruit acidity and floral fruit aroma of some of the distinctive boutique beans. Some people think that light roasts are less sweet, but that's not very accurate. Since high-quality specialty coffee is appreciated for its complex flavor, many roasters choose light or medium roasts to intensify this.


* Dark roast - Also known as "Vienna" or "Light French", while "Full French" and "Italian" refer to rather dark roast. A dark roast coffee comes with both bitterness and body. Dark roasting has a bad reputation among specialty coffee drinkers and is sometimes thought to be used to hide the taste of poor coffee.


* Medium roast - also known as "Full City", while a slightly darker medium roast might be called "Full City Plus", where a medium roast is between light roast and dark roast, and it is also the suitable roasting degree for most fine beans, which will highlight the balance, sweetness and mellow feeling of fine coffee without losing the characteristic flavor.


Italian roasting/drip roasting/SOE roasting: generally speaking, Italian roasting degree (Espresso) will be darker, and dripping roasting (Filter) will be shallower. On the other hand, SOE roasts (Single Origin Espresso Roasts) are roast degrees that are suitable for both drip coffee and espresso.


So, why are drip coffee and espresso roasted differently? Because espresso is a type of extraction that intensifies the flavor of the coffee (the coffee is brewed at 9 atmospheres) and is ideal for sweet, rich coffees, while drip coffee, such as pour-over, is known for its complexity (which brings out the richness of specialty coffee).