The Top 10 Most Popular Coffee Roasts

Different types of coffee beans

There are so many different types of coffee beans to choose from when it comes to buying coffee. In this article, we will go through the different kinds of coffee roasts and give you the best advice on which one to buy.




Coffee Beans


Light Brown

Toasted, Light-Body, High Acidity



Rounded, Sweet Flavor, Extra Body

Medium Dark

Dark Brown

Heavy, Full-Body, Bittersweet



Smokey, Burnt, Intensely Bitter

The various kinds of coffee beans can be further broken down into 10 different roast profiles. The quality of the beans used for making coffee is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the roast.

Light Roast Coffee Beans

Light roast coffee is so-named because of the short roast time that leaves the beans with a light brown color. The coffee beans begin to explode about 205°C (401°F), a sound known as the first crack in the coffee business.

The beans expand as the humidity evaporates, performing in a cracking sound. The moisture causes steam to form, as well as a buildup of pressure, forcing the beans to crack open. The cracks begin slowly and gradually rise in pace, at intervals of a few seconds. When maize is roasted to make popcorn, the sound is extremely similar.

Lightly roasted coffee is halted shortly before or at the start of the first crack stage. Lightly roasting coffee necessitates a high-quality raw ingredient as well as a professional coffee roaster. If the coffee isn't correctly roasted, it will have unpleasant flavors such as peanut, grassy, and savory. This is referred to as an undeveloped coffee by roasters.

Lightly roasted coffee is delicious when done correctly. As a result, the coffee has a light body and a high acidity. Acidity is crucial in coffee, just as it is in wine because it offers a refreshing characteristic.

The provenance – the origin of the coffee – is highlighted in lightly roasted coffees since the roasting procedure has the least impact on the beans.

Light roast coffee gives you a new perspective on how coffee might taste, and it's something you should try.

Medium Roast Coffee Beans

Medium roast coffee beans have a darker shade of brown than light roast coffee beans. The natural sugars in the beans begin to caramelize, which causes the color shift. The beans also have a greater scent as a result of this.

The interior temperature of the bean for a medium roast is between 210°C and 224°C (410°F and 435°F). As the moisture evaporates during the roasting process, the beans shrivel by around 13%.


Partway during the first crack or shortly after it is stopped, medium roast beans are finished roasting. The longer roasting time has imparted some roasting flavor to the beans, but the terroir is still quite evident. The extra roasting gives the coffee a more rounded flavor, with more sweetness and body but less acidity.

Medium roast coffee is equally as tasty as light roast coffee. The two best-tasting coffee roasts are light and medium roasts.

Medium- Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Medium-dark coffee beans are a deep brown color. As the oils that were confined inside the beans have risen to the surface, some of them may now be visible.

At this point, the beans have attained an internal temperature of 225–234°C (437–454°F).

When the interior temperature exceeds 230°C (446°F), a second break appears. A medium-dark roast  is shaved off immediately as the second crack begins to take shape, or shortly after it has begun.


In a medium-dark roast, most of the acidity has been gone, leaving the coffee with a bittersweet aftertaste induced by more caramelization.

The coffee has also lost the majority of its original qualities as a result of the lengthy roasting, which has imparted more roasted flavors. As a result, the coffee has a substantially greater body, a rich flavor, and a robust scent.

Because it's inexpensive, low-grade coffee, coffee is generally roasted this dark. The roasting procedure hides flaws and discrepancies in the beans that occur throughout their manufacture and processing.

Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Darkly roasted coffee beans have lost their brown color and have turned black. Because the beans are thoroughly coated in their oils, they become shiny at this point.

The coffee beans have passed the second crack and are now between 239 and 246°C (462 and 474°F) on the inside. All of the original flavors and acidity have been lost, and the beans have become scorched and burnt.


The only flavor left is the roasted flavor supplied by the roaster. The coffee has an exceedingly bitter burnt and smokey flavor. Again, this dark roasting serves just one purpose: to mask how bad the green coffee tastes due to inadequate processing. This dark roasting is normally reserved for the cheapest, lowest-grade Robusta coffee.

Coffee at an internal temperature of 252°C (486°F) may contain up to 25% ash. Beyond this temperature, roasting coffee can be exceedingly harmful.

When removing the beans from the coffee roaster, the quick rush of oxygen can start a fire, therefore dark roasting must be done with utmost caution.

Why Do Coffee Beans Need To Be Roasted?

Roasting coffee is required to transform raw, green coffee beans into a drinkable product. Unroasted coffee beans have an awful grassy, hay-like flavor. Roasting brings out the scent and flavor of the green coffee beans while also introducing new flavors through chemical reactions.

While most countries only use the labels light, medium, medium-dark, and dark to describe their coffee roast profiles, some, such as the United States, want to go even further.

Breaking down the roast kinds into fewer groups makes it easier for roasters to communicate with one another. The color of each kind is controlled by the internal temperature of the coffee beans.

The quality of the raw coffee beans determines the roast profile a coffee roaster chooses. When the green coffee is of exceptional quality, the roaster chooses between a light and medium roast. But why is that?


The heat has a greater impact on the flavor of coffee beans the longer it is roasted. The unique flavor of the coffee is preserved by softly roasting it, allowing the origin of the coffee to shine through.

Because the roasting procedure has less influence, the lighter coffee is roasted, the more the coffee's origins are revealed.

The darker a coffee is roasted, the more the roasted flavors provided by the roasting machine begin to overshadow the coffee's inherent characteristics Cooking is a good analogy. When a vegetable is steamed, for example, its natural flavor is preserved.

In comparison, roasting the same vegetable in the oven takes longer. The roasting procedure changes the taste of the vegetables, giving them a roasted flavor.

The roasting profile of good coffee roasters varies depending on whether the beans will be used for espresso or filter coffee. Espresso roasters prefer a little darker roast because it makes the beans more water-soluble.

Because espresso is made in under 30 seconds, it's critical that the coffee beans be extracted as soon as possible. By allowing the roast to develop a bit longer, the beans will easily release their flavors.

Which Coffee Roast has the most caffeine?

Despite the fact that roasted coffee has 10–15 percent less caffeine than unroasted green coffee, almost all coffee roast types have nearly comparable caffeine levels.

Because caffeine is stable at temperatures below 235°C (455°F), this is the case. Due to the harmful effects of high temperatures on coffee beans, few coffee roasters go over this temperature.

A Cup Of Dark Roast Coffee Has More Caffeine Than A Cup Of Light Roast Coffee.


The roasting process causes the coffee beans to lose moisture, which causes the beans to lose bulk, as we've seen. Despite the fact that the beans are getting smaller, the caffeine level remains the same.

This suggests that dark roast coffee beans have a higher caffeine density than light roast coffee beans.

Despite what some websites claim, how you measure your coffee has no bearing on the outcome. The result is the same whether you measure your coffee beans by weight with a scale or by volume with a scoop. Let's look at the differences between light and dark beans.

When you weigh your coffee beans on a scale, you'll see that you'll need more dark beans to make up the difference in weight between the bigger, light roast beans and the smaller, dark roast beans.

For the same reason, if you use a scoop to measure your beans by volume, you'll need more dark roast beans to fill the scoop.

More dark roast beans are required in both cases than the bigger light roast beans. Because both beans contain the same amount of caffeine, the extra quantity of dark roast beans results in higher caffeine content.


The difference isn't insignificant. The difference in caffeine concentration when using a scoop is around 9%. Even more astonishing, weighing the coffee beans on scale results in a 32 percent difference in caffeine levels.

Because most major coffee chains utilize dark roast coffee, you'll be getting a larger caffeine intake. A 260ml (9oz) serving of dark coffee contains the same amount of caffeine as a 350ml (12oz) serving of light roast coffee.

Given that the big chains also use the more highly caffeinated Robusta form of coffee bean, you'll need to keep a close check on how much caffeine you're taking each day to stay inside the suggested 400mg limit.

Another cause for your coffee's bitterness is the increased caffeine in the Robusta kind. Look for 100 percent arabica coffee beans if you want a cup of coffee with actual flavor that doesn't require a lot of sugar.