Coffee Roast Levels, Why Is Roasting So Important?


Did you think that coffee beans just came the way they are from the very beginning? Like a fruit seed? You take them out of the coffee plants and voila! They are ready to be brewed.

Apparently, that is not at all what happens, they are seeds and they are initially greenish in color. Hard to believe, right? Furthermore, the green beans are not very edible. Chances are you will end up throwing up if you brew it.

Coffee beans are roasted to make the coffee beans that people all over the world cannot live without. Furthermore, coffee roast levels also vary and play a very significant role. You cannot just heat coffee beans up for as long as you want and brew it.

There is a fine, specific process for it without which the coffee will not be as satisfying as you would want it to be.

Coffee Bean Roasting Levels
Coffee Bean Roasting Levels

Coffee Roasting Levels: The Importance Of Coffee Beans Roast

When it comes to coffee beans, the most important factor is its roast. The roast level of the coffee determines pretty much everything. It is the roast level that may give you a taste of raw coffee or a completely burnt one.

Various people prefer their coffee in various ways. For example, people from a certain part of a country may like light roasts more while another part may like darker ones.

However, the taste of all roast levels coffee is not the same. There are other factors that matter too.

Coffee Bean Roast Levels: The Other Factors

The Origin:

If you study the history of coffee, you would have been come to know the origin, where do coffee beans come from but nowadays coffee grows all over the world.

In fact, coffee companies or people do not get coffee from just one coffee plant. Based on the environment the coffee plant grows in, it’s seeds also vary.

As a result, despite roasting the coffee beans from various locations to the same level, they taste different.

For example, there are the Robusta and Arabica versions of the coffee beans. Both taste different at the same roast level.

The age:

You know how grapes can be turned to alcohol with time and process. So, time can do wonders and it does so with coffee beans too. No, coffee beans never turn alcoholic but as they age, their taste changes as well.

When you roast a more mature coffee bean, it tastes different than a fresh one.

The Grind:

You probably have come across coffee that looks like powder and also ones that look like beans. Apparently, this has an effect on the flavor as well. Furthermore, despite the same roast level, differently ground coffee will taste different.

You may grind your coffee by hand in a traditional way or using your builtin best coffee maker with grinder (like, see the Saeco PicoBaristo review Model no. HD8927/47, one of the best super automatic espresso machine which has a built-in ceramic grinder) or grind your coffee by the best burr coffee grinders. This will play a role as well. It is amazing how you can get different flavors from the same roast level just by changing a few small things.

We also have detailed articles on how to grind coffee beans without a grinder in a traditional way and the best coffee grinder for French press, in case if you want to check those out.

The Brewing Method:

What is an americano, espresso, macchiato, mocha, latte, cappuccino, there is no end to names that we give to coffee beverages. However, it’s not only the names in which they vary, but the brewing process also varies for each of them as well.

And, that leads to a completely different taste of the same coffee beans roast levels.

You see, if you want to love coffee, it will never bore you and it will make you love it. In fact, it’s not just beverages where you use coffee, desserts also use it.

The chocolate cakes that use coffee in them have the best taste ever. Whatever the sources you having coffee, it has great & amazing health benefits.

Coffee Roast Levels Explained: Time To Know Them

Coffee Roast Levels Chart
Coffee Roast Levels Chart

Let us now understand the various levels of coffee roast, what they taste like, how they are reached, etc.

In fact, it requires time, effort, and experience to get the right roast level. You look away for one second at the right time and the perfection will be gone.

1. Raw Coffee Beans:

The raw coffee beans usually look green and small. However, raw coffee beans from different parts of the world look different too. Some look greenish, some a bit brownish, a myriad of colors.

Raw Coffee Bean

You cannot really brew coffee with these greenish beans. It has a grassy taste and raw smell. In fact, you may lose your faith in the coffee world if you ever try having this unroasted version of coffee.

2. Light Roast Coffee:

This is where things start to heat up, literally. Firstly, you start by heating it up and at 385-degree Fahrenheit or 196-degree Celsius, the coffee dries up completely and slowly expands a bit.

Apparently, a light roast reaches a temperature of 401-degree Fahrenheit to be called a light roast.

Light Roast Coffee

This roast level is light brown in color. Furthermore, you will find no trace of oil on its surface. Apparently, light roasts are not roasted beyond the first crack and the mentioned temperatures are when a first crack occurs.

The taste of light roasts is weaker with more caffeine in them. By the way, do you know what is caffeine? and how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee? You will taste a more original coffee flavor when you drink lightly roasted coffee.

When you hear the names: Light City, Half City, Cinnamon Roast, or New England Roast, do not get confused. These are all light roast levels of coffee.

If you want to have the best Light Roast Coffee at your home, the AmazonFresh Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee is a nice option.

Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee
Click on the picture to check the price

3. Medium Roast Coffee Beans:

In order to get a more intense flavor kick, you can go for a medium roast. Apparently, you need to keep the highest temperature between 410-degree Fahrenheit and 428-degree Fahrenheit. This is the range for a medium roast.

If you are an enthusiast of pour-over coffee using your best automatic pour over coffee makers, medium roast is deserving of pour over brewing method.

Medium Roast Coffee Beans

A medium roast has its own unique taste that is not too raw or close to nature. Also, it is not very dark either. Apparently, it balances the various factors. It has a certain level of dark flavor and also a bit of a raw flavor, it has more acidity.

These beans are a darker brown than the light roasted ones. However, they are less dark than the following roast levels. It is notable that the second crack does not occur during the medium roast.

Regular Roast, City Roast, American Roast, Breakfast Roast, etc. Are the various names of medium roasts that you will come across. They usually are roasted to varying temperatures within the medium roast range.

If you want to have the best Medium Roast Coffee at your home, the Lavazza Gold Selection Medium Espresso Roast Whole Bean Coffee is a nice option.

Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee
Click on the picture to check the price

4. Medium Dark Roast Coffee Beans:

As you can imagine, this roast is for someone who wants to enjoy the dark side of coffee but does not want to risk it either. Who would want to taste something that tastes like charcoal? Many but let’s leave that for later.

Medium Dark Roast Coffee Beans

A medium-dark roast occurs when the second crack starts to occurs or is done midway. It is at a temperature of 437-446 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, this is where the coffee beans feel heavier in weight. It will catch a very dark brown color.

You will also see the surface getting a tiny bit oily. What will surprise you is that because of the acidity, the coffee may give your taste buds a spicy kick. However, what else can you expect from a coffee roasted so mercilessly?

Full City Roast, After Dinner Roast, and Vienna Roast, are the names you may come across when you are looking for Medium Dark roasting levels coffee beans.

If you want to have the best Medium Dark Roast Coffee at your home, the Cafe Don Pablo Medium Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee is a nice option.

Medium Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
Click on the picture to check the price

5. Dark Roast Coffee Beans:

This roast is pretty much the king of the coffee world. You get it only after leaving the coffee to be roasted for quite a while even after the second crack. At this point, the coffee is heavy but is getting thinner as well.

Dark Roast Coffee Beans

You may even notice smoke coming out of the roaster because it is that intense. When it comes to taste, you can take a quick guess what it will taste like- A bit burnt or smoky. However, it is not exactly an ash-like taste or else no one would drink it, right?

Apart from that, this roast level contains the least amount of caffeine. Moreover, you will notice that the surface of the coffee beans will be very oily. In fact, you can notice the oil when you brew it as well.

These level usually occurs between the temperatures of 464-482 degree Fahrenheit. Go over that and all you will get is a charcoal-ish taste. However, give the dark roasts a try because you may just love it. Apart from that, the dark roast will look very close to black in color.

Do you wanna know, what is French roast coffee? Ok, French roast, Italian, Spanish, Espresso, New Orleans, and Continental roasts are the names of dark roasted coffee beans.

So, these are the various coffee roasts levels with one of which you may create a bond for a lifetime. You see the difference between them is by a few degrees and just two cracks. Can you imagine how much attention and expertise an expert roasting coffee must-have?

He has to pay attention to every single change and also trust his eyes. You can easily rely on a coffee roaster to do the job. However, you may not get full control over the process. So, when you do buy a home coffee roaster, make sure you can adjust various factors just the way you like it.

If you want to have the best Dark Roast Coffee at your home, the AmazonFresh Dark Roast Ground Coffee is a nice option.

Best Dark Roast Ground Coffee
Click on the picture to check the price

Let’s Watch a Video Review:

READ NEXT: Latte VS Cappuccino and Pour Over Coffee VS French Press


Now that you know the various coffee roast levels and do not believe that coffee arrives just the way it appears, you are an enlightened being now.

You can drink that cup of coffee without guilt because now you know what it has been through.

Reading Suggestions:


  1. Thanks for another fantastic post. Where else may just anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  2. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll forward this information to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  3. You are so interesting! I don’t think I’ve read something like this before.
    So nice to discover another person with original thoughts on this subject matter.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that
    is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

  4. Very shortly this website will be famous amid all blogging and site-building viewers, due to it’s pleasant posts


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here