three types of roasts in their own cups

5 Types of Coffee Roasts Explained

You're not alone if you've ever spent half an hour in a grocery coffee aisle thinking about what type of coffee roast you should buy. Of course, it all depends on your preference, but if you're not sure what type of coffee roast will suit your taste, then this handy guide will be helpful to you.

The five coffee roasts are light, medium-dark, and dark roasts. Each roast level has a different aroma, appearance, and flavour. Coffee beans become darker in colour as they roast, and their flavours and scent alter - which means the longer the roast, the less caffeine and acidity it contains. 

1. White roast 

It is made from coffee beans that have been very lightly roasted. As a result, the beans are tougher and have more caffeine than darker roast beans.

White roast coffee should not be confused with other coffees generally referred to as "white coffee." White coffee is also known as Malaysian/Ipoh white coffee, Indonesian Kopi Putih white coffee, and flat white coffee. They are technically white coffee as well. However, they do not contain white roast coffee beans.

2. Light Roast

A light roast might be better if you don't enjoy strong coffee. Light roast coffee beans are roasted for the shortest time compared to other roasts. It has a less greasy surface and a lighter brown colour, so it's sometimes referred to as cinnamon roast.

Its shorter roasting times result in higher acidity and caffeine concentration but less scent. However, coffee with fragrant and fruity characteristics can be found among the light roasted coffees.

Light roast is a popular choice for cold brew enthusiasts due to the flavour notes. The cold brew procedure also reduces acidity, making it gentler on individuals with sensitive stomachs. 

Some common light roast names include:

Cinnamon Roast

New England

Light City

Half City

White Coffee

3. Medium Roast

Medium roasted coffee has a deeper consistency than light roast due to its medium brown hue and a better balance of acidity, flavour, and aroma. It also lacks the greasy surface that you'll get in darker roasts.

A medium roast will bring out the beans' nutty, chocolatey flavour qualities. A superb medium roast will taste fantastic brewed in various ways, including pour-over, automatic drip, Moka pot, and espresso. It's a very satisfying and adaptable roast for most coffee enthusiasts.

Go with a medium grind if you're using an automatic drip or pour-over brewer. Because a medium roast extracts faster than a light roast, a medium grind will prevent over-extraction. A fine grind is required with the Moka pot and espresso maker, but because they extract so quickly, you'll still get a fantastic tasting cup of coffee.

Some common medium roast names include:






dark roast coffee beans

4. Medium-Dark Roast

If you want to amp up the body and flavour of your coffee, medium-dark roasted coffee beans provide a robust body and rich flavour with a faint bittersweet aftertaste.

Medium-dark roast coffee drinkers typically prefer the French press, espresso, and Aeropress brewing methods. Using a French press, use a coarse grind to prevent your coffee from becoming extremely bitter from over-extraction.

A medium-coarse grind might be the best option if you're using an automatic drip or pour over machine to generate a medium-dark roast. It will assist you in avoiding bitter flavour notes.

Because they are roasted for a more extended period, these beans have a darker colour, a semi-oily surface, less acidity, a thicker consistency, and a richer aroma.

Common names for medium-dark roasts are:

Full City

After Dinner



Light Espresso

Light French

5. Dark Roast

To achieve a dark roast, the coffee beans are roasted the longest of all the bean roasts until they are the colour of dark chocolate, if not black. The long roasting period extracts the bean's oil, which is visible in the brew and results in a robust, occasionally bitter flavour.

Unless you're using a Moka pot or an espresso machine, you should use a medium-coarse to coarse grind when brewing a dark roast at home. When brewed slowly with finer grind sizes, the dark roast will extract quickly and may taste unpleasantly harsh. Although flavour choice is a highly individualized experience, it's always a good idea to experiment and see what works best for you.

Popular dark roast names include:








New Orleans


There you have it! 

Now that we've gone over the five types of coffee roasts, you're ready to pick out a bag of beans and try roasting coffee at home with confidence! And if you're stuck on just one type of roast, this guide might even convince you to try something new. 

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