Coffee Roasts levels from Light to Dark


We’re at the coffee farm. Its sight inspires us! Amazing coffee plants make for that great morning inspiration, indeed. However, we didn’t smell any hints of coffee in the air. It made us wonder and later concluded that unroasted coffee beans aren’t reminding us of that perfect coffee cup.

These coffee plants, of course, smell like plants. Indeed, coffee is coffee once roasted, a process that brings out its ideal flavor, taste and aroma. Roasting coffee beans releases the best smell in the air, and there is no word that can describe it.

Where else on earth is this than on coffee beans being roasted to perfection? Simply, there is no other. And for an upgraded aroma, the way to go is to put these beans in the grinder and get them to a coarse or fine texture based on what specialty coffee drink you want to come up with each time. It is easy with a reliable coffee grinder that works efficiently.

Why roasting matters? The simple reason is that this process is what brings out the best of coffee! It helps produce that aroma and flavor inside the beans. It is like unlocking all those hidden gems inside them.

The reason is that coffee beans are simply green and raw when stored to prevent losing their flavor, taste and quality. At this stage, coffee beans possess none of the characteristics of the roasted beans. In fact, they also smell grassy and taste spongy. If you want to learn more about the four levels of roasting, keep reading in the following.

I. The Four Levels of Coffee Roasting That You Need to Know

If you’re getting yourself familiar with the coffee roasting, you can safely say that it will be based on the coffee color once done with the process. You can find four levels of coffee roasting, each with unique characteristics and qualities applicable for a specific application.

Why it matters? The color range indicates the amount of heat that the coffee beans absorbed. It will also have to do with the coffee oil content after the roasting. For example, a dark roast will have more oil in it. It is because the high temperatures are going to burn this oil layer in order to produce the coffee bean color.

1. Light Roasts


The first thing you would notice in a light roast is its light brown or tan color. You will not find any oil on the surface of these beans and notice its mellow body and crisp acidity. It is used if you want to achieve bright coffee flavors and aromas.  You can use it for any kinds of coffee, too.

Many baristas prefer this because light roasts are able to preserve the unique coffee beans properties, allowing you to achieve the best results provided that the beans are well roasted, they can make for fantastic aftertastes, too.

People also love it because light roasts are able to bring out the unique flavors of coffee, highlighting the coffee origins. Some unique flavors that you might notice include hints of chocolate and stone fruits.

Reaching internal temperatures between 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit, light, which are sometimes called light city, cinnamon or half city, roasted beans that barely reach a stage where vapors inside the coffee beans break through their outer wall, which will produce a cracking noise (first crack).

2. Medium Roasts

Just as the name suggests, these coffees are medium brown and possess more body than the first one does. But like light roasts, medium roasts don’t also have oil on their surface. They don’t have much of the grainy tastes to find in a light roasted coffee bean.

Medium roasts don’t have as much caffeine as light roasts have, though. These coffees achieve temperatures between 410-428 degrees Fahrenheit, which occurs between the first crack’s end and the second crack’s beginning. A few names these roasts are called include American roast or regular roast.

3. Medium-Dark Roasts

If you want a darker and richer color and some evident oil on the beans’ surface, you might want to opt for these coffees that show a heavier body as compared to the first two do. The most common names for these roasts include after dinner roast and Vienna roast. They reached internal temperatures between 437-446 degrees Fahrenheit.

Full-City Roasts, another name for these roasts, are roasted to the start or middle of the second crack. These roasts exhibit more aromas in the roasting process and known for their spicy flavor.

4. Dark Roasts


Dark or almost black, dark roasts coffees appear like chocolate and with oil on their surface. You’ll notice it in your cup of brewed coffee that tastes a bit smoky or bitter. But in this roast’s stage, caffeine is lower than the others have.

These roasts reached an internal temperature between 464-482 degrees Fahrenheit. The bean body becomes thin and the resulting taste can be like the flavors of charcoal. If you love espresso, you might want to opt for these dark roasts. A few names for these coffees include espresso roast, Italian roast, New Orleans roast, Continental roast or Spanish roast.

There you have a quick overview on the types of coffee roasting. Depending on what you want to achieve, you can choose from one of these coffees. For espresso, you can go for the dark roasts variant.

II. Comparison Of Caffeine In​​​​​​​ Light Roast And Dark Roasts

After knowing the different levels of roasting coffee beans, let us next tackle on the differences of light and dark roasts in terms of caffeine. You might have heard some friends picking dark roasts because of their lower caffeine content, but there is more to that. Caffeine can vary based on the measurement of your coffee, too.

At the very least, there’s up to 90-bean difference in a dark roasts and light roasts per pound, and the dark roast coffee having more.

However, the volume isn’t all. In case you don’t know yet, coffee beans lose their mass during roasting. So without even saying, each bean’s density also changes. It just means that longer roasting will reduce density. It is why you will get more beans if you opt for dark roasts beans.

Saying all these, you will get more caffeine if you choose light roasts per scoop because the beans are denser when compared to dark roasts.

But if you’d weigh the scoops, you will have more caffeine in dark roasts due to reduced mass. And one more, the caffeine level can also change in Arabica beans, factoring in their plant species.

Thus, you will find only minimal difference in terms of caffeine content between light and dark roasts in accordance to how the coffee grounds are measured.

What else to know

The caffeine difference also comes into play when the roasted beans are measured for packaging or brewing. Again, the beans lose mostly water weight during the roasting process. And in this case, its caffeine content when based on weight increases while it caffeine by volume lowers.

So with that dark roasts being measured using a scoop has fewer beans because of a large size (measured by scoop). It will result to a weaker brew as compared to light roasts. In this case, you will not get the most using a dark roast coffee if measured by volume.

However, dark coffees, which are measured by weight, will need more beans if used for brewing because each of them weighs also less. It will result to a fuller flavored brew and with a higher amount of caffeine in every cup versus light roasts have.

There you have the things to know when it comes to the caffeine content of a light and a dark roast. The next time you are going to think about caffeine, you will probably have the idea. Nevertheless, choose your roasts based on what coffee tastes and aroma you want to achieve as well as what caffeine content prefer.

III. Conclusion​​​​

Which one among these levels of coffee roast do you like?  As you see, you’ll find so many ways on how to enjoy each of them depending on your preference. You can opt for a light or dark roast based on what results you want to achieve.

Now if you would like to enhance your experience, you should always use a fresh pack of coffee bean and roast it to your desired level. Finally, you should grind it with the ideal texture and fineness based on the coffee type you need for that perfect coffee cup.

At, coffee is life! And for sure, you love it, too. After all, coffee can give more energy and keep us alert. It is the drink for the modern people that want to keep up with their busy lives. Find out more about coffee by staying tuned with us. We’re here to be your coffee guides, no matter what kind of coffee you like is.

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