Light, Medium and Dark Roast Coffee. What is the difference? Isn’t all coffee the same?
Light, Medium and Dark roasted coffee is quite different in the color of the roasted bean and more importantly, their respective flavor profile. In this article, I will dig a little deeper to remove the smoke and mirror of roasting.
In the early days of coffee, consumers bought a cup of coffee at the diner (remember the coffee pot burning coffee on the heating element) or service stations. The beans we bought at the grocer or supermarket came in a tin can to “seal in freshness.” Those beans were roasted dark to hide poor quality green beans.
Today’s consumers demand better grown food products with organics at the top of the food chain and they are getting it. The coffee industry responded by growing much higher-grade specialty coffee beans.
What else has changed since the dark days?
- Consumers are more informed than ever on sustainable farming practices not only in the coffee industry but farming in general.
- Farmers, in general, get a better price for higher-grade beans.
- Better farming practices spawned a specialty coffee market for high grade beans.
- That makes coffee beans with exceptional origin of flavors easier to find and the consumer benefits.
LOVEz Coffee does not use air roasting to hide poor quality beans; we use air roasting to extract the best flavors.
Typically, an old-style Roaster uses the drum roasting process. In this method, green beans are deposited in a drum and heat is applied to the drum until the beans achieve the desired roasting level. As coffee lovers, we got tired of tasting burnt beans.
LOVEz Coffee uses an innovative and radical roasting technology. The real secret in maximizing the bean’s origin flavors is our patented air roasting technology. We can tightly control specific roast times and temperatures. We use a vortex of hot air to roast the beans; this eliminates any bitter and/or burnt taste.
You savour the full flavor range of the coffee bean just like Mother Nature intended coffee to taste like. Now, let us get roasting!
Light Roast Coffee
Lighter air roasted high-grade coffee beans reveal complex and the true wild flavors, aroma and after taste of the beans’ origins. Light air roasted beans are more acidic, yet they release brilliant flavors; you will be pleasantly surprise if you normally drink a Dark roast. I was!
Because Light air roasting brings out vibrant, unique flavors from the coffee beans, many of our customers only buy a Light roast. They want the unique characteristics of a coffee bean’s origin. To achieve a Light roast, our roasters air roast green beans to reach an internal roasting temperature of 350 - 400 degrees Fahrenheit
At these temperatures, the beans barely reach the first “crack.” This is the stage where vapours inside the bean leak through the bean’s outer wall making a “cracking” sound.
Medium Roast Coffee
Our master roasters love air roasting specialty coffee beans to a Medium roast. Medium air roasting preserves most of the unique flavors found in the coffee bean’s origin; it also brings out a delicious sweetness associated with the caramelizing of the bean during a slightly longer air roast.
Medium air roasted coffee is an earthy brown color, has medium acidity and unlike a Dark roast rarely releases any oils. If the beans in your “Medium” roast bag are oily, it is not likely they are a Medium roast.
Our master roasters air roast Medium coffee between 400 - 430 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans are roasted between the first and second crack. A Medium roast extinguishes some the bright notes found in Light air roasted coffee; the upside is you savour a balanced, slightly darker, and sweeter bean.
Dark Roast Coffee
In the olden days, coffee was roasted (some would say over roasted) Dark to compensate for and hide the vast quantity of low grade/quality beans available in the marketplace. Today, bean quality has improved greatly; we only use the highest-grade organic and sustainably grown coffee beans. We do not need to hide anything with air roasting. In fact, we believe air roasting enhances the flavor of Dark roasted beans by eliminating the smoky, burnt taste normally found in drum-roasted coffee. We also Dark air roast if a certain type of bean calls for it. Some beans thrive with a Dark air roast. Although, we are capable of air roasting to a very Dark taste profile most of specialty coffee beans love a Light, Light to Medium or Medium roast.
The difference between Light and Dark roast coffee is quite dramatic. As much as Light air roasted beans retain its flavor of origin, Dark roasted coffee tends to lose most of that flavor. Dark air roasted coffee pushes notes of chocolate, nutty and caramel flavors. Dark roast coffee finishes in a dark brown color and often has an oily surface. These coffees have a low acidity, heavy body and tend to reveal deeper, darker flavors.
We air roast Dark coffee beans between 430-450 degrees Fahrenheit and up to and slightly beyond the second crack.
Ideally, we provide Light to espresso and very Dark air roast for all our beans. It is your choice!
Whether you buy your bean whole or pre-ground from grocery store, you will not believe how much flavor LOVEz specialty-grade, freshly air roasted coffee has at every roast level. Give our beans a try! We know you will be back for more and experience all our different beans.