Types of Roasting
- by Ivan KNEZ
One of the most critical issues to choose a great coffee or to define a culture is the type of roasting. Among the easiest ways to predict what your cup will highlight is by the bean colour. The normal thing when you go to choose your coffee is to come across words like light, medium, medium-dark and dark roast; but what does each one mean and what meaning does it have in each style of preparation? Well, this is the question we are going to solve.
When we speak of a light roast we should think of a coffee with a marked acidity, which in turn is in total capacity to develop all that the variety can offer in flavours, however it will have its main disadvantage in those beans that are not of very good quality, since it will highlight its bad processes and defects. Now we must move on to the medium roast, where the intensity in aromas, sweetness and reduction in acidity will be the common descriptors. This is where we will find the great majority of specialty coffee profiles, in spite of the rise of the light roast.
In this order of ideas, we see how the acidity, the darker the roast, the lighter it will be in the beverage. We will also notice that the body will be more pronounced and heavier, and as the caramelisation time increases (a process that occurs during roasting), the beverage runs the risk of increasing in bitterness. This profile is ideal for highlighting those chocolate and cocoa notes in certain varieties that make medium-dark roasting an ideal way to go. Finally, we should not discard dark roasts, since they are generally looking for a perfect cup for beverages such as espresso, so we should not confuse this roast with a burnt coffee. Its colour will be brighter, and as its name indicates, darker, but the release of these oils to the outer layer of the bean will allow the acidity to diminish and will highlight notes of molasses for espresso based beverages.