Coffee Roasts 101

The best cup of coffee consists of the best-roasted beans appropriately ground and brewed. So, it all starts with the coffee bean and the roasting method.

Originally the coffee bean is stored in original green state and it’s quite different than the roasted bean. It is soft and spongy and smells like grass. The roasting process effects numerous chemical changes as the beans are rapidly brought to very high temperatures. Roasted beans smell like coffee and are crunchy to the bite, ready to be ground and brewed. The roasting process brings out the rich aroma and flavor of coffee as we know it that is locked in the green bean.

Coffee roasting is a complicated technical process and while some roast at home, in reality, it takes a professional to roast the perfect bean.

There are many types of roasts and it is difficult to find an industry standard, there are however 4 general categories of roasts that will describe certain strength and flavor.

The Coffee Roasts

In general, the length of time of roasting determines the strength and richness of the flavor, because it determines how much oil is brought to the surface of the bean.

Light Roasts

The light roasts yield a very mild cup of coffee because it is not roasted long enough to create oils on the surface of the bean. Some light roasts are Light City and New England.


The medium roast in darker in color and stronger than the light with a non-oily surface. Medium roast is also known as the American roast because it is very popular in the States. Some popular roasts in this category include City, American, and Breakfast.


This roast has some oil on the surface and a strong flavor and aroma, with a bittersweet aftertaste. Some of these include Inner City and Full City.


The dark roast produces beans that are shiny black and have lots of oil on the surface and a coffee with a pronounced bitterness. Dark roast is the strongest of all and is not for the squeamish. Dark roasts range from slightly dark beans to charred. Some popular roasts included in this category are French, Continental, Espresso, and European.

The perfect roast is really an individual choice, as they all have distinct flavors and aromas. While some may enjoy a very rich and strong flavored cup of coffee, others may have a lighter taste they favor. Also, remember that once the coffee is roasted it will not stay fresh very long, at most two weeks in the freezer, or one in the fridge. For the best cup of coffee, the roast used needs to be very fresh.

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All You Need to Know About Coffee Roasting

Coffee roasting directly determines the taste and flavor of your cup of Joe, and much of your roasting preferences depend on the flavor profile you are looking for in your Java. Coffee was discovered centuries ago, and it wasn’t long before the dried coffee beans began being roasted to release even richer flavors that can be ground into a brew. Learning more about coffee roasts is your opportunity to delve even deeper into your cup of Joe to determine which aspects of Java flavor you like the best!

To start with, there are different roast types to take into consideration. Coffee ranges from light to dark roasted, depending upon how long it is roasted for. A light roast is normally after the first crack of the coffee beans in the roasting process, and a standard light roast is called the American roast. From there, a light-medium roast is called a City roast, and a medium roast is called a Full City roast. As the coffee beans are roasted for a longer period of time, they become darker and develop smokier flavors. This is normally after the second crack of the coffee beans. A medium dark roast is called a Vienna roast, and a Dark roast is called an Italian Espresso roast or a French roast. Determining different roast types is your opportunity to choose either a lighter roast of coffee that exhibits more characteristics of the region that it was grown in or a darker roast of coffee that has smokier and fuller flavors.

Once you brew your delicious coffee roast, there are a few ways to determine the coffee characteristics. These are often used by professional coffee connoisseurs as a way to measure the body and flavor of a cup of Joe. To start out with, you can begin by considering the acidity of your Java. This is the tart taste that it may leave on your tongue, also measured by the dryness that it brings to your palette. This should not be confused in any way with bitterness or sourness from an improper brewing method, but the acidity is similar to the dry characteristics found in wine. High acidity can be found within African coffees.

After that, you can take into consideration the body of your Java. This is the heaviness felt on your tongue, as well as the thickness of the coffee. Many fuller bodied coffees lose their body by adding milk, and Indonesian coffees are often known for having a full body. Another consideration is the aroma of your coffee, which is the scent characteristics that it provides. Some of the most fragrant coffees on the market are Colombian and Kona coffees.

Last, of all, the flavor of your coffee is what makes it distinct. Does your Java have an earthy or sharp flavor? Does it have undertones of flowers, nuts, or chocolate? There truly is no wrong answer in determining the flavor profile of your cup of Joe, and it is your opportunity to develop your palate as a true coffee connoisseur!

Spokane’s choice¬†

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Coffee Grinders

The more uniform the grind, the better the extraction of the essence of the coffee bean. This is why grinding coffee becomes such a special point in the coffee enjoyment. One of the oldest ways of grinding coffee was the simple mortar and pestle approach. It was all based on a quite simple system. The coffee to be ground was just placed in the bottom of a bowl, and the blunt end of a stick was used to ground the coffee along the bowl’s bottom and side. Nowadays we rather us a more mechanical way to ground our coffee. The mortar and the pestle have left their place to the mechanical moving disc and created a new term we carry into the present, the grinding force we know as milling.

So milling becomes very efficient and common with the use of electrical motors. Maybe we should bring up the blade styled coffee grinder at this point. This type of coffee grinder is practically available in every houseware store in the world. The blade style coffee grinder works simply with two high-speed spinning metal blades and a universal electric motor. The Blade type coffee grinder chops the beans up. Many models of this type can be had for a very cheap price.

But there is a second common type of coffee grinders. This is the grinder called a Burr grinder, and these can be broken down into cone or plate burrs. These use two bits of metal really close together to break the beans apart. Kind of like millstones. Usually, they are called Coffee Mills. We prefer the second type of coffee grinder; the Burr-Mill type grinder. First of all; it does not alter the flavor of the coffee beans. The blade type will actually scorch the beans adding a burnt taste. So it’s often preferred to choose a coffee mill if you don’t want to spoil the flavor of your coffee enjoyment.

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