Coffee Roast Levels

Kona CoffeeRoasting is a heat process that turns coffee into the fragrant, dark brown beans with which we are most familiar. Before being roasted, the beans were stored green, a state in which they can be kept without loss of quality or taste. The degree to which coffee beans are roasted is one of the most important factors that determine the taste of the coffee in the cup. There are various levels of roasting, from light to dark. The lighter ones are more acidic and sharper.



 100px-75_degrees_green_coffee 22 °C (72 °F)Green Beans
Green coffee as it arrives at the dock. They can be stored for approximately 12-18 months in a climate controlled environment before quality loss is noticeable.
 100px-330_degrees_drying_coffee 165 °C (329 °F)Drying Phase
During the drying phase the beans are undergoing an endothermic process until their moisture content is evaporated, signifying first crack.

Light roast

 100px-385_degrees_cinnamon_roast_coffee 196 °C (385 °F) Cinnamon Roast
A very light roast level which is immediately at first crack. Sweetness is underdeveloped, with prominent toasted grain, grassy flavors, and sharp acidity prominent.
 100px-400_degrees_new_england_roast_coffee 205 °C (401 °F)Light Roast
Moderate light brown, but still mottled in appearance. A preferred roast for some specialty roasters, highlights origin characteristics as well as complex acidity.

Medium roast

 100px-410_degrees_american_roast_coffee 210 °C (410 °F) American Roast
Medium light brown, developed during first crack. Acidity is slightly muted, but origin character is still preserved.
 100px-425_degrees_city_roast_coffee 219 °C (426 °F)City Roa         st
Medium brown, common for most specialty coffee. Good for tasting origin character, although roast character is noticeable.

Dark roast

 100px-440_degrees_full_city_roast_coffee 225 °C (437 °F)Full City Roast
Medium dark brown with occasional oil sheen, roast character is prominent. At the beginning of second crack.
 100px-450_degrees_vienna_roast_coffee 230 °C (446 °F) Vienna Roast
Moderate dark brown with light surface oil, more bittersweet, caramel flavor, acidity muted. In the middle of second crack. Any origin characteristics have become eclipsed by roast at this level.
 100px-460_degrees_french_roast_coffee 240 °C (464 °F) French Roast
Dark brown, shiny with oil, burnt undertones, acidity diminished. At the end of second crack. Roast character is dominant, none of the inherent aroma or flavors of the coffee remain
 100px-470_degrees_italian_roast_coffee 245 °C (473 °F) Italian Roast
Nearly black and shiny, burnt tones become more distinct, acidity nearly eliminated, thin body

Image credits:

Degree of Roast, by Dan Bollinger,

Save of K- cups coffee, Up to 50% of original price Whatever level roast, it is important the beans are not burned or over roasted, which covers up the bean’s natural flavor.