4 types of coffee roasts – A Detailed guide

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages on the planet. Millions of people around the world enjoy it on a daily basis.

If you have ever been to a coffee section of the supermarket, you will find plenty of different types of coffee there. And sometimes it might become difficult for you to pick the coffee of your taste among these various types.

This article will look at different types of coffee roasts available in the market, and we will discuss their key features, such as the flavour and aroma profiles.

What is coffee roasting?

Coffee beans are grown on trees in the form of red cherry, and you cannot simply use them as it is to brew your cup of coffee. 

The green coffee beans are present inside these red cherries; they are taken out of the cherries, washed with water, and dried under the sun. After that, these beans are roasted to bring them into the shape you see them.

Coffee roasting is a process used to create a unique aroma and flavour from coffee beans. Coffee Roasting is an art. Coffee beans are kept in roasters for a specified period and specified temperature to bring the chemical changes in the coffee beans for the perfect flavour and aroma.  

Coffee beans can be roasted in frying pans over burning fires or in expensive airtight roasters in which you can easily specify temperature according to your recipe. Indeed, there will be a difference in the quality of the coffee roasts prepared by these two methods.

Green Coffee beans:


Green Coffee beans are not roasted at all. These are the raw beans that are just taken out of the cherries. These beans are not suitable for brewing a cup of coffee. But some coffee enthusiasts buy raw green coffee and roast these beans by themselves in roasting machines. 

What are the different coffee roasts – 4 types of coffee roasts

As explained earlier, raw coffee beans must be roasted to bring the perfect flavor and aroma. Otherwise, if you brew your coffee beans with non-roasted green coffee beans, the results will be terrible.

There is a specific tradeoff temperature at which coffee beans are roasted to produce the desired chemical changes. It takes years for coffee roaster experts to find the perfect tradeoff temperature and time to get excellent results.

There are four different types of roasting, ranging from very light to very dark. Each type has different taste and aroma characteristics which are discussed below.

1. Light roast Coffee beans

The light roasting process turns coffee beans light brown in color. These coffee beans are very high in acidity and have earthy and fruity flavor notes, just like a raw green coffee bean. 

Light roasts are roasted for less time and at lower temperatures than other roasts. This roast results in coffee beans with high caffeine content but less aroma, and these beans don’t have an oily surface.

Light-roast coffee
Light Roast

If you like fruity flavors and high acidity doesn’t bother you, lightly roasted coffee beans will probably be perfect for you.

Light roasts are mostly used to brew cold coffee, as fruity flavor and ice make an ideal combo.

Features of light roast:

Taste profile: Acidic and fruity

Colour: Light brown

Oiliness: No

Amount of caffeine: High

Temperature: 400 F

Lightly roasted coffee beans are also known as:

  • Light City 
  • Half City
  • Cinnamon Roast
  • New England

2. Medium roast Coffee beans

The Medium roasts are medium brown in color with a somewhat intense flavor and less acidic than light roasts.

The beans of medium roast also have a non-oily surface.

This roast results in a very balanced aroma, flavors, and acidity, and it is the most liked type of roast in America.

Medium Roast coffee
Medium Roast

The caffeine content of these beans is relatively lower than light roast as the beans are roasted for higher temperatures than the light roast. This roast also brings out the chocolaty and nutty flavor of the coffee beans with a perfect aroma.

This is the perfect roast of drip coffee and pour-over coffee.

Features of light roast:

Taste profile: Very balanced flavor and aroma

Colour: Medium brown

Oiliness: No

Amount of caffeine: Medium

Temperature: 430 F

Medium-roasted coffee beans are also known as:

  • Breakfast
  • American
  • City
  • Regular

3. Medium-Dark roast coffee beans

The medium-dark roasted coffee beans have a dark brown color and have some oil on their surface. These beans have very low acidity and an intense and rich flavor

These beans are roasted for a longer time at a higher temperature, resulting in a perfect and deeper aroma of dark chocolate and toasted almonds.

Medium Dark Roast coffee
Medium Dark Roast

The most popular types of coffee, Espresso, and French Press is commonly brewed by using medium-dark roasted coffee beans.

Features of medium-dark roast:

Taste profile: Rich and intense

Colour: Dark brown

Oiliness: A little

Amount of caffeine: low

Temperature: 450 F

Medium-dark roasted coffee beans are also known as:

  • Full City
  • Espresso
  • Viennese
  • After dinner

4. Dark-roasted coffee beans

These coffee beans are roasted at higher temperatures for a long time, bringing out very dark-colored shiny beans with oil on their surface.

This type of roasting kills almost all the acidity, and the taste is very rich and intense. These coffee beans result in the most delicate aroma and a bitter aftertaste. 

Dark-roast coffee
Dark Roast

The dark roasted coffee beans are mostly preferred in Europe because of their bold flavor. Dark roast coffee beans are usually used for brewing Espresso or French press.

Features of light roast:

Taste profile: Spicy, bold, and bitter

Colour: Very dark

Oiliness: Yes

Amount of caffeine: Low

Temperature: 475 F

Dark-roasted coffee beans are also known as:

  • High
  • European
  • French
  • Continental
  • Italian
  • New Orleans


What is the most popular type of coffee roast?

Medium roast is the most popular in America. While medium-dark and dark roast are most popular in Europe.

What type of roast is the least bitter?

Lighter roasts are usually less bitter but they tend to be more acidic than other types.

Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.