Do not be that person who walks in a coffee shop asking for the “strongest coffee.” If you’re lucky the barista might ask if you’re referring to taste or caffeine level (yes there is a difference) and then school you on the basics of coffee. But chances are the barista will serve you whatever is closest, and then roll their eyes at you as you walk away. Don’t get eyes rolled at you, be an educated coffee drinker. Here’s some basics to coffee roasts.
Light roasts are light brown and have no oil as they are not roasted long enough for any oil to break through the surface of the bean. They are more acidic in taste than darker roasts and have the highest caffeine content. Some common light roasts include Light City and Half City.
Medium roasts have a medium brown color and have no oil on the bean’s surface. They possess a more balanced flavor than the light roast. This roast is slightly less caffeinated than the light roast, but more than the dark. Medium roasts are generally preferred in the United States. Some common medium roasts include American and Breakfast.
Medium-dark roasts have a slightly richer color than the medium roast. They have some oil beginning to appear on the surface bean and a bittersweet aftertaste. Some common medium-dark roasts include Full City and After Dinner.
Dark roasts are dark brown to black in color and have a thin layer of oil surrounding the bean. They tend to have a smoky, bitter taste and are the least acidic. Dark roasts have the lowest caffeine content. Some common dark roasts include French and Espresso.