Confused about what type of coffee to use in your DIY coffee drinks? Let me break down the types of coffee roasts for you and some recipes for each type.
Did you know that coffee beans are usually stored when they’re green? They’re stored this way in order to maintain freshness and quality prior to roasting. It’s the roasting that brings out the aroma and taste you love. It’s funny to think of coffee beans starting out green but its the roasting that turns them into delicious golden brown nuggets of love.
Roasting uses high temperatures in order to bring about the chemical changes necessary to produce the desired taste when brewed. Roasts can be divided into four main categories. These are light, medium, medium-dark and dark.
A bit of trivia you may not realize is that it’s the light roasts that actually have a higher concentration of caffeine than the darker ones. Crazy, huh? I always thought that the darker roasts had more caffeine for some reason. Turns out, the lighter the roast of the beans, the more caffeine.
This guide to common coffee roasts will give you a basic understanding of each category and the types of coffee in each. I’ll also share some recipes that you can make with each roast!
This type of roast usually yields a milder, more subtle flavor. The outer surface is dry due to the fact that the roasting process is not long enough to break the bean down. Sometimes the flavor can be a bit sour, and such beans will be used in less expensive coffee blends. Common names for lightly roasted coffees include Cinnamon, Light, Half City and New England.
Some DIY coffee recipes that go great with light roast coffee are:
A bit stronger in flavor with a medium brown color, these roasts yield a bean that also has a dry surface. A bright, crisp and fully developed flavor is offered by medium roasts. A favorite of many U.S. coffee drinkers, you’ll find American roast in this category. Breakfast, Regular, City and Medium also fall into this group.
Recipes to try with medium roast coffee are:
- Iced cinnamon dolce latte
- Pumpkin spiced iced coffee
- Starbucks peppermint mocha
- White chocolate vanilla latte
These roasts have a slightly oily surface and dark in color. They have a rich body and a sweet taste. You’ll find Full City, Continental, Viennese and Light Espresso among medium-dark roasts.
You may want to try these recipes with a medium-dark roast coffee:
The final roast category is generally bittersweet in flavor with a black, shiny appearance. Low in acidity, these roasts have a broad variety from dark all the way to charred, losing acidity as darkness increases. Common names are French, Italian, Neapolitan and Spanish.
Try these coffee recipes using dark roast:
If you’re an experienced coffee drinker, you may know which roast is your preference. But for those that haven’t explored the world of coffee, it may be difficult to find a roast you enjoy. My suggestion is to go to a store that allows you to buy by the pound and try a few different varieties. You don’t have to buy a full pound of each, but enough to make a pot or two of coffee to taste.
I’ve also shared some gifts for coffee drinkers that are great for new to experienced coffee drinkers. I’ve found everything from home roasters to portable brewing mugs. Take a look and find a gift for the coffee lover in your life!