The Different Types Of Gourmet Coffee Roasts

The world of gourmet coffee is complex when you think about all the different combinations of coffee you can have. For instance you can have a light roasted coffee from Asia, a medium roasted coffee from Hawaii or a dark roasted coffee from Jamaica, or any combination of those and more! Finding the perfect gourmet coffee to suit your palate and tastes may be a journey that needs to begin with deciding what roast of coffee you enjoy.

When talking about the different roasts of coffee three categories will emerge: light, medium and dark. However, it should be noted that each category contains several different types of roasts. For instance the light category of coffee contains three or more different roasts that are all considered light. Choosing what roast you prefer is the first step in finding the perfect cup of coffee!

When talking about light roasts three levels come to mind: Cinnamon, New England and American roast. The lightest is the Cinnamon and the darkest of the light is the American roast. The Cinnamon roast is light brown, with subtle toasted grain flavors and sharp acidic tones. The New England roast is moderate light brown and the most popular roast of coffee in the Notheastern U.S., hence the name. The American roast is a medium-light roast and is also quite popular in the United States.

The medium category of roasts contains the following levels: City roast and Full City roast. The City roast is a medium brown and the most popular in the United States. This is a great level of medium and perfect for tasting the characteristics of the beans. The Full City is medium dark brown with an occasional oil sheen. The Full City is good for varietal character and showcases bittersweet flavors.

The final category of roasting levels is the dark category. This category contains the following roasts: Vienna, French, Italian and Spanish roasts. Vienna is a moderate dark brown coffee with light surface oil, bittersweet notes, rich caramel-y flavor, and the acidity is muted. French roast dark brown, shiny, burnt undertones and no acidity. Italian is very dark, thin body and commonly used for espresso blends. Spanish roast, the darkest of all, is extremely dark brown, nearly black and very shiny, where charcoal and tar tones dominate these beans. It has a flat and thin body, and is sure to bring some rich and robust notes to the table.


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