Coffee Roasting

Coffee roasting is the chemical and physical process of heating that turns coffee cherry seeds into roasted dark brown coffee products to enhance fragrance and taste, and improve solubility.

Coffee Roasting

The process brings out the locked aromas and flavors from the green coffee beans. Beans in their green state can be stored without loss of quality or taste, but are not suitable for brewing.

Consumers should drink their coffee ASAP after roasting so to keep maximum flavor and scent.



Solubility is the essential element of coffee brewing. The rate of solubility of compounds in a specific roast is the key to achieving the right extraction through temperature, time and grind size.

The more developed the roast, the more soluble it gets, due to the further breaking down od the compounds.


The skill of the roaster will determine whether the solubility be a success or not. Darker beans blend better into hot water. However, taste is compromised as roasts get too dark.


Coffee Roasting Stages

Drying or Yellowing

This stage is the crucial process that will determine the overall batch time, indicating several profile aspects including time to next steps.


Maillard Reaction

This phase occurs when the coffee gets browned. It is a catalyst reaction that forms a large number of chemical compounds that can be associated with the aroma of baking bread


First Crack

The “first crack” is the initial part of the reactions where heat makes the beans crack from inside.

Second Crack

Darker roasts can achieve a second crack., which is nearing the full breakdown of the coffee.



full breakdown. Fire hazard. Avoid drinking this coffee! 😛


Coffee Roasting Degrees

Considered an art, roasting is also a science. It takes a long time to master it with an instant timing for decisions. The difference between perfectly roasted coffee and a ruined batch can be a matter of seconds.

There are light roasts showing more of the acidic qualities (citrus, malic acid, and apple flavors), medium roasts developing nut and chocolate qualities, and then darker roasts eventually turning to carbon.


Most roasters have specific personal names for their roasts and there is very little industry protocol. This can cause a bit of frustration for buyers.

Nevertheless, in general, roast types fall into one of four color categories — light, medium, medium-dark and dark.


The perfect choice is personal and may be influenced by national preference or location.  It’s a good idea to check before you buy. There is a world of difference between roasts.

Within the four color categories, you are likely to find common roasts as listed below.

Roasting Coffee


Light roasts

Light brown is generally favored for milder coffee types.

  • Light City
  • Half City
  • Cinnamon
With virtually no oil on the surface, these beans are not roasted long enough for those to be exposed.
Medium roasts

Medium brown in color these beans are roasted to bring a somewhat stronger flavor and a non-oily surface.

  • City
  • American
  • Breakfast
 People call it American roast
Medium dark roasts

Rich, dark colors and some oil on the surface are trademarks of this slightly bittersweet roast with an aftertaste.

  • Full City
Dark roasts

Black and shiny, these beans come with an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness.

  • Continental
  • New Orleans
  • European
  • Espresso
  • Viennese
  • Italian
  • French

You will find the same roasts with a variety of these names. Just be sure to check them out!


Modern Coffee Roasting

The majority of all the world’s coffee is roasted commercially on a large scale.

However, small-scale commercial roasting is blossoming and growing all over. People are, more and more, favoring “single-origin” products served at specialty shops.

Some people even roast their coffee at home as a hobby to both experiment and freshness.

Roasters are a somewhat hybrids between pizza ovens and drying machines that resemble dough blenders that turn with heat coming from underneath.

Still, coffee some people will also roasted coffee in a cast iron pan or a popcorn popper.

A lot of people believe robust dark roasts means more caffeine. That couldn`t be farther from reality. Light roasts actually indicate higher concentrations.


You may also like this post: The Best New York Roasters

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