Terms such as “Cinnamon Roast”, “Full City Roast”, “Espresso Roast” and “Italian Roast” are commonly used on coffee packaging to try to communicate the roast degree of the product inside. These terms can be confusing, even to people who work in the industry! On the opposite end of the spectrum there are numeric scales used within the coffee roasting facilities that help coffee professionals communicate the roast degree very precisely. Unfortunately there are very few people in the world who know these scales and they, most likely, roast their own coffee… we’d like to help you choose the right coffee for you!
Do you know that coffee is one of the most complex beverages that we consume? The exact level of complexity is a subject of debate, there’s some disagreement among the scientists regarding the exact number of aromatic compounds found in coffee… this tells a lot about its complexity. This complexity and, ultimately, the flavor of coffee are the result of several factors and it’s pretty difficult to say which one is the most impactful. It’s also difficult to argue that any factor is more influential on than the process of roasting the coffee and to what extent it is roasted …the light, medium and dark that we often refer to when discussing coffee.
How can roasting make a difference in flavor? Coffee roasters buy their beans raw, or as “green coffee”… in our industry lingo. Roasting provides us the opportunity to make something unique, to place our “signature” on the coffee. First, it should be mentioned that there are a few constants in the roasting process. All coffee will follow a similar progression of chemical reactions during the journey from green to brown. In order to stand apart from one another coffee roasters often select a specific piece of roasting equipment. They may also spend time with each of their coffees, developing a roast profile custom to each. Add to this, the options of roasting coffees either light, medium, or dark … or to in a range and variety of roast combinations. This allows us to control specific flavor nuances and create something truly unique and distinctive.
What can our packages tell you about the product inside? We, at Coffee Mystique Café, use words that are easy to understand and representative of the flavors you’ll discover inside. We use 7 categories of roasts which are based on the traditional 3 (Light, Medium and Dark) but we found that some of our coffees needed a special roast level that didn’t fit so neatly into those categories.
So we made up a few; follow me here: A Medium-Dark is a medium roast BUT darker than our normal medium roast while the Medium-Light, also a medium roast is lighter than our normal medium roast…it’s as clear as coffee! Coffee in the categories of “Light”, “Light-Medium”, “Medium-Light” and “Medium” are roasted to the with the intent of development of the flavors contained within the beans. At the “Medium-Dark” level, the roast actually becomes part of the flavor. Continuing on, the “Dark” and “Super-Dark” roast products will have the roast becoming a more prominent feature in the flavor.