Is Coffee Good For You? | Beginner's Guide to Coffee Roasts – Coffee Gator

A Beginner’s Guide to Types of Coffee Roasts (Part 1)

by DTC Thrasio on June 11, 2021

If you’re not an avid coffee drinker just like me, then you probably aren’t too familiar with the many varieties of coffee. Whether you’re a beginner on a journey to become a coffee connoisseur or just looking to explore your taste in another beverage, it can be a little overwhelming to find the right place to start. That’s why we made this beginner’s guide about the bare basics: the different types of coffee roasts.

Common Coffee Questions

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of coffee roasts, you might be curious about coffee from a health perspective. Below are a couple of commonly asked questions regarding the nutritional facts of the popular beverage. 

How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee?

One cup of coffee (8 fl oz) contains about 95 mg of caffeine on average. Caffeine content also usually varies depending on the type, brand, and brewing method.

Is Coffee Good for You?

In order to answer this question, we first need to consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of drinking coffee. Below is a simplified list of perks and side effects of drinking the popular beverage.

Advantages of Drinking Coffee

  • Boosts energy levels and physical performance
  • Helps to increase metabolism and burn fat
  • Rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin B2, B3, and B5 as well as manganese and potassium
  • Reduces the risk of several conditions and illnesses including Type II diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers

Disadvantages of Drinking Coffee

  • Can cause insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety
  • Elevates blood pressure
  • Increases urination
  • May lead to addiction and psychological and physical dependency

So, what’s the final verdict? Well, just like any other food or beverage, there are benefits of consumption but also side effects or health risks. Although responses can vary between individuals, the bottom line is that coffee can be beneficial for you if you drink it in moderate amounts; moderation is key! In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming no more than 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day, which roughly translates to four to five cups of coffee. As long as you don’t go overboard with your caffeine intake, you’ll get the most out of your morning starter without having too many bathroom breaks throughout the day.

What Are the Different Coffee Roasts?

Since there’s little standardization when it comes to naming conventions, you may notice that many coffee roasters come with specialized names for the different coffee roast levels; this can be pretty confusing (especially for new coffee lovers). Generally, however, roasts fall into one of four main categories: light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. We’ve broken down each group into several defining characteristics that will help differentiate the types of coffee roast.

*In the tables below, note that first crack is an industry-standard term that describes when coffee beans begin to make a popping or cracking sound; this happens during the peak of the roasting process.

Five different roast types: light roast, light medium roast, medium roast, medium dark roast, and dark roast.

1. Light Roast Coffee


Color

Light brown

Taste

Toasted, very acidic, light body

Oil on Surface

No

Caffeine Content per Scoop

High

Internal Temperature of Beans at *First Crack

180°C – 205°C (356°F – 401°F)

Other Profiles

Cinnamon, New England, Half-City, Blonde


2. Medium Roast Coffee


Color

Brown

Taste

Sweet, rounded, aromatic, acidic

Oil on Surface

No

Caffeine Content per Scoop

Medium

Internal Temperature of Beans at *First Crack

210°C – 224°C (410°F – 435°F)

Other Profiles

American, City, City+, Regular


3. Medium-Dark Roast Coffee


Color

Dark brown

Taste

Heavy, full-body, rich, bittersweet

Oil on Surface

Some

Caffeine Content per Scoop

Medium

Internal Temperature of Beans at *First Crack

225 – 234°C (437 – 454°F)

Other Profiles

Full City, Full City+, Viennese, Continental, Light French, Light Espresso


4. Dark Roast Coffee


Color

Black

Taste

Smoky, burnt, bitter, small taste of spice

Oil on Surface

Yes

Caffeine Content per Scoop

Very low

Internal Temperature of Beans at *First Crack

239 – 246°C (462 – 474°F)

Other Profiles

Vienna, (Dark) French, Italian, Espresso, Turkish, Heavy


Other Coffee Varieties

You’ve probably noticed that in the tables above, each of the four main types of coffee roasts have their own subtypes or profiles. While most countries exclusively use light, medium, medium-dark, and dark to define their coffee roast levels, some countries like the U.S. prefer to break up the categories even more to make communication easier between roasters. We explain more in detail about some of the additional coffee roast profiles in Part 2 of this beginner’s guide.

Coffee Essentials

Now that you have some basic knowledge about the four main coffee roast levels, you might be wondering about the kinds of equipment you need to prepare your cup of joe. For starters, it’s helpful to have a container or canister of some sort to store your coffee beans in to keep them fresh. The BPA-free stainless steel Coffee Gator Coffee Canister is a must-have kitchen item that’s equipped with a date-tracker and CO2-release valve to keep your coffee beans or grounds in prime condition.

Date-Tracker

  • Keeps track of freshness when you log your purchase or expiration date with the calendar wheel on the steel clasp lid. You can finally put an end to trashing your precious coffee!

CO2-Release Valve

  • Releases CO2 but locks out oxygen to preserve the flavor of fresh-roasted coffee and stops the beans and grounds from going bad.

As a bonus, the airtight canister also seals out light and moisture to prevent staleness and mold and comes with a measuring scoop (⅛ cup, 30 mL) for precise measurements. Now that’s some serious quality control for your perfect cup of coffee.

If there’s one thing to remember as a beginner coffee lover, it’s that your ideal cup of coffee isn’t possible without proper storage. Whether it’s light, medium, medium-dark, or dark roast coffee that you prefer, all types of coffee roast need to be stored in the same way so that you can enjoy as you please!

Contributing Writer: Rebecca Lee

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