The light side, the dark side.
Coffee is roasted on a scale from light to dark. A darker roasted bean is roasted longer and is therefore darker in colour, just like anything exposed to heat. With that in mind, a lighter roasted bean is just the opposite. You can think of an unroasted ("green") bean as white bread, a lightly roasted bean as lightly toasted bread, and a darkly roasted bean as a - well, you get the idea. When we talk about light and dark roasted, we are simply talking about how long the bean was exposed to heat during the roasting process.
Of course, colour is not the only difference.
The taste of coffee changes dramatically as it is roasted. In fact, the flavour profile moves further away from the natural characteristics of the coffee bean as the coffee is roasted. To better understand why this is, it is useful to know how a coffee bean gets its aromas.
A bean is the stone of the coffee fruit, or cherry. As the cherry ripens, the bean absorbs the sugars and aromas produced by the fruit.
When the bean is roasted, these sugars will burn. This is an oversimplification, but this is the basic idea behind the taste differences. As a result, a lighter roast will be sweeter and a darker roast more bitter.
There is a misconception that a "stronger" (more bitter) cup of coffee contains more caffeine. This is actually not the case, although there is a grain of truth in this myth. If we're talking strictly about the arabica coffee type and the caffeine content in relation to the roast, *a lighter roast* will always contain more caffeine. That's because the bean is exposed to heat for a shorter period of time, and thus less caffeine is burned.
The story changes when we start talking about the less beneficial canephora or Robusta coffee. Robusta naturally contains more caffeine than arabica. This means that technically, a darker roasted robusta could contain more caffeine than a lighter roasted arabica.
Which one do you want?
Well, if you drink coffee, chances are you already know which type of roast you prefer. If you regularly drink and enjoy Italian coffee brands, you probably prefer a darker roast. If you regularly drink Ethiopian or Costa Rican coffee from your local café, you probably prefer a lighter roast. Whichever camp you find yourself in, there is no loser. Just remember to try the other side once in a while. You never know when your taste will develop!
We offer a range of Belgian coffee roasters ourselves, both traditional and specialty.
Via the link below you can take a look at our offer.Belgian coffeebeans