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The Light Side of Coffee Roasting

The Light Side of Coffee Roasting

Over the past fifteen years or so, trends toward darker roasted coffee have taken over the market and coffee shops across the country. Bringing about a more taste conscious coffee drinker, the different “European” roast profiles taught America that there is other coffee besides your grandmother’s cup of Yuban from the giant can. (No offense Grandma, you didn’t know any better!) Thus began the “Specialty Coffee” movement and now we see The Frappe-Latte-Chino-Mocha’s with a double shot of half-Caf Espresso with a twist  found on every street corner.

That is all well and good since most are shoving sugar and cream in and off they go…But what about those of us who actually want to TASTE THE COFFEE we are drinking? We don’t use sugar or cream. We don’t want the coffee pre-ground, packaged and poured from a machine in 28 seconds. We grind our own beans, use a French Press or pour over and want to enjoy all the bean’s true flavor. So as we are striving  to achieve the best end by the best means, we must ask ourselves this: Does the roast profile I’m using truly bring out the bean’s full flavor?

I tread lightly since this subject is near arguing – How do you like your steak cooked? But If you are going anywhere past a medium roast, the answer is more than likely no, and you are entering the flavor of the roast itself rather than the flavor of the bean. If you can, imagine a piece of bread and how it tastes by itself. Toast it lightly; you have one taste, darker; and yet another, and burn it and well, all you taste is char. Given that theory since most of us eat or have eaten toast, you can see where this is going…

Various Stages of Coffee Beans from Green to Charred

Various Stages of Coffee Beans from Green to Charred

Specializing in Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, light roasted coffee is a staple here at Reggie’s Roast Coffee and is how we roast all our coffees with the exception of Ethiopia Sidamo and any special requests. Reason simply being is that coffee beans have their full flavor in the first few degrees of roasting after the first crack. I refer you to Wikipedia HERE to go into the entire thermal detail of what goes on inside the roaster. You will see that going back to Grandma’s can of Yuban, that most American Roasters will roast to this profile, and as I mentioned the Europeans opened our eyes to darker profiles; but for purposes of this article, the pendulum is swinging back the other way.