There are different types of coffee, and many factors influence their flavour. Roasting plays a significant role in this. Before roasting, all coffee beans are green and heavy. Then they get darker and lighter in weight after being roasted.
After the process of roasting, we get lighter roasts and darker roasts. The level at which they absorb heat varies and affects how dark or light the coffee beans come out. Roast type is one factor that affects the sweetness and bitterness of coffee beans.
This article shall discuss the concept of roasting, different types of coffee roasts, how roasting affects the coffee taste and other factors that affect the coffee taste.
Coffee roasting is transforming coffee beans from their original green colour to a brown colour. This process consists of different stages and ways to roast coffee beans.
Stages of Roasting Coffee
- Drying Stage
Coffee beans need to be dried before they go through the process of roasting. The drying stage often lasts about 4-8 minutes when using a traditional drum roaster. However, it would help if you were careful not to allow too much heat to burn your beans because it’s still going through other processes.
The temperature of coffee beans after this stage should be about 160 degrees.
- Browning Stage
From the last degree of the drying stage, the coffee beans would start to smell like toasted bread, and the drying process continues. The aroma precursors begin to change to aroma compounds.
The Maillard reaction is responsible for browning sets in at this stage. At the end of the browning stage, the first crack occurs, and beans start to pop. Then, the development stage comes after that.
- Development Stage
Also known as the roasting stage, the development stage is where the beans gather energy from the previous steps to explode. The aroma compounds start to develop and may produce a smoky taste and sharp flavour if the roast isn’t slowed down.
This stage takes about 15-25% of the entire roasting process, depending on your roast degree and flavour profile choice.
Types of Coffee Roasts
The different types of coffee roasts are;
Light Coffee Roast
Light coffee roast is the kind of roast that uses a shorter time. By implication, there is still oil in lightly roasted beans, and its acidity level is also high because roasting for a more extended period gets beans to be hotter for oil to release themselves and experience a decrease in acidity.
Light coffee roast has a toasty, grain-like taste and a fruity smell.
Medium Coffee Roast
Medium roast is roasted for a bit longer, has a decreased acidity and a more balanced taste but still has more oils.
A medium roast coffee also has a sugary, sweet taste and moderate acidity.
Dark Coffee Roast
These beans get through roasting well enough to extract all the oils, producing a shiny dark bean. Dark coffee roast has a sweet, rich flavour because it has undergone a mature temperature and roast duration.
Dark roasted coffee beans have a bold flavour, bittersweet taste and low acidity.
What Makes Coffee Bitter
Coffee is not all about bitterness. A good cup of coffee is not highly bitter; but rather flavourful. Bitter coffee can be due to different types of coffee, such as;
When buying your coffee beans, you should strive to get specialty-grade beans because low-quality beans give nothing but bitter coffee.
The darker a coffee roast, the more bitter coffee it produces. Even though dark-roasted coffee beans still taste okay, overly-roasted coffee beans will give nothing but extremely bitter coffee.
If you leave your coffee in a French Press even after pushing the plunger down, the coffee will continue the extraction process and give you a bitter cup when you next make coffee.
The National Coffee Association prescribes 195-205 degrees suitable for coffee extraction. Allowing your water to boil more than the specified time will give you a bitter coffee. When you realise your coffee water is overboiled, please leave it to sit and cool down a bit before adding your grounds.
It is only normal to keep your coffee machine clean always to get rid of residues. When you have residue coffee left over, and you decide to brew yourself a cup of coffee, you’ll get a bitter taste. It’s more advisable to clean your coffee after each brewing so that it will be easier.
Using little water to prepare your coffee will do nothing but enhance your coffee bitterness. So, be sure to always add enough water. You should add about 6oz of water to 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of coffee when using an automatic drip machine.
When coffee beans come out too finely, you can over-extract. And over-extraction results in bitter coffee.
Whatever brewing method you intend to use, be sure to use the correct grind size.
What Type of Coffee is the Least Bitter?
Arabica coffee beans are sweeter than other beans. However, it would help if you were sure you’re getting the perfect roast, the right ground size, the proper water temperature, the correct brewing method and machine hygiene.
Which Coffee Roast is the Sweetest?
Light coffee roast has the sweetest, tangy taste among all coffee roasts.
What is the Least Bitter Coffee at Starbucks?
Starbucks recommends Veranda Blend Blonde Roast for people to buy at their place if they do not like the bitter taste.
The blonde roast is light and has a sweeter taste.
Coffee is inherently bitter. However, coffee is not extremely painful. Some people enjoy the bitterness and would not even dare to have any additives.
If you feel like your coffee has extra bitterness that is beyond normal, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the anger of a cup of coffee. These include bean type, beans quality, roast level, brewing method and machine hygiene.