When it comes to identifying coffee roasts, terms can vary depending on country and region, but for the most part the same names are used. Understanding these different roasts is important because it can help you make the best selection for your taste buds while in the supermarket or in coffee shops. Here’s a quick reference guide, in order from light to darker roasts:
Cinnamon (or New England) Roast
Cinnamon roasts are widely used in breakfast blends. The Cinnamon roast is the lightest roast with a very high acidity and less body. This type of roast is often used by larger manufacturers and high end roasters as it is a more revealing roast – you can taste any slight defect in the coffee in this roast.
This roast is 1-2 shades darker than the Cinnamon roast and carries lighter body as well. The difference with the City roast comes in with the caramel notes that are often present with the slightly longer roasting, and some loss of acidity. A good majority of specialty coffee is roasted to this roast level.
The Vienna roast, aptly named since founded in coffee houses in Austria, is slightly darker than the City roast and begins by presenting with some oil. This roast is s in the middle of all the roasts, and while you can effectively enjoy the particular beans unique tastes you will also taste a very present thicker and more syrupy taste.
Espresso roast is the first roast leading into the darker roasts. It has far less acidity than all the other roasts, making it perfect for the espresso brewing process, and makes for a very balanced bean. This roast carries a more robust flavor.
The Italian roast is a more complex roast. This roast is darker than the Espresso roast, more oily, contains much less acid, and is almost bittersweet in flavor while also bringing forth a very pronounced coffee flavor. Very bold, very robust, and typically very smokey.
The French roast is the darkest and the boldest and smokiest of all the roasts. It boasts a very oily,robust, smokey flavor with often strong notes of hickory. Acidity is hardly noticed in this roast.