Gourmet Coffee: Choosing Your Perfect Roast Level

arabica coffee, arabica, gourmet coffee, types of coffee beans, robusta coffee, robusta

Getting your head around the whole gourmet coffee movement for the first time can be a little on the daunting side. Once you’ve made sense of the hundreds of different types of coffee beans available, you’ve then the small matter of roast level to factor in.

Whether opting for the highest-quality Arabic coffee from an artisan producer or a more affordable Robusta coffee blend from a local store, roast level is a big deal.  The extent to which different types of coffee beans are roasted results in a remarkably different subsequent fragrance and flavor experience.

You can go light, medium or dark with your roast, or something that sits between your two preferred options. Some gourmet coffee companies are able to roast coffee beans to order (which is our case at Hayman), but there’s also the option of buying green coffee beans and roasting them yourself.

In any case, this is what to expect from roasting different types of coffee beans to different levels, irrespective of whether you prefer arabica coffee, robusta coffee beans or a blend of both:

Light Roasted Coffee

The lighter coffee beans are roasted, the more of the properties of the green coffee beans are preserved. This means that along with a particularly potent hit of floral fragrances and citrus notes, you’re also guaranteed a punchier kick of caffeine. Some types of coffee beans when roasted likely have fragrances and flavors similar to peanuts, cocoa and even various types of vegetables. Something that some can’t get enough of, but others find undesirable – it’s purely a case of personal preference.

Medium Roasted Coffee

Typically the preferred option for most, you could say that a medium roast combines the best of both worlds. Medium roasting is ideal for balancing out the sharpness and acidity of gourmet coffee beans, bringing more pronounced smoothness and subtle fruity flavors into the mix. The caramelization process has begun with a medium roast, but not to such an extent as to make the resulting coffee smoky, bitter or chocolatey. Again, there are some coffees that respond better than others to a medium roast, though this tends to be the standard for most types of gourmet coffee.

Dark Roasted Coffee

The third primary option is a dark roast, which can actually be quite difficult to achieve without burning the beans and ruining the final product. It takes skill, experience and meticulous timing to pull off a proper dark roast, though the results can be quite delicious. Dark roasted coffee is known for its deep and full-bodied flavor – often with plenty of smokiness and a lingering dry aftertaste. It’s more indulgent and decadent than light and refreshing, which is precisely what some coffee fanatics look for in gourmet coffee beans.

If in Doubt, Try Them Out…

It’s worth highlighting the point again that different types of coffee beans respond to the roasting process in very different ways. Just because you prefer one type of coffee roasted lightly doesn’t mean you won’t love an entirely different bean with a much darker roast.

Half the fun lies in experimentation, so feel free to try as many as you like until you find your perfect match!

For the best and freshest arabica coffee, medium roasted for you, visit Hayman’s online store. We bring you coffee legends like the best Kona coffee Hawaii, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, and Panama Geisha coffee beans - click here to order today, we offer free worldwide shipping!