Quick Search

Types of Coffee Roasts & Coffee Flavor Profiles

Read time: 1 min
Types of Coffee Roasts & Coffee Flavor Profiles
Marlena S. Jan 29, 2020

Determine Your Preferred Coffee Roast Level

Light Roast Coffee Logo

Light Roast Coffee

Light roast coffee beans are light brown in color and are a preferred roast for more mild-bodied coffees. Light roast coffee should not have any oil on the surface of the coffee beans. If you prefer light, fragrant, floral or fruity coffee notes - you'll enjoy a light roast coffee.

AKA: Light City, Half City, Cinnamon, New England

Medium Roast Coffee Logo

Medium Roast Coffee

Medium roast coffee is medium brown in color with a non-oily surface. Traditionally, a medium roast is the most preferred type of coffee roast in America. If you prefer a flavorful, traditional cup of coffee you'll enjoy a medium roast.

AKA: City, American, Breakfast

Medium Dark Roast Coffee Logo

Medium-Dark Roast Coffee

Medium-dark roast coffee beans are a rich, dark brown color with a semi-oily surface. This type of roast produces a modest bittersweet aftertaste. If you prefer slight bittersweet notes and deep flavors, you'll enjoy a medium-dark roast.

AKA: Full City

Dark Roast Coffee Logo

Dark Roast Coffee

Dark roast coffee beans are nearly black, oily and produce a noticeable bitterness. The darker the coffee bean, the less acidity will be present in the coffee. If you prefer a heavy mouthfeel and strong flavor, you'll enjoy a dark roast coffee.

AKA: High, Continental, New Orleans, European, Espresso, Viennese, Italian, French

Determine Your Preferred Coffee Flavor Profile


Coffee with a mild body is not sharp, pungent or strong. Many light roast coffees normally possess a mild flavor profile.


Coffee with a bold body has a strong and noticeable flavor. Coffees from medium to dark roast levels normally possess a bold flavor profile.

Extra Bold

Coffee with an extra bold body has flavors that are extremely strong and pronounced. Dark roast coffees normally possess an extra bold flavor profile.


  • LS
    Laura Stenzler

    What do you suggest for espresso. Both roast level and specific beans? And do you have a recommendation for decaf espresso? I’m having a hard time finding one that works – that is, that doesn’t run through too fast no matter what the grind and which tastes good. Thanks for all of your good work! Laura

    FRC Logo Icon
    Team FRC

    Thanks for reaching out! For espresso, some of our favorites are Drago, White Knight, Indian Monsoon Malabar, and Light Kenya AA. While some coffees just don’t work as espresso, the roast level doesn’t matter much. That’s up to you and your preference. If you like fruitier coffee, go lighter. Nutty chocolate, go medium. If you like your espresso bold with milk, go darker. For decaf, we’d recommend Decaf Monsoon Malabar if you’re adding milk. If not, try Decaf Honduran Marcala.

  • NB
    Nikole B

    Hello, roughly how much caffeine is in the half calf pods? I am only allowed 200 mg a day

    FRC Logo Icon
    Team FRC

    We do not test our coffee for caffeine content. However, all of our half caf coffees consist of a 50/50 mix of regular and water processed decaf coffees which have 99.9% of the caffeine removed. On average, there’s 95 mg of caffeine per 8 fl oz of regular brewed coffee, so our half caf will have about 45 to 50 mg of caffeine per 8 oz.

  • FB
    Fred Bergstresser

    I really love your coffee and get whole roasted beans. I blend 2 parts Monsoon Indian decaf with one part Mocha Java to give me a really good tasting coffee with less caffeine that I can drink all day. Do you have a recommendation on the fineness of the grind to make the best cup of coffee. What would you recommend. We use a Braun 12 cup drip coffee maker. We are searching for the best grind. What do you suggest?

    FRC Logo Icon
    Team FRC

    Great combo, Fred! We’re glad you like it! For best taste, we recommend grinding just before brewing but for those without a grinder, our drip grind is perfect for a standard drip coffee maker. For more info, see our blog, Grounded: Know your coffee grind.

  • MA
    Marilyn attia

    I don’t see anything on your site that they are 100% arabica beans

    FRC Logo Icon
    Team FRC

    Hi Marilyn! All of our roasted single-origin selections are 100% Arabica. Our blends are also 100% Arabica with the exception of our Italian Roast and our Octane Italian Roast. All our our green coffee is 100% Arabica except, of course, for our Ugandan Robusta which is, of course, 100% Robusta.

  • MC
    Marcy Clark

    I have been buying your unroasted coffee for some time. I love the Tanzania Peaberry and Costa Rican roasted just to the start of the second Crack. My question is do you have other green beans that you feel would compliment the blend or another blend similar? Looking for that perfect cup with a nice fruity flavor with undertones of smooth rich flavor that pops without the dark roast deep nutty flavor.

    FRC Logo Icon
    Roastmaster Dave

    Great question! Here’s one method of creating blends.

    Start with a sweet base at about 40%. Good sweet bases are a natural processed Brazilian (almost all Brazil coffees are natural processed, by the by), a Peruvian, or a Mexican coffee. Second will be the mid-palate satisfaction at 40%…….this is the proverbial “rug that ties the room together” kinda thing. Guatemalan, Costa Rican, Honduran, or a Colombian coffee fit well here with the nice soft sweetness and rich texture. Last and definitely not least, the high note at 20%. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Kenya, or a Tanzania coffee will bring some really nice citric and floral notes to the party.

    Obviously, this will take some tweaking of the ratios until you find the profile that you’re looking for. Hope this helps!

  • JC
    Jack Carothers

    Will beans keep indefinitely (years) with regards to their freshness if vacuum sealed and stored in a light free environment? Does temperature factor in? Room temp vs cold temp vs freezing temp?

    FRC Logo Icon
    Team FRC

    Our recommendation is that you store your beans in a cool, dark, dry place because your coffee beans will get stale more quickly when exposed to heat, light, and moisture (which can be too high or too low!). If you went so far as to vacuum-seal your beans and keep them in a cool, dark place, would they keep indefinitely? Well, probably not, but they would stay fresh longer than they would otherwise. Roasting starts a reaction within the beans that continues after the roasting process is complete. Initially, this de-gassing actually makes the flavor better. If you’ve ever had coffee made from beans that are just out of the roaster, you’ll know what we mean. Coffee reaches a flavor peak 36 hours to a few days after the roast (depending on the density of the bean and the roast) but after that the taste will continue to slowly degrade over time. Protecting from heat, light, and moisture will delay the process but nothing (so far as we know) can stop it entirely. Some tests have gotten excellent longevity using several vacuum sealed layers and commercial deep-freeze units, but for most of us, buying smaller quantities more often is easier and more economical.

Leave a comment