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Types of Coffee Roasts & Coffee Flavor Profiles

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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.


  • 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.

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    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?

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    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.

  • YR
    Yohann Rigogne

    What beans would you recommend to get decent, not bitter, espressos with a Breville Barista Express?

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    Team FRC

    While it would be nice if we had a Breville Barista Express right here in the office (hint, hint to the boss!) we don’t. However, with any coffee preparation, the two most important ingredients are fresh, clean water and freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee. Start with these two things and you’ll get better coffee, period. Regarding what beans to use, well that depends on your taste. A few of our choices like Tiger Nebula and organic Drago were blended for espresso and develop a beautiful body and rich crema. Venturing into the single origin realm, do you like heavy and dark? Try coffees from the Indo-Pacific region. Bright and fruity? Go to Africa! Spicy and full-bodied? Central America’s where you want to be. Starting with better coffee will definitely get you better espresso but from there, let your taste buds tell you where you want to go.

  • DS
    Debby Spence

    Do you sell decaf?

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    Team FRC

    Yup - and lots of it! All our decaf selections can be found HERE.

  • MC
    Marcelo de Campos

    Em qual estado e cidade são torrados os cafés?

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    Team FRC

    Todos os nossos cafés são torrados em Sunbury, Pensilvânia. (All our coffees are roasted in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.)

  • FJ
    Frederick Jamison

    Do you sell green beans for my home roaster?

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    Team FRC

    Of course! And a great place to start is our unroasted Home Roaster’s Starter Kits!

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