Roasting Types

The roasting process is integral to producing a savoury cup of coffee. When roasted, the green coffee bean expands to nearly double its original size, changing in color and density. As the bean absorbs heat, the color shifts to yellow and then to a light “cinnamon” brown. The beans will continue to darken until they are removed from the heat source.

At lighter roasts, the bean will exhibit more of its “origin flavour” – the flavours created in the bean, by the soil and weather conditions in the location where it was grown. As the beans darken to a deep brown, the origin flavours of the bean are eclipsed by the flavours created by the roasting process itself. At darker roasts, the “roast flavour” is so dominant that it can be difficult to distinguish the origin of the beans used in the roast. These roasts are sold by the degree of roast, ranging from “Light Cinnamon Roast” through to “Vienna Roast” to “French Roast” and beyond. The dividing line between extremely dark roast and “burnt” is a matter of some debate. Contrary to popular belief, the darker roasts and more strongly flavored coffees do not deliver any more caffeine than lighter roasts, in fact, just the opposite is true.

Remember, coffee is all about personal preference – its perfectly okay to have all your coffee roasted to full city if that is what you like. Each coffee we sell comes with a recommended roast. These are provided as a guide to assist in enjoying each coffee’s quality and origin tastes. At Kyoto Coffee, we are happy to answer any inquiries regarding roast types for any of our coffees prior to ordering. As all Kyoto Coffees are small-batch roasted per order for absolute freshness, feel free to specify the degree to which you would like your coffee roasted. And, remember, for optimal freshness, whole bean coffee should be consumed within 10 to 20 days and ground coffee within 3 to 5 days – after that, the coffee is stale. Only purchase the amount of coffee that you can consume within these time frames and ask yourself – how fresh was the last cup of coffee you had?

Roast Types

Light Cinnamon – Very light brown, dry, tastes like toasted grain with distinct sour tones, baked, bready.

American or Light – Medium light brown, good for acidic & floral character.

City or Medium – Medium brown, the norm for most coffees, good roast to taste varietal character of a bean.

Full City or Medium-Dark – Medium dark brown with some slight oily drops, good for varietal character with a little bitter-sweetness.

Vienna or Dark – Dark brown, shiny with oil, popular for espresso; burnt undertones, acidity diminished.

Dark French – Very dark brown, very shiny, burnt tones become more distinct, acidity almost gone.