Have you ever wondered why you may tend to prefer a light roast over a dark roast, or vice versa? How does roasting change the flavor and composition of a coffee bean?
Light roasted coffee retains the most of the original coffee beans characteristics. It has less oil on the outside of the bean and has a higher acidity than dark roasted beans.
So what does it TASTE like?
Light roasted beans tend to be more fruity and floral. If the roasting is very light and doesn’t penetrate the center of the bean you may also detect grassy flavors. The flavors in light roasted beans can be more vibrant and unique.
What about Dark roasts?
Dark roasted beans are much darker in appearance and oils can be seen on the bean. Dark roasts often have a bolder and richer taste, and you’re almost exclusively tasting the notes of the roasting process. A darker roast also has lower caffeine content then a lighter roast.
What is the oil all about?
When a coffee bean is roasted the beans undergo a chemical reaction that causes the cell walls to burst. This releases the gases and oils trapped inside them. The oil adds a thickness to the coffee. Dark Roasts have been roasted for longer, this process initially produces a heavier bodied coffee, but then is reduced to longer a bean is roasted.
Some studies have shown that light roasts may have more health benefits than dark roasts due to the fact the lighter roast retain more of the natural antioxidants that are lost in the roasting process.
“When we roast something, we expose it to air, there’s also a time element and a temperature element involved, and all of those things contribute to oxidation... This depletes the antioxidant molecules present in the coffee grinds...They sacrifice themselves during the roasting process... But ideally we would want to preserve them as much as possible, so they can have a better effect inside the body rather than getting wasted outside of it.” - Sampath Parthasarathy, PhD, interim associate dean at the University of Central Florida School of Medicine and Journal of Medicinal Food editor-in-chief.
Which one is the best?
To each there own! We here at Wacaco believe there is a time and a place for all roasts, light or dark, and everything in between! Variety is the spice of life, enjoy!