We’ve all stumbled into the neighborhood convenience store before work for a 55 gallon drum of coffee. We’ve stood wobbling, as we looked in total confusion at an array of carafes marked light, medium and dark roast. We don’t care what it looks like as long as the caffeine wakes us up. So what’s the big deal about different roasts of coffee? How much punch do they pack? For all the jokes you see on Facebook about coffee, there is some truth in them. Let’s take a look at those beans and figure out what it’s all about.
About the Beans
Coffee Joke: “If asked how I take my coffee, I reply seriously – very seriously”.
In the beginning, coffee beans are green. Green coffee beans are soft and springy, smelling a lot like grass. In storage, they lose nothing of their flavor or body. The roasting process involves high heat, the chemical changes inside the bean and quickly cooling the bean so it will retain its flavor. It will look like the brown coffee beans you’re used to seeing in bags in the grocery store. They should be used quickly so they don’t lose their flavor.
Coffee Joke: A yawn is a silent scream for coffee.
Roasting brings the oils in the beans to the surface. Light roasts retain more of their oils and present a smoother body. Dark roasts are roasted longer, so their oils get cooked off. This leaves a heavier brew with a stronger taste. The water is cooked off and the bean expands during roasting. A light roast doesn’t cook as long, so it retains much of its oil and is less dense. It is a very small bean. A darker roast expands in area, its water and oils cooked off. It results in a larger bean.
About the Roasts
Coffee Joke: (On a coffee mug) “Shhh. Almost. Okay, you can talk now”.
Coffee beans come in four roasts: light, medium, medium-dark and dark roasts.
- Light roasts are light brown in color, smooth and delicate in flavor. Our Hala Tree Kona Coffee and Riley’s Blend are light roasts.
- Medium roasts cooks a little longer, with a non-oily appearance. A somewhat stronger flavor, much like our Tavern Blend.
- Medium-dark is richer, browner, full-bodied and leaves a bit of bitter after drinking. If you don’t mind a bit of acidity along with an earthy flavor, our Ulos Batak from Sumatra should be just your cup of coffee.
- Dark Roast beans are black and/or charred with an oily feel and strong flavor. This is what you’ll find in our Conoas Colima espresso.
Coffee Joke: “I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without it”.
Some folks believe light roast coffee has little to no caffeine and that the darker the coffee the more caffeine. Caffeine has been in existence since the Stone Age. It’s a drug-like substance that stimulates the brain (steady, now, you’re almost there!). It is found in around 16 different plants, but is mainly found in coffee beans, cocoa nuts (chocolate) and tea leaves. The caffeine is extracted from coffee beans to make decaffeinated coffee and then resold for addition to colas and medications. The type of grind, how many spoonfuls go into a pot of coffee and the amount of water going into the coffee all determine how much caffeine you will be drinking in a cup of Joe. Eyes open now?
Coffee Joke: “After I drink coffee I like to show the empty mug to the IT guy and tell him I successfully installed Java. He hates me”.
We have special blends for those who like an after-bouquet in their flavor choices, organic and specialty coffees. To hear some more great coffee jokes (and keep those eyes open) just contact us for more information.