When green coffee beans are roasted to a dark colour, some generalizations can be
made as to what names to use, though the distinctions are, somewhat arbitrary:
Light tan, dry, unpleasantly sour, little or no body. Reminiscent of cereal.
Slightly darker than light cinnamon, but the taste and texture is little different.
Light or New England
Light brown, sourness has decreased, but the cereal taste is largely gone.The name
derives from its original use for inexpensive coffee in the eastern U.S.
Light to medium brown; once the predominant roast in the United States. Varietal
Viennese or Full City
Medium brown, the norm for most of the Northwestern US. Body, flavour, and aroma
are quite balanced
Medium to dark brown with drops of oil on the surface, greater sweetness, carbonized
sugars lend a caramel flavour; body exceeds acidity.
Surface is dark brown and lightly coated with oil; burnt notes become noticeable,
Italian or Dark French
Almost black, with a lot of surface oil. Tasted clearly burnt; acidity and even body
are almost undetectable.
Oily and black and very oily; overwhelming charcoal taste.
Name Bean Surface Ave. Bean Temp. Acidity Body Aroma Sweetness
(At end of roast)
Light Brown/ Dry 380- 400 F High Weak
Medium Low Can taste
Cinnamon ‘First Crack’ grainy
Medium Dry 400- 415 F High Full
Light Brown /
Full Medium Dry 415-435 F High Full
Brown/ City ‘Second Crack’
Medium- Slight Oily Surface 435-460 F Low Full Medium
Dark brown/ Shiny Surface 445-460 F Low Full Medium
French/ Espresso roast
Very dark Very Shiny Surface 460-480 F Very Weak Mild
Low Low burnt
(nearly black)/ Low
Dark French/ Spanish distinct