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 Cinnamon

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 variance distinct.


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, acidity low.


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.


                                                               Roasting Results



Name          Bean  Surface      Ave. Bean Temp.     Acidity     Body     Aroma    Sweetness      Comments

                                                    (At end of roast)


Light Brown/           Dry                        380- 400  F        High       Weak       Medium        Low         Can  taste

Cinnamon                                             ‘First Crack’                                                                               grainy and



Medium                   Dry                       400- 415 F          High        Full        Full                Mild    

Light Brown /    




Full Medium           Dry                       415-435 F            High      Full         Strong             Mild

Brown/ City                                       ‘Second Crack’



Medium-         Slight Oily Surface       435-460 F            Low        Full        Medium         Full

Full City/


Light French



Dark brown/         Shiny  Surface        445-460 F            Low        Full         Medium         Full          Common

French/ Espresso                                                                                                                                        roast for

                                                                                                                                                         France and Italy


Very dark       Very Shiny Surface       460-480 F           Very        Weak         Mild              Low       Low burnt

(nearly black)/                                                                    Low                                                                 tones are

Dark French/ Spanish                                                                                                                      distinct or even


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