Roasting and Blending

Names Colors Characteristics Taste
Light /pale roast (light city roast), Cinnamon, New England Light brown; dry surface; light cinnamon tone. Pronounced nut-like flavour, high coffee acidity.

Light cinnamon-brown color, preserves some of the delicate-flavor oils and is therefore used for mild beans. Preferred in England.

Producing a mild, thin cup.
American / City Roast (Medium Roast) Medium brown; dry surface; Chestnut hue. Pronounced caramel like flavour.

Chestnut-brown color, a stronger flavor and mellower than light, Preferred in America.

The optimum rich brown colour for most fine coffees.
City Roast Medium roast, medium brown with no surface oils. Full coffee flavour, with some loss of acidity.  
Full City Roast (Full Roast) Chestnut brown, slightly darker than the City Roast. Full coffee flavour, good balance of acidity & sugar. Rich dark brown color with slight oil on the surface of the bean. The coffee has a strong flavor with a touch of bitterness. Preferred by Europe, traditionally favoured in New York City and the Deep South.
Vienna Dark brown, with traces of oil on the surface. Dark roast flavour.  
French / Continent Roast (High roast double roast)

Dark brown, nearly black, oily on the surface.

Deep brown colour with a film of the natural oils brought just to the surface.
Bitter, smoky taste & pungent aroma. Shiny black beans with an oily surface, the coffee has strong bittersweet aftertaste. Good for after-dinner coffees. Preferred by French and Viennese.
Italian Roast Dark chocolate brown, oils on the surface. Burnt flavour.

Beans are black to the point of carbonization. Highest (longest) roasted, strong flavor. Preferred by Italians.

Roasted to a black colour so that the coffee is actually carbonized. Black and extremely oily.
Espresso Roast Dark roast, used specifically for espresso machines. Burnt flavour that is strong & sweet.

Beans are black to the point of carbonization. Highest (longest) roasted, strong flavor. Preferred by Italians.

Roasted to a black colour so that the coffee is actually carbonized. Black and extremely oily.
Dry Roast   Not an actual roast but a method whereby the freshly roasted beans are allowed to cool naturally in the surrounding air, as opposed to cooling by water. The advantage of air-drying is that it does not affect significantly. The same cannot be said of water drying, which tends to be used in large scale commercial roasting. The best coffee is dry roasted.  
Note: Roasted beans maintain their quality for only three weeks if stored at room temperature in an airtight container.