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home coffee roast

Roasting Coffee at Home: The Four Types of Roasts

June 09, 2020

Surprisingly, some coffee drinkers do not know that there are two other types of roasts apart from light and dark. In between these two are the medium and medium-dark roasts. You probably had a cup of coffee in a medium and medium-dark roast, without knowing what they are called.

There may not be much difference between a Full City and Full City Plus because they are both dark. However, there is a significant difference between a City and a French Roast since they appear in the first and second cracking, respectively. As you can see, two of the key factors that affect your beans is how high the temperature is and how long you roast them.

If you want to learn more about coffee roasts, here are the four different types of roasts to help you identify your preference:

Light Roast

It can be a light city, half city, or cinnamon roast, and they all fall at the beginning of the first cracking of the beans. This type of roast is best for you if you want to have a cup with higher acidity or brighter brews with a light body.

Your beans would need to be at an internal temperature of 356–401ºF. Since this is quick to roast and does not require a relatively high temperature, you can safely do it at home.

Medium Roast

City and city plus fall under medium roasts and appear at the middle to end of the first crack. This type of roast has a dry surface and is distinguishable from the original green beans. Consider trying this roast if you prefer to have a cup with mid-level acidity and a fuller body.

To achieve a medium roast, it would need a 410–428º F window. You can still make it at home since the temperature is still manageable.

Medium-Dark Roast

Full City, Full City Plus, and sometimes Vienna Roasts are all types of medium-dark roasts. You may notice patches of oil on this type of roast as the beans prepare for the second cracking. It is also where the flavors begin to become prominent.

A temperature of 437–446ºF is needed to achieve this type of roast.

Dark Roast

Lastly, dark roasts appear at the second cracking; this includes French Roast, Italian Roast, and Espresso Roast. This type of roast has low acidity and an oily surface.

To achieve a dark roast, it would need to be at a high temperature of at least 464ºF but not more than 484ºF. If you go beyond this point, it is most likely that your coffee beans will be burnt.


Roasting beans yourself allows you to get the right roast and taste that you want in your coffee. However, to get the perfect taste and condition that you like, you should apply the proper heat and temperature. It would be best if you also roasted in constant motion to prevent beans from scorching. Roasting beans is relatively easy if you have the right equipment and quality beans, and you follow the correct procedure and guidelines.

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