What are the different types of roasts?

Some people are surprised to learn that the type of roast (Like “French Roast” or “City Roast”) are not just something marketers came up with. These actually refer to the maximum temperature the coffee beans reached during roasting. There are a number of common roasts, although each roaster generally follows their own special way of roasting that can also affect flavour:

  • Cinnamon Roast (195 Degrees Celsius / 383 Degrees Farenheit)
  • New England Roast (205 Degrees Celsius / 400 Degrees Farenheit)
  • American Roast (210 Degrees Celsius / 410 Degrees Farenheit)
  • City Roast (220 Degrees Celsius / 428 Degrees Farenheit)
  • Full City Roast (225 Degrees Celsius / 437 Degrees Farenheit)
  • Vienna Roast (230 Degrees Celsius / 446 Degrees Farenheit)
  • French Roast (240 Degrees Celsius / 464 Degrees Farenheit)
  • Italian Roast (245 Degrees Celsius / 473 Degrees Farenheit)
  • Turkish Roast (Spanish Roast) (250 Degrees Celsius / 482 Degrees Farenheit)

As you can see, the coffee beans start to achieve their flavour at around 195 degrees celsius / 383 degrees farenheit. After this point they rapidly have changes in texture, color and flavor gradually. Beans roasted only 10 degrees apart have a very noticeable difference in color. This is where the chemical reactions take place from roasted that give the beans their true flavour.

As an example, below are two roasted images:

Courtesy Dan Bollinger - 205°C (400°F) New England Roast

Courtesy Dan Bollinger - 220°C (428°F) City Roast

I hope this helps shed some light on what those roasts mean when you see them on the shelf! If you’re looking to try a good selection of beans, check out Amazon, their stock in my experience has always been very fresh.

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