Coffee Roasts: Light, Medium, or Dark?

Do you have a favorite coffee roast? Light? Dark? Maybe you’re thinking about experimenting with a new roast, or you’re just curious what separates one roast from the next. Either way, here is a quick overview to help you choose your new delicious roast!

Coffee Roasts

To begin, all coffee beans are green with little taste. It’s the roasting process that gives the bean its color, but more importantly, roasting gives the beans their unique smell, taste, and other unique characteristics. The longer a bean is roasted, the darker it will become.

If you’re headed to the store to buy some gourmet beans, here is what you can expect from light, medium, and dark roasts.

Light Roasts

Lights roasts are light brown or tan in color and have very little oil on the beans. Of the three roasts, light roast coffee is the most acidic and bright and it has the lightest body. If you want to taste the original flavor and more easily differentiate between coffee origins, this is your roast. One of the bigger complaints about light roasts is their lack of balance, but don’t give up after your first bean. Light roasted coffee may have a sweet or floral aroma.

Common roast names include: Half City, New England, and Cinnamon.

Medium Roasts

Medium roasted coffees are medium brown in color, they have more body than light roasts, and they offer balanced flavor, acidity, and aroma. This popular roast brings out some of the best characteristics of coffee, including a number of flavors like citrus, fruit, and berry. If you want a smooth coffee experience that offers some boldness without the burnt flavor of darker roasts, this is a good choice.

Common roast names include: American, Regular Roast, and City Roast.

Dark Roasts

Dark roasted coffee is dark brown or nearly black and the beans are often oily. People may describe dark roasts as having a burnt, bitter, smoky, or chocolate flavor. This roast has a full body and less acidity than the other roasts, but it’s also more difficult to pick up on characteristics of origin. On the bright side, darker roasts are generally the most aromatic so leave the lid off and enjoy!

Common roast names include: Italian Roast, French Roast, and Spanish Roast.


Are you thinking about changing up your coffee roast selection at the office? Take a look at Coffee Mill’s current coffee offerings and bring a new taste experience to your employees!

coffee roasts in cup