Coffee can be a very versatile drink as its preparation can be manipulated to suit your taste and preference. The gist of the process lies in the different styles in which coffee beans can be roasted, which will produce different flavours. Coffee beans can undergo a light, medium, dark, or extra-dark roast, each producing flavours of different intensities.
A lightly roasted coffee retains more of the bean’s original flavour compared to a coffee with a darker roast. The flavour can be distinctive and indicative of the origin of the coffee, as the roasting does not overshadow the taste. The concentration of caffeine and acidity of a light roast are evidently higher and the roast flavour is not too apparent. With this preparation, your light coffee has a sharper yet subtle aroma and flavour.
When coffee beans are roasted for a longer period, you get a cup of medium-roast coffee that contains heavier flavours. The longer roasting period releases more oils from the coffee beans, hence resulting in a fuller flavour. As the coffee is roasted for a longer time, the acidity of the beans declines and you taste a sweeter drink instead. Therefore, the end product will yield a more sophisticated taste with a nice blend of smoky and acidic elements.
There is also the dark coffee roast, which produces a beverage that is darker in colour compared to light-roast coffee due to the higher intensity of roasting involved. You will taste a significantly heavier flavour with this type of roasting style as more oils are released and acidity wanes. This makes dark coffee gentler on the stomach. However, it becomes difficult to identify the region from which the coffee originates, as its original flavour cannot be discerned.
If you prefer a richer and bolder cup of coffee, then an extra-dark roast is just the ticket, as the extra roasting imparts a very heavy roasted aroma and taste. The higher amount of coffee oils produced from the roasting process produces an oily sheen on the coffee. Like dark roast coffee, it will be almost impossible to identify the region from which extra-dark roast coffee beans originate, despite the resulting distinctive flavour. Extra-dark coffee is less complex compared to medium-roast coffee, as you would taste more of the roast and very little acidity.
There’s no need to stick to just one type of roast either. Each type is suitable for different times of the day or occasions, so the best roast to choose tends to be the one you feel like having at the moment.