Dark Roast Coffee Beans vs Medium Roasted Coffee Beans

these are kinda where my favorite lie

Medium Dark Roasts (12 to 13 minutes)
Medium dark roast is when the beans are roasted for a long time at a high enough temperature to bring the natural oil of the coffee to the surface.

Some examples of medium dark roasts are:

French Roast - which is also known as "Dark Roast". French Roast beans are often used to make espresso.

Continental Roast - which is slightly lighter than French Roast but with spicy body.

Viennese Roast - which is roasted a little longer than regular American roast and has rich chocolaty body.

Full City Roast - which is even darker than City roast.
There are different types of roasting processes.

There are different types of roasting processes. These include crown roast, dark roast, and french roast. French roast coffee would be considered a dark roast.

There are so many different kinds of choice roasts depending upon the taste of the consumer. Some darker roasts will seem burnt to some and just right to others.

The taste and flavor choice is most definitely up to the beholder!
Espresso doesn't have to be made with dark roasted beans.

I often buy specialty coffee beans from all around the world and most of the time the recommended roast goes from light to medium (not to hide the subtle difference that is worth the higher price tag).

I always try my coffee in espresso, French Press (Bodum) and the usual filter. Of course I grind the beans myself.

Many light to medium roasted beans produce an excellent cup of espresso. For a softer morning cup, try using twice as much water for a given quantity of coffee in your espresso machine, it will still be more intense than a boring filter coffee.
Mikeftrevino said:
Us yanks have relinquished ourselves to a weak stale cup for far too long. So long in fact, that most yanks taste a real fresh,properly made cup of coffee and wonder what's wrong with it.

Same could be said for US beer :wink:

I agree with what you've said. It's a misconception that espresso roasts have to be dark and oily. Not true at all. Not true also is that espresso has to be blend of different beans. Some swear by single origin extractions. A good blend might be fuller and rounder for some tastes but to single origin enthusiasts the good character note(s) of a single varietal can be muted or masked in a blend. SO or blend is as much a matter of taste as light, med or dark roast.

As far as I've read there are un palatable elements in coffee that need to be roasted out while certain palatable elements need to remain. Sugars accounting for the coffee's sweetness and certain acids should remain. Anything beyond that is a matter of taste and has little bearing outside of taste on whatever extraction method you prefer.

1st crack is the release of moisture as the bean's internal temperature rises and causes it to pop like popcorn. It's a necessary stage to achieve palatable roasts and at this stage the roast will reflect the bean's particular character.

2nd crack is optional. As far as I know it's the point where steady heat causes the cellular matrix of the bean to break down. The 2nd crack is therefore quieter than 1st crack and at this point the roast will begin to take on the character of the roast rather than the type of bean. Sugars continue to caramelize and even burn and the opening of the cellular matrix frees oils that start to rise to the bean's surface. Liberating the oils and forcing them to the surface exposes them to oxidation and makes it more important that you use the roast soon after degassing as the oils run the risk of going rancid.

Crema is not necessarily better with an oily roast either. The opposite might be true in that a lighter roast not showing oils retains those oils better since they still remain enclosed in the bean's intact cellular matrix. I home roast and rarely roast past the middle of second crack to the point where oil shows with all my beans and grind fresh for dose of espresso. From the start of extraction to the end the shot is all crema that settles out only after the shot is pulled. I attribute that not only to fresh beans and a good grind but also to a lighter roast where the oils are liberated only at the time of grinding and not during roasting.

There are other names for roasts from cinnamon, light city, full city, full city+, Vienna, French and Italian, I believe. I like going by colour more. Light, medium and dark work for me and are less arbitrary.
wolfgang said:
For a softer morning cup, try using twice as much water for a given quantity of coffee in your espresso machine, it will still be more intense than a boring filter coffee.

Maybe you want to pull the same espresso shot and then add hot water. It should be better than pulling a long shot by twice as much.
I am sorry if this has been brought up in a previous message on this topic, but I can only stare at the computer screen so long. Are different beans capable of roasting darker than other beans? For instance, I really like french roast coffee. So my first roasting was full time and heat with a "french/italian" bean. Oh ya, I have an alpenroast. The second roast was a "samatra mandeling" bean at one setting less than full time. Good coffee, but not the oil present that I was expecting. Third roast with "six bean espresso" bean 2 settings less than full time and it was a lot lighter than I thought it was going to get. Fourth was "dark house blend" bean that got same time as batch 3. It turned out like a columbian roast. I am wondering if all beans will roast out dark like french/ italian or if I need to purchase beans for that specific flavor? Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Different varietals roast at different rates. I think it can also depend on how they were processed as well from dry to wet to whatever.

Using a roast setting/time level on a home roaster to get a specific level of roast for every bean isn't reliable. Sound, smell and sight should be your guides to stop the roast when you get to the stage you want. Higher temps and longer roasting times will get you darker roasts. I don't think the Alpenroast allows you to see the beans while they roast so you've got to use smell and sound as a guide. Listen for first and second crack and smell for the smoke of the roast. If you want to roast dark take it into second crack for a while and as the oils start surfacing and burning look and smell for the smoke but be careful not to set your beans on fire.
I am a home roaster that usually drinks a lighter roasted coffee. I have in the past, made Italian roast with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. It was the best dark roasted coffee I ever had. A good runner up would be Guatemalan Antigua. I believe that a good dark roast should be a very distinctive flavored coffee, so you can still taste the origin with the roast. I am surprised that you did not like the Sumatra at a full city to darker, that coffee is wonderful at a Vienna roast. Last night I roasted some Nicaraguan Matagalpa, which I will drink in the morning. I would be willing to bet this coffee would also be nice roasting well into the second crack.
All of the coffee that I have roasted has been the best coffee I've had yet. Nothing else compares. I really like the sumatra, but will roast a little darker next time. Thanks for the input so far.