Thu, Oct 4, 2018
Read in 2 minutes
Light roasts are light brown or chestnut brown in color with a dry surface and toasted grain taste, and with no trace of a dark (burnt or smoky) roast.
A Light Roast is roasted until the green coffee beans experience the “first crack,” visibly popping and cracking as they expand in size due to the heat of the roasting machine. This usually occurs after just several minutes of roasting.
Light roasts tend to have a higher acidity (e.g. lively, bright) than medium roasts or dark roasts, which are generally sweeter with more body with a more balanced aroma and acidity.
A benefit of a lighter roast is that the coffee tends to retain more of its origin flavours that reflect the natural qualities of the coffee including the origin of the coffee plant as well as the climate and soil of the region where the coffee was grown.
Any roast can be used to make an espresso with any espresso machine – while a very dark roast is typically associated with “espresso”, calling it an “espresso roast” doesn’t technically mean anything. The flavour of the coffee will change quite a bit with a light roast versus the traditional super dark, with more pronounced single origin characteristics that may be off-putting to people who have developed an expectation for more of a dark roasted flavour.
What’s actually important is to select the appropriate grind for your espresso maker. Machines are designed to work with a given pressure from the pump – too fine a grind can cause a backup and damage the pump, while too coarse a grind will let the water through too quickly and result in an underextracted, weak brew.
The origins that are generally lightly roasted are likely to vary and change according to season. Coffee is an agricultural product and seasonality is another important aspect to take into account – different times of the year bring new and different arrivals from the most recent harvests which is a real benefit of drinking lighter roasted single origin beans. However, you might notice there are times of the year (like now!) when our online shop looks to be a bit depleted in terms of what is on offer. Our approach to sourcing means that we no longer sell a coffee once it is tasting past it’s best which is why we store our single origin beans in relatively small volumes.
Some origins keep better and we always work with either vacuum packing for our green bean storage which can extend the shelf life of green coffee for between 9 and 12 months depending on the origin and process.