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Confused? Don't feel bad there is a lot to learn here:
Medium Roast: Medium roast coffee is medium brown in color with a non-oily surface. Traditionally, a medium roast is the most preferred type of coffee roast in America. If you prefer a flavorful, traditional cup of coffee you'll enjoy a medium roast.
AKA: City, American, Breakfast
Medium-Dark Roast: Medium-dark roast coffee beans are a rich, dark brown color with a semi-oily surface. This type of roast produces a modest bittersweet aftertaste. If you prefer slight bittersweet notes and deep flavors, you'll enjoy a medium-dark roast.
AKA: Full City
Dark Roast: Dark roast coffee beans are nearly black, oily and produce a noticeable bitterness. The darker the coffee bean, the less acidity will be present in the coffee. If you prefer a heavy mouthfeel and strong flavor, you'll enjoy a dark roast coffee.
AKA: High, Continental, New Orleans, European, Espresso, Viennese, Italian, French (Note: Espresso is not necessarily always a dark roast.)
Hey! What do you like in your Coffee? Honey, Cream, Half and Half, Hydrogen Sulfide..... WHAT!! Hydrogen Sulfide?? Most coffee is roasted over open flame natural or propane gas. When that happens Hydrogen Sulfide is infused into the bean. If you let it off gas for 4 to 7 days at room temperature the government says that only a safe trace is left in the bean (ugh, ok, they never get anything wrong). A fluid bed, hot air roaster, uses clean electric heat to roast the bean to perfection! Next time skip the Hydrogen Sulfide and order your fresh roast from Shermans Valley Coffee Co.!
Almost all of the coffee you have bought in the past is stale coffee. Buying coffee with a "Roasted on date" is the most important item on your list. Don't fall for "best if used by" date, that means nothing. Coffee stored in airtight containers is critical! Oxygen and light speed up the staling rate of your coffee.
Finding the correct grind for you coffee is critical for maxim flavor extraction of the bean. Too coarse and it will be weak, too fine and it will be bitter. Looking at the chart will give you a visual guide to the size of the grind and for which type of coffee maker you have.
Amazing no Chemical Process
A lot happens when heat is added to your coffee bean! The complete process is amazing and fun to watch. This is one reason I love my job , it so satisfies the "Mad Scientist" in me. Those of you not proficient in converting Celsius to Fahrenheit, the Maillard Reaction takes place from around 300 F to around 390 F. Caramelization begins around 340 F . First crack around 400 F and second crack from 440 F to 445 F. All of these numbers depend on the type of bean, humidity, roast beginning temperature, etc. So to help you understand different styles of roast, the finish temperature determines the style of coffee you like. Finishing before "second crack" gives you your medium roasts, anything after that gives you your dark roast.