Light Roast CoffeeSome of the best things in life are aquired tastes. Like Blended Scotch versus Single Malt, Martini versus 7-11 Slurpee. Sometimes the acquisition of the taste is a long slow-arcing sailing-into-the-bleachers homerun, sometimes it’s a short grounder up the center, sometimes a strike-out. Light roasted coffee may be one such thing.

Maybe the older one is, the longer the arc? Light roasted coffee is possibly more palatable to the unseasoned or new coffee drinker. Just like LSD of the 1990’s was more accessible to the masses over the more potent version of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Who knows? Right now light roast is the coffee hipster rage.

Give it some time

Those who like the medium or even dark roasts might struggle with the light roast, which can be more fruity and, if not brewed correctly and consumed promptly, can sometimes be somewhat sour tasting. Some say it tastes grassy, maybe even raw. These tastes are certainly not what most coffee drinkers are used to. Normally coffee tends to be acidic and can be bitter if not roasted by an artisan roaster.

Temperatures and timing are essencial toward achieving optimal flavor in the bean. Light roasts are finished well before the second “crack”.

Coffee Roasting styles:

  • Light – Cinnamon or Half City
  • Medium Light – City Roast
  • Medium – Full City or American
  • Medium Dark – French or Viennese Roast
  • Dark – Italian or Espresso Roast
  • Very Dark – Spanish Roast

Good roasting brings out the best qualities as well as the flaws in a particular bean. Some beans like to be light, medium or dark roasted, it all depends on the quality of the raw bean, other factors like plant type, growing region, farming techniques, bean processing and storage can effect flavor. A good roaster, through test roasting and cupping, can find the roasting profile best suited for that particular batch of beans.

What to expect

Light roast coffee will not taste like what you expect coffee to taste like, there are new flavors that will be encountered. Descriptions like butterscotch, orange blossom, maple syrup, red grape are used to describe flavor notes. Unaccustomed, some drinkers might be put off. When brewing at home consider these factors; First, don’t use an automatic drip brewer. Secondly, pour-over is the preferred technique. Having the correct equipment can make a world of difference, a ceramic or glass cone dripper, a gooseneck style pouring kettle, a digital kitchen scale, some kind of temperature measurement device, and, of course, proper technique will ensure success. Anything short of that will result in poor taste and you may even reject light roast all together. Many coffee houses offer pour-over, if you are curious, that would be a place to start.

Do it right

Either get the proper tools and learn the technique and make it at home, or try some light roast coffee at your favorite coffee house that both offers the pour-over coffee method and light roasted coffee, and you might be pleasantly surprised. If you don’t like the taste you saved yourself lots of money. Of course investing in making pour-over coffee at home will make brewing medium and dark roasts so much better, so it’s not such a wasted investment.

Online merchants that offer Light Roast Coffee beans

Intelligentsia Coffee

Handsome Coffee Roasters

Blue Bottle Coffee