Each coffee can be characteristically defined by the components and degree of roast listed below. Components are elements that make up the coffee’s flavor. The degree of roast is determined by the coffee’s color and surface oil. These characteristics combined make up the essence of coffee’s flavor.
- BODY – Thickness or heaviness as it feels on the palate during consumption
- ACIDITY – Pleasant tanginess when the coffee first hits the palate.
- FLAVOR – Ranges from mild to rich and is the most subjective of coffee characteristics
- AROMA – Powerful evocative smell that enhances a great cup of coffee
- Light-roasted coffees are roughly the color of cinnamon with intense aromatics, good body and lively acidity. Other names for this style are light city and cinnamon roast.
- Medium-roasted coffees are brown in color with increased body and nutty aromatics. Other names are city roast and American roast.
- Dark-roasted coffees are noticeably darker in color with traces of surface oil. French roast and full city roast take on a slightly smoky, more pungent flavor.
- Espresso roast is very dark and sometimes black in color. Espresso beans are fully coated in oil and have a strong, carbony flavor. Espresso is the traditional Italian style of roasting.