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Is that New England or a French?

November 30, 2011


I have been in a bit of coffee reading routine lately and am going back for between two of Kenneth Davids books, "Home Roasting; Romance and Revial" and "Coffee: A Guide to Buying Brewing and Enjoying." Both of these books have an a wealth of information, and there are a few things that I am happy to have been put straight. One of the most simple things that has an incredible amount of names is the type of roast given to any coffee bean and luckily in both of these books they go over this.



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One would think that naming a roast would be perfectly simple and easy to understand. However, this isn't the case, I mean what's a Viennese roast? and what's the difference between that and a French roast? Obiously there is something of a difference, but I really never knew what the difference was until this book pointed it out.



There are a few different ways that coffee roasts are named, but I really like the country names described above and want to share what I learned. A light roast is called a New England, a medium roast is called American. Medium Dark is Viennese. Dark roast is French roast. Very dark roast roast is Italian and finally a black roast is Dark French or Spanish. I like these names and am glad to know them, they will assist me when picking out blends in the future.



I think a funny tid bit that made it into the book was the Starbucks names of the roasts. However, since this book is a good five plus years old I am not sure if they are still valid, but here goes from light to dark starting with American; Milder Dimensions, Lively Impressions, Rich Traditions and Bold Expressions. Those are some funny names as they sound a lot more like the newest line of Trojan products than coffee roasts.



Personally, I really enjoy almost all of those roast except for the extremes, I find that a lot of light roasts are under roasted for my taste high acidy and grassy, while the Dark French is char by that point. But in the end it is all dependent on the specific coffee and where it preforms best.



Please take a look at this Sweet Maria's picture for roast pictures.






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