ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guide to Coffee-Types of Beans and Roasts

Updated on February 17, 2009

Guide to Coffee-Part 1

Long before a steaming mug of coffee ever hits your desk it begins as a little cherry on a coffee arabica or coffee robusta plant. It's then harvested, transported, roasted, possibly flavored, packaged, and then sold before brewing ever even begins. Because the world of coffee is so very vast I've decided to split my coffee guide into multiple parts, simply click the links at the bottom of the page to move on the to next part of the guide!

As always, 'tis best to start at the beginning, with the coffee plant itself.

Types of Coffee Beans-Arabica and Robusta

 Coffee Arabica

Coffee Arabica first originated in Ethiopia, but over the centuries has become the most popular and widely grown type of coffee in the world. Arabica coffee beans have a milder, less acidic taste than robusta beans, but they are also more delicate and harder to grow. Arabica beans do best at 3,000 to 6,000 feet in elevation in temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that Arabica beans are mostly grown in equatorial regions such as Brazil and Vietnam in the higher reaches. Arabica plants are susceptible to various blights, and one the "coffee rust" wiped out a vast majority of the coffee arabica population worldwide. Depending on the region in which the coffee is grown it acquires different flavors, which is why you'll see labels like "Sumatra" or "Columbian" blend. You'll most likely find arabica beans in higher quality coffees, such as Starbucks, though even store brands like Foldgers offer 100% arabica blends now.

Coffee Robusta

As the name suggests, this coffee plant is far more robust than its arabica cousin. Robusta coffee plants will grow in a wider range of climates, and will withstand diseases that coffee arabica cannot. However, many people dislike the flavor of robusta beans, which is far more acidic and bitter than arabica beans. On the other hand, coffee robusta does have more than twice the caffiene of coffee arabica, which means it'll perk you up far more quickly. Robusta beans are also cheaper to grow, which is why you'll find them in the cheapest coffee varieties. Robusta beans are also often included in espresso blends to provide some bite to the shot and to improve the crema.

Types of Roasts

One thing to keep in mind in regards to the names of various roasts is that they can differ from place to place, and by roaster. For certain roasters a French roast may be darker than an espresso roast, and vice versa. Read the manufacturer's description for a better clue as to how your coffee was roasted. In general though, these are the names applied to varying levels of roasting, and each has its own, unique flavor. Usually the more deeply roasted a bean is the less acidic and more full-bodied it will be.

Cinnamon Roast

One of the lightest roasts available it is called so because the beans are roasted until they are a pale, orangey brown. The flavor is somewhat grainey, and not really refined.

New England Roast

Slightly darker, though still not fully brown this roast leaves much ofthe bean's original flavor still intact, and is light and slightly acidic.

American Roast

One of the most popualr and widely used roasts, espcially in supermarket brands, though many house blends are accomplished using this medium roast. The beans are medium brown in color, and not oily. An American roast is a nice balance between acidity and the natural flavor of the bean and the full bodied flavor of the roast. 

City Roast

A city roast is only slightly darker than an American roast, but cracking and oil will begin to show on the bean. A cup of coffee made from a city roast will contain less of the bean's original flavor and more of the roasting process.

Viennese or Espresso Roast

As the name implies, this roast is often used in espresso. This roast is fairly dark, but a hint of the bean's orginal flavor still remains, adding a nice bite. Coffee made from this roast should be rich and full-bodied, making it great for use in espresso drinks where the coffee must not be eclipsed by milk or flavorings.

French Roast

The darkest beans come from a French roast, which delivers a deep and sharp flavor derived from the roasting. At this point most of the bean's original flavor is gone, and it will have more in common with other dark-roasted beans than other coffees made from the same, but more lightly roasted beans. Many people need to develop a taste for such a dark roast.  

Conclusion

 Even at an early stage coffee begins to separate into the infinite varieties we enjoy daily. To read more about different flavors, brewing methods and more, peruse through my various coffee hubs by clicking the links at the bottom of the page, and enjoy your cup of joe!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      sharino12345 

      8 years ago

      thank you for this hub. Keep on going

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)