British Coffee Association - Roasting


It’s All in the Roast

Raw coffee beans contain plenty of caffeine, protein, acids, water and sugar. The roasting process produces the aromatic oils that give coffee its unique flavour and aroma.

Roasting is a precise skill; insufficient roasting of the coffee beans fails to fully extract the oils, but excess roasting can see them burnt away entirely.

Roasting coffee beansEach coffee has its own characteristics, for example, Santos coffee has a soft smoothness, Kenya coffee has a lively acidity and Costa Rica coffee has a delicate sharpness.

Generally, the longer the roasting, the darker and stronger the coffee.

Roasted coffee can be served black, with milk or with cream, and can be prepared using all types of coffee maker.

Medium Roast

  • A medium roast produces mild or medium to strong coffee depending on the variety.
  • It is a favourite with breakfast, but can be enjoyed throughout the day.
  • Some coffees with a delicate flavour like Jamaica Blue Mountain are at their best when medium roasted.


Medium to Dark Roast

  • A medium to dark roast has a heavier, slightly stronger flavour than a medium roast.


Dark Roast

  • Dark roast is a much richer coffee, suitable for any time of day, especially after dinner when a more full-bodied depth of flavour is required to harmonise with richer food.