5 Common Coffee Roast Questions Answered

You asked. Our Starbucks expert tells.

featuring Aaron Robinson | August 9, 2016
HOME Taste & Drinks 5 Common Coffee Roast Questions Answered

While there are many key elements that make up a perfect brew, the roast is certainly an important one. To help guide you to a perfect cup every time, our own coffee engagement manager Aaron Robinson answers some common questions about roasting. From flavor differences between roasts to Starbucks own roast philosophy, Aaron offers some of the alchemy and artistry of what makes a roast.

Why does some dark roasted coffee taste burnt?
• Dark roasted coffee is essentially roasted deeper, giving it a stronger roast flavor.

What is Starbucks roast philosophy?
• Starbucks believes in roasting each bean to its peak flavor expression; each coffee requires a unique roast profile to achieve its own balance of aroma, acidity, body and flavor.

Why did Starbucks start roasting lighter coffees?
• Starbucks has been roasting for over 45 years. So when we decided to expand our roast offerings, we put our experience to the test and created our Blonde roast spectrum. This includes Starbucks® Willow Blend® and Starbucks® Veranda Blend®.

Do lighter roasts have more caffeine?
• The short answer is yes. The long answer is that the difference in caffeine is fairly small, and you likely won’t notice any variation when drinking a blonde versus a dark roast.

What are some common characteristics of different roast profiles?
Blonde roasts are noticeably lighter in color. Their flavor will have more acidity with a light body. Medium roasts are a few shades darker than blonde. Because they’ve been roasted longer, they tend to have more body, offering a more balanced aroma and taste. Dark roasts are much darker in color, and have a noticeably oily surface. They typically have a more roasted flavor, with full body and less acidity.

Want to know which type of roast you’ve been drinking or looking to try a flavor from each roast? Use the Starbucks roast spectrum chart as your guide to understanding our flavors within each roast.

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