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Coffee Roast Levels

Whether you are a coffee fanatic like us, a home roaster, or entirely new to coffee you have probably heard some the most common coffee roast levels descriptions. Today, I want to dive into the roasting process for coffee, specifically the roast profiles and descriptors that are most commonly used by coffee roasters. At Driven, we use some of these descriptions such as Light, Medium, Dark, French, and Italian so our customers better understand our products. But what exactly does this mean you may ask? What are coffee Roast Levels?

Below I have outlined a chart with the “Roast Level Description” and the associated Temperature the green coffee beans are roasted to. For example, a light roast coffee is usually roasted to a temperature around 415 degrees. Whereas Italian would be roasted to a scorching 474 degrees, give or take a few. This chart can be helpful for home roasting experimentation, or to better understand what roast level you prefer. You would be amazed at how much the taste can change by adjusting your roast time and or temp by the slightest of margins.

Coffee Roast Levels Temperature

1. Green non-roasted 75
2. Starting to pale 270
3. Early yellow 327
4. Yellow-Tan 345
5. Light Brown 370
6. Brown 393
7. 1st Crack Begins 400
8. Light Roast 415
9. City Roast 426
10. Second Crack/Medium Roast 435
11. Full City 446
12.Dark Roast 454
13. Vienna (Light French) 465
14. Italian 474
15. & 16. Don’t Drink Me! 485

Please note that temperature alone will NOT determine the Roast Level Description. Each home and commercial roaster is different and will produce unique results. In addition, coffees from varying regions may reach the outlined coffee Roast Levels at different temperatures. The information above can be used to help estimate the temperatures to reach certain common Roast Levels.

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