Types of Coffee Roast and Flavour – Part 2

Posted by Andrew Scrivens on 19th Nov 2019

Understand how the roast impacts flavour

Okay, so we got you off to a good start with our first instalment exploring this topic, where we broke down the different roast profiles and how long we roast beans for to achieve this.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Hit up our blog for part one. 

Let’s start to take a closer look at some of those roast flavours. Specifically, we want to help you understand how the roast impacts flavour so you can not only make the best bean choices for you and the types of coffee you like to drink but also open those coffee doors a little bit and encourage you to try out something new (no pressure).


We get it. Modern life be cray. We’re all so busy making an infinitesimal amount of decisions on the daily that when it comes to our coffee, we don’t want to be adding any more lengthy decision-making processes. We often find something we like, throw our hands in the air and praise the coffee Gods that be, and then we stick to that one thing.

We fully endorse this but we also feel it’s our duty as roasters to help you understand and explore other roasts so we can help you maximise your coffee enjoyment.

Below we’re revisiting the different roast levels, the typical flavour notes you can find within each, and the best coffee to use them for.


So, as you know from thoroughly paying attention to part one of this blog series, light-roasted beans are roasted for the shortest amount of time and here at Aromas, we refer to this as our Vienna Roast.

Due to the early roasting period, you can expect a wonderful diversity of flavours. Typical notes include a bright acidity, low bitterness, exotic flavours and a lighter mouthfeel. Colour-wise, you can expect a smooth fresh tan colour in your cup.

The individual flavours will really depend on the beans you use. One of the things to note about light-roasts is that because of the diversity of the flavours, you can also expect a good amount of inconsistency! Two bags of the same beans lightly roasted can offer quite different end flavour notes.

Our Recommendation: If this sounds appealing to you, we recommend taking a look at our Guatemala Vienna Roast. This fully washed Guatemala presents with a floral fragrance and a clean crisp lime tartness, finishing with a light body.

Best for: Filter Brewing or French Press Coffee


Following hot on the heels (pun intended) of the light-roast is what we here at Aromas like to refer to as our Mocha Roast. Other descriptions of this include city-roast or medium-roast.

Although the time difference between the two roasts is minimal, the differences are pretty spectacular to behold. You can expect a richer brown colour in your cup and a more balanced aroma. This roast has a medium acidity and body, and a well-rounded, consistent flavour profile.

Typically, you can expect a slightly sweeter flavour profile. While this roast holds true to the beans, it just starts to break into those richer caramel, chocolate notes so often found in many beans. While you’ll start to lose the brightness of the flavour notes in a light-roast, you’ll be richly rewarded with a more balanced taste and mouthfeel.

Our Recommendation: If consistency and balance appeal to you, we recommend giving our Cartagena roast a run. This four-bean blend is inspired by the tiny coastal town of the same name. It boasts a slight hint of citric brightness when served black and a smooth, balanced cup when paired with milk.

Best for: Espresso or Filter Brewing


It’s from here on out that we really start to knuckle down into those beautiful beans to unearth the richness of flavour they contain.

A medium-full body begins to emerge, and you’ll start to pick up hints of a bolder acidity, although not too much. Alongside a deeper rich brown colour in your cup, this is a great choice for those who enjoy a more intense flavour without any bitterness or those who want to begin exploring deeper coffee flavours.

Again, the individual flavour notes to be discovered with this roast will vary some depending on the type of bean, but typically you can expect to start exploring richer caramel and dark chocolate tasting notes. You’ll find a deeper brown colour in your cup, with some decadent earthy aromas emerging from the first brew. Yum.

Our Recommendation: Our Supreme beans are the perfect package if you feel like you want to start tapping into some of the richness in coffee. A chocolatey undertone merged with a subtle earthy aroma, this roast is ideally served with milk carrying a lingering dark chocolate flavour.

Best for: Espresso


One thing we haven’t touched on in the previous roast profiles is the oil you might find in your coffee. Lighter and light/medium roasts tend not to have any oil in them once brewed. As we emerge into the more intensely roasted beans, this is where you can expect to find oil left from the roasting process in your brew (don’t worry – it’s totally normal).

Medium-dark roasts start to really bring forward those nutty flavours, alongside some of the more bitter undertones you can find in darker chocolatey tastes. A full body mouthfeel, darker brown, touching on black, hues in your cup, and decadent earthy aromas have made medium-dark roasts a top seller in many coffee houses. One whiff of these brews and it’s easy to see why.

Different beans roasted at this level will also yield more sweetness, alongside hazelnut and caramel notes.

Our Recommendation: If a sweeter, bolder, more intense flavour speaks to you, we’ve got you covered with our Caramel 4 roast. This full-flavoured pack starts with a subtle hint of hazelnut aroma, tasting of bitter chocolate with a balanced sweetness. C4 explodes with flavour through milk giving a medium to full mouthfeel.

Best for: Espresso


Last, but by no means least, we have the roast that (most likely, we haven’t done the research) started it all – the dark roast.

If bold, rich, intenseness is what you’re seeking from your coffee in the morning then this is the roast for you. Essentially drawing together all the chocolatey, nutty, earthy notes that the medium roasts have been hinting at, a dark roast culminates in an impactful dark brown/black hue, full flavour mouthfeel, and low acidity that will leave your mouth watering.

A heavy body lends itself well to deeper flavours, and while a roast at this level might have left behind some of the original origin characteristics, they’re far from bland. It’s worth noting, you’ll also find a more oily surface on your brew.

Our Recommendation: Sink deep into everything a dark roast has to offer and explore buttery undertones with our Samora Dark Roast. A bold yet impressively smooth start followed by a short clean finish. The aroma is reminiscent of scorched pinenuts with a smooth buttery taste through milk. Warning this coffee is extremely morish.

Best for: Espresso


Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of how intrinsically linked roast and flavour are and some clarity over where to begin when selecting your own preferred roast profiles, as well as what your next steps might look like should you want to branch out a bit.

If on the other hand, we’ve left you feeling uncertain as to what the hell you’re doing when it comes to selecting your beans, don’t panic! We’ve covered all the basics and can assist you further with our Coffee Quiz – a delightfully fun way to explore your preferences and get some top-notch bean recommendations.

Follow us @aromascoffee