Confused? Don't feel bad there is a lot to learn here:
American Roast: The lightest of the Medium Roasts. This is where most feel drink ability begins.
City Roast: Developing sugars in the bean.
City + Roast: A little deeper roast, more sugars developed.
Full city Roast: Just starting into the dark roast.
Full City + Roast: Developing the dark smoke flavor.
Vienna Roast. (Light French Roast): Developing the Dark Roast.
French Roast: Deep into the Dark Roast.
Italian Roast: Almost on fire!
Medium Roast: Medium roast coffee is medium brown in color with a non-oily surface. Traditionally, a medium roast is the most preferred type of coffee roast in America. If you prefer a flavorful, traditional cup of coffee you'll enjoy a medium roast.
AKA: City, American, Breakfast
Medium-Dark Roast: Medium-dark roast coffee beans are a rich, dark brown color with a semi-oily surface. This type of roast produces a modest bittersweet aftertaste. If you prefer slight bittersweet notes and deep flavors, you'll enjoy a medium-dark roast.
AKA: Full City
Dark Roast: Dark roast coffee beans are nearly black, oily and produce a noticeable bitterness. The darker the coffee bean, the less acidity will be present in the coffee. If you prefer a heavy mouthfeel and strong flavor, you'll enjoy a dark roast coffee.
AKA: High, Continental, New Orleans, European, Espresso, Viennese, Italian, French
Hey! What do you like in your Coffee? Honey, Cream, Half and Half, Hydrogen Sulfide..... WHAT!! Hydrogen Sulfide?? Most coffee is roasted over open flame natural or propane gas. When that happens Hydrogen Sulfide is infused into the bean. If you let it off gas for 4 to 7 days at room temperature the government says that only a safe trace is left in the bean (ugh, ok, they never get anything wrong). A fluid bed, hot air roaster, uses clean electric heat to roast the bean to perfection! Next time skip the Hydrogen Sulfide and order your fresh roast from Shermans Valley Coffee Co.!
Almost all of the coffee you have bought in the past is stale coffee. Buying coffee with a "Roasted on date" is the most important item on your list. Don't fall for "best if used by" date, that means nothing. Coffee stored in airtight containers is critical! Oxygen and light speed up the staling rate of your coffee.
Finding the correct grind for you coffee is critical for maxim flavor extraction of the bean. Too coarse and it will be weak, too fine and it will be bitter. Looking at the chart will give you a visual guide to the size of the grind and for which type of coffee maker you have.
A lot of work is required so we can enjoy our cup of coffee each day! Almost all coffee is harvested by hand, it is the best way to pick only the ripe coffee cherry. A coffee tree produces about 2 pounds of green coffee beans per year (about 5 lbs before processing as shown above). Of those 2 pounds between 20 to 25% of its weight is lost as moisture is driven out of the bean when roasting. It takes about 2,000 cherries to produce one pound of roasted coffee. In one year, a two-cup-a day drinker of coffee will consume the annual harvest of 18 coffee trees! It takes four to five years to produce the first crop of a coffee plant. Now you can appreciate that cup of coffee just a little bit more!
I love all things coffee, and talking about it! I hope to in the very near future have a evening when you and your friends (max 6 people) can stop by for a demonstration of the roasting process and some fresh roasted coffee tasting. Let me know if your are interested!