Best Medium Roast Coffees

Characteristics of a Medium Roast

A Medium Roast is usually sweeter than a Light Roast with a spicy flavor, and lacking the grain taste of a Light Roast. The caffeine content will be less than a light roast, but more than a dark roast. Ultimately, you don’t want to decide your roast based on caffeine content, but on flavor.

Medium Roasts also have a more balanced aroma and acidity (the acidity is typically bright) than a light roast, as the organic acids and flavor compounds have had time to develop during the additional roasting. While “specialty” roasters (eg. real coffee snobs) will prefer a light roast, the majority of people will prefer a medium roast as it begins to impart some actual coffee flavor. Our top 5 Medium Roast Coffees choices based on customer feedback are:

  1. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
  2. Costa Rican Tarrazu
  3. Kenya AA
  4. Nicaragua
  5. Hawaiian Kona

Difference Between Medium Roast and Dark Roast

The coffee beans generally remain dry when given a Medium Roast, not yet revealing any oils as in a Darker Roast. This is not an absolute rule however, as any good coffee roaster will roast a coffee to a medium roast profile, even if it means going darker than usual. The color of a Medium Roast is usually milk chocolate brown. Since the organic compounds in coffee are destroyed the longer it is roasted, a medium roast can be generally considered healthier than a dark roast. While the differences between single origins and growing elevations will make a larger difference, it’s worth keeping in mind.

Synonyms for Medium Roast

Medium Roasts are also referred to as American Roast, Breakfast Roast, Brown Roast, City Roast, Medium-Brown Roast, Medium High Roast, Regular Roast, and Standard American Roast.

Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips

If you like all the words associated with the revered bean then you will absolutely love our Coffee Terms.  If history is your thing then you will take great delight in the World’s Best History of Coffee.

For tips on brewing the perfect cup of coffee see our section on Coffee Brewing. You can also read detailed coffee flavor profiles of Gourmet Coffees and instructions on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes.

For step-by-step instructions see Pulling A Perfect Espresso Shot as well as How to make a Latte.

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