How To Determine the Degree of Roasted Coffee Beans by Eyesight

The plant coffee traces its origin from East Africa. It was later imported from here to other coffee growing areas across the world. Commercially, coffee exists in the types of; Coffee Arabica, Coffee Robusta and Interspecific hybrid Coffee. However there are a number of varieties in each type of coffee. Examples of varieties of Coffee Arabica includes; the Ethiopian Harar  and Ethiopian Sidamo that are grown in Ethiopia, the Orange Yellow Bourbon that is grown in the Latin America and Ruiru 11 that is grown in Kenya. On the other hand, Coffee Robusta most known variety is the Uganda that is grown in Uganda. One variety of an inter-specific hybrid is the Java that is produced in Indonesia.

Due to the fact that coffee contain caffeine, an agent that stimulates the central nervous system, it  has many uses that include relieving fatigue, helping prevent some types of cancer such as breast cancer and it can also be used as a remedy for low blood pressure. Other uses include the use of coffee in beauty enhancing such as darkening light hair and face cleaning.

Determine the Degree of Roasted Coffee Beans

Determine the Degree of Roasted Coffee BeansCoffee roasting can simply be regarded as the process by which the smell and taste from coffee beans are enhanced to create a desired flavor of coffee. The degree of roasted coffee beans can be determined visually by the color of the coffee beans. The degree of roasting is very crucial in determining the balance of flavors in coffee.

Green Unroasted Coffee

Green unroasted coffee basically means raw coffee. Green coffee needs to undergo the roasting process for purposes of drinking since coffee smell and taste are enhanced during the process.

Green unroasted beans undergo the process of roasting in stages. These stages are identifiable through their distinct color change that ranges from light shades of brown to dark shades of brown, levels of acidity and caffeine.

  • Light Shades of Brown Roasts Degree

Light Shades of Brown Roasts DegreeStages are often characterized by their light brown colors that range from one stage to the other and the retained original smell of the coffee beans.

    • Starting to Pale: The coffee roasting process starts by removing the green unroasted coffee beans skins. Coffee beans start to lose their moisture as they are heated to about 2700 C upon which they obtain a pale brown color. Coffee at this stage often appears dry.

    • Early Yellow: This stage of roasting is often characterized by a light shade of yellow that appears after the beans are subjected to an approximated 3000C temperature. Coffee at this stage often begins to dry a process that is evidenced by the emission of stream from coffee roasters. Coffee still appears dry.

    • Yellow Tan: A golden yellow color is usually observed after heating the coffee to an approximated 3550C. The dry physical appearance in coffee is still present. The original taste of coffee is usually pronounced in the coffee.

    • Light Brown: This coffee roasting stage is usually characterized by the emergence of a light brown color after the coffee is heated to an approximated 3700C. It is during this stage that the coffee start producing a coffee roasting waste product referred to as coffee chaff. This basically refers to the process by which coffee starts shedding off pieces of its skin. The skins of the coffee beans still appear dry at this stage. Coffee at this stage emits a baked bread smell like.

    • Brown: Coffee at this stage of roasting owes its brown color to the Maillard reaction. The reaction is usually responsible in giving browned foods such as cookies their flavors. Evidence of coffee beans expanding may start to be witnessed at this stage.
  • Medium Shades of Brown Roast Degree

Medium Shades of Brown Roast DegreeThe degree of coffee roasting that fall under this category often appears in shades of medium brown that differ from one stage to another. Their skins are usually dry in physical appearance and exhibit flavors that are more balanced. The coffee beans can clearly be seen expanding.

    • First Crack Stage: This stage is characterized by a popping sound that is similar to that of popcorn and the first crack of the coffee beans is usually witnessed. This is where the stage derives its name from.

    • Middle of the First Class Stage: In this stage more cracks on the coffee beans can be witnessed as the First Crack Stage continues. At this stage it is very critical for a coffee roaster to maintain high temperatures during the process due to the fact that coffee beans start to loose heat. This will prevent the coffee from tasting baked. The beans also continue to expand.

    • End of First Crack (City Roast) Stage: The stage symbolizes the end of the First Crack Stage. The beans appear browner than in earlier stages and they look smoother but has some visible dark sports on its outside. Carbon dioxide is usually released from the beans at this stage.

    • City + Roast: : It is the best in determining the original taste of the coffee. The stage is characterized by a medium brown color. The taste of coffee and aroma of roasting can be determined at this stage.

    • Full City Roast: The stage is associated with a smoother appearance of the coffee beans. Oil sheen starts forming on the beans. At this stage the coffee is almost undergoing its second crack.

    • Full City + : The coffee beans are roasted to a temperature that facilitates the second crack. However, the beans are only made to live the second crack process for several seconds before roasting is stopped.
  • Dark Brown Roast Degree

Dark Brown Roast DegreeStages of roasting that fall under this degree can easily be recognized through their dark brown color similar to chocolate and their oil shiny surfaces and their lack of the coffee’s original taste.

    • Vienna Light French Roast: Coffee is usually dark brown in color. The surface of its beans is usually shiny and oily. Its beans appear thin and lacking in the aroma of its origin.


    • Full French: : Beans appear very dark brown and they look burnt. The oily surface of beans is usually pronounced and no taste of the original coffee is evidenced.


    • Full Carbonized: Coffee is black in color and has no retained original flavor. They appear thin.


    • Imminent Fire : Coffee beans are thin and small in size, black in color and they contain no acid. It has a bittersweet taste.


The sense of sight is important in determining the degree of roasted coffee. However, this process can be challenging due to the fact that some stages have coffee beans colors that border to others. Levels of caffeine, acidity and the original flavor in coffee beans diminish as the beans continue to be roasted.


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