The Complete Guide to the Many Types of Coffee

By Mark Ramos

Coffee is much more complex than you may even realize, and the most desirable coffee beans are grown at altitudes over 3000 feet. This altitude helps to cultivate complex and elegant flavors within the cherries on the coffee trees that contain the coffee beans. It is essential for fruit to be a handpicked from the coffee trees for the greatest quality, where the outer pulp will then be removed to reveal the two coffee beans inside.

From there, coffee beans will be dried, cleaned, inspected, and graded to prepare for sale as unroasted coffee beans. The beans will range in color from a dark yellow to a pale green when they are raw and unroasted, and they will then be exported as raw coffee beans for roasting, blending, and being ground into a final product. Most commercial coffee companies will either use Arabica or Robusta coffee beans, with Arabica viewed as the superior, gourmet variety of coffee bean. After the beans are roasted, there are many different roast varieties on the market to offer numerous flavors for your morning coffee.

  • American Roast: This is a regular coffee roast where the beans are medium roasted to create a moderate brew that is not too light or too heavy in flavor.
  • French Roast: This is a full coffee roast that has a dark brown color in the beans, and it creates a strong coffee flavor.
  • Italian Roast: The coffee beans will be glossy and almost black, and they create a strong and delicious flavor used for espresso.
  • European Roast: This is made from two thirds heavy roasted and one third regular roasted beans blended.
  • Viennese Roast: This roast is created from two thirds regular roasted and one third heavy roasted coffee beans blended together.
  • Instant Coffee: This is a powder created from freshly brewed coffee that is heated and spray dried to remove the moisture.
  • Freeze Dried Coffee: This is a form of instant coffee that is frozen into ice crystals so that the water can be removed, and it is normally more expensive than other instant coffee because it has a better flavor.
  • Decaffeinated Coffee: The caffeine is removed from the coffee beans in a process using water or chemicals before the beans are roasted. The Swiss water process is much preferred because it does not use chemicals to decaffeinate the coffee beans.

As you can see, coffee roasting is a complex art and science all rolled into one. Make it your priority to try many of these different coffee roasts to better understand what goes into your cup of Joe. Furthermore, there many different through methods that you can use to create interesting flavors in your morning coffee, which is where the fun begins as a coffee drinker. Mixing and matching different coffee roasts with different coffee brew methods will help you to find your favorite taste in your cup of Joe!

Mark Ramos
Article by Mark Ramos
Mark Ramos is a coffee fanatic and owns The Coffee Bump. For a great selection in all things coffee and espresso machines, check out

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