Brewing Coffee Basics: What is Medium Roast Coffee?

Coffee Basics: What is Medium Roast Coffee?

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Coffee wouldn’t mean anything to us without the roasting processCoffee beans start as small red fruits, and turn green after the processing removes the skins and pulps of the bean. We have the Maillard Reaction to thank for changing them to brown through the roasting process, giving us something that resembles a bit more closely to what we recognize as everyday coffee. Still, from there a lot goes in to coffee to give us the flavorful beans we know and love. 

Roasting causes “moisture [to be] forced out of the bean, [leading] it to dry and expand”. It does more than just change in color, but also weight and volume during this process. It’s during this time that natural sugars from inside the beans caramelize to form the flavors now so familiar (and quite possible cherished?) to us.

View Medium Roast Coffee Related Products Here

How Is It Roasted?

Roasting might be one of the more pricier processes of making coffee. This roaster from Amazon is not super cheapbut it seems worth it to make coffee your own from (pretty much) the start. There are cheaper ones out there, like this one from Nuvo that does have pretty good reviewsbut it’s important not to skimp when it comes to a roaster. You’ll want a machine that will execute the temperate and times properly. Some people have managed to make some decently roasted coffee with a popcorn popper, believe it or not!

As far as temperatures go for medium roast coffee, it is key to shoot for the “410-428°F window”. It’s at this temperature that begins to extract oils from the beans, but not very much at all. It’s dark roast coffee that the temperature goes up and the time is extended. Check out a more in depth conversation about dark roast coffee, here. Roasters have found that this temperature allows the caramelization to start without being too much.  It’s towards the middle or end of this window of time and temperature for medium roast that an audible cracking sound is heard.

From there the roast coffee beans are moved to a cooling tray immediately, because in a matter of minutes the medium roast could turn dark. If not cooled properly, the sugars in the beans can compromised in a way that ruins the sweetness of the beans. The beans will also visibly look darker than a light roast by the end of the process.

It is not uncommon to have a medium-dark roast coffee blend, which means a kick up in temperature and a heavier body just a little bit (but not as much as for a full dark roast).

What Does Medium Roast Coffee Taste Like?

The brewing temperature that goes with roasting a medium roast creates a flavor that has become a preference for a lot of people. That caramelization has begun, but the beans are not heated enough to be burnt or for too much “chocolatey darkness” to begin. “They have no oil on the bean surfaces”, much like light roast beans, which aids in that flavor.

Medium roast coffee has a “mid-level acidity and fuller body”. The temperature brings out flavors such as caramel, as well as “citrus, fruit, berry, acidity”. A lot of people find pleasant as that caramelization has allowed for as certain level of sweetness.

Here’s our list of the 7 Best Medium Roast Coffees for you to try— including our current favorite from La Colombe.

Sorry to interrupt your medium roast coffee education, we have something exciting to share! We’ve recent partnered up with Amazon! (yay!) And to celebrate, Amazon is offering a FREE 30-day trial of their Amazon Prime Membership. Get access to all the perks, even their famous FREE 2-day shipping. (perfect timing to stock up on all your new medium roasts coffees you’re going to try!) Click this link to learn more and to sign up for your free trial, today!

Does Medium Roast Have More Caffeine than Light or Dark Roast?

Most people would probably believe that light roast has less caffeine and dark roast has more, but that’s just too easy. The reality is that cups of light, dark, and medium roast have very similar amounts of caffeine. It’s believed that this came from the idea that light beans are more dense and dark beans are less dense—so the beans themselves have more of less caffeine because of that.

Once ground and brewed, they still all come out neck-and-neck as far as caffeine content is concerned. If you are really pinching pennies in order to get the most from your roast, something on the lighter end may have the slightest bit more caffeine. That means medium roasts stand right as expected—in the middle!

Want a chance to give each roast a taste? Here’s an inexpensive way to give each a taste: try AmazonFresh’s line of coffees! Try their light roastmedium roast, and dark roast blends here.

To go into depth more on the caffeine content of each roast, head over to this blog!

Roasts Similar to Medium Roast

Breakfast blends and regular roasts are quite popular, but do not let the names fool you. They are more likely than not medium roasts. It had become popular for having those roasts due to supermarkets and Starbucks being stocked with them. A lot of coffee shops also offer a medium roast as their house blend, but always ask about that before going for it. This is done in order to avoid surprising customers with the harsher flavors of a dark roast or the lightness of anything on the other end of roasting temperatures.


Hopefully, we solved all of your questions on medium road coffee. Be sure to share and join 80K+ other people following @coffeesesh. If you want to read more, take a look at our information on dark roast coffee here, and more information on how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee here!

Want to learn more about making coffee from people just like you? Be sure to join our private Facebook group here at Daily Coffee Talk. You’ll be able to learn how to brew, how to roast and most importantly how to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee!

Thanks for reading, brew ya later! ☕️

Coffee Basics: What is Medium Roast Coffee?

Coffee Sesh

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Here at coffeesesh, our goal is to educate the coffee community on ways to better enjoy their favorite cup of coffee. From roasting techniques to brewing techniques & everything in between!

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