Into the Light
Over the past several years, light roasts have had a resurgence among coffee aficionados. As more coffee farmers worldwide have entered the specialty coffee market, a wider range of flavors has become available for the coffee-lover to explore. Light roasts are the best way to experience the incredible variety and nuance of the many wonderful coffees from the many wonderful coffee farms out there. Whereas darker roasts have stronger flavors that develop during roasting, light roasts retain more of the subtle notes that set world-class coffees apart. Floral, herbal and fruity characteristics that can be lost at darker roast degrees really stand out in light roasts.
The natural acidity of coffee beans is most prominent at the lightest roast degrees. At best, this compliments the natural sweetness and botanical characteristics of the coffee. Gentle piquancy enhances the ‘brightness’ of the coffee and makes for a clean, inviting palate overall. Of course, too much acidity is not pleasant – inexpert roasters or low-quality coffee can make for some very bad light roasts that are more like hot lemonade than coffee. Hawaiian coffees with their naturally-low acidity make for excellent light roasts with striking flavors, mild acidity and outrageous aroma.
You may have heard that light roasts have more caffeine. The truth is a bit more complicated. While it’s true that some caffeine burns off at the end stages of roasting, it’s only 1-2%. The primary reason that light roast coffee often contains more caffeine is that more coffee is used in brewing. Whereas dark roasted coffee beans ‘puff up’ during roasting, light roasted beans stay smaller and denser. A scoop of ground light roast coffee will actually weigh quite a bit more than the same size scoop of dark roasted coffee. Furthermore, light roast flavors are milder so many coffee-drinkers add a bit more to their brewer. Remember, more coffee = more caffeine and you have the power to adjust accordingly.
We have a small selection of light roasted 100% Hawaiian coffees on this page. Over time, we hope to add more, so please check back. Here at The Coffee Store, custom roasts of two or more pounds are available, so if you’d like to try a light roast version of one of our coffees, please contact us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 327-9661 anytime. Mahalo!