Nevertheless there should be an industry standard for roast types, there is not. Well, not really. Most coffee professionals will tell you there is nevertheless there isn't. There is more a set of 'guidelines' rather than standards because every roaster I have met on earth, including myself contains a different view of what coffee beans in a light, dark and everything in between are. I like to use these 'guidelines' loosely anyway. It's more up to interpretation than anything else.
When customers tell me they want a light roast, I know they mean more towards a medium because that is the American preference. That is how most of the store labels are roasted. Most of the coffee chains do the same thing (except one big green one that burns 99. 9% health of their coffee). It has been my experience that most people are after what tastes best, regardless of the roast. When I hear 'that coffee's too strong' my reply is, 'use less of it. ' When I hear 'that coffee is too weak', my reply is 'use more of it.
I have been asked what coffee beans of mine are dark roasted. I always follow that question up with another question: "What are you looking for in your coffee profile? Do you like ones own coffee bitter? " The answer is always "bitter? no, I like it strong. " That brought me to a thought many years ago: I believe that when someone asks for a 'dark roast' what they are really looking for is a bold, comprehensive flavor and great tasting coffee. Something strong, and certainly not bitter or not flat like most dark roast espressos tend to be. After all, to get a dark roast coffee it has to be roasted longer. This means that more of the wonderful flavor essential oils and natural sugars inside the coffee beans will have a better chance to be burned leaving the bean bitter and lost. Or at the very least, smoked and that is not a flavorful coffee to me. I have never met a person that said "I am buying bitter and burnt tasting coffee. " So , if you guessed that my response to "I want a darkness roast coffee' would be 'use more of it', you are correct.
I believe that if whole bean coffee is roasting, proportioned, blended, ground and brewed correctly you can take a light to medium roasted coffee and get a wonderful striking, strong-knock-your-socks-off kick in the pants cup. I had a lady once walk out of my store because I did not brew a 'dark roast', nor did I have a dark roasted bean on the premises. She would not listen to some sort of word I had to say about 'dark roasts' and she stormed out. I do not care for anyone that will not at the least listen to why I choose to not carry a particular item.
I have one exception my 'no dark roast' regulation and that is my dark roast blend I make. I use 3 different bean origins all roasted to a different measure. There are dark roast coffee beans added to this blend of light (true cinnamon light roast) and medium roasted legumes to round it out. The dark is smoky and burnt tasting on its own but when added to additional two bean types makes a superb 'dark roast blend' that has people coming back for more. All the bold and additionally strength without the bitterness and flatness usually associated with a dark roast coffee.
The coffee business is largely a passionate company and we tend to serve what is close to our hearts. I cannot help it if I do not carry what a site visitor wants; they do have choices to go elsewhere. My ultimate goal is to educate the consumer so they can become but not just my customer, but an educated customer. I have not had 100% success at educating all of my casual coffees drinkers to get the black brew or the straight espresso when they ordinarily do not. I cannot convert every customer to a traditional cappuccino which has a lot less milk than most think. However there are those that are willing to listen, do it and become educated. And that is my greatest thrill: to know it worked. I am just thrilled to know I made a change. Even if they decided my suggestion was not for them, at least they tried it and in that sense I am nevertheless thrilled.
If you use cream and sugar in your coffee it is usually natural that you would want to have a stronger coffee in order to tastes the coffee. Then there are those whom like to taste cream and sugar more than the coffee itself. Therefore , I say to you all, 'use more or less' and adjust to taste. It's perfectly fine to enjoy a brew as you like. After all it is your brew, no?
For those that want to be in the know, when green coffee bean get roasted, there are colors of when they would be done. Whether organic coffee or not, here is what I take into consideration to be the average coffee roast types:
Light Roast - Light brown in color, without any oil on the bean's surface. This happens because the coffee beans are not roasted long enough for the oils to permeate the bean work surface. This roast is also known as a cinnamon or city roast. Learn more here best manual coffee grinder
Medium Roast -This roast is medium dark in color with a stronger flavor than a light roast. These beans will also have a surface that is nonoily. The following roast is probably the most common and most preferred in the USA. It is also referred to as full city roast.
Medium to Dark Roast- Richer in color with some oil on the surface. This roast range is more confusing than others because when i said earlier, there really isn't an industry standard. Most roasters will adapt their own degrees here more than in another place. In general, the darker you get the more apparent a bitter aftertaste will usually be. Dark roasts also tend to be heavy in mouth feel but the drawback is flat in flavor. This area is also known as the full city+ beef roasts.
Dark Roast- This roast is where the oils are very apparent. The dark roast is also a bean that's very low acidity due to the longer roast period. However , a dark roast can have ranges too. Just remember the richer the roast the more oil on the surface of the bean and the blacker in color it will be. Common names for this toast are Italian, Viennese, New Orleans, espresso, and European. We call it a French roast. In my roasted business, I do not suggest many coffees roasted dark on their own. I believe that dark roasts lack flavor in addition to body. I do however believe that a properly paired and blended dark roast blend will suit your palate strongly if you gravitate toward a bold coffee.
Charred and beyond -Throw these out because I am surprised people did not burn up in the roaster fire! There is absolutely not one good characteristic about anything this bean has to offer!
Therefore, the next time you buy coffee wholesale and ask for a light roast in your brew or whole bean coffee, you are very likely getting a medium roast. And when you ask me for a dark roast you know what I'll say.