Okay, we made it to roasting! Here’s another coffee comic from me and JT of Feisty Goat Coffee.

So, roasting is where coffee gets a lot of its distinctive characteristic flavors. This is kind of oversimplifying matters, but basically, as you roast coffee beans, the flavor will go from acidic to sweeter to spicy to smoky. The darker the roast is, the less bright and acidic the flavor will be, but you’ll also get more burned tones. Niles worked for Starbucks for a long while, and also for Argo Tea, and he had a lot to tell me about roasting periods and flavor profiles. The reason why a lot of people hate Starbucks, for instance, is because Northwest coffee roasters (the style Starbucks is based on) trend darker than other styles. So a medium roast from Starbucks will taste more burned than the medium roasts that you might be used to in other places. On the other side of things, your coffee from, say, Dunkin Donuts trends towards lighter roasts. It might taste smoother and less burned, but it’ll also be significantly more acidic.

None of these terms are completely universal, either, and a lot of places will select specific roasts particular to certain bean varietals, or blend different roasts together. Some places call Spanish Roast “Dark French Roast” and Vienna Roast “Light French Roast.” There’s conflicting information out there, and a lot of it is proprietary, so it can get kind of confusing. Most good coffee roasters seem to stop roasting somewhere between the first and second cracks, though.

OH HEY. Here’s a reminder that I added two new prints up in my online shop! And then I went and put all of the big prints on sale, because I love you. If you order by the 14th I can pretty much guarantee they will arrive by Christmas! Also a good idea for holiday presents: delicious coffee from Feisty Goat Coffee!