What is French Roast Coffee? - Coffee Purrfection

What is French Roast Coffee?


Roasting beans to the right level produces the coffee that all drinkers love and admire. The roasting process causes a chemical shift in the bean to extract hydration and expose the bean's delightful tastes and fragrances.

Once the coffee beans reach their optimal roast, they will be left to chill, preventing further heating; otherwise, moving into the next roast level. Finally, they become firm and fragrant at a desirable stage, ready for the grinder to do the subsequent work. Indeed, brewers will experience the most joyful cup with freshly ground beans to lighten up their morning, afternoon, or evening jolt. 

In fact, there are numerous roast categories, including Vienna, American, and others. But here, we are focusing on the French roast. So, what exactly does it mean?

Simply put, French roast is a prevalent roast type among coffee aficionados. This dark-roasted coffee has a smooth, sweet, and a little burnt mouthfeel. As it turns out, coffee connoisseurs suggest choosing French roast if you want rich darkness in your coffee consumption! But, how does this roast differ from other coffee roasts?


Basic Understanding of French Roast Coffee

The term "French roast" signifies the color of the bean after roasting. According to regional rituals and roasters' preference for their consumers, the bean was roasted to a particular shade. 

Around the early nineteenth century, the French roast was renowned across Europe. Nowadays, this roast is often regarded as typical dark-roasted coffee. Occasionally, this roasted coffee is also Turkish roast, Espresso roast, or dark roast.

Well, you may be curious about the bean origins; are they French? This is an interesting point, to which the answer is NO. This coffee roast does not always indicate that the beans originate in France. The truth is they are roasted to reach a famous color in France.

And the next thing you should know is that French roast needs to be measured just like other roast types by using a scale called "Agtron Gourmet Range." This equipment measures roasts on a scale of 25 to 95, with 25 being the darkest and 95 as the lightest. Generally, the French roast stays between 28 and 35, making it one of the darkest coffees.


How Is French Roast Bean Roasted?

French roast is achieved by roasting the beans until they get very black. The beans temperature climbs to 464 degrees Fahrenheit during the roasting process (240 C). At this stage, the beans start to become dark, oily and shiny. In other words, as roasted beans get darker, more oil starts to emerge. Technically, French roast beans tend to be dark brown and shiny.   

This roast is attainable at the end of the second crack, which is to the point of making two cracking sounds throughout the roasting process. The first crack occurs as a result of the steaming discharge. Other cracks occur when the beans' cell walls degrade and spill oils onto the surface. However, most coffee beans crack just once during the roasting process.


French Roast Coffee


How Does French Roast Coffee Taste?

French roast can be referred to as a coffee that has been twice roasted. This dark-roasted coffee class is defined by a strong, smoky, and sweet taste with a light body and texture. This coffee is much less acidic compared to lighter roasts and has a more robust palate. However, it has a burnt and charcoal-like sensation most of the time.

Dark roasts, such as French roast, fully mask the coffee beans' taste and delicacies. As a result, it is pretty hard to receive much of the beans' original character. However, it has a vigorous and powerful flavor profile. It is very dark, slightly sweet, significantly less acidic than lighter roasts. It has a light body with a more aqueous profile than other coffees.


Comparing Light, Medium, And Dark Roasts

The flavor and general characteristics of French roasted coffee are intense. The reason is it has been roasted close to the point of burning; hence its taste will be bitterly mouthful.

Although dark roast has a strong taste, it also contains sweet undertones that complement the smokiness. Additionally, it is less acidic than lighter roasts, and its unique taste lends it a full-bodied flavor. So, how comparable is it to other roasts?

As you already know, there are three types of roasts: light, medium, and dark. With different roasts, drinkers will find the right level they like.


Light Roasts

Lighter roasts are not roasted too long like medium or dark roasts. Therefore, they do not endure a second crack, meaning the oils contained inside the beans' cells are less likely to be released. This is why light roasts are less greasy.

Indeed, since they are not roasted as long, they retain a great deal of their natural flavor and aroma, imparting a more herbal or fruity flavor and more intense acidity. Additionally, they are not roasted long enough to burn off the caffeine molecules inside the beans, resulting in a pretty high caffeine level.


Medium Roasts

Medium roasts are similar to light roasts in that they do not cause the beans to emit oils. However, they achieve an excellent taste balance since they are not too acidic and because a bit of natural flavor and substance is preserved throughout the roasting process.


Dark Roasts

Dark roasts, just like French roast, are roasted the longest among the three roast styles, resulting in a richer taste. However, as previously said, they have a greasy surface and tend to be bitter. This is appetizing for some drinkers and unpleasant for others.

French Roast Coffee


How Much Caffeine Does French Roast Coffee Contain?

The beauty of coffee roasts lies within the enormous options that you can easily choose one that matches your exact taste. Although the amount of caffeine in a bean is mainly influenced by its roast, there are several factors to consider when estimating the caffeine level of coffee. Likewise, it is also affected by the brewing technique and duration. The longer a cup of coffee is brewed, the more caffeine it contains. What's worth noting is that bean color is never a proxy for caffeine concentration.

For French roast, it has around 95 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of brewed coffee. Whereas in a single shot of espresso, the caffeine content is roughly 63 mg. Also, decaf has approximately 3 mg.

You may or may not know this; the lighter the roast, the more caffeine there is, and the darker the roast, the less caffeine there is. This is entirely because the longer beans are roasted, the more time caffeine molecules have to burn off, decreasing caffeine concentration.

© Coffee Purrfection

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