October 10, 2023 2 min read

What's the difference between Medium Roast & Medium Dark Roast Coffee?

What is Medium Roast Coffee?

Light roast coffee is heated to the point of the beginning of the first crack of the coffee bean.¬† This is the sound the coffee bean makes as moisture escapes and as the coffee bean begins to expand. Medium roast coffee starts from the end of the first crack to the just the beginning of the second crack.¬†Internal temperatures reach¬†between 210¬įC (410¬įF) and 220¬įC (428¬įF).

The medium roast coffee is the most common coffee roast served in the United States. Medium roasted coffee is a compromise that often brings out the best flavors in coffees that have begun caramelization but have no burnt or chocolatey darkness to the coffee bean. It contains a balance of the coffee beans’ natural flavor without much acidity.  You will still be able to taste the original flavor profile of the coffee, but the coffee beans’ brightness will be complemented with the fuller body that is introduced through the roasting process. Medium roast coffee lacks the grainy bitter taste of the light roasts, exhibiting more balanced flavor, aroma, and acidity. Medium roasted coffee beans also share in the dry and non-oily texture of the light roast. 

Basic Roast Levels - Light Roast, Medium Roast, Dark Roast

What is Medium Dark Roast Coffee?

Medium dark roasted beans are heated to a temperature of between 437-446F, from the beginning or middle of the second crack . The flavors and aromas of the coffee roasting process become noticeable, and the taste of the coffee may be somewhat spicy. Coffee beans roasted to medium-dark have a light coating of oil and a rich deep brown color. A medium-dark roasted coffee has a richer body in comparison with the lighter or medium roasts. The medium-dark roasted coffee beans are characterized by a heavier body than the lighter roasts and caramel flavor with muted acidity. 

Medium Roast Coffee Versus Dark Roast Coffee