Why you need to know what French Roast actually means

One of our top-selling coffees is French Roast, yet most people are not familiar with the meaning behind the name. Let’s take a look at some background on this coffee and watch a short video of how we roast it.

The term French Roast describes the color of the bean after it has been roasted and is traditionally the darkest on the scale of roasts. French roasted coffee tends to have a dark chocolate color, with a smokey, rich flavor. It is believed to have been coined in the 19th century to describe the type of coffee that was being roasted in Europe.

While some folks use the term French Roast to describe a dark roasted coffee, the Specialty Coffee Association of America uses a specific tool to measure the color of the beans. The tool is called an Agtron Coffee Roast Analyzer and uses light to scan the coffee beans. The machine’s output is a number which is associated with a roast color level. This helps prevent ambiguity and is more accurate for measuring and roasting consistent coffees. The Agtron scale ranges from a very light brown color score of #95 to an extremely dark almost black color score of #25. A typical French Roast will have an Agtron Score between 28 and 35. Below you can see three levels of roasts at Henry’s House Of Coffee

It is important to note that French Roast is a characteristic of the roast, but not necessarily the beans themselves.  It can use single-origin beans from Brazil or Kenya, or it can also be a blend of beans. Conquistador is a single-origin coffee from Costa Rica and has a French roast color profile with an Agtron score of #32. Our French Roast is a blend of beans from Central and South America that are roasted dark with an Agtron score of #31.6.

Click on the video below to see the story of French Roast unfold.


French Roast
Photo Credit: Big Stock

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