Even though French and Italian roast coffees seem exotic and distinct, the names have nothing to do with the type of beans used or their origin. Instead, the French and Italian explain the actual roasting of the coffee and how these countries prefer their coffee.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about different varieties of coffee is the broad range of flavors available. So, how can you tell the difference between French roast vs Italian roast? Let’s start with a comparison of the flavor profiles of Italian and French roasts.
- 1 Overview About French Roast
- 2 Overview About Italian Roast
- 3 Differences Between French Roast Vs Italian Roast
- 4 Conclusion
Overview About French Roast
What Is French Roast?
After they’ve been roasted, the hue of the coffee beans is referred to as “French roast.” These beans are generally the color of dark chocolate and are on the darker end of the spectrum. This does not necessarily imply that the coffee was produced or roasted in France (although yes, that is where the roasting style originated in the 1800s).
The term is said to represent the preferences and traditions of coffee roasters in Europe throughout the nineteenth century when dark roasted coffee was famous. For example, the Italian roast, also known as espresso roast, was nearly as black as the French roast. In contrast, Vienna roast, a favorite of Viennese cafés and pastry shops famed for their excellent coffee, was somewhat lighter. The French, on the other hand, proudly claimed the title of the darkest roast of all.
Many various types of beans may be roasted to the French roast degree, and they don’t have to come from a specific location. In essence, French roast may be made using beans cultivated everywhere on the planet. Thus, you can enjoy the best Pre-ground Coffee For your French style each morning.
How Dark Is French Roast?
From 25 (darkest) to 95 (lightest), the Specialty Coffee Association of America uses a tool called the ‘Agtron Gourmet Scale‘ to categorize coffee roasts. Roasts in France are usually between 28 and 35. Therefore, as a rule, French roasted coffee is among the darkest available.
Check out this video to spot the differences between light roast and dark roast:
If you want to try your hand at French roasting at home, look for the “second crack,” which indicates that the coffee beans’ interior structure is beginning to break. This equates to a minimum internal temperature of 240 degrees Celsius (464 F). Also, if you’re roasting French beans at home, watch for a sheen of oil on the beans that gives them a glossy appearance.
What Does French Roast Taste Like?
While there is a lot of variation in the taste of French roast coffees, there are some similarities. With a standard French roast, the temperature is high enough to raise the oils to the bean’s surface, giving the coffee a toasted, smokey flavor.
Despite the dark roasting technique, milder components such as berry or citrus smells can be found in French roasts. And Indonesian French roasts, particularly those from Sumatra, offer an earthy, mushroom-like umami taste that nicely complements the dark brown roasting level.
Overview About Italian Roast
What Is Italian Roast?
Italian Roast Coffee refers to a type of coffee roasting that results in exceptionally dark, oily beans. This is the darkest roast available, and it’s frequently used to make espresso.
At this roast level, the beans have been roasted through the “second crack,” when most of the oils and tastes have surfaced, resulting in a robust and sweet-but-charred flavor. All of the taste is burned off when you roast it extremely dark. You won’t notice whether the coffee beans are old or of poor quality. You won’t see if the coffee was roasted months ago.
Espresso is the most common type of coffee in Italy. The general “espresso” flavor comes from an exceptionally dark roast.
How Dark Is Italian Roast?
Consider an Italian Roast to be a cross between a medium and a dark roast, but on the darker end of the range. This is done by roasting the bean until it is oily and has a rich, dark color. To achieve the best flavor, the bean is roasted between 437°F and 446°F.
An Italian roast will be darker and oilier than a French roast, but not as much as a French roast. But, then neither of those are the darkest roasts available. If you want to take the flavor of your coffee to the next level in terms of cooked flavor, such as if you want a more burned taste, opt for a Spanish roast.
This roasting method not only enhances the flavor of the Italian roast but also makes it more digestible. In addition, the extended roasting period removes the inherent acidity contained in coffee beans, which some individuals are unable to tolerate.
Related post: Can You Grind Coffee Beans In A Ninja Blender?
What Does Italian Roast Taste Like?
An Italian roast will have a somewhat richer flavor because of the sweet balance between a medium and dark roast. However, when a roast has reached the point when it turns Italian but hasn’t been overheated enough to remove the fruity flavors associated with medium roasts than dark roasts, a bitter taste develops.
As the beans are roasted higher, they lose more of their inherent taste and become more reliant on the flavors imparted by the roasting process. The sweetness that comes from caramelization is an example of this. As a result, the full-bodied coffee will become smokey and nutty, with lighter flavors added.
Differences Between French Roast Vs Italian Roast
French and Italian roasts will sound familiar to you if you prefer your coffee robust and full-bodied. However, French and Italian roasts do not originate in France or Italy, contrary to common assumptions. Instead, the roasts refer to the method of roasting coffee beans.
The coffee beans are roasted to the point of charring in both French and Italian roasts. They’re among the darkest roasts you’ll find on the market.
The coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures until the second crack appears in the French roast. The coffee beans have become a dark brown color, and the oils in the coffee can be seen on their surface. While French roast is darker than other dark coffees, it is not the darkest. The French roast produces a cup of coffee that is not overly bitter or overcooked.
On the other hand, Italian roast is roasted for a more extended period than French roast, resulting in a bitter and burned flavor. The smokey char, rich, intense flavor, and lower caffeine levels distinguish Italian roasts. Italian roast, by the way, is a popular choice among Italians.
So, the main differences are:
- The flavor of an Italian roast is significantly harsher and bitter than that of a French roast.
- To obtain a richer taste and darker roast, an Italian roast is roasted for a little longer.
- The caffeine and chlorogenic acid content of French roast coffee are somewhat higher (antioxidants).
Further reading: 13 Best Coffee Maker For Hard Water (2021 Complete Buying Guide)
What’s the difference between an Italian and a French roast? The answer is straightforward: there is very little, if any, difference. If you aren’t a coffee lover, the flavors of French and Italian roasts are nearly identical. However, most people are unaware that the coffee’s name refers to the degree of roasting. We have listed the main distinctions between Italian and French roasts and hope that helped you out!