Roasts & Coffee Characteristics - Each coffee has distinct characteristics and offers a unique flavor profile.


In addition to plant variety and growing method, the method of roasting also contributes to the flavor. Types of roast range from Full City, the lightest, to French Roast, the darkest.

Full City
Most Full City roasts are a deep chestnut brown with little or no oil on the bean surface. This roast results in maximum varietal flavor and aroma.

Venna Roast
The lightest of the dark roasts, Vienna Roast is a rich brown with natural oils covering the bean surface. Body in the foreground, supported by a firm core of lively acidity.

Deep but not dark, the Espresso roast is to Full City what a fine vintage port is to still wine. Plush body in the foreground with just a trace of supporting acidity and varietal nuances still subtly present.

French Roast
At the French Roast stage, varietal flavors have been burned off and are replaced with the smokey power of the roasting process. Intense, spicy, yet light in body.


As with wine, there are an array of terms to describe coffee that help to capture the many flavor aspects and characteristics.

Flavor Aspects

Aroma is the fragrance of brewed coffee, often distinctive and complex. Terms used to describe the aroma, or bouquet, include caramel (candy or syrup), carbon (for dark roasts), chocolate, fruit, floral, malt (cereal), rich, round and spicy.

Acidity refers to the liveliness or sharpness the coffee leaves on your palate. Because coffee is considered neutral in acid, the term ‘acidity’ refers to taste rather than a level of acid.

Body refers to the weight of the coffee on one’s tongue. It can be described as the feeling or consistency that coffee leaves in your mouth.

Flavor refers to the overall taste of coffee. It is the total impression of aroma, acidity and body. Flavor also is used to acknowledge specific characteristics like spice, fruit, nut and chocolate notes.

Character Descriptions

Coffees that are rich and oily in flavor and texture, such as Sulawesi, lending a full smooth taste.

Coffees that have many characteristics and a variety of depth.

An herbal, musty or mushroom-like range of flavors characteristic of Indonesian coffees.

Coffees exhibiting unusual & complex flavor, such as East African coffees.

A sweet, fragrant aroma or smell characteristic of Ethiopian coffees.

A taste that is reminiscent of roasted nuts, often descriptive of Vienna Roasts.

Coffee with a very full body taste, flavor and a high degree of aroma.

An aromatic sensation in the coffee’s aftertaste with a hint of mesquite-like smoke, used to describe French Roast.

Descriptive of low-acid coffees characterized by the absense of any unpleasant or predominant tastes. Soft coffees, also be described as mellow, include Costa Rican and Mexican coffees.

An aroma or flavor in the coffee’s aftertaste that recalls a particular spice. It could be a hint of cinnamon, clove, pepper or a cedar cigar box, often found in Indonesian coffees.

A desirable flavor quality that has characteristics of fine red wines. (Kenya).


Coffee only grows between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.

Allegro coffee beans are hand-picked when they ripen on the tree. Since not all of the beans ripen at the same time, multiple visits per tree per year are required.

The coffee bean is the seed of the coffee cherry, which resembles the cherries we eat. Each cherry contains two beans.

Coffee is the #2 traded commodity in the world … behind oil.

Back to Top