Coffee Rating Terminology - What Does it Mean?

Roast level, aroma, acidity, and body are some of attributes we at SLO Roasted use to describe and rate our coffees. We use light, medium, and dark to describe our roasts, or a combination of the 3 for our blends. We use a rating system of 1 (low) to 10 (high) for aroma, acidity, and body.

Roast Level

The darkness of a roast plays a major role in the flavor of a coffee. Lighter roasts are usually more fruity or floral, while dark roasts are characteristically more chocolatey and with stronger flavors. All of our coffees are roasted differently to bring out the best character of the green beans.

The majority of our roasts are on the medium to darker side. That’s how Norm did it in ‘84. But we do offer roasts from light to medium to to dark to the darkest, which is our French Roast.

Aroma

Aroma is a mix of smell and flavor of the coffee. Aromas can range from sugary or nutty, to smoky and roasty. The higher the rating on our site, the more pronounced the aroma is.

Acidity (effect on the taste buds, not stomach)

Acidity is the brightness of a coffee, not the pH. Like biting into a cool, fresh Granny Smith apple. It is a clean, bright, crisp and pleasant sensation. This is an attribute that coffee growers around the coffee belt strive to achieve in their crops. Without a nice acidity, coffee can be lifeless and dull. Darker roasts usually tend to have a lower acidity level. Light roasts, for the most part, a brighter displayed acidity.

Body

Body is the mouthfeel of the coffee. How heavy it is when you drink it. Some coffees have a delicate and light body, while some have a rich and heavy body. Roast level, roast style, and bean origin are all factors in the body of a coffee. For sake of argument, the higher we rate the aroma of our coffee, the stronger it is.