Medium Roast Coffee: A Complete Overview


Tablespoon of coffee beans going in grinder.

Medium roast coffee strikes a delightful balance in the coffee world, offering a harmonious blend of body, acidity, and flavor that captivates both new enthusiasts and seasoned aficionados alike. Join us as we dive deep into the heart of the best medium roast coffee, exploring its unique characteristics, brewing nuances, and vibrant flavors that make it a versatile choice for coffee lovers. 

What kind of coffee is medium roast coffee?

Medium roast coffee is a testament to balance and complexity. It's roasted to a point where the beans exhibit a rich brown color and possibly a slight sheen from the oils that just begin to emerge on their surface. This roasting level enhances the coffee's inherent flavors while introducing a toastiness that's neither too light nor overly dark. Unlike lighter roasts, which focus on preserving the original flavors of the bean, and darker roasts, which emphasize the flavors of the roasting process, medium roast coffee stands in the middle ground between those two delicious worlds. 

How is medium roast coffee made?

Coffee roaster

The journey of medium roast coffee from bean to cup is a meticulous process. It involves roasting the coffee beans to an internal temperature of approximately 410°F - 430°F. This range is crucial; it's where the beans undergo significant chemical changes without reaching the second crack– a point at which a darker roast begins. This careful roasting ensures the beans retain their characteristic flavors while developing a rich body and balanced acidity. 

How much caffeine is in medium roast coffee?

Contrary to common belief, the caffeine content in coffee is relatively stable across different roast levels. However, because caffeine is slightly more stable in the denser, less-roasted beans, medium roast coffee can have less caffeine than light roast when measured by volume. Yet, when measured by weight, the differences are negligible. The caffeine content in a standard cup of medium roast coffee ranges from 95 to 165 mg, providing a satisfying balance between flavor and energy. 

Does medium roast coffee have less acid?

Medium roast coffee is often perceived to have a balanced acid profile, making it a suitable option for those sensitive to the acidity in lighter roasts. The roasting process slightly reduces the perceived acidity, lending medium roast coffee a smoother, more rounded flavor that's easier on the stomach while still maintaining a lively, engaging character. 

How does medium roast compare?

Comparison of light, medium, and dark roasted coffee beans.

Medium vs. Light Roast

Compared to light roast coffee, which emphasizes the bean's original flavors and higher acidity, medium roast offers a more balanced cup with enhanced body and complexity. The light roast's bright, fruity, or floral notes give way to the medium roast's deeper, more caramelized flavors without veering into the bitterness that can characterize dark roasts. 

Medium vs. Dark Roast

Medium roast coffee stands out from dark roast by retaining more of the bean's original flavors while introducing a moderate level of roastiness. Dark roasts often overshadow these inherent flavors with their pronounced bitterness and smokiness. Medium roasts, therefore, are perfect for those who appreciate the nuanced flavors of coffee but desire a fuller body and a hint of roastiness. 

Medium Roast Coffee Flavors

The flavor of medium roast coffee can vary widely based on its origin, processing method, and blend. Generally, it is known for its balanced profile, featuring a harmonious blend of sweetness, body, and acidity. Medium roasts can accentuate the chocolate, nutty, or caramel notes, making them versatile for single-origin offers, blends, and even flavored coffees. Here are some notable medium roast coffees to explore: 

  • 100% Colombian: Made from 100% Colombian premium beans, this medium roast is aromatic, smooth, and full of flavor, embodying the richness of Colombia's coffee-growing tradition. 
  • 100% Pure Kona: Our premium medium roast, crafted exclusively from beans grown on the Kona side of the Island of Hawaii, delivers a rich, balanced, and distinctly tropical experience. 
  • Kona Blend: A delightful combination of beans from Kona, Hawaii, and Central America, this medium roast is balanced, smooth, and concludes with a sweet finish, capturing the delicious essence of its diverse origins. 
  • Breakfast Blend: Our signature medium roast, made from select Central American beans, offers a bright, smooth, and balanced cup of coffee, making it the perfect start to your morning. 
  • Moka Java: This blend of Indonesian and African coffee produces a medium roast with aromatic, flavorful notes of golden raisin, brown sugar, jasmine, and sweet berry, offering a harmonious balance of flavors. 
  • Decaf Gourmet Blend: Using the Swiss Water® decaffeination process, this blend of 100% Arabica beans from Central and South America delivers a lively, well-rounded, and smooth coffee experience without the caffeine. 
  • Hawaiian Blend: A medium roast made from beans grown in Hawaii and Central America, offering a mellow, sweet, and smooth flavor profile, perfect for those who appreciate a gentler coffee experience. 
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain: Smooth and balanced, this medium roast is crafted from beans grown in Jamaica, known for its clean, full-bodied taste and lack of bitterness. 
  • Hazelnut Creme: This medium roast combines the flavors of hazelnut, cinnamon, and Madagascar vanilla, creating a creamy, delicious coffee with a hint of sweetness and a smooth finish. 
  • Blueberry: Offering a unique twist, this medium roast sourced from Mexico and Central America features the flavor of blueberries with a hint of honey. 
  • Praline Pecan: Inspired by a Southern favorite, this medium roast incorporates sweet caramel for a creamy, smooth, and toasty coffee experience, highlighted by the taste of toasted pecans. 
  • Caramel: For caramel lovers, this medium roast coffee combines creamy caramel with hints of vanilla for a rich, indulgent experience. 
  • Cinnamon Crumb Cake: Bringing together aromatic cinnamon and a subtle sweetness, this medium roast captures the essence of cinnamon crumb cake with a smooth buttery finish. 

These options capture the essence and variety of flavors available within the medium roast category, highlighting its versatility and appeal for both single-origin and blended coffees. Whether you're drawn to the tropical notes of 100% Pure Kona or the comforting warmth of Hazelnut Creme, there's a medium roast coffee to satisfy every preference and mood. 

What pairs well with medium roasts?

The harmonious and rich flavor profile of medium roast coffee makes it an ideal companion for a wide range of treats. Whether you're enjoying a quiet morning or seeking the perfect snack for your coffee break, these pairings will elevate your coffee experience:  

  • Coffee Cookie Recipe: Offering a thoughtful and delicious gift from the kitchen, this coffee-infused dough can be prepared up to a week in advance, ready to be baked just before serving. These cookies are not just a treat for the taste buds but also a delightful way to share your love for coffee.
  • Dairy-Free Coconut Cold Foam: Transform your medium roast coffee into a tropical delight with a dairy-free topping. Coconut cream, refrigerated overnight, whipped with a little honey, and topped with roasted coconut flakes, creates a decadent, non-dairy cold foam. This topping is perfect for warm summer days, adding a creamy, sweet contrast to the smooth and balanced notes of medium roast coffee. 
  • Fig Balls Recipe: Combine the natural sweetness and warmth of spices with the richness of medium roast coffee in this no-bake snack. Garnished with crushed coffee beans, these fig balls offer a magical blend of flavors and nutrients. They pair exceptionally well with our Breakfast Blend, enhancing its bright and smooth characteristics. 
  • Pomegranate Chocolate Cookies: Experience a burst of flavor with these unique cookies, where whole pomegranate seeds mingle with chocolate chips and coffee. The tartness of the pomegranate and the richness of the chocolate chips create a perfect balance, enhancing the medium roast's versatile flavor profile. 
  • Coffee Caramel Corn: Prepare for an addictive snack that combines coffee-spiked chocolate and caramel with lightly salted popcorn and toasted almonds. This coffee caramel corn is a crowd-pleaser, offering sticky fingers and an irresistible blend of flavors that complement the smooth and balanced taste of medium roast coffee. 

Explore San Francisco Bay Coffee’s Medium Roast Coffee

San Francisco Bay Coffee offers an extensive selection of medium roast coffees, available in OneCUP™ Pods, grounds, and whole beans. For those looking to explore a variety of options, our Variety Pack - Medium Roast Selection provides a curated experience, allowing you to sample and discover your favorite blend. 

To end on an exciting note, we eagerly anticipate launching our new Bay Bridge Blend in May. Stay tuned for a blend that promises to be as iconic and memorable as the landmark it's named after. Without revealing too much, we assure you that it's a medium roast worth waiting for. 

For all of your favorite medium roasts, shop San Francisco Bay Coffee today.