|Alternative names:||Light roast|
|Bean description:||Dry, light brown color|
|Characteristics:||Harsh, sour taste|
|Internal bean temperature:||Less than 400°|
Cinnamon (alt. Light) is the name of a very light degree of roast of coffee beans. In this roast, the beans barely enter first crack, resulting in a relatively dry bean with a light brown color. The internal temperature of the coffee beans will not reach 400 degrees. Coffee brewed from a cinnamon roast often has a sour taste, regardless of origin. This roast is rarely used outside of cheap, commercial coffees. A batch of coffee roasted to such a light degree will result in a larger amount of brewable (and saleable) coffee, as the batch will lose less weight from loss of moisture.
Robusta beans should never be just light roasted. Although they are generally much higher in caffeine (as much as twice) any flavor in them isn't realized in a Cinnamon Roast at all. Instead Robustas are great in dark roast ground as Espresso and used in Lattees. Since much of the caffeine in coffee is lost in the roasting process in Arabica bean, Robusta Beans still end up with lots of caffeine to spare.
Arabica beans on the other hand, depending varietal region of the World can actually benefit from being a lighter roast, if the beans are of highest quality and properly roasted. Ethiopian and some Island coffees will be brighter and can retain much more complex flavors of the coffee fruit. Ethiopian Harrar even when raw can smell of Bluberries with some citrus coming through as well. Contrary to City Roasts and French roasts where roasting temperatures the beans are roasted at can be set to 500*F, Cinnamon (alt. Light) is best slow roasted longer starting as low as 300'F to give the acids and co2 gases a greater chance for release. The longer you prolong the roast and the lower the starting temperature the better for a Cinnamon Roast.
Then as the beans themselves reach the internal temperature the roaster was set at. Gradually raising the temperature to 400*F the beans won't start first crack too early and come out tasting somewhat sour and acidic. It's best to roast well into the first crack this way and still leave a good tasting light roast. If you're using beans (like Harrar) you'll end up with a somewhat lively and fruity essenses, almost blueberry like! ....sometimes with hints of nutty complexity.
But too many roaster (like Starbucks) are really so geared toward darker roasts, that they miss out completely on the these light roasted coffees by setting temps too high and that starts the first crack prematurely and results in the sour taste described above. But there is an even lighter roast called White Coffee Beans. Which are actually slow baked rather than roasted. Leaving not only greater amounts of caffeine, but the very desirable Chlorogenic and Cafeic Acids that combined with the cafeine can have greater health benefits associated with glucose storage and use, leading to better cardiovascular and dieting fitness. The energy affects are also longer lasting and may result in less caffeine headaches on the down side!