What Is Full City Roast?

roasting beans to a darker full city level of roast

QUESTION: What is full city roast? Is it a certain darkness, or a way of roasting or what? – Eli G

ANSWER: It can be hard for even the biggest coffee lover to keep up with all the terminology out there. We’ve found out all about full city roast so we can tell it to you here.

Full city roast is also called light French roast, light espresso roast, medium roast, or Continental roast. It’s the category of roast level that is darker and roasted longer than a city roast. The next darkest roast level is a French roast. A full city roast is roasted to a dark brown color, past the first cracking of the beans but stopping before they can reach their second crack. 

Beans that have been full city roasted are, for the most part, dry, but you will find patches of oil here and there. In northern Italy, a full city roast is usually used for espresso. The roasting time for full city roast is 11 or 12 minutes. 

Coffee prepared from beans that are full city roasted has lots of sweetness and body. Roasting beans longer should not cause the coffee to become bitter, but instead creates a heavier, richer flavor. The flavor of a full city roast should be smooth, with less acidity than other roasts. A full city roast starts to bring out tasting notes like caramelized sugar or a toasted flavor.

Now you know all about full city roast. In short, a full city roast comes between city roast and French roast, bringing the beans just to the point of the second crack without allowing them to crack. A full city roast will retain the individual character of the coffee beans and add a bit of toasted sweetness to their flavor.

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