Understanding the Agtron Scale – A Guide to Coffee Roast Profiling

The following is a brief introduction to the topic:

The perfect roast profile in the world of specialty espresso is as much an art as it is science. Roasters carefully control temperature and timing to turn green coffee beans into flavorful, aromatic coffee. The Agtron scale is a useful tool for measuring and communicating roast level. This article will explore the Agtron Scale, its importance in coffee roasting, and how it affects the flavor of your morning cup.

The birth of the Agtron Scale
Agtron, or Agriculture-Tron in short, was created in the United States in the 1960s. The scale was originally designed to grade grains and cereals. It was then adapted by the coffee industry in order to standardize roast levels and communicate them. The scale assigns numerical value to the different shades of coffee beans. It provides a reference point objective for roasters and buyers this weblink.

What is the Agtron Scale?
The Agtron scale works on a very simple principle: the lighter a roast is, the higher its Agtron number. A spectrophotometer measures how much light is reflected by the coffee at a certain wavelength. The Agtron number is assigned to this measurement, which ranges between 25 (very dark), and 95 (very light). This scale is a reliable and consistent way to classify coffee roasting levels. It helps everyone involved in the supply chain speak a common language.

The implications for coffee roasters
The Agtron scale is used by coffee roasters to control roasting and ensure consistency. How it affects their craft:

a. Consistency: By reproducing specific roast profiles precisely, roasters ensure that each batch of coffee has the same taste.

b. Quality Control: Roasters assess the quality and roast green coffee beans using the Agtron scale.

Customization: By adjusting the roasting level, roasters are able to highlight different flavors, such as fruity, floral, nutty, and chocolatey.

Coffee Flavor
The Agtron scale has a direct impact on the taste and aroma of your final cup of coffee. This is a quick overview of the different roast levels and how they affect taste.

a. Light Roast (Agtron90+): A light roast coffee retains more of its original characteristics. It has a more acidic and fruity taste, with floral and fruity notes.

b. Medium Roast (Agtron70-85): This roast balances acidity with body and offers a wider range of flavors including caramel, chocolate, nutty and nut notes.

Dark Roast (Agtron25-55): Dark roasts have bold, robust flavors with often smoky and earthy undertones. They can, however, mask some of the bean’s inherent qualities.

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