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The RD Coffee Roast Guide: How to Pick the Right Roast for You


There are a lot of options when it comes to picking a coffee roast or flavor, and for anyone who doesn’t necessarily know what they’re looking for it can easily become a bit of an overwhelming process. That’s one of the reasons why RD Coffee offers four core roasts in its lineup. We want you to have the ability to discover your favorite, without too much hassle or confusion.

With all that being said, we believe it’s important to find the roast that is most appealing to your palate in order to ensure that you’re able to enjoy a truly delicious and satisfying cup of coffee. Here’s a guide to help you determine which RD Coffee roast is right for you.

Coffee Farm in Colombia // Photo by: Victor PaganColombian Coffee Farm // Photo by Victor Pagan

Before we get into the subtleties of flavor in each roast, it’s important to understand the foundation of it all - roast temperature. The brown, aromatic beans we’re all familiar with originate as hard, green, barely fragrant seeds. The magic happens once heat is applied, exposing the beans to high temperatures for a specific amount of time, akin to toasting. This elicits the “Maillard Reaction,” a chemical reaction that brings out sugars within the bean that caramelize. This unlocks all the flavorful characteristics of coffee that we all love. Through small adjustments in roasting time, these flavors can become even more nuanced.

The roasting process leads to a batch being labeled as a light (often called blonde), medium, or dark roast. The lighter the roast the higher the caffeine content. From a flavor perspective, a lighter roast is often brighter and more acidic. As the roast gets darker the acidity gives way to deeper, more robust flavors with heavier body. 

RD Coffee Selection

Here at RD Coffee all four roasts in our lineup are roasted on a medium scale, but with a range that best highlights the characteristics of each bean and its origin. 

REV 

When you break it down REV is the lightest roast we make, edging towards a light-medium. Originating from Brazil’s South Minas region, these Serra Negra beans are widely recognized for being one of the country’s “workhorse” beans. That makes them great as part of a blend or as a standalone roast. With less density than some beans and slightly smaller in size, the roasting process takes effect quicker than other beans, which lands the final product on the lighter side of the medium spectrum. Lots of sampling went into finding the ideal roasting time and temperature, and we were impressed with the finished product once we found the sweet spot. You won’t notice much acidity in REV, as it features a more subtle and delicate flavor profile with tasting notes of dark chocolate, almond, and cocoa.

 Bag of REV from RD Coffee ready to ship

If you’re in search of a coffee roast that carries a bold, smooth taste more commonly associated with dark roasts but comes with the added boost of caffeine found in lighter roasts, then REV could be the choice for you.

ACCELERATE

Not only is ACCELERATE the first roast from RD Coffee, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable to refine in the roasting process. When you think of Peru you often associate it with higher elevation, and these beans from Cajamarca embody all the characteristics that make the country such a popular source for coffee. With their higher density the beans hold up well across the variety of roasting conditions we apply, which makes them easy to work with and produces consistent results. Due to the beans’ tart, citrus-like acidity, discovering the proper roast centered on finding the balance of those acidic notes with the more robust flavors present in the bean. By roasting the beans a little longer, the more elusive flavors come to the forefront and yield a really smooth, clean final product that perfectly balances lemony acidic notes with the more subtle yet deeper notes of toffee and almond.

Ryan Dungey enjoying a cup of RD Coffee

If you like a cup of coffee that finds the perfect balance between tart acidity and subtle sweetness, then ACCELERATE has you covered.

ALWAY5

With beans from the highlands of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, ALWAY5 is the most fruit-forward roast from RD Coffee. The acidity in these very dense beans is strong, but also different from the citrus acidity found in beans from other origins. The fruity acid has a tendency to be much more overpowering. This masks the robust flavors and necessitates more heat in the roasting process than any other coffee in the lineup, which results in a heavier medium roast. While it requires a bit more work during the roasting process, the final product is well worth it, presenting a uniquely distinct flavor. The tasting notes are a harmony of the savory sweetness of caramel and chocolate, combined with the earthy fruitiness of raisin. While it’s certainly the most acidic bean in our lineup, you’d never guess it based on its smooth subtlety and pleasant flavor.

ALWAY5 Coffee beans before roasting

If you enjoy an easy-drinking coffee that carries big flavor but doesn’t leave you with too much bitterness or harsh acidity, then ALWAY5 is an excellent choice.

HOLESHOT

As the first, and currently only blend in the RD Coffee lineup we wanted to make sure we nailed it when we introduced HOLESHOT. The key to developing a good blend is not just finding two origins that complement each other, but also focusing on the ratio of those different beans so that you’re highlighting the strengths of each. With HOLESHOT we landed on a blend of Colombian and Guatemalan beans. Both origins are known for beans that can serve as ideal options for blends. The prominent acidity found in many Guatemalan beans serves as a nice complement to the often sweet smoothness frequently associated with Colombian beans. Because Colombian coffee tends to be more subtle in flavor, it has the ability to offset the acidic notes of the Guatemalan beans. In the end, we discovered a ratio of 75% Colombian and 25% Guatemalan created an enjoyable balance between these uniquely different but hugely popular origins, with the appealing combination of milk chocolate and raisin tasting notes. While HOLESHOT isn’t as dark as many espresso roasts you’ll find, still landing on the medium spectrum, the versatility of the blend makes it an ideal choice for a small, highly concentrated shot, or really any other brewing method.

Ryan Dungey brewing some HOLESHOT espresso from RD Coffee

If you want a clean, smooth coffee that’s easy to drink virtually any way you choose to brew it, but still has enough boldness to give you that espresso kick, HOLESHOT won’t let you down.