Coffee Roasts 101: The Difference Between Light, Medium, and Dark Roasts

January 22, 2019

coffee roasts

It may seem like Americans drink a ton of coffee, but we’ve got nothing on Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. Those Nordic countries consume the most coffee per capita, while the U.S. doesn’t even crack the top 20. 

The U.S. has a lot of ground to make up. We also have a lot of gaps to fill in our knowledge of coffee. For instance, coffee roast levels can be hard to figure out unless you’re a barista. 

If you don’t know enough about the difference in coffee roasts, keep reading. 

Light Roast 

Light roast coffee is sometimes called New England Roast. If you know that, then you can guess that light roast is more popular on the East Coast than in other parts of the country. 

The acidity is usually more noticeable when drinking a light roast. All coffee beans start out as green.

But if you’re aiming for a light roast, you’ll want to remove the beans after the first time they pop. That initial pop is often known as the first crack.

The first crack happens at a temperature of about 401 degrees Fahrenheit.  You may have heard that light roast coffees have more caffeine, but that’s a myth.

Medium Roast

Medium roast coffees are ideal for people who can’t quite make up their mind. Balance is the name of the game for a medium roast, which is one reason why this roast pairs well with brunch or breakfast.

With light roast coffees, you know to stop roasting after the first crack. But making medium roast coffees is trickier. You have to wait until after the first crack is over but before the second crack commences.

If you’re curious, that means a temperature range of at least 410 degrees. 

Dark Roast

Dark roast coffee beans look a bit like chocolate. But a dark roast doesn’t taste like a candy bar, or at least not any candy bar made by Hershey’s. 

No, if you drink dark roast, you’re drinking something bitter, smoky, and full-bodied. That’s because the beans get roasted to a temperature of about 464 degrees, if not higher.

Roasting dark coffee beans is a delicate game. You need to go beyond the second crack of the beans. But if you go too much farther, you’re going to get something that tastes like ash rather than coffee. 

Not surprisingly, the flavor of the roasting process is most noticeable with dark roast coffees. The flavor of the actual coffee beans is more pronounced with lighter and medium roast coffees.

Dark roast coffees are especially popular in the Pacific Northwest. The coffee house culture is big in cities like Portland and Seattle. That means you’ll find a lot of local roast houses who specialize in making coffee that’s bittersweet without being burnt. 

Coffee Roasts at Cupitol 

The world of coffee roasts is wide and varied. Something that seems like a medium roast on the East Coast might seem like a light roast in Seattle. 

But our coffee roasting business isn’t focused on the coasts. At Cupitol, we’re focused on brewing the best cup of coffee in the Chicago area.

Check out our coffee shop philosophy to learn more about what we do. 

Check Out Brunch at Cupitol, Top 5 Menu Items

January 14, 2019

breakfast & brunch at cupitol chicago


Attention all you Cupitol fans! If you love that epic mish-mash meal you normally have in between breakfast and lunch, have we got an article for you! We’re going over Cupitol’s top five brunch menu items.

Now, before we get started—we wanted to add that we really enjoy brunch. We love eating stacks of buttery pancakes and bonding with our family over a cup of fresh pressed orange juice.

However, a lot of restaurants we’ve visited over the years make you wait for an obnoxious amount of time to get a table. And once you do sit down with your family, there aren’t many options.

But, as we like to say at Cupitol—we go the extra cup. Whether you love endless tasty brunch items—or hate having to wait to get your food (unlike other places that serve brunch)—we’ve got you covered.

After all, it’s a day or night delight to eat brunch at Cupitol. So, without further ado…

Our Top 5 Breakfast Items

Shroomed Omelette
This incredible dish is made with wild mushrooms, gruyere, spinach, and comes paired with a side of multigrain toast and hash browns. The eggs have a fluffy texture and the fresh wild mushrooms blends well with the Gruyere and spinach.

Sweet Potato Bowl

Our fantastic potato bowl is typically made with brown rice, kale, vegan coconut curry—but you can also add poached eggs. It is full of flavor and the sweet potato gives it a nice balance. What makes it so special is the mix between the curry and sweet potatoes.

Avocado Wrap

For our excellent avocado wrap, we use a wheat tortilla to sandwich together scrambled eggs, Hass guacamole, queso fresco, and pico de galo. Combined with our house made guacamole and pico de galo, our avocado wrap tastes light, well balanced, and refreshing.

Breakfast Sandwich

You can’t go wrong with a classic breakfast sandwich. It is made with fried eggs, Jones Bacon, and American cheese—all sandwiched together with a special house made croissant.

European Breakfast

We absolutely adore our European Breakfast. It’s made with Greek yogurt, homemade almond granola, seasonal berries, and locally produced 100% raw honey. It tastes fresh, filling and sweet.

Coffee Shop Philosophy | The Perfect Cup of Coffee in Chicago

December 27, 2018

Best Breakfast in Chicago | All Day Bar

Here at Cupitol coffee shop in Downtown Chicago & Evanston, we take great pride in the coffee we brew. Whether it’s a delicious cup of Macchiato, or an invigorating kick from a shot of espresso—we enjoy the wake-up call we get from a good cup of coffee; helping us rise like a loaf of artisan bread.

Our experienced coffee connoisseurs take great pride in brewing the perfect cup of coffee—that delectable Cortado, or that simmering Mocha Latte you need in the morning to keep you focused throughout the day.

Best Breakfast in ChicagoBest Coffee Places in ChicagoHealthy Breakfast ChicagoLunch & Dinner Places in Chicago

But what goes into the perfect cup of coffee you may ask? Well, let’s take a look at our coffee shop’s most popular drink: our fantastic Freddo Cappuccino.

We believe the perfect cup of coffee starts with the only best ingredients. We source the freshest and finest coffee beans by importing them straight from Europe. The Taf espresso we use is expertly roasted in accordance with traditional European roasting procedures.

Cupitol takes great pride to carry on this European tradition when we receive these exquisite coffee beans. Our coffee baristas prepare our Freddo Cappuccino by first grinding the beans. We then pour the grounds into a La Marzocco coffee maker.

Then we artfully brew two aromatic, intense, and full bodied shots of espresso and pour them into a glass—blending the shots with ice. Next, our baristas carefully pour a thick layer of foam milk over the espresso. Finally, we top off our Freddo Cappuccino with a dash of cinnamon.

We believe crafting specialty drinks like our Freddo Cappuccino is truly an art form. However, it wouldn’t be a perfect cup without the love and care our coffee shop has for our customers.

We cherish the opportunity to serve quality coffee drinks, because we know that a good beverage means more than just a blissful belly.

Here at Cupitol, we strive to be at the center of a happy and healthy community. And we believe we can help bring our customers—our friends and family—together; one cup of coffee at a time.