What’s your favorite coffee roast? Dark? Light? Somewhere in between? Here’s a “coffee 101” guide to coffee roasts from light to dark. The degree to which coffee beans are roasted is one of the most important factors that determine the taste of the coffee in the cup. Before roasting, green coffee beans are soft, with a fresh “grassy” smell and little or no taste. The coffee roasting process transforms these raw beans into the distinctively aromatic, flavorful, crunchy beans that we recognize as coffee.