On a walk down the coffee aisle at your local grocery store, you’re likely presented with two main options: Dark roast or light roast (and sometimes medium roast). You might already have a preference for one roasting method over the other purely due to taste. But do you really know the difference between light roast and dark roast coffee?
Read on to learn more about the dark roast vs light roast debate and highlight the difference of each kind of bean so you can choose the best cup of coffee for your taste.
Dark Roast vs Light Roast Methods
To understand the difference between light roast vs dark roast coffee, you must first know how each is processed, as it all begins with the roasting process. Lightly roasted coffee ultimately sees less heat than its darker counterpart. In fact, many coffee producers only roast their light blends until a single crack is heard (which is called the “first crack” that you can see in all your coffee beans).
When coffee is heated, water and moisture are forced out of the bean by evaporation. Light roast coffee has more moisture remaining and is, therefore, denser than dark roast coffee. Dark roast coffee is exposed to heat longer, resulting in a less dense bean that is darker in color and achieves a second crack.
Dark Roast vs Light Roast Differences
Now that you know how dark and light roast coffees are made, you can better understand the different characteristics of the two.
Light roast vs dark roast flavor
Since the roasting method of coffee can greatly impact its flavor, it’s no surprise that light roast and dark roast coffee can taste drastically different. Light roast coffee is brighter, often holding onto its fruity, and floral flavors since it’s roasted for a shorter time at a lower temperature.
Well-roasted dark coffee can also have a very nuanced flavor. While you may taste the bold, roast taste first due to the different roasting method, you can also pick up on the flavors of chocolate, caramel, and citrus as you continue to sip. Like light roast coffee, the flavor profile of dark roast depends on the regions your coffee comes from.
Is dark roast coffee stronger?
This is a common misconception when it comes to dark roast vs light roast coffee. Many people believe that a darker cup of joe must be stronger caffeine (since it also often has a stronger classic coffee aroma as well). However, this is not the case.
Since light roast coffee isn’t heated for very long, it retains more caffeine! This means that light roast coffee is actually the best if you want a caffeine boost in the morning.
Light roast vs dark roast acidity
When it comes to the acidity of coffee, we’re really talking about the range of flavors and levels of brightness in different brews. In general, light roasts are known for being more acidic and bright (since they are denser as a result of the light roasting process). Dark roast coffee is less acidic, which is why it’s often described as a good base for other flavors and additions.
Light roast vs dark roast body
The body of a coffee is all about how it feels in your mouth. After all, coffee isn’t just about caffeine and flavor. If you don’t enjoy the mouthfeel of your morning cup, what’s the point? There’s a misconception that dark roast coffee produces a richer-bodied cup of joe, however, light roast coffee can have just as much body as dark roast and vice versa. It all depends on the kind of roast you find and how you prepare it.
Dark Roast vs Light Roast: Which is Best?
Whether you’re reaching for dark roast or light roast coffee in the morning is completely up to your preference! Only your tastebuds can tell you which is best, but we recommend trying both at least once to determine your favorite.
Coffee Blenders offers pour-over coffee with light bodies, medium finishes, and even a creamy body, as well as tea bag coffee that offers different coffee bodies, finishes and taste profiles. So there’s truly something for everyone! Our coffee is sourced from some of the most iconic coffee-producing regions in the world, and we take pride in roasting and brewing methods that help to retain much of the complex flavor of the beans.