Pile of coffee beans separated by roast; light roast, medium roast, medium-dark roast, and dark roast

The Truth About Coffee Roasts

May 25, 2020

Dark roast vs light roast - the eternal question. The roast of your coffee affects more than just the flavor.

Most people need some amount of caffeine to function day-to-day, and sometimes you might need a lot of caffeine - we get it, life can be very stressful (and we’re pretty sure the average college student has more coffee in their veins than blood). But the question when you grab your morning coffee is always the same: what kind of roast? Dark roast for its smoky flavor, a light roast for its sky-high caffeine content, or something in between? Well, we’ll break it down for you.

Dark Roast

As the name implies, dark roast coffees are dark in color to the point of being nearly black. Thoroughly roasted, these coffees have a smoky, bitter taste and the lowest caffeine content of all roasts. A dark roast can be more versatile than lighter roasts, as more than a few dark roasts can be used for espresso, as well as normal drip coffee.

Light Roast

The light side of the coffee Force: light roasts. Roasted at a lower temperature, the beans used in a light roast coffee keep more of their original flavor - which is great if you’re not a fan of a dark roast’s smokiness - and best of all, they have the most caffeine of any roast. So remember, if you have a long day ahead of you, a light roast will be your best friend.

Medium and Medium-Dark

As with many things, there is a middle ground between two extremes. However, coffee has two middle grounds: medium roasts, and medium-dark roasts. Medium roasts are roasted at a higher temperature than light roasts, resulting in less caffeine and an enhanced body. Medium-dark roasts ride the line between medium roasts and full-blown dark roasts, with even less caffeine, but still more than a dark roast. Medium-dark roasts will also inherit more flavors from the roasting process, meaning they’re a good choice for if you find dark roasts just a bit too bitter for your liking.

Picking the right roast of coffee in the morning is important - after all, if you’re in the middle of a massive work project you’ll need all the caffeinated help you can get. Thankfully, it’s actually fairly easy to remember: lighter roasts have more caffeine, and darker roasts have a fuller body with less caffeine. If you need a light pick me up, or just something to casually sip on, a dark roast is a great choice - and you won’t be up quite as late. In comparison, a light roast will have a milder flavor, and give you the energy you need to get your work done, and go back to drinking dark roasts.