What is the Real Difference Between Light and Dark Roasts?

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Are you one of these people who avoid dark roasts like the plague?

“No, I will not be having any of that black death in my morning cup. I like something light and sweet.”

Or are you the opposite and prefer something tall, dark, and handsome to drink up in the morning? Hey, I don’t judge. But do you really know the difference between a light roast and dark roast and what they bring to the table?

Let’s talk facts…

Light Roasts

  • High acidity
  • High brightness
  • Toasted grain taste
  • More caffeine
  • Can taste origin flavor of beans, such as strong floral, berry, clove, or chocolate notes.
  • No oil on the surface of beans.
  • Common names: Light City, Half City, Cinnamon Roast, New England Roast

Dark Roasts

  • Bitter, smoky, or burnt taste
  • Fuller body
  • Shiny appearance from oil on surface of beans (beans get oil on the surface at higher temperatures).
  • Go bad faster, since more oils are released from beans as they sit.
  • Less caffeine–Does this surprise you? Caffeine levels actually lower as the roast darkens.
  • Lose origin flavor and take on flavor from roasting process.
  • Common names: French Roast, Italian Roast, Espresso Roast, Continental Roast, New Orleans Roast, Spanish Roast

In the end, it all comes down to preference. If you like a bold roast with smooth, complex flavors and clean finishes, try roasts such as Lighthouse Roaster’s ChoiceKeala’s Hapuna Espresso Blend, and Fundamental’s Stemwinder Blend. Prefer a sweeter coffee? Conduit’s Westlake Blend is a nice, medium-light roast with a milk chocolate roundness and taste of brown sugar. Either way, enjoy filling your cup to the top with some delicious Seattle coffee.

Clinking Mugs,

Bean Box