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Differentiating Light and Dark Roast Coffee: Each One Has Its Perks

Maybe some mornings you wish your coffee packed a little more of a punch, or maybe a little less? Well, thankfully someone discovered the power of roasting coffee beans to a light or dark perfection. Each one holding its own unique properties that transfer into your morning cup of coffee.

From the flavors to the varying caffeine levels, some great benefits come with roasting coffee beans at different levels. But, before getting into the details about the difference between light and dark roast coffee, we should go over little background about how the beans come to be in the first place.

Growing Coffee

With store-bought coffee being so popular around the world, many probably aren’t aware of where that coffee comes from and how it came to be. For starters, coffee beans grow on a shrub. This was discovered long ago, in Ethiopia, where a farmer noticed his goats acting rather erratically after eating the beans off of this shrub. (The caffeine got to them.)

Before roasting, coffee beans are green when they first sprout off of their shrub. Their color changes to brown during the roasting process. Roasting is done to prepare the beans to be ground and then brewed into a delicious cup of joe. This is where the different roasting levels come into play.

Roasting the Beans

Different roasting methods can be used, but the goal behind roasting coffee beans is to turn them that nice shade of brown we’ve become familiar with seeing. Balancing aroma and flavor is greatly considered during the roasting process.

Differentiating Light and Dark Roast Coffee: Each One Has Its Perks

Not to say that there is only one level of roasting that can achieve this balance. Coffee roasters around the globe experimented with heir beans and found that this balance can also be found on the lighter and darker end of the roasting spectrum.


Dark Roast

As the name suggests, these are beans that were left to roast a little longer until their color became darker. Roasting beans longer also causes them to have an oilier coating, compared to their light roasted counterpart. According to coffee experts, the flavor that results has more to do with the roasting process than it does with the beans themselves.

Differentiating Light and Dark Roast Coffee: Each One Has Its Perks

Dark roasts tend to have a fuller, bolder flavor while gaining some bitterness in the process. Some people prefer their coffee to pack more of a punch in the flavor department. As for caffeine levels, dark roast has slightly less caffeine than light roasts.


Light Roast

After learning about dark roast, it can then be concluded that light roast coffee beans are taken out of the roaster earlier on than dark roast. They are, of course, lighter in color, in addition to having a drier outer coating. Their flavor comes across as being more acidic than dark roasts.

Differentiating Light and Dark Roast Coffee: Each One Has Its Perks

The true flavor of a coffee bean comes through in light roast, as their original flavors haven’t been altered through extended roasting. As for caffeine levels, light roasts tend to have a bit more caffeine than a dark roast, but that isn’t to say either one would wake you up more adequately than the other. That part is specific to the drinker of the coffee.



To make a long story short, rather, a short story short, coffee beans are a one of a kind little bean. A bean that we are lucky to have been discovered by some Ethiopian goats. Since that moment in time, we’ve come a long way with coffee, or it could be said that coffee has brought us a long way at this point.

We’ve learned that coffee, after being roasted and ground, makes for the perfect morning beverage to get our engines going. After discovering that the roasting levels of coffee beans can vary from light to dark, and nearly anything in between that, endless flavors and varieties of coffee have been born.