Does black coffee always mean dark roast coffee? Well, not really. Black coffee means coffee without cream, sugar, and other additives. Now this could also be the best light roast coffee. In fact, lighter roasts are more popular among coffee drinkers who enjoy the original flavor of coffee. Plus, they also appeal more to caffeine addicts since light roasts have more caffeine.
On that note, how about we, at Coffee Style Today, review the best of the best ground and whole bean coffee belonging to the light roast category!
- Top Reviews of Light Roast Coffee
- 1. Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee Breakfast Blend
- 2. Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Whole Bean
- 3. Cafe Don Pablo 2LB Subtle Earth Organic Coffee
- 4. Peet’s Coffee Luminosa Breakfast Blend Ground Coffee
- 5. Starbucks Blonde Roast Ground Coffee
- 6. AmazonFresh Just Bright Whole Bean Coffee
- 7. Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Organic White Knight Coffee Whole Bean
- 8. AmazonFresh Direct Trade Rwanda Whole Bean Coffee
- An Overview of the Different Types of Coffee Roasts
- What Exactly Makes Coffee Light Roast?
- Differences Between Light Roast and Dark Roast
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Summary – Final Words
Top Reviews of Light Roast Coffee
1. Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee Breakfast Blend
It’s the perfect way to begin your day – a sip of this light roast by Real Good Coffee Company invites the smoothest flavor into your coffee experience. One that’s marked with mellow citrus taste and aromatic tones of cream and milk chocolate.
These are whole coffee beans that are good to go with a French Press, pour-over, espresso maker, drip machine, Moka pot, and Aeropress. And if you have a sensitive tummy, then we’re sure you’ll just love the low-acid level of this Breakfast Blend.
- Light roast whole bean coffee offers a smooth flavor
- 100-percent Arabica beans of premium quality
- Brisk citrus taste with aromatic cream and milk chocolate notes
- Perfect for all types of brewing methods
2. Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Whole Bean
Not all coffee addicts can’t have their coffee beans coming from Hawaii all the time. I mean unless you have that kind of money! If you don’t, then how about going for the next best alternative? That would be this light roast by Caribou Coffee.
Even though it’s a Morning Blend, the flavors are found in abundance. The coffee doesn’t at all taste like acidic water packed with caffeine. So expect your coffee experiences to not give you a heartburn anymore.
- Light breakfast blend with a nutty and sweet caramel finish
- Fruity flavor and cherry floral overtones
- Not bitter and not acidic either
- Rainforest Alliance certified
3. Cafe Don Pablo 2LB Subtle Earth Organic Coffee
The most favorite aspect we like about this coffee is the aroma. The sweetest we’ve ever smelled! The surgery aroma, once brewed, has a slightly caramel, butterscotch, and fruity scent.
As for the flavor, there’s plenty of that despite the mild roast. Obviously, the coffee doesn’t hit your taste buds as a dark roast would. You’re not even expecting that, right? After all, you are getting a light roast mainly for its present and not-too-overwhelming sense.
- Fruity sweetness with bright notes of cocoa, caramel, and honey
- Organic coffee with organic Arabica coffee beans
- Rich and chocolatey with low acidity
- Ideal for all types of brewing
4. Peet’s Coffee Luminosa Breakfast Blend Ground Coffee
Just because the coffee is a light roast doesn’t mean it has to be watery. Once again, this point has been put across by yet another very popular coffee brand, Peet’s Coffee. The Breakfast Blend here is lively, floral, and aromatic beyond expectations.
100-percent Arabica coffee beans ensure a rich, bold coffee sipping experience. Plus, it’s also Kosher-certified.
- Smooth, sweet light roast ground coffee
- Delicate aroma and Kosher-certified
- Light and sweet notes of passionflower and stone fruit
- A delightful and distinct caramel/toffee aftertaste
5. Starbucks Blonde Roast Ground Coffee
How could we create a list without Starbucks coffee, right! On that note, here’s the light roast known as the Blonde Roast. And allow us to tell you, although it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know considering how amazing Starbucks coffee really is, that this Blonde Roast has a lighter body with mellow flavors.
It’s the best of the lot so far for iced coffee and cold brew i.e. for slow-extraction brewing, as in the case of coarse ground coffee.
The perfect balance between smoothness and strength is surely hard to come by in the case of lighter roasts.
- Lighter bodied and mellow flavored
- Smooth, soft, and flavorful
- Subtle notes of baking chocolate and toasted malt
- Premium quality, 100-percent Arabica beans
6. AmazonFresh Just Bright Whole Bean Coffee
Coming to you from an Amazon brand, this light roast coffee is perfect for daily sipping. Light roast, as you may already know, doesn’t necessarily mean a light taste. It just implies a shorter roasting time, which means more oils remain in the coffee beans. In simple words, a coffee flavor that’s not burnt-tasting.
As for this one, it’s packed with flavor and leaves a fuller, more robust aftertaste. Much like a medium roast than a dark roast!
- Expertly roasted with high-quality Arabica coffee beans
- Whole bean coffee offers a crisp, clean, and smooth finish
- Nutty caramel notes and a light, balanced flavor
7. Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Organic White Knight Coffee Whole Bean
With a light roast, it becomes possible for all the flavors to pass through. And that’s just what you should look forward to with White Knight Whole Bean Coffee. And these flavors, even though not super-strong, are fruity and floral. To be more specific, passion fruit.
In fact, you can even add flavors of your choice, such as vanilla soy. In that case, even the vanilla flavor comes through, unlike dark roast that tends to overpower.
A lighter roast is also less acidic, which makes it more suitable for those with a sensitive tummy.
- Bold-bodied light roast Artisan Blend
- Resealable packaging, fresh roasting, and sustainable sourcing
- Cocoa and bing cherry flavors
- Fair Trade and USDA Organic certified
8. AmazonFresh Direct Trade Rwanda Whole Bean Coffee
There are all kinds of coffee drinkers, even those who are recovering from being a coffee fanatic. In that case, it’s only normal to want to have something simple yet delicious at the same time. Much like a good cup of plain old American coffee, such as this Rwanda Whole Bean Coffee.
It’s very mild, yes, but then the roast is indeed a light one. The flavor profile doesn’t linger for too long. However, the hint of nuttiness is something you’re bound to enjoy.
- Light roast with a delicate flavor and citrus notes
- 100-percent, premium quality Arabic coffee beans
- Direct Trade certified
An Overview of the Different Types of Coffee Roasts
Light Roast (First Crack)
This is when the coffee beans, during the roasting process, are just in the beginning stage of cracking and expanding. They look pale and dry, plus have a light body.
So does that mean lighter roasts have a secondary flavor profile? In fact, it’s the opposite of that. The roast is distinctly fruity, floral, and aromatic.
In terms of color, these beans are light brown and not the most oily. The first crack is when the coffee retains the most amount of original flavors.
Light Roasts – City, Half City, and Cinnamon.
Still a little dry, medium roast coffee beans have a relatively sweeter profile than light. Since the roasting happens for longer, you get lesser acidity and fuller body, but with a more condensed flavor profile.
It’s the most delectable roast for coffee drinkers who enjoy bitterness. So the more condensed flavor profile is not such a bad thing after all. It’s the perfect coffee roast with a balance of acidity, flavor, and aroma.
Medium-brown in color, stronger smell, but still no oil.
Medium Roasts – Breakfast, City, and American.
Medium Dark Roast
Now the coffee beans start to become dark brown and develop some oil. That’s also when the acidity is getting eliminated entirely and most of the aroma taking form.
The best way to describe a medium dark roast is bittersweet aftertaste. It is heavy indeed, but with a full, rich profile.
Medium Dark Roast – Fully City.
Dark Roast (Second Crack)
You can surely recognize a dark roast just by looking at it. The coffee beans, in this case, are shiny, oily, and black. And they deliver a pronounced bitterness with thick, spicy notes.
As you may already be able to guess by now, dark roasts are the least acidic. Generally, the longer you roast, the more the acidity reduces.
Dark Roasts – New Orleans, Vietnamese, Espresso, French, Italian, Continental, Spanish, and Continental.
What Exactly Makes Coffee Light Roast?
The thing about light roasts is that they’re roasted for a shorter span of time. Now it goes without saying that this time period is not the same. Meaning different coffee manufacturers use different standards for their light, medium, and dark roasts. But, typically speaking, the lighter version is roasted for a shorter time than medium and dark.
It’s when the coffee beans reach the first crack – that’s when light roast coffee is removed from the roaster. Some remove before the crack while others right after. In the case of the latter though, it’s hardly ranked as a light roast then.
Not only does the roasting time differ, even the roasting temperature is different. Lighter roasts are placed in a setting between 356 degrees and 401 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter and the coffee beans just keep getting darker.
Differences Between Light Roast and Dark Roast
With a light roast, the temperature of roasting is between 356 and 401 degrees Fahrenheit.
More caffeine, no oils, and slightly acidic. Along with more retention of the original fruity flavors. But the downside is an inconsistent taste profile and also more acidity that tends to upset the tummy.
As for dark roasts, the temperature these coffee beans are subjected to is 450 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re shiny and oily, unlike light roasts. And it’s this oil and shine that creates the caramelized layer.
The caffeine levels are low, there’s more bitterness, and the flavor is richer and fuller-bodied. But the extra bite, in terms of bitterness and body, might seem a bit much to some coffee drinkers.
So Which Roast Should You Choose?
It all depends on how you like your coffee. Do you enjoy a powerful caffeine kick? If yes, then go for a light roast. This one’s also easily digestible, but only when consumed in moderate amounts.
However, if you gulp down coffee multiple times a day, then you’d be better off with a dark roast. This has a lower caffeine and acidity level to not mess with your sleep cycle and stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Light Roasts Contain More Caffeine?
It’s simple logic here.
Lightly roasted coffee beans are denser (volume-wise, not weight-wise) than the dark version. This means you brew more coffee in the case of light roasts, which means you get more caffeine.
Is Light Roast Stronger Than Dark Roast?
Lighter roasts are indeed stronger in terms of flavor since their beans retain more original flavors because of the shorter roasting time and lower roasting temperature. But darker roasts develop a bolder, richer taste.
Is Light Roast Healthier Than Dark Roast?
Nope, that’s not the case. While it’s true that lighter roasts are packed with more antioxidants, darker roasts have proven to be a better choice in terms of weight loss, restoring red blood cells, and more.
But the positive results, in both cases, are not significant. So there’s no one healthier option.
Is Light Roast Less Bitter Than Dark Roast?
Typically, light roast coffee is indeed less bitter. But the bitterness factor also depends on how you prepare your brew and on the coffee bean type. That’s why lighter roasts are the best for pour-over and cold brewing, and not so much for espresso and French Press.
Is Blonde Coffee the Same As Light Roast?
No, light roast and blonde roast are not similar. The latter is a new coffee term, which is used when the coffee beans have a roast lighter than light. So it’s only common to use them interchangeably.
Summary – Final Words
Needless to say, light roasts set all the original fruity, floral coffee bean flavors free. All the complex and subtle flavors that often get lost because of dark roasting are ever-present in light roast coffee.
So if you want your brew to be packed with all the nutty, flruity, and chocolatey notes, then you know what to pick over what.
Likewise, coffee lovers who savor the bitterness of dark roast coffee may not have a good time drinking this one.