Light Roast vs Dark Roast Coffee, Everything You Need to Know in 2022

What does the Roasting Process Look Like?

Roasting coffee beans is the process of exposing them to high heat in order to change their flavor. The roasting process begins when the green coffee beans are placed in a rotating drum and heated until they crack. This heating of the green coffee beans ranges from a temperature of 370 to 540 degrees Fahrenheit. The exact temperature depends on multiple factors:

  • Size of the roaster
  • Amount of coffee being roasted at once
  • Size of the original coffee beans
  • And the desired roasted level for that particular coffee

Medium roasts are very popular, and they exist in the middle of this roasting spectrum. They are roasted at medium temperatures and durations to come to a middle-of-the-road approach.

What is the Difference Between Light Roast and Dark Roast?

The difference between light and dark roast coffees can be noticed in their aroma, flavor, and taste especially in fresh roasted coffee beans.

Dark roasts are roasted for longer periods at higher temperatures, which causes more of the natural oils from the bean to break down and results in a stronger, more bold taste. Dark roasts typically are fuller bodied which means that the taste of them lingers in your mouth for a little longer.

Lighter roasts are roasted for less time and retain more caffeine content. Light, or Blonde, roasts typically have brighter, more mellow notes. They have a lower body but higher acidity which makes for a punch of flavor that quickly calms down and disappears.

Dark roast coffees can have a slightly higher pH level than light roasts, but this depends on the exact coffee and origin. There usually isn’t enough of a difference to make purchasing decisions.

How to Make Dark Roast Coffee

Dark roasts can be enjoyed with any brewing method you like. But there are some generalities that many others follow for using dark roasts.

Many people prefer dark roasts for pour-overs and drip brewed coffee. This goes especially well with savory breakfast foods. Cold Brew and French Press brew methods are also often done with darker roasted coffees due to their more complex tastes. These brewing methods, in their own ways, maximize bold taste and aroma elements throughout their brew process.

How to Make Light Roast Coffee

Lighter roasts are also popular for pour-overs and drip brews. Many boutique coffee shops will use light roast coffee for their espresso to get very interesting tasting shots in their lattes. These often differ from big coffee chains which tend to use darker roasts for espresso. Blonde and light roasts are also often done as Ice Coffee because of their bright and acidic flavor profiles. They do well with a little bit of cream and sugar.

Final Thoughts about Dark and Light Roasted Coffee

The popularity of light roasts is due to the fact that they are less bitter and in demand in the summer. Dark roasts are popular because they have a stronger flavor, which is often preferred by people who drink coffee for its taste.