Coffee Beans, Roasting Coffee Beans

Light or Dark Roast Coffee – Which Is Better for Your Taste?

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

It’s a fact:

Roasting coffee is one of the foremost tasks in ensuring the beans can deliver a high-quality beverage.

A good roast can enhance the aroma and increase solubility significantly; which adds to the overall quality of the beans!


Dark and light roasts make up the majority of roast levels.

However, there is quite a huge difference between the two. Generally, a light roast coffee differs from a dark roast coffee in taste, flavor, quality, and body.

I still have questions though:

What do “light” and “dark” roast coffee mean? How do dark roast vs light roast differ?

Let’s find out…

Dark vs Light Roast Coffee

Let’s face it:

Roasting changes the flavor and body of coffee beans. And that’s why a variety of roasts are available with a wide range of options.

Here’s a comparison table of light vs dark roast coffee:

DifferenceLight roastDark roast
Caffeine content (in 1 cup)60 mg–100 mg50 mg – 190 mg
AromaSweet, floralIntense, sharp, toasty
Acidity5.5 to 6.3 range 4.3 to 5.0 range
Natural oilsAlmost no oilVery oily

As you can see, dark roast coffee vs light roast can differ in a few ways; including Taste, Acidity, Caffeine Content, and Aroma.

That said:

Let’s look into each quality in a bit more detail!

1. Taste

Dark roast coffee is quite different from light roast coffee in taste.

In essence:

Light roast coffee has a sweet flavor, strong scent, and tangy taste.

On the other hand:

Dark roasted coffee has a less complex taste and a more charred flavor.

However, it’s important to know that dark roast coffee does not necessarily indicate a stronger dose of caffeine.

2. Acidity

Get this:

Light-roasted coffee is delicious, but it can upset sensitive stomachs since it’s higher in acidity.

However, darker roasts have lower acidity, meaning they are easier to consume for many people.


Light roast coffee prevents the body from excreting stomach acid. That’s why darker roast coffee drinks are generally healthier for your stomach.

3. Caffeine Content


Which roast contains more caffeine?

I’ve heard people saying that they “only drink dark roast coffee due to its high caffeine content.

Is it true?


Dark roast coffee beans contain slightly less caffeine than Lightly roasted ones.

And that’s because the light and brief exposure to roasting heat help to preserve the caffeine content in the beans.

Get it?

4. The Aroma


The fruitiness, citrus tangs, sweetness, and floral elements help enhance the aroma of coffee beans.


Here, it’s worth noting that roasting tends to alter the taste/aroma of coffee.

In essence, the roasting process usually masks the unique flavor of coffee beans, consequently, reducing or changing the coffee drink’s flavor.

And that’s why prolonged exposure to heat gives dark-roasted beans a bittersweet or toasty taste.

Something close to dark chocolate and spice.

On the other hand:

Light roast beans reflect more of the coffee’s natural qualities and retain its original aroma. In fact, light roasting reveals various aromas and flavors including floral notes, fruitiness, and sweetness.

Blonde Roast Vs Dark Roast

Dark roast and blonde roast differ not only in their degree of roasting but also in other aspects. Blonde roasts are usually milder in taste, and they have a softer texture than dark roasts.

I’m sure you will experience the same flavors I have, and you will be able to taste the difference for yourself. It seems most people favor the blonde roast.

DifferenceBlonde roastDark roast
Caffeine content100 mg – 185 mg50mg – 190 mg
AromaFruity, sweet, citrusIntense, sharp, toasty
Natural oilsNo oilVery oily



I hope this comparison between light and dark roast coffee has answered all your questions.

As for me, I can easily say Dark roasts are my favorite, and I will always choose them over light roasts. Whatever your taste in coffee is, there is a variety of choices for you like light vs dark roast coffees!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is Stronger, Light or Dark Roast Coffee?

Caffeine content is higher in lighter roasts. Dark roasts are richer and bolder in taste than light roasts. When comparing coffee from different regions, lighter roasts will have more distinctive flavors than dark roasts.

What Is the Difference Between Light and Dark Roast Coffee?

Darker roasts contain less acidity and caffeine. The oil surfaces on the bean give dark roasts their strong, smokey flavor. There is little to no oil on the surfaces of light and medium roasts. The body of the bean gets thicker and heavier as it roasts up to the “second crack.”

Which Is Better, Light-Medium or Dark Roast Coffee?

A light roast is 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and a medium roast is 400-430 degrees Fahrenheit. A dark roast is 450 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Prima Donna Life, dark roast coffee sometimes has chocolate or toasted pine hints.

Is a Blonde Roast Stronger Than a Dark Roast?

A dark roast has a stronger flavor, while the flavor of a blonde roast is mellower. Dark roasts are ‘stronger’ in taste in this sense. A blonde roast has higher acidity than a dark roast.

Erica Cervenkova
Coffee Connoisseur, SCA Member

As a coffee connoisseur and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, I am dedicated to understanding the sustainability of coffee pods and the impact it has on the environment. My expertise lies in the realm of capsule coffee machines, from the likes of Keurig and Nespresso to other well-known US brands. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others make informed decisions about their coffee choices. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a new way to enjoy your morning cup, I'm here to help.


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