Light Vs. Medium Vs. Dark Roast Coffee

One of the most frequent questions people ask when we talk in our tasting lab is “what’s the difference between light and dark roast coffee?” or “which has more caffeine: light or dark roast?” 

Generally speaking, darker roasts have been roasted longer and finish at a higher temperature than light roasts, and this process removes a bit more of the caffeine. As the consumer, one can visually observe that some beans appear lighter brown and dry and some appear darker and have a little (or a lot!) of oil seeping out. Just like most people have a preferred doneness to their food, most also tend to lean toward certain roast levels in coffee too. 

So, which coffee will I like?

Light = Bright

This roast level is particularly lovely for single-origin specialty coffee beans. The three COROCO in-house brands that feature single-origin coffee are Ambler Coffee™, Hi! Hope Coffee™ and Flavor Girl Coffee™ with seasonally rotating stock. These coffees generally have good acidity, fruity-floral tasting notes, and a clean mouth feel. These specialty coffees can be compared to the types of tasting notes in fine wine, with expected flavors emerging from various regions. 

Medium = Smooth

A medium roast is where blended coffee really shines. Sweet and balanced, these coffees still showcase a bit of acidity, but with added sugar to the fruit flavors and additional caramelization. Milk chocolate, toast, and mild fruits are frequently noted in our medium blends. Diner Coffee™ “Best Coffee in Town,” Propeller™ Mile High Club, and Interlude Coffee™ Allegro blends all hit that medium roast sweet spot.

Dark = Bold 

A great roast for blends and a few choice single-origins. More influenced by roasty tasting notes than the citric acidity, and a smooth mouth feel. These coffees go to wonderfully rich places on the palate. Baker’s chocolate, spice, tobacco and dried fruit notes are discovered on the dark side. Our three darkest roasts across our brands are Propeller Dauntless blend, Hi! Hope Laos single-origin, and Interlude Espressivo (also a favorite of our espresso enthusiasts!)  

Looking for more to discover?

Our Interlude line of coffee runs the entire gamut of the roasting spectrum of roasts (listed from lightest to darkest): Presto, Allegro, Largo and Espressivo