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Our 12 Best Light Roast Coffees To Buy in 2023

Light roast coffee is not for everyone. It has different flavors than dark roast because it is more vibrant and has less oil but it can also seem watery or sourer to some. Big Cup of Coffee has made a list of the top 12 light roast coffee options worth brewing as well as some background information about light roast coffee.

Our list was built thinking about coffee options you can buy right now.

Updated (September 2023): we’ve added Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic to the list. This coffee is making some serious noise in our tasting circles, so we figured it needed to be on the list.

If you want the TL:DR (Too Long Don’t Read) here are our top roasts:

  1. Editors Choice (*10% coupon code already included in the link): Fresh Roasted LLC – White Knight
  2. Best Organic: Volcanica Best Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee, Organic
  3. Best Kona: Hawaii Coffee Company – Lion Premium Gold 10% Kona Blend Coffee
  4. Best Small Batch: Cooper’s Cask Coffee – Ethiopian Bold Roast
  5. Best Social Mission (Save 15% by using the coupon code: BigCupofCoffee): Grounds and Hounds – Single Origin Colombian
  6. Best Sumatra: Cooper’s Cask Coffee – Sumatra Dark Roast
  7. Best Sustainable: Tiny FootPrint Coffee​ Signature Blend – Whole Bean
  8. Best Peaberry (*10% coupon code already included in the link): Fresh Roasted LLC – Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee
  9. Best no-frills budget: Cafe Don Pablo – Organic Light Roast

Our Personal Favorite Light Roast Coffees That You Can Order Online

Light roasts are easy to find on the internet. Essentially, the roasting process is the only difference between these and other, more popular dark roasted whole beans. The unique flavor, the quality, and matching your budget are trickier. Below are the best light roast coffees to have made our list of top 11 high-quality light roast coffees you can buy today.

Editor’s Choice – Fresh Roasted LLC – White Knight

Fresh Roasted is our top choice and for good reason. Their coffee is USDA organic and Fair Trade Certified. It’s a blend of their single-origins coffees. Plus their price point is on the lower side compared to others. High-quality, certification, organic, single-origin, and at a solid price. What’s not to like?

  • Growing Altitude: N/A (blend)
  • Processing Method: combination
  • Cupping Notes: bing cherry, cocoa, clean
  • Roast Body: Bold
  • Roast Level: Light
  • Certifications: USDA Organic, Fair Trade Certified 
  • Artisan Blend: An exclusive blend of our signature single-origin coffees
  • Brewing Method: Great for pour-over, drip, or Aeropress

Founded in 2009, Fresh Roasted Coffee was built on a commitment to quality, service, and sustainability. By sourcing coffee with integrity they are able to provide businesses and consumers with a vast selection of affordable, high-quality, and freshly roasted specialty coffees.

They have been fortunate enough to be named one of the Inc 500’s fastest-growing private businesses in the country in 2015, 2016 and in 2017 they made the top 5000! Check our full review of Fresh Roasted LLC for more information and to find other gems.

Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC - White Knight Light Roast

White Knight light roast coffee is so bold, yet so clean. This artisan blend uses a royal combination of only the fairest and purest single origin coffee beans. With notes of wild bing cherries, cocoa and a clean finish, our White Knight coffee is a cup of royal gold sure to steal your heart.

***10% coupon code already included in link below***

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Volcanica – Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee, Organic

If you follow our blog, you know we are huge fans of Volcanica. Their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is no exception. If you’re not familiar with Yirgacheffe coffee or how it tastes, see this Reddit conversation around flavor profiles.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is a type of arabica coffee that is grown on the highlands of Ethiopia. The terrain of this area makes it difficult for farmers to grow anything but coffee plants, and because they are so isolated from other countries, these beans are rarely exported. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe has a smooth taste with fruity accents and notes of chocolate or nutmeg.

This particular roast from Volcancia is their #1 selling product and for good reason. Finally, here’s a coffee that will make you excited to wake up. Deep in the spectacular Ethiopian highlands, there have been long-standing traditions of organic gardening and generous gathering for centuries.

  • Growing Altitude: 1,900 meters / 6,233 feet
  • Processing Method: Washed Process
  • Cupping Notes: Lemon, Blueberry, and Blackberry
  • Roast Body: Bold
  • Roast Level: Light
  • Certifications: USDA Organic
  • Artisan: Single-origin
  • Brewing Method: Great for pour-over or drip

Pro-tip from Volcanica for brewing: “The brewing water temperature is to be 195-205 degrees. Please use two tablespoons of coffee for each 6 oz of water.”

Volcanica - Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee, Organic

The Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee is a unique organically grown coffee with a complex origin and truly exotic flavor with pleasant acidity. Yirgacheffe is a coffee region in southern Ethiopia that produces distinctively floral and fruit-toned coffees from traditional varieties of Arabica long grown in the region from wild coffee trees. The best Ethiopia dry-processed coffee tends to be a medium-bodied, brilliantly acidic, and containing rough fruity or winy tones.

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Fresh Roasted – Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Peaberry coffee, also known as “single-bean coffee,” is a rare type of coffee bean that grows in the shape of a pea. The beans are usually harvested by hand and can only be found on high-quality Arabica trees. Peaberry coffees are generally more expensive than traditional coffee beans because they often have higher levels of caffeine and flavor compounds.

Fresh Roasted has nailed this light roast. For under $12, you can get a whole bean coffee that is straight from Tanzania Africa. We’ve found this coffee to be an excellent entry-level peaberry coffee at an undeniably low price point.

Check out our full Fresh Roasted LLC review for more information.

  • Growing Altitude: 1,200m (3,900 feet) – 2,000m (6561 feet) above sea level
  • Processing Method: Farm washed and sun-dried
  • Cupping notes: lemon, peach, black tea
  • Tasting notes: bold
  • Aroma notes: fruity flavor and medium acidity
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over and Drip
Low Cost Peaberry
Fresh Roasted - Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Tanzania Peaberry coffee is a rare African coffee varietal grown in the Mbeya Region of Southwestern Tanzania. These wonderfully smooth and full-bodied Tanzania Peaberry coffee beans are lightly roasted, fairly rich in flavor and characterized by notes of lemon, peach and black tea. The distinct aromatics, defining fruity flavor, medium acidity and clean, lively finish of this Tanzanian coffee are all perfectly paired without being overpowering.

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Hawaii Coffee Company – Lion Gold Roast Coffee

It’s a light roast coffee you won’t dare to drink before bedtime. It’s a vibrant cup of coffee with a sweet and mellow taste and a mild citrus finish.

  • Cupping notes: rich, bold and sweet with enjoyable bitterness
  • Tasting notes: with hints of coconut and fruity undertones
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over and Drip 
Hawaii Coffee Co - Lion Gold Roast Coffee

LION Gold Coffee is a classic light roast coffee and makes a great breakfast coffee. Which is another way of saying there's some real caffeine kick in this bag and you might not want to drink it before bed. This LION Coffee brew is bright in the cup, with a mellow taste and sweet delicate and slightly citrus finish.

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Hawaii Coffee Company – Lion Premium Gold 10% Kona Blend Coffee

It’s a premium Hawaiian coffee with 10% Kona coffee beans. The coffee experience allows you to long for that relaxing Hawaiian vacation. It’s best to pair with biscuits for an afternoon snack.

  • Cupping notes: bright, bold, and smooth body
  • Tasting notes: delicate and nutty
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over and Drip
  • About Hawaii Coffee Company

Hawaii Coffee Company is a coffee marketplace for all Hawaiian coffee and tea brands. It’s a family of sister coffee companies with one primary goal. That is to delight coffee drinkers with the best coffee and tea. To date, they are the largest Kona coffee roaster in Hawaii. They are also the leading supplier of high-quality coffee to most of the Big Island’s industries.

10% Kona Light Roast
Hawaii Coffee Co | Lion 10% Kona Coffee Blend

Premium Gold is a delicious 10% Kona Coffee Blend. Our Premium Gold is perfectly balanced; the 10% Kona Coffee beans in this blend produce those special Kona Coffee notes and brew a sweet cup with a malt-like finish and mild, mellow taste. A taste of paradise - you'll like the price, and you'll love the coffee.

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Real Good Coffee Co​ – Breakfast Blend

It’s a perfect breakfast blend for a busy day. The coffee beans sourced from Central and South America are 100% Arabica. The roastery facility in Seattle handles the roasting and packing of the beans.

  • Cupping notes: rich and smooth body
  • Tasting notes: with hints of brisk citrus taste
  • Aroma notes: milk chocolate and cream
  • Brewing Method: espresso maker, drip machines, French press, pour-over, Aeropress, and moka pot.

Real Good Coffee Co is a Seattle-based small team of coffee roasters. Their prime focus is on quality, sustainability, and affordability. This company has a proven track record of 30 years in bringing the best tasting specialty coffee. No frills and gimmicks. Just real good coffee.

Affordable Light Roast
Real Good Coffee Co - Breakfast Blend Light Roast
  • Light Roast Coffee: The Breakfast Blend light roast whole bean coffee is the perfect morning coffee to ease you into your day
  • Sustainable Light Roast Coffee Beans: This coffee is made with premium quality Arabica coffee beans from Central and South America. They are grown, sourced and packaged responsibly, after being roasted fresh in Seattle, USA
  • Tasting Notes: The Breakfast Blend coffee delivers a smooth flavor that brings together a brisk citrus taste with smooth aromatic notes of milk chocolate and cream
  • Works With All Coffee Brewers: This classic whole bean light roast coffee is suitable for any good coffee machine: drip machines, espresso maker, French press, Aeropress, pour over and moka pot
  • Real Good Coffee Co: With over 30 years’ experience of coffee sourcing and craft roasting in Seattle, we make coffee, real good coffee, it’s that simple

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Kicking Horse Coffee – Hola

The Hola Blend of Kicking Horse Coffee made it to our top best light roast coffee. This kickass coffee is deep, dark, and delicious. Roasted beneath the Canadian rocky mountain. The coffee is a tasty cuppa to wake up your senses first thing in the morning. Plus, their coffee is Fair Trade certified and organically certified.

Check out our full Kicking Horse Coffee Review for more information.

  • Cupping notes: light and silky smooth body
  • Tasting notes: with juicy red currants paired with a creamy honey body
  • Aroma notes: ripe berries, rich nougat, and brown sugar
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over, Drip, espresso, French Press, and cold brew

Kicking Horse Coffee Roaster is a kickass coffee roaster located at Invermere, B.C.  It’s Canada’s No. 1 Fairtrade and Organic Coffee roaster and hailed as the best place to work in 2015 and 2018.

Best Wake-Up Call!
Kicking Horse Coffee - Hola, Light Roast. Certified Organic, Fair Trade
  • LIGHT ROAST, GROUND: Wild, spirited, awake. This blend knows how to dish up a warm welcome. It's a hot tropical storm, sailing in off the sea. Hullo good mornings
  • TASTING NOTES, BREW METHOD: Juicy red currant acidity paired with a creamy honey body. Recommended methods: drip machine, pour over and cold brew
  • ORIGIN CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA: Grown in a socially and environmentally responsible way, by farmers with sustainable businesses they can depend on
  • ORGANIC, FAIRTRADE, KOSHER, SHADE GROWN, ARABICA COFFEE: Coffee that is good and fair for the coffee drinkers, the farmers and the planet. 100 percent Certified
  • ROASTED IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS: It’s all deep, dark and delicious, roasted right below the towering Canadian Rocky Mountain peaks
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Cafe Don Pablo – Organic Light Roast

Cafe Don Pablo’s light roast coffee originated from the coffee farms in Honduras. It is 100% Arabica and certified GMO-free. Its “depth of flavor” is due to its high altitude cultivation in Honduran Marcala. If you’re looking for a vibrant coffee but low in acidity, this is the right coffee for you.

  • Cupping notes: silky smooth, bright coffee with a mild finish and sweet aftertaste
  • Tasting notes: rich and chocolatey
  • Aroma notes: honey, caramel, and cocoa
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over, Drip, French Press

Cafe Don Pablo is a family-owned gourmet coffee company based in Miami, Florida. This coffee roasting company specializes in Honduran gourmet coffee. Their coffee beans are personally cultivated, picked, and processed in Colombia. They manage their production of coffee trees through their Sharing Certified Program.

Budget Option for the Eco-Conscious
Don Pablo - Subtle Earth Organic Coffee
  • Certified Organic by CCOF - 100% Arabica Coffee - GMO Free
  • 2LB - Whole Bean - Light Roast
  • Rich and chocolaty with profound depth of flavor, velvety body, and low acidity
  • Origin: Honduras, Sharing Certified Program
  • Try Don Pablo Risk-Free: Buy now, and if you don't love their coffees, contact them directly, and they will happily refund your order

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Tiny FootPrint Coffee​ Signature Blend – Whole Bean

The Light Roast Signature blend by Tiny Footprint is a whole bean coffee that is 100% Organic. It is a shade-grown Arabica coffee sourced from top coffee regions around the world.

Check out our full Tiny FootPrint Review for more information.

  • Cupping notes: light and smooth body with mild acidity
  • Tasting notes: with hints of bright lemon and orange and a gentle cocoa finish
  • Aroma notes: natural sweet aroma
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over, Drip, French Press and cold brew

The Tiny Footprint Coffee Company is the world’s first zero-carbon coffee. It’s a company with an earthly cause. For every pound of coffee sold, a percentage goes to an environmental cause like the reforestation of the Mindo cloud forest. The Tiny Footprints support this cause with a belief that such a move can help the earth remove 54 lbs of CO2. Likewise, reforestation can provide a habitat for native plants and animal species.

Most Sustainable
Tiny Footprint Coffee - Organic Signature Blend Light Roast. USDA Organic
  • The world's first carbon negative coffee: For every pound that’s sold, we donate a portion of the proceeds to fund reforestation in Ecuador’s Mindo cloud forest. Over time, these trees will remove 54 lbs. of CO2 from the atmosphere as well as provide habitat for native plant and animal species
  • WHOLE BEAN COFFEE: 100% Organic Shade-Grown Arabica Coffee
  • We source coffee seasonally from across the globe in order to create blends with the freshest, highest quality beans
  • Flavor Profile: Bright lemon and orange with a touch of cocoa to create a gentle finish
  • Craft Roasted in our vintage 90 kilo German-built Probat drum roaster retrofitted with modern fuel-efficient ribbon burners, delivering perfectly roasted coffee every time
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New England Coffee – New England Donut Shop Blend

It is a premium quality Arabica coffee bean light roasted for that smooth and mellow taste. The New England Coffee Light Roast Ground Coffee is a Kosher-certified coffee with no gluten or additives. The company maintains special dietary restrictions to guide coffee drinkers.

  • Cupping notes: light and smooth body with no bitter aftertaste
  • Tasting notes: sweet-toned with a mellow flavor
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over, Drip, French Press, and cold brew

New England Coffee is one of the oldest coffee brands in America.  They sell flavorful brews for adventurous coffee lovers. Each coffee blend they offer has a distinct flavor and aroma. This difference helps you identify one variant from another.

Freshly Ground New England Coffee, Donut Shop Blend
  • Family Created Speciality Coffee Roasters Since 1916, Made in the USA
  • Freshly Ground and Sealed in Air tight Pouch
  • Small batch produced and roasted; 100% Arabica beans delivering a wonderful blend of aroma, body, acidity and flavor
  • Light Roasted, Smooth and Delicious

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Cooper’s Cask Coffee – Ethiopian Bold Roast

The light roasted Ethiopian bold roast is a must-try. It’s a micro lot of single-origin coffee from the heirloom varietals. Cooper’s Cask sources its coffee beans from organic and Fairtrade-certified coffee farms. If you’re not satisfied with their coffee beans, can always ask for a full refund within 30 days.

  • Processing method: Natural/Sun-dried
  • Cupping notes:  bold, smooth, and vibrant
  • Tasting notes: with hints of citrus, raw floral honey, and wild berry undertones
  • Aroma notes: floral and fruity tones
  • Brewing Method: Pour-over, Drip, French Press, and cold brew

Cooper’s Cask Coffee is a gourmet coffee specialist. They test and create new coffee lots using award-winning whiskey and rum barrels. These barrels allow Cooper’s roasters to create amazing coffee with unique taste profiles while being roasted in small batches. The whiskey barrel is from Sons of  Liberty Spirits, while the rum barrel is from Thomas Tew Rum.

Light Roast
Cooper's Ethiopian Light Roast

VIBRANT TASTE PROFILE: Intensely bright and clean, lemon tart, raw honey, floral nectar.

MICRO LOT SINGLE-ORIGIN COFFEE: An incredibly vibrant boutique aromas with a bold intense colorful flavor. The beans get this unique flavor because of the dry process the farm uses. This imparts some of the actual cherry into the beans for a distinct citrus, raw floral honey and wild berry undertones. It is roasted to a light roast level to maximize the flavor intensity and caffeine.

QUALITY SOURCED BEANS: We profile each lot of Organic, Fair Trade or Farm Gate Coffee Beans (Grade 1).

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Grounds and Hounds – Single Origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

BCOC_Best Light Roast_Ethiopian Yirgacheffee

It’s an Ethiopian single-origin coffee from the regions of Yirgacheffe. It has impressive crisp and vibrant floral notes and earthy undertones. Check out our full Grounds and Hound Review for more information.

  • Grown altitude: 5000-7000 feet above sea level
  • Processing Method: Washed and Sun-dried
  • Cupping notes: well-balanced, silky smooth body
  • Tasting notes: with hints of orange blossoms, lemon peel, honey, and black cherry finish
  • Brewing Method: Percolator, Cold Brew, Pour-over, and Drip

Save 15% Off Your Order + Get FREE SHIPPING over $50 – click this link and use the coupon code BigCupofCoffee.

What is a Light Roast Coffee?

Light roast coffee is a multilayer of complexity.  Roasting lightly can reveal the origin of coffee beans which makes profiling coffee according to its sweetness, fruity, and floral tones easier. Though the terms used in describing the process of roasting vary among coffee roasters and companies,  there are simple ways to determine the roasting options that you prefer. They include the following:

American roast: Coffee beans are medium roasted. It’s a roast that creates a moderate brew with a vibrant flavor that is not too light nor too heavy.

French roast: The coffee beans resemble the color of dark chocolate. It is full-bodied and has a stronger taste with delectable bitterness.

Italian roast:  Italian coffee is glossy, brown to black coffee. It’s very rich, strong and heavy. It’s the most preferred roast for espresso drinks.

Light Roast Coffee is generally light brown. It has a  distinguishing light body and an oil-free surface. The coffee beans never reach the second crack during the roasting process. That’s how the natural flavors of the beans remain – they are more “raw” than a darker roast. Compared to medium roast and dark roast, the caffeine level is a bit higher.

What Does Light Roast Coffee Taste Like?

Not all coffee tastes the same. There’s a huge taste difference between light, medium, and dark roasted coffee. If dark and extra dark roast coffee exhibits bitterness or almost burnt taste then light roast coffee features a sweet and earthy taste. This is because it hasn’t lost its flavors during roasting.

Another notable taste of light roast coffee is that it has a tangy taste and a strong aroma. Some light roast coffee even displays aromatic floral notes.  Yet, the taste of light roast can still vary with the processing method used. It can be natural, washed, or semi-washed.

Choosing a Light Roast

If you want to try a light roast coffee for a change, choosing the best light roast coffee is the finest way to go. How would you know if you got the best light roast coffee? Here are some considerations:


The origin of the coffee bean plays a vital role in identifying the flavor profile of the beans. At present, there are over 100 species of coffee with Arabica and Robusta produced and sold.

Light roast coffee beans are often oven-roasted between temperatures 355 and 400 °F. This is how the beans retain their original flavor. The coffee beans are acidic, zero-oil, and have a high caffeine concentration. Yet, there’s still inconsistency in taste.

If you’re observant of the cupping and tasting notes of the coffee, you’ll recognize the country of origin. For instance, coffee from Latin America and Ethiopia has distinctive tasting features.

South America’s whole bean light roast coffee is popular for its milder taste and light aroma. If you prefer a light roast with a smooth body and fruity undertones, you’ll like a light roast coffee from Ethiopia.

Coffee Beans

Learning from the mistakes of roasting coffee beans in earlier times, modern light roast coffee now tastes better than dark roasts and has become an ideal for specialty coffee.

The coffee beans are lightly roasted to preserve their unique features of the beans. Yet, the variety in flavors, aromas, and aftertaste still depends on many factors that include how farmers cultivate the coffee plant, the processing method, and roasting.

Cultivated Coffee Plant

Each coffee region cultivates coffee plants that grow best in their soil. For instance, Ethiopia grows heirloom varietals of Arabica, Brazil coffee farms take pride in their Bourbon varietals,  and Hawaii gives the utmost care to their Typica varietal.

Another factor is the kind of soil used to grow these coffee plants. For instance, Volcanica gets their beans from coffee farms abundant in volcanic soils. This volcanic soil is rich in micronutrients and minerals thus giving the coffee beans a unique taste profile.

Processing method

There are 3 methods widely used in processing coffee beans. These are natural, washed, and semi-washed. These methods can also affect the taste and aroma profile of the coffee beans.

Aside from these, the climate of the coffee region can make a difference in the processing method. Some coffee regions are not good for natural processing with their inconsistent climate. A good example is the coffee farms in the southern hemisphere of Brazil.


Light roasts coffee keeps its caffeine level and flavor within a defined temperature range. It is cooler than dark roasts and is roasted to between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the coffee beans do not reach the second crack.

Before the light roast coffee approaches the first crack, the beans pass through different stages: 

  • Green: as the first level where it retains its “virgin green essence”.
  • Yellow: the coffee beans start to emit a grassy smell.
  • Steam: The water content of the green coffee beans are evaporating.
  • First crack: It is also known as the “Cinnamon Roast”. This is where the real roasting happens. 

As the water content of the beans evaporates, the sugar in the beans starts to caramelize and as the roasting goes on you’ll hear a cracking sound like when you are making popcorn.

Since light roasted coffee beans undergo a short period of roasting they do not produce caramelized sugar or oil. What you taste from light roast coffee is the original flavor of the green coffee beans. For some people, this often resembles the aroma of freshly cut grass. Though it underwent roasting, the original flavor and aroma innate in the green coffee beans remain.

Caffeine Content

If you want to start your day with a mild coffee but with a strong caffeine kick, the light roast coffee will do the job. Light roast coffee is a favorite choice for espresso as it can make coffee beverages more vibrant and flavorful.

When you compare the caffeine content of light roast coffee beans with medium and dark. Many claim that light roast coffee has more caffeine than dark roast. This is because the lightly roasted coffee beans haven’t given up their unique flavors or their chemical composition. When coffee beans reach the first crack the vapor inside the beans breaks through leaving a higher concentration of “coffee.”

Yet, Kicking Horse iterates that caffeine content is not measured with beans alone. In a little experiment conducted with ten grams of light roast and dark roast. These roasters explained that when you roast the beans, you lose the water content. Thus the beans become dense.

So when you measure the grounds by scoops, the best light roast coffee will look like it has more caffeine. Especially that it is denser than dark roast. But, if you weigh the dark roast, it will also have more caffeine because it has less mass. Confused yet? 

Another point to consider is that there’s a wide variety of Arabica coffee beans. As a result, the beans’ caffeine content may also vary.

Light Roast VS Dark Roast

Whether you’re a coffee snob or not, you can determine the taste of the coffee through its roast level. Even before the roasting, the green coffee beans are soft, tasteless beans with a fresh, earthy smell. Once the raw bean undergoes roasting, it transforms into flavorful and crunchy beans.

Another factor that can determine the taste of coffee is their country of origin. Since coffee regions cultivate different species of Arabica coffee plants. The country becomes part of the identity and the flavor profile of the beans.

But the most common way to identify the taste of the coffee bean is through its color. Coffee beans have a color classification that ranges from light to dark and sometimes extra dark. The changes in color happen as the temperature for roasting increases. As the beans absorb more heat, oils begin to surface.

Though it’s not accurate to classify coffee beans with color the particular shade of brown makes it convenient to identify the roasting level. Thus it makes light roast more distinguishable than dark roast.

Light roast coffee appears light brown in color. It has a light body and does not have any sheen of oil atop the cup. Compared to dark roast, it retained most of its caffeine. It didn’t reach the first crack. That’s why light roast coffee features an earthy taste and vibrant flavor.

Dark roast coffee displays a dark brown color, which can resemble dark chocolate. Some dark roast appears black. When you brew this coffee, you’ll notice a sheen of oil at the surface. Since the bean coffee is roasted beyond the second crack, it loses its original flavor. Yet, the extraction helps it to produce a new unique flavor distinctive to the coffee bean.

But if you’re not keen enough on the dark roast that you buy, confusion often arises. Dark roasts go by many names. These include Italian roast, French roast, Continental roast, Espresso roast,  etc.

To help you the next time you search for the best light roast coffee or dark roast coffee we’ve summarized a simple roast level and color gradations for each bean.

  • Light roast coffee beans still keep the original flavor of the raw bean even after the roasting.
  • The body of the coffee bean becomes denser as it absorbs heat.
  • Light roast coffee has a more vibrant flavor than dark roast. It is sweet-toned and tastes citrusy.
  • Light roast coffee beans tend to look dry while dark roast appears glossy and oily on the bean surface.
  • As the coffee beans absorb heat, the caffeine level decreases, and the beans’ color gets darker.


Light roast coffee is definitely the perfect beverage for a lively morning. It has a little more of a caffeine kick and exhibits natural flavors and aromas retained only from a light roasting.

If you’re on a journey to discover more about coffee, a light roast is the best coffee to start with before diving into other types of roasts. It allows you to identify the origin of the coffee beans as well as determine the innate flavor and aroma. Likewise, tasting the best coffee lightly roasted helps in distinguishing which brewing methods work best with these coffees.

From the list of the top ten best light roast coffee, my personal preference is the Fresh Roasted Organic White Knight as it is light and silky with enjoyable bitterness. I can drink it every-single-day.

When I want to splurge, I like the Hawaiian Coffee Company 10% Kona as you can’t beat the taste of the Kona blend. It’s undeniably different, yet remarkably delicious. It’s a good light roast coffee if you want to stay active the whole day as it packs a punch.

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