What Is A Light Roast Coffee?

Light roasts are those roasting batches that fall between a roast degree of 408 and 412 degrees fahrenheit. That means that at the end of the roasting cycle, the internal temperature of the beans will fall in this relatively cooler temperature. This roasting method results in light brown beans, with no oil on the surface. 

This relatively new way of roasting coffee has  risen to popularity in the past 30-50 years. Prior to then, almost all coffee had the standard bold and bitter flavors that darker roasted coffees are commonly known for. 

This growth in popularity has been encouraged by technological advances in roasting equipment, but the largest culprit is a change in the palettes of coffee drinkers. As Coffee professionals learn more about coffee, hey are seeking roasts that allow the true flavors of a bean or region to shine, and no method does that better than a light roast.

Light Roast Coffee Flavors & Tasting Notes

If you've never tried a light roast before, you may be surprised at what you discover. Unlike their darker counterparts, light roast coffees generally have delicate fruity and floral notes, and lack the bitter, smoky, or roasty notes of a dark roast. 

The lighter the roast the more the natural flavors of the coffee bean shine through, which makes it a popular method for single origin coffees where the distinct regional flavors are the star of the show. 

Light roasts generally have more acidity, lighter aromas, and juicy or tea-like bodies.

How To Brew Light Roast Coffee

We are always a fan of the pour over method and think it is a great option for light roasts. That said, this is a choose-your-own-adventure world, so feel free to experiment with different brewing methods.  Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to grind the beans to the proper grind size for that method and be mindful of the water temperature and brewing time.

Light Roast vs Medium Roast

Medium roast coffee is roasted to a darker roast degree, resulting in a darker bean color. The internal temperature of medium roast beans generally sit between 412 and 420 degrees when they drop out of the roaster.

Compared to light roasts, they generally have more sweetness, are a bit more balanced and may have a heavier body. Medium roasts are extremely versatile to brew, so you can enjoy their subtle flavors without sacrificing any depth or complexity.

Light Roast vs Dark Roast

Compared to a light roast, dark roast coffee is rich in flavor, with a deep mahogany color and a thick, oily surface. Dark roasts are normally heavy-bodied, smoky, and have little acidity. It is the default choice for espresso drinks and typically has a smooth sweetness that compliments the bold flavors perfectly.

Light Roast Coffee FAQ

Does Light Roast Coffee Have More Caffeine?

On a per volume basis light roasts have more caffeine than medium roast coffee, but the truth is that the difference in caffeine levels between roasts types is very small. Brewing methods have more impact on the level of caffeine in your cup than the roast.

Does light roast coffee have less acid?

In terms of tasting notes, light roasts actually have more perceived acids then darker roasts.. However, that doesn't mean they have more overall acidity resulting in a lower pH,ou are just more likely to taste complex acidity the lighter the roast.

Is Light Roast Coffee Better Hot or Iced?

Are you going to be upset if we say it is great both ways? Cold brewed or brewed hot, light roasts are delicious. You may even want to try brewing it hot but serving it over ice.

What Foods Pair Best With Light Roast Coffees?

Light roasts are perfect accompaniments for breakfast items like avocado toast or buttery breads. They also can pair well with light lunch sandwiches or fruity desserts.

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