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What Is A Light Roast Coffee?

Light roast coffee is a phrase that refers to the coffee bean roasting method that results in light brown (or even white) beans, with no oil on the surface. 

Light roast is a relatively new way of roasting coffee and has only rose to popularity in the past 30-50 years. Prior to then, almost all coffee had the standard "burnt" flavor that darker roasted coffees are commonly known for. 

Technological advances in roasting equipment helped with the growth in popularity, but another reason is that coffee drinkers have become increasingly more sophisticated. They 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 are fruity and floral more than burnt and bitter. 

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 have a crisp acidity, lighter aromas, silky bodies, and exotic flavors. We frequently see tasting notes include phrases like: honey, sugar, berry, citrus, & floral. 

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 level for that method and be mindful of the water temperature and brewing time. 

Light Roast vs Medium Roast

Medium roast coffee is roasted for a longer time, resulting in a darker bean color. You'll still be able to taste some fruit notes, with a little bit of nuttiness and the essence of baking spices. Compared to light roasts, they are a bit more balanced and with more body. Medium roast is extremely versatile to brew, so you can enjoy its subtle flavors without sacrificing any depth or dynamics. 

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. The taste is chocolatey, caramelly, maple-syrupy and nutty. It is the default choice for espresso drinks and typically has a smooth acidity 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 and grind levels 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, yes, light roast coffees have less perceived acid than darker roasts. However, that doesn't mean they actually have less acid. You are just less likely to taste it. 

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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