One of the most common questions people get is about the differences between coffee roasts. Everyone has a preferred roast level. Light, medium, and dark are the most commonly used words to describe different levels of coffee roasting.
Coffee roasting is one of the most important factors in coffee flavor and it’s important to do it at the right time. Roasting green beans into aromatic and flavorful coffee awakens our senses in the morning. However, roasting beans at different levels does more than just darken them; it also changes many of their physical properties.
Before we get into all of the roast levels, here are a few talking points to help you distinguish between them:
- Light roasts are cooked until a single crack, known as the “first crack,” is heard
- Caffeine content and origin flavors are both lost as beans roast darker
- Darker roasts are less acidic and contain less caffeine
- The oil that surfaces on the bean give dark roasts their bold, smoky flavor
- Light and medium roasts have little to no oil on the bean’s surface
- As a bean roasts, the body thickens and becomes heavier until the “second crack”
- After the second crack, the beans become thinner and taste more like charcoal
In this article, I’ll tell you about the best light roast coffees. My favorite is Lifeboost’s signature light roast this year, which is made from whole beans shade-grown in the Nicaraguan mountains.
Keep reading to know more.
What Does Light Roast Coffee Look Like?
Light roast coffees have a light brown color, little oil on the beans, and a light body (or viscosity).
If you’re not aware of how many roasts are there, check this out:
|Types of roasts|
Allow these beans to reach a temperature of 350 degrees–410 degrees. Beans typically pop at around 350 degrees when roasting. This popping sound, known as the “first crack,” indicates that the beans have reached a light roast stage.
A light roast is simply beans that have been roasted until they are light brown. The gentle roasting process allows more of the natural flavors to shine through. Light roasts have stronger sweet, fruity, and floral flavors than medium or dark roasts. They are also the most bright, crisp, and acidic of the roast styles.
Light coffee is a relative newcomer to the coffee world. Until recently, roasting technology couldn’t do much more than deeply toast coffee beans. Dark roasted coffee has its distinct flavor, but light roasts are newer and more exciting right now.
Aside from the light brown color of the bean, a light roast is distinguished by its matte surface. Because of the longer roasting time, dark and medium-dark roasted tend to be oily. Light roasts have not been cooked long enough for any oil to rise to the surface.
While any coffee bean can be brewed in any way, light roasts are frequently brewed as pour-overs or cold brews. These methods are the most effective for bringing out the more interesting flavors of light-roasted beans.
Why Do Some Roasts Taste Bitter?
You’re not alone in thinking that some coffees are more bitter than others. And the reason for this is organic acids.
These acids, such as trigonelline, increase as beans heat up, adding bitterness to lighter roasts. However, chlorogenic acids break down as the beans roast, resulting in a bitter byproduct in dark roasts. As a result, bitterness can occur in both light and dark roasts, but for different reasons.
Everyone enjoys a little sweetness in their beverages, right? Roasting burns off the sugars that are naturally present in the beans, but the process can also produce other sugars. As a result, the rate at which the beans cool can affect their natural sweetness. The quicker, the better.
Here is a video that can give you a better perception of different roasts of coffee so you can choose the best for yourself:
The Best Light-Roasted Coffees For You
Light-roasted coffee beans have grown in popularity in recent years. Light roasts allow the beans’ natural characteristics to shine through rather than hiding behind the dark and toasted flavors and aromas of roasting; no wonder consumers are developing a taste for their bright acidity and mild body.
If you’re looking for great beans that highlight these qualities, keep reading for our top picks for the best light roast coffee this year:
Lifeboost Light Roast
Lifeboost A light roast is a high-quality, healthy bean. It’s an organic, single-origin coffee from Nicaragua’s mountains. These beans were hand-picked and roasted to ensure the highest quality and flavor. They’re also grown in the shade, non-GMO, and Fair Trade. This coffee is delicious, environmentally friendly, and ethical.
The light roast profile results in a bright, flavorful, and pleasantly acidic brew. Notes of milk chocolate, caramel, and nuts can be found. The aroma even has a hint of vanilla. These beans are especially good for cold brew. This is because steeping the grounds in cold water for an extended period helps extract the most flavor.
Kicking Horse Coffee-Hola Light Roast
The Hola Light Roast from Kicking Horse Coffee is a sweet and fruity blend from Central and South America. It’s bright and acidic, just like a good light roast. It smells like brown sugar, nougat, and cocoa powder. This coffee has a distinct flavor, thanks to notes of juicy red fruit and creamy honey.
You should try this coffee as a drip, pour-over, or cold brew to bring out the best flavors.
The coffees at Kicking Horse are shade-grown, fair trade, and organic. You can relax knowing you’re drinking ethically produced coffee. They expertly roast their beans in their British Columbia facility along the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Peet’s Coffee – Luminosa Breakfast Blend, Light Roast
Peet’s Luminosa Breakfast Blend is appropriately named because it is the company’s “lightest and brightest” roast. It’s a cross between Colombia and Ethiopia that highlights the best qualities of both countries. It has a great sweetness from the Colombian beans and floral scents that are unique to Ethiopia’s coffee-growing regions. This brew has notes of passionflower, stone fruit, and cacao. It has a light aroma and a medium-to-smooth body. Try it as a cold brew or a pour-over.
Peet’s Coffee has a long history of producing high-quality coffee. Since 1966, they have been sourcing only the best beans for sustainability. To ensure maximum freshness, each order is hand-roasted in small batches.
Coffee Bean Direct – Hawaiian Kona Blend Coffee, Light Roast
This Hawaiian Kona Blend from Coffee Bean Direct is a great low-cost option. Kona can be expensive because it is widely regarded as one of the world’s best coffees. Coffee Bean Direct creates this blend by combining 10% pure Kona beans with high-quality Central American beans. They can create a delicious blend that mimics the flavors and aromas of 100% Kona Coffee.
Small batches of these beans are roasted to produce a bright acidity and a balanced, mellow body. coriander, macadamia nut, and chocolate flavor notes will be noticeable.
Coffee Bean Direct prioritizes freshness, value, and quality. For over ten years, they have been hand roasting and packing their coffee to order from their New Jersey facility.
Coffee Bros Light Roast
The Coffee Bros. Light Roast is an excellent choice for espresso or drip coffee lovers. This coffee’s flavor profile is enhanced by the use of high-quality beans from Keffa, Ethiopia, and Nario, Columbia. It produces a light and refreshing brew with honey, citrus, and floral notes. It also has a noticeable sweetness and a silky body. Because they roast their beans fresh to order, you always get the best beans.
Coffee Bros., as the name suggests, was founded in Queens, New York by two brothers. This family business cares about the environment. They make certain that all of their beans are ethically sourced from small farms. Furthermore, they donate one percent of their revenue to the organization “One Tree Planted.”
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC – Organic Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC’s Organic Ethiopian Sidamo is a one-of-a-kind light roast. Because it is single-origin, the distinct flavors of this bean shine through. It has blueberry flavor notes, a creamy finish, and a delicate earthiness. This is a complex and bold cup of coffee with a mild body, fruity acidity, and intense sweetness. Because it’s roasted to order, you will be able to enjoy this unique brew at its peak freshness.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, founded in 2009, is dedicated to quality, freshness, and sustainability. Their coffee is organic, fair trade, and sourced sustainably. They even use sustainable roasting methods. To reduce their carbon footprint, they produce all of their coffee using an environmentally friendly roaster.
Pocket Pour-Over – Kuju Coffee
If you’re looking for a light roast brew on the go, this is the one. Pocket Pour-Over is a one-of-a-kind single serving that can be made with just a mug and hot water. It has a built-in paper filter for outdoor enthusiasts. On your next camping trip, you can easily brew this delicious coffee.
This light roast is floral and nutty, with citrus fruit notes. It has a well-balanced flavor, a medium body, and light acidity.
Pocket Pour-Over was created for and by outdoor enthusiasts. They donate 1% of all sales to the National Park Foundation. They also source all of their beans ethically and run their packaging facility entirely on wind power.
Real Good Coffee Co. – Breakfast Blend Light Roast
Real Good Coffee Co. blends and roasts these beans to complement your morning meal. This light roast has a flavorful finish and is crisp. These Central and South American beans have citrus, milk chocolate, and cream notes. It’s a sweet blend with slightly acidic undertones typical of light roasts. This tasty blend will work well with any of your favorite brewing methods.
Real Good Coffee Co. is a small company based in Seattle. They’ve been roasting for 30 years with a simple ideology. They specialize in freshly roasted, delicious coffee with no frills or gimmicks. Furthermore, all of their packaging is 100 percent recyclable.
Subtle Earth Organic Coffee – Light Roast
Earth Organic Light Roast is a rich, chocolatey treat. This coffee from the Honduran Marcala region has a lot of flavor depth. It has a subtle fruit sweetness with honey, caramel, and cocoa notes. This batch of USDA Organic and non-GMO beans are smooth and extremely drinkable. This brew stands out thanks to its velvety body, low acidity, and bright, mild finish. The best methods for brewing these beans are drip, French press, espresso, and pour-over.
The Don Pablo Coffee company produces Subtle Earth Organic Coffee. It’s a family-run company that values quality. They only use the finest beans from around the world. Then, in small batches, they slow roast them for maximum freshness.
Brewing light-roasted beans allow you to truly experience the inherent flavors of the coffee beans. There’s a light roast out there for every coffee lover, with its bright acidity and typical fruit and chocolate flavors.
My favorite is Lifeboost’s signature light roast this year, which is made from whole beans shade-grown in the Nicaraguan mountains. This vibrantly flavored organic coffee has hazelnut, caramel, and vanilla notes that are sure to please.