Which is better, dark roast vs light roast coffee? In truth; Vienna Roast, French Roast, Italian Roast, and Full City Roast, are all just different names for different shads of burnt. On the other hand, light roast or commonly called white coffee, is figuratively speaking, an entirely different animal, . If you want to compare dark roast vs light roast, then this article is going to open your eyes and taste buds to a whole new world of unimaginable flavor and coffee bliss.
Typical Dark Roast Coffee
A vast majority of coffee roasters are attempting to be the next Charbucks. These roasters, big and small alike, think that burning the snot out of their coffee beans is exactly what consumers want.
And guess what? By and large, they’re right! Bitter and burnt industrial coffee has been popular in America since World War One.
The problem with dark roasted coffee, regardless of the names listed above; when a roaster burns the snot out of their beans, they also burn away the oils inside those beans. It’s those oils that contain all the bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, and flavor. The more oil, the better the coffee.
Additionally, when a roaster burns off most, if not all of the oils, what’s left behind is charcoal, in which case, you might as well buy a 12 pound bag if Kingsford Charcoal at $1.00 per pound than a 12 ounce bag of Charbucks for $12.00.
A Much Better Dark Roast Coffee
Fortunately for you, there is a better way to have your cake and eat it too, i.e. dark roast doesn’t have to be burnt and bitter. What if you could have your burnt coffee flavor, but still have all those oils with even more flavor?
It’s really not that tough to do. Most companies roast their dark roast coffee blends hot-n-fast, in order to save money. That’s why they end up with burnt and bitter industrial tasting coffee. In essence, you’re tasting the roaster instead of the bean.
On the other hand, Lake City Coffee roasts the old fashioned way; low-n-slow over an open fire. Roasting our coffee beans low-n-slow, to the point of being a dark brown (barely dark), produces a flavor with just a hint of burnt, yet keeps the wonderful full bodied flavor that God put into those beans. You’ll be able to taste the smooth, non-bitter, naturally sweet taste of the coffee been.
Drink The Roast That You Like
For you are a dark roast fan, please don’t be insulted by my statement below. Keep in mind, I always say, drink what you like. If you truly like bitter and burnt industrial coffee, then go for it. On the other hand if you’re willing to experiment, then you have a cornucopia of opportunities with coffee.
Not only can you choose coffees from different continents, but also different countries, different regions, different farms, different processing methods (washed, natural, honey, etc.), different roasting methods, old stale beans or fresh roasted, and a whole slew of different brewing methods.
In this regard, I have two pieces of advice. Drink what you like. Secondly, experiment. You don’t have to make the same damn coffee the same damn way every single day. Mix it up a bit. Some say, variety is the spice of life. When, whoever they are, said this, I’m sure that they were talking about coffee.
Light Roast & White Coffee
Someone once said, “Dark roast is darker than what the roaster likes and light roast is lighter than what the roaster likes”. For me that’s 100% true. Dark roast looses a lot of coffee flavor and replaces it with what tastes like chewing on a stick of charcoal.
Light roast on the other hand doesn’t even closely resemble the taste of coffee. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just doesn’t taste like coffee. If the light roasted coffee looks yellow, then it’ll taste like a super smooth grass or straw tea. If the light roasted coffee looks golden color, then it tastes very nutty and the aroma is to die for.
Many of our customers, Alisha and I included love to mix a little (10-20%) our White Lightning with our Delectable Dark or our Majestic Medium. The White Lightning give the coffee a very slight peanut butter taste and makes the coffee even smoother and less acidic.
Just for the record, white coffee is nothing more than a super light roasted coffee. It has nothing to do with the beans. Additionally, light roast or white coffee has almost twice as much caffeine as dark roast.
Ahhhh… To me, medium roast is the best, but that’s just me and my taste buds. For me, medium roast is the best of all worlds. The key to great roasting is to maintain as much of the bean’s oils as possible.
It’s those oils that contain all of the antioxidants, bioflavonoids, caffeine, and flavor. Without the oils, you have little taste and none of the health benefits of coffee.
Almost all roasters roast as fast and hot as they can. For some reason they believe the idiot that said, “Time is Money”. That’s the stupidest saying I’ve ever heard. Time is time and money is money. Some times, you have to invest time to create a great product. Let’s face it, there are just some things in this world that God did not intend to be made in large industrial vats, and coffee is one of them.
I roast low-n-slow in small batches. What roasters like me provide is an artisan product, done by the hand and the heart, producing a far superior product.
Definition of Coffee Blend
Also, just for the record, with only one exception, I personally detest blends.
Many coffee companies offer blends. What they’re trying to accomplish is to cobble together a blend of beans from around the world in hope of pulling out of the beans their prominent flavors.
So, a roaster might take beans from Nicaragua, because they’re super smooth, mix them with beans from Ethiopia because they’re very bold, add a few beans from Papua New Guinea because they have a strong citrus flavor; all hoping that the end product is smooth, bold, and citrus. Instead what they end up with is a muddled mess of competing flavors.
At the end of the day, a blend is in fact just this. “Let’s buy the cheapest damn beans that we can find and blend them together”. I do have one blending exception. I do enjoy blending 75% dark or medium roast with 25% light roast (white coffee). What you end up with is a great cup of coffee that has a hint of peanut butter.
Single Source Coffee Beans
At Lake City Coffee, we do not offer blends. On the other hand, we source all of our beans from the same country, from the same region; and from the same plantation. When all the beans in your bag come from the same farmer, we call that “Single-Source” coffee.
In my humble opinion, single-source coffee beans provide a far superior flavor than do blends. The trick is to find the right single-source beans for the one specific flavor profile, for which you are attempting.
I don’t roast for my customers. I roast for me and what I like. Since I like super smooth coffee with prominent flavors of chocolate and nut, that’s the kind of beans that I buy.
After years and years of experience, I source 100% of our coffee from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica, because these beans are notoriously smooth as silk with a naturally sweet chocolate and nut flavor.
Fresh Roasted Coffee
Coffee was never meant to be bitter and burnt. In fact, up until World War One, very few people purchased roasted coffee. What they purchased was green coffee beans, which if kept dry, will easily last for years.
Then they’d roast their own coffee every week. That way, they always had fresh roasted coffee. And that fresh roasted coffee was smooth as silk, with zero bitter flavor, and tasted like heaven, with hints of chocolate, cinnamon, floral, citric, nut, etc.
So, your great-grandmother made and drank coffee which was infinitely better than what you’ve experienced up to this point.
Preserving Your Fresh Roasted Coffee
Here’s a truth that you’re not likely to hear anywhere else. All coffee. And I mean all coffee, even mine, starts going stale (bitter) immediately after roasting. No amount of space age packaging technology can change that fact. Yet, a vast majority of coffee sold in America has been sitting in warehouses and on store shelves for months if not years.
Most of my customers buy 3 bags of coffee at a time, because of the free shipping. Nearly everyone tells me that the 3rd bag is absolutely amazing. But I know for a fact, that it’s not quite as good as the first bag.
Fortunately, I’ve found a way to better preserve that 3rd bag. It still won’t be as good as the first bag, but it’ll be pretty darn close. To learn this little coffee preservation secrete, click here.
Brewing The Best Coffee Experience Of Your Life
Buying the right beans that have been freshly roasted is only 50% of the perfect coffee experience equation. The other 50% is all in your brewing technique.
Most people are locked into their drip machine or their espresso machine. For those folks, the right beans and fresh roast will make a difference and for some folks a huge difference.
BUT if you’re willing to experiment with your brewing techniques, then there’s a whole new world of coffee ecstasy out there ready to be experienced.
I personally believe that cold-brew is by far the easiest, fastest, cheapest, and divinely best brewing technique. I’m not saying that’s the only way, or maybe even the “best” way. It’s just my personal favorite. In colder weather, I even cold-brew and than later microwave the coffee to make it good and hot.
Dark Roast vs Light Roast
As I stated above, dark roast is great if it’s not over roasted. If it’s black, then don’t expect to taste the bean, instead you’ll be tasting the roaster. Light roast, or white coffee, should be roasted to a golden color and has a wonderfully nutty flavor, BUT it doesn’t taste like coffee. To fix that, just mix a little light roast white with your dark roast.
So, which is better; Dark Roast vs Light Roast? I’d say both. It all depends on what you like. Its an apples vs oranges thing. Is one better for you than the other? In that consideration, I’d say light roast is healthier because it contains a lot more of the coffee oils, thus more bioflavinoids, antioxidents, caffeine, and flavor.
Just for the record. My personal preference is the medium roast. That way you get the best of both worlds.