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What are the differences between light roast vs dark roast? One of the most important steps in coffee making is roasting. Before coffee is served in your cup, there are several kinds of roasting levels to choose from. Each level affects your coffee taste differently. Hence, to find the taste that you like from a coffee, it is important to understand the difference between roasting levels.

What about light roast vs dark roast? Here, we will summarize the things you need to know about roasting levels in this article! Stick till the end and you might just find your kind of roast level.

How important is the roasting process?

Sanely, you couldn’t make coffee directly with the beans from the tree. That is why the process of coffee making is a long journey. All processes in coffee making hold significance to ensure a safe and quality drink. That includes the process of roasting coffee beans.

Prior to roasting, the beans possess green color, have a smooth texture and a natural aroma from the farm. The process of roasting is meant to turn these raw beans Into the gorgeous brownish beans that we know as coffee.

Did you know? The process of roasting and the level of the roast play a big role in the taste of your coffee. Knowing the levels of roasting coffee is as important as knowing the single origin you bought before brewing.

Roasting levels, brewing methods, and single origins are three important factors to what characteristics of the coffee you will make. As previously said, there are two common levels of roast which are light roast and dark roast.

So what are light roast and dark roast? Are the other levels of roasting use and what are the differences? Let’s find out!

Get to Know Light Roast

Like those are generally known as bright white coffee beans. It also does not have an oily sheen visible on the surface of the coffee bean. That’s because light roast tends to not take much time and is generally at a lower temperature throughout the roasting process. The comfortable temperature for light roasting is around 180° C to 205° C.

Above 205° C, the beans will crack and widen. known as the first crack. In conclusion, a light roast is beans roasted for a short period of time until it opens its first crack.

Get to Know Dark Roast

Dark roast could be said as the opposite of light roast. Dark roasts are coffee beans colored in dark chocolate – almost black, and are roasted at a high temperature. To reach dark roast, coffee beans must be roasted at a temperature of 240° C.

Resulting in a second crack or more. rarely go above 250° C. That’s because the outer shell of the beans will turn thin and taste tar-like and charred.

Dark roast makes the beans look shiny, and that’s because the oil of the coffee is extracted thanks to the long process of roasting.

What Is Medium Roast?

There’s actually an “in-between level” of roast called the medium roast. living up to its name, the medium roast is a condition between light roast and dark roast.

A medium roast provides beans with a slightly brown color and doesn’t produce oily sheen on the surface of the coffee beans. Furthermore, a medium roast’s bean surface is finer compared to light roast.

The process of medium roast has a general range of temperature between 210° C until 220° C. This temperature range is in between the process of first crack but yet to enter the second crack. Lots of coffee connoisseurs are delighted in the balance this roast brings in terms of acidity, taste etc. Bringing the medium roast a good reputation.

Light Roast VS Dark Roast

Body and Complexity

Body regards the characteristic of the coffee physically, in other words texture. that Includes liquidity, softness, weight, viscosity or general mouthfeel.

Light roast will tend to have a brighter color and a lighter body. This can be done because of its short period of roasting. Resulting in sugars within the beans not being caramelized.

On the other hand, dark roast has a much deeper color and stronger flavor. Many enthusiasts prefer dark roast thanks to its deeper and viscous characteristics. Additionally, because of its long period of roasting, most of the sugars in the coffee have caramelized.


The longer the roasting, the more caramelization you get. This explains the stronger taste dark roast has in comparison to the lighter roast.

Because of the short time light roast has to go through, its flavor tends to be similar to raw coffee beans, a fresh flavor as if it has just gotten out of the garden.

Light roast retains its original taste more compared to dark roast. That’s why light roasts are often used to describe the taste and quality of the origin coffee.


Dark roasts tend to have a lower amount of acidity. Reminding the long process and high temperature it has to go through. Therefore, making dark roast beans a lot safer to consume for all people.

Did you know? A research conducted has found out that the process of coffee roasting creates a compound potent to reduce stomach acid production in your body. That makes dark roast coffee safe to consume for all tummy!

Did you know? Other than acidity, caffeine content also needs attention. Caffeine on light roasts is higher than those of dark roasts. Once again, time and temperature remain the main factors for this cause.

The longer the roasting, the less caffeine content there is. That is why, if you ever consume coffee for its caffeine, light roast is a perfect fit for you because of its high caffeine count. In simpler terms, light roast has generally softer, finer taste but with loads of caffeine.

Now that you know the difference of light roast vs dark roast, now it’s time to find the right roast for you based on taste and needs! Make sure you don’t skip the famous arabica Mandheling coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia.

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