Dark roast coffee – what is it and why should I be drinking it?

A guide to dark roast coffee

There are so many variations of coffee, it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused.

Origin, elevation, flavours, form, type…

Once you have found your favourite roast, all these things become much simpler.

So, how do you find out what your favourite is? And how does this affect the flavour and quality of your cup?

In this article you will find out what dark roast coffee is, how you will benefit from it, how it compares to light and much more.


What are the best dark roast coffee beans?

It is highly important to research before you purchase so that your first experience with a dark roast isn’t a bad one.

Often some companies use 100% Robusta coffee beans for their dark roast, which can taste burnt and rubbery.

Great advice when purchasing coffee is to make sure there is enough information provided. If there is no country of origin or any information on the process or flavours, this may be a risky buy.

Here are 4 high quality dark roast options, each with a brief explanation to help you make your decision.

Our darkest roast…

Dark Roast African Espresso

Dark & intense African espresso

This African espresso is the darkest roast we offer at Adams and Russell. It is luxuriously rich in bold flavours, which include pungent spice and tobacco. The low acidity and rich aftertaste finishes off this coffee perfectly.

Dark Roast African Espresso


An easy introduction to dark roast coffee…

Timor Grade 1

Clean tasting & low acidity

East Timor is known for its exceptional quality coffee. This particular coffee is clean-tasting with delicious hints of rich chocolate. The acidity is low which creates a pleasant cup that is easy to drink. For anyone new to dark roast, this is the perfect introduction.

Timor Grade 1


Looking for something different?

Costa Rica Tarrazu

Unique flavours of tangy apple and dark chocolate

These unique Costa Rican beans have a delicious apple acidity with subtle hints of dark chocolate. It has a medium acidity which balances well with the rich flavour. If you are looking for a new flavour in the dark roast category, this is the coffee for you.

Costa Rica Tarrazu


A dark roast that is full of delicious flavour…

Indonesian Java

Rich, dark beans bursting with flavour

These Indonesian beans are absolutely packed with flavour and are sure to excite the taste buds. The rich, Earthy notes of chocolate, tobacco and spices creates a special coffee that you will want to savour. The low acidity and deep body are the perfect pairing for these varied flavours.

Indonesian Java



What is dark roast coffee?

This is simply the last stage of the roasting process. These steps usually include:

  1. Light
  2. Medium
  3. Medium – Dark
  4. Dark

You can find more detailed steps of what goes on behind the scenes in a roasters here.

But, what does this type of bean look like?

Firstly, it will be deep in colour, usually a very dark, rich brown or almost black.

Secondly, they have a shiny surface. This is due to the oils produced and the smooth surface and minimal texture, which allows the light to reflect off them.

Does dark roast coffee have any health benefits?

Coffee has many benefits for your mind and body, such as improving mood, increasing metabolism and can protect against diseases. You can read more about these benefits in our ‘Is coffee healthy?’ blog post.

So, does the amount of exposure to flames affect these health benefits?

We’re afraid, the answer is not straight forward.

Benefits of dark roast coffee include:

  • It does a better job of restoring the blood levels of antioxidants
  • This also leads to a higher reduction in body weight
  • It is kinder on your stomach due to the N-methylpyridinium produced

Although these are fantastic benefits, the roasting process can prevent some of the perks from reaching your cup.

According to this study, the lighter the bean, the higher the chlorogenic acid content, which can increase metabolism and allow your body to process sugar more efficiently.


Dark vs light – does dark roast have more caffeine?

The biggest question when it comes to comparing the two is usually… which has more caffeine?

We understand why, if you only have time for one quick cup of coffee in a morning you probably want the most caffeine you can get.

Some usually associate dark to have a higher caffeine content, but this is actually a myth.

When weighing out light and dark beans, you may notice there are a few more dark beans than light (if you are extremely observant).

This is because a bean loses a lot of mass during the roasting process, usually the water content.

So, as you have more dark beans, the caffeine content is probably a little higher. This is why dark roast is usually associated with a higher caffeine content.

When it comes to bean for bean, there is a very minimal difference in caffeine between the two.


What does dark coffee taste like?

This can depend on many different characteristics, such as:

  1. Country of origin
  2. Variety of crop
  3. Elevation
  4. Farming practices
  5. Processing
  6. Brewing

However, dark roast does have some general flavour properties that you could experience in your coffee.

Firstly, the flavours are much bolder and richer than a lighter roast. The coffee beans have gone through full caramelization, which can bring out a deep, chocolatey taste.

The beans will also usually have a much lower acidity, which can be beneficial to those who prefer a more mellow drink.

The aftertaste can be bitter sweet, perfect for those who don’t like coffee too floral or sweet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *