What is the Difference between Light Roast and Dark Roast?
As a lover of coffee, you might have heard the terms ‘light roast’ and ‘dark roast’. As the names suggest, light roast coffee appears light brown when brewed, while the dark roast coffee is dark brown (almost black) in color.
The two types of coffee have a distinct taste and aroma. Apart from the obvious difference in appearance, what other differences do these two coffee have?
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Before we get into the nitty gritty details, if you’re craving the best Brazilian coffee brands, we’ve got the hookup for you. Onto the differences between light and dark roast coffees:
Light roast coffee is roasted to an internal temperature of 180-205 degrees Celsius. At 205 degrees, the coffee beans expand and crack. This is called the ‘first crack’.
At this temperature, the oil in the coffee is not released. Therefore, light roast coffee has no oil on the surface, and has a lighter body.
Dark roast beans are roasted to a temperature of 240 degrees Celsius. These high temperatures lead to what is called the ‘second crack’. The second crack releases the internal oils of the coffee beans.
The release of the internal oils gives the dark roast coffee a shiny appearance, and a fuller body. For this reason, dark roast coffee spoils faster than lighter roast coffee, because of the oxidation of the oils.
Because of the low temperatures used in light roasts, they retain the original grainy or fruity taste of the coffee.
Dark roast, on the other hard, loses most of the original berry flavor, and attains flavors through the roasting process. It has a bitter, smoky taste.
Dark roast coffee has a stronger aroma than the light roast coffee. This is because the higher temperature makes most of the volatile oils evaporate, where some are retained in the light roast.
Because of the low temperature used in light roast coffee, the grains retain most of the moisture. This makes the light roast denser than the dark roast, which loses most of the moisture, due to the high temperatures used.
The low temperatures used also ensures that the light roast retains most of the caffeine.
Light roast coffee, therefore, has more caffeine than dark roast.
High temperatures break down the acids in dark roast coffee, into bitter substances. For this reason, light roast has more acidity than dark roast, which has less acidity, but is more bitter.
Dark roast coffee is a great choice for people who have a sensitive stomach, because of its low acidity. If you are looking for something high in caffeine to boost your brain at the start of the day, light roast coffee is for you.
For people who prefer a deep, bitter flavor, then dark roast coffee is a better choice for you. It also has lower levels of caffeine, a fuller body, and the dark black color than most people associate with coffee.
Most people prefer a light roast cup of coffee in the morning (for the high caffeine level), and dark roast coffee throughout the day (for the low caffeine level).
The best Brazilian coffee brands produce both light and dark roast coffees. This gives customers a choice, based on their preference.