Light Roast vs Dark Roast Coffee

When looking at coffee on the shelves or online in Australia, you will most likely come across two main categories of coffee: light roast and dark roast. While both types of roast are popular, they each have different properties that make them unique.

Light Roast

Light roasts are typically a pale blonde or light brown colour with a light body and acidic flavour notes. These coffees tend to have higher levels of caffeine and a more complex flavour profile. They are often described as bright and fruity, with berry or citrus notes depending on the bean used. Often, people who drink light roast coffee are looking for a lighter flavour and value the nuance that each origin can bring.

Dark Roast

On the other hand, dark roasts tend to be much darker in colour and have a heavier body than light roast coffees. The flavour notes can vary from caramel to chocolate to smoky. Dark roasts tend to have lower levels of caffeine than light roast coffees and a bolder flavour profile. The darker roasting process results in a more robust, full-bodied cup of coffee. People who drink dark roast coffee are often looking for the boldness and complexity of flavour that can only be achieved in a dark roast coffee.

No matter which type of coffee you choose, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the lighter, brighter flavours of a light roast coffee. Others appreciate the full-bodied depth and robustness that a dark roast coffee can provide. Whichever type of coffee you decide to drink, it’s important to remember that choosing quality beans and using the right brewing process for you.

The Roasting Process

So, what are the differences between light roast and dark roast coffee? The main difference lies in the roasting process. Light roast coffees are roasted for a shorter amount of time, usually between 30-45 minutes. This results in a lighter colour bean with a brighter flavour, lower acidity, and higher caffeine content. Dark roast coffees, on the other hand, are roasted for longer and at higher temperatures. As a result, you get a darker colour bean with a stronger and more intense flavour, increased acidity levels, and a lower caffeine content.

Taste Test

In terms of taste, light roast coffees tend to be brighter and more floral in flavour, while dark roast coffees are bolder and sometimes slightly smoky. It really comes down to personal preference as to which you enjoy more. If you’re looking for a bold, full-bodied coffee then dark roast is probably the way to go.


When it comes to the aroma of light vs dark roast coffee, light roasts tend to give off a more subtle and fruity smell, while dark roasts can have a stronger smoky scent.

Brewing Method

The type of coffee you use will also depend on the brewing method. For example, if you’re using a French press, light roast coffees may be the better option due to their more delicate notes. On the other hand, dark roast coffees will work better with espresso machines and Moka pots as they will bring out bolder flavours.

How do you choose between the two options? Well, coffee subscriptions are always a good option as they allow you to sample various roasts. Alternatively, if you’re looking for one particular type of coffee, then it’s important to think about what type of flavour you’re looking for. If you want something light, crisp and fruity, then a light roast is the way to go. If you’re looking for something bolder and more intense, then a dark roast is the way to go.

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