Light roast brown coffee beans in white cups on a wooden table top

8 Best Light Roast Coffee: Flavor and Caffeine Content Reviewed

September 1, 2021

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It’s true that in the world of coffee, the darker roasts have dominated the market for some time, but recently, the best light roast coffee brands are finally finding their way onto coffee shop menus and store shelves.

If you are a coffee fan, you have probably tasted the wonderful flavor notes of light roasts. Coffee connoisseurs often prefer a light roast to the conventional medium roast or dark roast. In this guide, you will find a list of the 8 best light roast coffee brands and a detailed review regarding their flavor and caffeine level.

Before starting this guide, let’s learn the basics of light roasting and why experts prefer this level of roasting over others.

What Is Light Roast Coffee?

As you know, the coffee roasting process is when the coffee beans go from being raw green beans to a brown color. The simplest and most evident way to identify the level of roasting is the shade of brown that the beans have acquired after the roasting process.

Light roasting refers specifically to roasting the beans until a light brown color and a matte surface are visible to the naked eye. This level of roasting stands out for preserving the natural characteristics that the coffee bean possesses. Being a coffee bean that has been exposed for a short time in the coffee roaster, it tends to conserve the natural properties of the original coffee bean. This is why light roasted coffee results in a beverage with a striking acidity, a mellow body, and an unequaled flavor.

Coffee experts have been fascinated by the interesting and unique flavors that this level of roasting brings to the beans. Different tasting notes and unexpected aromas can be found in a cup of light roast coffee. If you are someone who is used to consuming medium or dark roasted coffee beans, we highly recommend you try the light roasts that will provide you with a sensational experience.

Science and technology have advanced drastically in various aspects of human life, and the world of coffee is no exception. In the last 50 years, coffee production has modernized and improved to the point that it is no longer necessary to cover low-quality coffee with strong flavors.

Today coffee growers can monitor every step of the process and make adjustments that were unimaginable many years ago. New machinery has helped to have more accuracy in the temperature control of the roasters. As a result, coffee beans with higher quality and freshness are produced in greater quantities.

Flavors of Light Roast Coffee

The flavor that you can find in a light roasted coffee can be very unexpected if you are used to the bitter and slightly burnt taste of a dark coffee. The fruity and floral flavor that emerges in a cup of light roasted coffee is the result of the gentle roasting process that the beans have received. Thanks to the preservation of its natural flavors, you can enjoy its subtle taste and light body.

As you may have noticed, light roasted coffees are acquiring popularity among people because technology has allowed us to improve the quality of the coffee ending up in your cup. The natural flavors that can be tasted in a cup of light roasted coffee are an experience that, in the past, could not have been possible.

Combining light roasts with other flavors turns out to be very exciting since the result is unexpected. You can find a combination of fruity flavors, and at the same time, a sparkling acidity. You can experiment with flavors and combine them with creamy complements such as croissants, cheese scones, avocado toast, or a lunchtime snack.

Amount of Caffeine in Light Roasts

Light roasts do not contain significantly more caffeine than darker roast coffee beans. There is a notable caffeine difference, however, in the density of the coffee. When dark roasted coffee beans lose density, the beans increase in size during the roasting process.

If we measure the volume of light roasted coffee in a spoonful, there will be more coffee beans than a spoonful of dark roasted coffee, since they are smaller. Therefore, there is more caffeine in a spoonful of light roasted coffee than a spoonful of dark roasted beans. For more information on this see our post ‘What is the Strongest Coffee in The World’?

It is time to move on to the list of the 8 best light roasted coffees. With this guide, you will be able to find the best items that have already been selected with the best flavor and caffeine level you are looking for in a good cup of light roasted coffee.

The 8 Best Light Roast Coffee

1. Fresh Roasted Coffee

Fresh Roasted Coffee

Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Organic Ethiopian Sidamo is light roasted and unique. The flavors of this coffee stand out among other brands.  In these coffee beans you can identify hints of blueberry, a velvety finish, and a subtle earthy flavor. With a smooth body, fruity acidity, and bold sweetness, this is coffee that is as complex as it is bold. Since it is roasted to order, you can savor this magnificent brew with optimum freshness.

The Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC brand, founded in 2009, focuses on quality, freshness, and sustainability. Their coffee is organic, fair trade, and sustainably sourced. In an effort to decrease their carbon footprint, they use an eco-friendly roaster to prepare all of their coffee. Few coffee brands have sustainable roasting practices so in addition to its delicious taste, you can be sure that you are consuming a 100% sustainable product.

2. Peet’s Coffee K-Cup Pack

Peet Coffee K-Cup Pack

Premium coffees from Costa Rica and Kenya are combined in a sensational and delicious light roast. Its light, citrusy sweetness accompanied with Kenyan cassis make this light roast one of a kind. The blend is 100% Arabica bean coffee, kosher certified.

Peet’s commitment is to bring the best coffee to your home. That is why they hand roast coffee beans in small batches to achieve their characteristic flavor while maintaining the highest standards of freshness.

Peet’s Coffee has a long history of roasting excellent quality beans. The package contains a box of 10 capsules of light roasted coffee Aurora from Costa Rica that will give you a maximum experience in flavor, aroma, and body.

3. Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee’s Daybreak Morning Blend, despite being the most economical brand on our list, has a truly spectacular flavor in this light roast. Maybe the price will surprise you, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be giving up any flavor.

A light, bright, and spicy roast is a blend of American and East African beans. In a single cup of this delicious light roast, you’ll pick up floral flavors, some fruitiness, as well at a hint of caramel and nut. Like other light roasts, it’s as excellent cold brewed as it is hot.

Caribou Coffee beans are Rainforest Alliance certified, which means they are sustainably and ethically grown. The price of this coffee not only does not sacrifice quality and flavor, but it also does not sacrifice ethics. This brand offers superior quality beans that are roasted using the latest technology. Roasted in small batches and packed by hand in Minneapolis, these coffee beans are an excellent ethical and affordable option.

4. DOTA Costa Rican Whole Bean Coffee

DOTA Costa Rican Whole Bean Coffee

DOTA Costa Rican Whole Bean Tarrazu Coffee is a light roast coffee that has a remarkable full-bodied flavor with citrus and tropical flavors.

This coffee is highly aromatic and comes from the region of Tarrazu which produces wonderful coffees in its high altitudes. These delicate coffee beans come from the region of Costa Rica, whose crops are grown at elevations of over 5000 feet, with enriched soil and perfect temperatures. This makes for the best coffee beans grown in the region.

DOTA comes in whole coffee bean or ground form, making it adaptable to your preferences. It has a low acidity which allows you to have more benefits from the drip brewing methods so you can enjoy the various aromas of this light roast.

Just one sip of these light roasted beans and all your senses will be awakened.

This light roast has a superior bold flavor.

The packaging has a triple layer to preserve the freshness and flavor of the Arabica coffee beans. The brand also cares for and respects the environment as the beans of this light roasted coffee are processed in a carbon-neutral facility to help protect the environment.

5. Lion Coffee, Premium Gold Roast

Lion Coffee, Premium Gold Roast

Coffee from Kona, the big island of Hawaii, is renowned by coffee lovers, and Lion Coffee Premium Gold is a treasured favorite! The roast of these coffee beans is a delicious fusion of 10% Kona coffee blended with Arabica beans for a smooth and unforgettable blend.

This light roast, with sweet flavor notes and a creamy finish, is the perfect option for a coffee drinker who enjoy the flavors of a smooth coffee. Its golden roasted flavor and unparalleled coffee fragrance will magically transport you to warm exotic beaches.

Since 1864, the brand has been dedicated to producing a classic, flavored coffee. In 1979, LION moved to Hawaii to focus on the only beans grown in the United States, and today, LION Coffee is Hawaii’s favorite coffee brand.

If you have ever tasted Hawaiian coffees, you will know that the flavor is extra special and very unique. Hawaii produces many excellent light roast coffee options.

6. Copper Moon Guatemalan Antigua Blend

Copper Moon Guatemalan Antigua Blend

If you are one of those people who enjoys their coffee smooth and light, your taste buds will be greatly satisfied with this light roast! Start your day drinking a cup of coffee as tasty as it would be had you bought it in a specialty coffee shop.

Copper Moon brand produces and roasts small batches of coffee to obtain the best flavor and quality. It is great prepared both hot and cold since the smooth and clean taste allows you to add additional flavors. It all depends on your tastes and preferences. 

Craving a cold raspberry caramel macchiato at home? This lighter roast is the ideal way to put your creativity to the test! If your palate enjoys soft and smooth flavors, you’ll be really pleased with how good this coffee tastes and feels. The discreet cocoa flavor complements the fruity and herbal nuances very well. At the same time, there are slight hints of smokiness that melds with the earthy notes.

If you are used to dark roasts and want to experience the benefits and surprises of a light roast, we recommend starting with Cooper Moon. These beans taste best when freshly ground so we suggest using a good coffee grinder. If you use a French press or pour-over method, the flavors shine beautifully.

7. Black Rifle Coffee Ground

Black Rifle Coffee Ground

This light roast is perfect for any coffee lover. The light roast of these beans helps to bring out the sweet aromas, citrus notes, and a crisp finish. This is the classic American coffee.

No matter what type of grind you prefer, the Black Rifle Company offers the option of purchasing it whole or ground. These beans are roasted in the USA to provide you with the freshest and best quality coffee. They are made with beans from Colombia and Brazil. Whether you prefer to prepare your coffee in a French press, pour-over method, drip coffee machine, served hot, or cold, you will have an exquisite result and a high-quality coffee experience.

8. Organic Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Organic Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Every morning you can choose the greatness of an outstanding and flavorful coffee. Top Shelf Grind coffee is an elite coffee made with special-grade gourmet quality, combined with unmistakable smoothness for an unmatched coffee experience.

This light roast from Peru is USDA certified organic. This means that the brand must meet a series of stringent quality requirements before the beans are roasted. The high altitudes in this region are perfect for growing this superior quality brand of coffee.

Most people are unaware of the benefits that a cup of high-quality coffee can bring to their health. Top Shelf’s coffee is super rich in antioxidants and can give you the best vital boost to keep you in optimal physical and cognitive condition.

Buyer’s Guide

As we mentioned earlier, light roasted coffee beans are those beans that undergo a quick and gentle roasting process. This produces a beverage with natural flavors without adding any smoky or burnt taste to the coffee.

Remember that coffee roasted at a light roast level contains a greater amount of caffeine than a medium or dark roast, so for those looking for an extra kick, light roast is the way to go

Light Roast vs. Medium Roast and Dark Roast

Medium and dark roasts are coffee beans that are kept in the roaster longer resulting in a bean with a more intense brown tone. In light roasted beans, you will find fruity notes with a bit of a nutty and a baking spice aroma much more present than a medium roast or a dark roast.

Medium roast coffee has a lot of versatility in terms of preparation methods; however, it does not have the dynamic flavors that result from a light roast. This is why in the last few years coffee experts have been consuming and recommending light roasts since it is possible to perceive much more natural aromas and flavors from the beans.

FAQs

What is the taste of a light roast?

Light roasts usually have natural and slightly smoky flavors. They also tend to be floral with hints of milk chocolate. Light roasts are commonly used in blends to make flavored coffees even though these beans are already perfectly flavored naturally.

How is a light roasted coffee prepared?

The types of preparation recommended are those that help the flavors of a light roast stand out. Pour-over and French press are ideal modes of preparation to obtain the richest light roast coffee flavors.

Does light roast mean it’s a more health-conscious option?

In some ways, yes. Light roast coffees contain a greater number of antioxidants than their medium and dark roast cousins. They are also known to have an elevated level of chlorogenic acid which prevents cell damage and inflammation.

How to reduce the acidity of a light roast?

Preparing a light roasted coffee in cold water can help to balance the acidity in its flavor. By avoiding the beans’ contact with the hot water, less acidity is transmitted.

What is the difference between blonde roast and light roast coffee?

Blonde roast is a version of a light roast, but small differences can be distinguished between light roasts. However, there is no standardized classification for bean roasting levels in the coffee industry. The blond roast can vary considerably according to the roast in which it is processed.

Can I mix my coffee roasts?

Mixing your coffee roasts is not recommended.

Final Thought

If you are used to medium or dark roasts and want to experiment with the benefits and surprises of a light roast, we recommend starting with the Copper Moon. These beans taste best when freshly ground so we recommend you have a good coffee grinder. In addition, if you use a French press or pour-over method, the flavors shine through beautifully.

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