The One Issue 12 - Does Dark Roast = Strong Coffee


Does Dark Roast = Strong Coffee?


I’ll take the darkest coffee you have. Black. I need the caffeine!” – Overheard countless times in coffee shops

The One Issue 12 (6/22/2020)

There is a common belief that strong coffee equals dark roasted coffee. Is this true? Let’s discuss.

Caffeine content is similar across roast levels
Caffeine remains stable throughout the coffee roasting process. However, light roasted coffee beans are denser than dark roasted beans. Light roasts may have more caffeine if measuring coffee with scoops, while dark roasts may have more caffeine if measuring coffee by weight. Regardless, the difference is not meaningful. A 2019 study concluded, “the HPLC data shows a minor increase of caffeine with negligible change in the final, darker roasted samples as the density decreases and bean count increases.”

Beware of “strongest coffee in the world” claims
The companies claiming to make the strongest coffee in the world use low-quality Robusta beans. There are two primary types of coffee beans: Robusta and Arabica. Robusta beans are harsh tasting and are commonly sold in a tin can. Every company that makes decent tasting coffee uses higher quality Arabica beans. Robusta beans have more caffeine but the trade-off is not worth it for those looking to enjoy their morning cup.

Why we chose a city+ roast (light-to-medium) for Charge
We used to always drink dark/french roasts when we were casual coffee drinkers. Probably more of an ego thing than anything else. As we started learning more about coffee we realized the flavors are more pronounced in light and medium roasts. This is great when drinking a premium bean like Charge. Not so great when drinking a cheap coffee bean, which is why many Big Coffee brands push dark roasts. The other benefit to lighter roasts is that they preserve more antioxidants. We found that a city+ roast (light-to-medium) was the perfect level, balancing taste and performance.

The standard 16:1 ratio (grams of water to grams of coffee) always gives me the Charge I am looking for. However, I would suggest increasing the amount of coffee for those looking to go full throttle on certain mornings.

Newsletter by Seth Jorde | seth@coppercoffee.com