Light vs Dark Roasts

Light vs Dark Roast and Caffeine

  • Very little caffeine, if any, is lost in the roasting process
  • Fake News - darker roasts have more caffeine - People associate caffeine with flavor
  • Fake News - lighter roasts have more caffeine - People associate caffeine with bean size

Turns out that caffeine isn't really lost in a darker roast since coffee is not subjected to the temperatures that would cause the caffeine to diminish. When roasting, the longer a bean is held in the roaster, the darker in color, lighter in weight, and larger in size it becomes. Since a bean loses weight (mainly water) during roasting, its caffeine content by weight increases while its caffeine content by volume decreases. Dark-roast coffees measured by volume with a scoop actually contain fewer coffee beans due to their larger size, resulting in a weaker brew and less caffeine per cup than a light-roast coffee measured in the same manner. What does matter in making a cup of coffee is if you weigh the coffee going into your brew method. If you prepare your coffee by weight with a darker roast, you will use more beans and hence have more caffeine. If you just scoop your beans without weighing them, then a lighter roasted coffee will provide more caffeine as the beans are more dense. We always recommend weighing coffee during the brew process. Consistency is the key to comparing tastes and seeing what you like or not.

Read the very thorough article by Scribblers Coffee