Best Light Roast Coffee to Buy in 2021

Have you noticed that light roasted coffee beans become quite popular in recent time? Because we certainly have! A lot of our friends started to mention how much they got hooked on this type of roast, and we saw quite a lot of people purchase a light-roast coffee in markets. What is it all about? Is light roast coffee really that good? Well, as it turns out… yes. 

Just out of curiosity, we’ve decided to do some research and found out that the reason so many prefer light roast is because it preserves the original flavor of the coffee beans. It also reveals the subtle flavors of flowers, fruits, and berries in your drink. Additionally, the caffeine content in light roast coffee is slightly higher compared to the dark variation because it’s roasted for a lesser amount of time.

So we’ve decided to give it a try and try some of the best light roast coffee. However, what makes it the best? What brand to go with? That is a bit more challenging, given how many brands there are. Thus, our research continued in hopes that we can find the best light roasted beans and how to choose a good option!

Top 10 Best Light Roast Coffee Brands: Comparison Table

Brand Type Origin Taste Notes Volume
Kicking Horse Coffee Ground Central & South America Red currant, creamy 10 oz
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters K-Cups n/a Nutty 12 pods
Café Don Pablo Whole beans Honduras Chocolatey 2 lbs
Starbucks Ground Latin America Toasted malt, baking chocolate 28 oz
Coffee Bros Whole beans Keffa, Ethiopia; Nariño, Colombia Honey, citruses, floral 12 oz
Caribou Coffee Ground n/a Fruity, caramelm nutty 20 oz
Real Good Coffee Company Whole beans Central & South America Citrus, milk chocolate, cream 2 lbs
Cameron’s Coffee Ground n/a Fruity 12 oz
Lavazza Whole beans Africa, Central & South America Honey, malt, chocolate 2.2 lbs
Black Rifle Coffee Company Ground Brazil & Colombia Citrus 12 oz

Why Do We Roast Coffee?

Roasting draws out the flavor and aroma inside the green coffee beans. It also removes any moisture that might be present inside the beans. The roasting process also causes a chemical change inside the beans as they are rapidly roasted at extremely high temperatures. 

Basically, when the roasted beans reach their peak of perfection, they are removed from the heat and quickly cooled down. Once the coffee beans are roasted and ready, they can be grounded and brewed into some delicious coffee.

What is Light Roast Coffee?

In coffee terminology, roasts are defined by something called “cracks.” Freshly-picked coffee beans are soft and green, and roasting helps in hardening them and giving them that delicious taste many people love. And while making our light roast coffee reviews, we’ve found out that the coffee beans that are removed from the heating source before reaching the first crack make some of the best-tasting light roast coffee.

Now, most light roast coffee beans are lightweight and have an oil-free exterior. Moreover, the best quality coffee beans are usually from light-yellowish to light brown in color. These beans experience an incomplete roasting process which helps retain their natural flavors and caffeine content. Basically, the beans stay more “raw.”

Types of Light Roasting

There are several different variations of light roasting:

  • Scandinavian roast: Also known as the cinnamon roast, this is the lightest type of roast. Here the roasted beans give out an aroma similar to freshly baked bread. The coffee beans are light in color and produce more weaker coffee, with a delicate taste and noticeable acidity.
  • American/New England roast: The American roast refers to the process where coffee beans are roasted until their first crack. Then the roasting process stops at a point where the natural oil inside a coffee bean just starts flowing out. The exterior of the beans glisten and become light brown in color.
  • City roast: Here the beans continue to roast even after the first crack, but the process is stopped just before the second. This generates slightly darker colored beans (light brown/yellowish) with a pronounced aroma. However, the coffee made from these beans is still quite saturated and has a slight acidity.

What Does Light Roast Coffee Taste Like?

In general, light roasted coffee:

  • Is neither too strong nor saturated
  • Possesses a slightly acidic taste
  • Has a grassy, fruit-like, or berry-flavored undertones

Light Roast Vs Dark Roast Coffee

Light Roast Dark Roast
The beans have a coarse appearance and light-brown in color The beans have a glossy and polished exterior surface
It has a slightly acidic taste Tastes sweet but has bitter undertones
Used for making weak coffee that has subtle grassy or fruity flavors Used for making intense coffee and coffee-related desserts

Is Light Roast Healthier Than Dark Roast?

While dark roast coffee is quite delicious and remains the most common type, mild roast coffee is still a bit healthier. That’s because:

Which Coffee Is Stronger – Light or Dark Roast?

Generally, one cup of coffee (8 fl oz) contains about 96 mg of caffeine.  Now, the light roast beans are smaller in size as they spend less time in contact with heat. Thus it produces more coffee in a single serving, giving you a slightly higher caffeine content in one cup. 

And dark roasted beans, because of their sheer volume, has a lesser caffeine content per serving. So, in general, light roast coffee has about 60% more caffeine than dark roast.

Light Roast vs Medium Roast Coffee

Light Roast Medium Roast
Light roast produces slightly light colored coffee beans with coarse texture Medium roast produces slightly darker colored coffee beans
The beans have a fruity flavor with light aroma and slight acidity The beans have a balanced flavor with a pronounced aroma and optimal acidity

Is There Such Thing as Light Roast Espresso?

Technically, you can use any roast to make your espresso. However, using just any roast might not be such a good idea. Take, for instance, the most popular coffee drink – espresso. 

Usually, coffee made with light roast beans for espresso will make your drink a bit bland. It will not have that same velvety and rich taste this drink usually does. Thus it’s better to choose medium or medium-dark roast if you want an authentic, delicious espresso.

How to Choose the Best Light Roast Coffee?

Now let’s take a look at what you need to pay attention to in order to choose only the best light roast coffee:

Origin

The origin and type of a coffee bean perform a key role in creating the flavor of the beans. When a bag of coffee beans consists of beans cultivated from a single source, it is known as single-origin. And a combination of beans from several regions is called a blend.

Different regions in the world cultivate various coffee plants that grow best in their climate and soil. For instance, Ethiopia is known for its wide variety of Arabica. Brazil produces bourbon varietals and Hawaiian islands known for their Typica varietal. So while choosing light roasted coffee brands, make sure to check the region from where it is produced.

Also, consider the type! For instance, Arabica beans produce the best mild coffee. Thus, they would be an excellent choice if you prefer less bitter and acidic drink. 

Cultivated Coffee Plant

You can also choose your ideal light roast depending on the cultivated coffee plant. Because Latin Ethiopia Arabica beans used for making light roast coffee will taste different from the ones in Europe. The former has a fruity taste, while the latter has a more decadent aroma.

Processing Method

The processing method is very important, as it can alter and affect the taste and aroma of coffee. 

Mainly there are 3 different ways that are used in processing coffee beans:

  1. Natural
  2. Washed
  3. Semi-washed

While creating our light roast coffee reviews, we’ve also found out that if you want to retain the taste and flavor of your light roast, it’s best to opt for naturally processed coffee beans. 

Certifications

 

While looking for the best coffee beans, you also need to check out their certifications and make sure they have one or a couple of the following:

Organic

In the United States, coffee-related products receive the USDA-certified Organic label only when they were grown using organic farming methods that benefit the ecosystem. Thus it’s good to look for an organic light roast coffee, as it would be great not only for you but also for environment.

Fair Trade

Fairtrade practices are also sometimes referred to as “Ethically sourced” or “direct trade”. This is another American certification that makes sure that coffee production sticks to social, economic, and environmental standards.

Kosher

Kosher describes food items that comply with the strict dietary criteria of classical Jewish law. Light roasted beans that abide by the Kosher standards contain no additives and are produced using natural processing practices.

Rainforest Alliance  

This certification takes into account the community development and the biodiversity conservation involved in the production process. Thus, the best light roast coffee with a Rainforest Alliance label means that the product is natural and was sourced according to the Forrest Management Certification.

Bean Type

Light roasted beans taste the best when they have been freshly grounded. It also gives them a better aroma and rich texture. Moreover, compared to Robusta, people prefer Arabica beans for making light roast coffee. The reason is simple – Arabicas constitute three-quarters of the current commercial crops. It has a pronounced acidity and has a smooth, sweet taste, with sugary, fruity or berrylike undertones.  On the other hand, Robusta constitutes harsher beans with a grain-like flavour and a nutty finish. Therefore, it works great for making instant coffee but is not suitable for creating a light roast. 

Conclusion  

And that’s all we wanted to share with you about the best light roast coffee! All and all, if you want to enjoy an energized and lively morning, then try to switch your regular dark coffee to light roast coffee. It will charge your body with antioxidants and provide you with sufficient caffeine to keep you attentive. Moreover, a light roast coffee is easily digestible and should not upset your stomach. 

Thus, pay special attention to the labels on the package, as well as the processing method, and we have no doubt that you’ll choose only the best light roast coffee 2021!

So how about it? – Have you ever tried light roast coffee before? How did you like it?

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