It’s common to joke about taking coffee “black, like my soul.” It implies that the coffee is a dark roast, right? No, not necessarily. “Black coffee” means without cream, sugar, or any additives. That’s why, today, we’re going to talk about the best light roast coffee beans and how it’s not quite what everyone thinks it is.
Light roast flavours
Drinking a high-quality light roast is a unique experience. It’s nothing like your traditional cup of dark, diner coffee. The complex flavours and delicate mouthfeel can be surprising if you’ve only ever had darker roasts.
Light roast coffees are prized for having the most distinct flavours of any roast type. The gentler roasting process means these beans hold on to their natural characteristics.
You’ll often hear light roasts that taste sweet, fruity, floral, bright, acidic, or complex. You can expect specific tasting notes in a light roast, including honey, vanilla, berry, citrus, chamomile, and rose.
Light roasts tend to have a thinner body. It’s sometimes compared to tea in this regard. The flavours are also a bit more delicate than their darker counterparts.
The 10 best light roast coffees
1. Lifeboost light roast – Top choice
Lifeboost’s Light Roast is a delicate, exciting coffee that gently lets the drinker ease into the morning. All of Lifeboost’s coffee is grown in the mountains of Nicaragua, and the light roasting level will enable you to taste the unique flavours of this origin — like caramel, citrus, and chocolate. This coffee is Fair Trade, Organic, shade-grown, and pesticide-free. This is an opportunity worthy of strong consideration for the coffee drinker who cares about taste and the environment.
The downside of this bean is its price. Lifeboost is a gourmet coffee brand, and the prices reflect that. But if you have the budget, this is one of the best breakfast coffee blends out there right now.
All in all, we think this is the best light roast coffee on the market.
2. Cooper’s cask Ethiopian light roast – Top ground coffee pick
Our runner-up choice is a mild smooth blend with a slight fruity undertone. As a single-source coffee, you can trust that the Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian Light Roast beans have been carefully handled in a transparent process designed to maximize taste and flavour.
This tasty coffee is available in whole bean or a choice of four grind sizes (French press, drip, espresso, and Turkish), making it our pick for the best pre-ground option. You can expect a bright, lemony flavour with notes of honey and flowers. It’s also certified Fair Trade and Organic.
Not surprisingly, our best light roast ground coffee does come at a price. It’s one of the more expensive blends on our list relative to the quantity in the bag. Still, this coffee would be hard to beat if you value quality and would like to treat yourself to something special.
3. Café britt decaffeinated whole bean gourmet coffee – Top decaf pick
The Café Britt Decaffeinated blend will be a fantastic choice for those who like smooth, mild coffee. It’s a full bean product, so without a grinder, it’s effectively useless. However, with the proper equipment, you can enjoy uncommonly fresh coffee at a reasonable price.
These beans are carefully treated with a unique water filtration process that enhances the flavour while reducing the acidity factor. As a result, it is a perfect choice for drinkers with sensitive stomachs.
Some users are complaining about the quality of the packaging. We hear reports that the bag tears easily, which are something to be careful of.
4. Café don Pablo subtle earth organic gourmet coffee
For buyers who like to keep things natural, we have Café Don Pablo. This whole bean coffee is entirely organic. The two-pound bag is a little pricey but does give you the chance to stock up.
Many will appreciate the fact that they’ve bought in bulk after experiencing the rich flavour profile and the uncompromising freshness created by the double-sealed packaging.
Of course, as a full bean product, it’s another coffee that won’t be useful to buyers without a grinder. However, if you can get past that and the sticker price, you will find much to appreciate.
5. AmazonFresh just bright ground coffee
As the name suggests, this is an Amazon brand product. Amazon makes a wide variety of different things, usually giving consumers the chance to get good products at a great price. Such is the case here. AmazonFresh Just Bright light roast is a tasty, budget-friendly blend that’s optimal for buyers with a limited amount of money to spend on coffee.
This product is also a great opportunity to stock up. It should last the typical coffee consumer at least a few weeks because the bag weighs two pounds.
Is it as rich in flavour as some of our top choices? Not so much, but it is a good coffee if you need something tasty but simple daily.
6. Organic white knight light roast coffee
This is a great coffee for buyers who prioritize ethics when they purchase coffee. Being a “fair trade” manufacturer, Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC promises to pay everyone responsible for putting coffee in your cup a reasonable wage.
The White Knight Light Roast Coffee is rich in flavour and features a delightful undertone of cherry that does well to enhance the overall flavour profile.
As with any whole bean coffee on our list, it is important to remember that you won’t be able to use this product without a grinder. It is also more expensive than other options on our list. This is large because it comes from a fair-trade company.
7. Coffee over cardio birthday cake flavoured coffee
This is an excellent coffee for when you’d like to enhance your morning with a sense of occasion. The light roast blend features what the manufacturer classifies as a birthday cake-like flavour. What Coffee Over Cardio calls birthday cake, we might call sweet, smooth vanilla. In any case, it’s a delightfully delicate taste we don’t often see in the wide world of flavoured coffees.
Available at a moderate price, it’s worth trying if you’re looking to spice up the occasional morning with a unique cup of coffee. The actual cake flavour is subtle (some drinkers report not even noticing it), but to the enthusiast with a refined palate, it will be worth trying.
8. Fresh roasted coffee LLC Brazilian minas Gerais coffee
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC’s Brazilian Minas Gerais Coffee succeeds in two different but significant ways. The single-source coffee is roasted in environmentally friendly facilities to help ensure that the manufacturer has as small an impact on Mother Earth as possible.
In addition to allowing you to drink coffee in good conscience, it’s just tasty. The vibrant flavour is rich and smooth. It’s a very delicate cup of coffee that will suit those who favour a gentler introduction to their days.
We did find that the coffee is somewhat on the acidic side. This is often the case with light roast coffees, but it can be a little upsetting to those with sensitive stomachs.
9. Bulletproof luminate light roast coffee
Bulletproof Luminate makes several promises with each bag of coffee it sends out. First is a freshness guarantee. The company promises that its ground coffees are going to be as fresh as those of the whole bean variety, thanks to how it processes and packages the beans.
This is a tall order to fill, but we’ve found that it’s successful. Assuming you store the beans properly, you should find that they maintain a vibrant, full-bodied taste underscored by a delightfully aromatic scent.
The company also promises to produce healthy coffee, growing the beans organically and ensuring that they’re not exposed to any harmful moulds that can ruin the health factor.
The Bulletproof Luminate Light Roast is expensive, but it will be appreciated by those who are very particular about their coffee.
10. Hawaiian Kona coffee
The whole beans are carefully harvested in Hawaii and provide a bold taste that we felt resembled a dark roast more than a light. If you love a rich coffee flavour, this won’t necessarily be bad. However, if you’re hoping for something mild, this is not it.
The packaging is also a problem. The bag is very delicate and has been reported to break during delivery.
Light roast coffee vs Dark roast coffee
The light roast coffee vs dark roast coffee debate is still ongoing in the coffee world. Light roasts have a more acidic and fruity flavour, while dark roasts are more earthy and chocolatey. The beans are roasted for longer, so they lose moisture. Dark roasts are slightly less caffeinated compared to light roast coffee. Some people prefer lighter roasted coffees since it tastes brighter or lighter than darker roasted coffees. Others would rather have a darker roast due to its dense taste, which makes it perfect for iced coffee or other speciality drinks.
How to brew light roast coffee
Light roast coffee can be brewed just like any other coffee roast. There are a few extra considerations, including the size and grind of your beans, water temperature, and extraction time.
If you’re brewing the coffee with a pour-over, Chemex, or French press, then it’s recommended to grind your beans on a slightly more refined setting than you may use for darker roasts. The same goes for making a cold brew; a little more delicate will yield the best results when using lightly roasted coffee beans.
Creating light roast coffee beans
Roasting coffee is a process of heating and roasting green coffee beans. Different types of roasts reflect on the chemical and physical changes that happen to the beans as they’re roasted.
Light roasts coffee keeps its caffeine level and flavour within a defined temperature range. It is roasted to between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the coffee beans do not reach the second crack.
Beans go through several stages before they reach the first crack:
Green: is the first level where it retains its “virgin green essence”.
Yellow: A grassy smell will emit from the beans
Steam: The release of moisture and carbon dioxide
First Crack: cracks begin to emit from the end of the coffee bean, which is caused by expanding gases within the cell structure as it heats up, releasing energy. This is also known as the “Cinnamon Roast.”