Friday, September 25, 2020

Does Dark Roast coffee have more Caffeine?


All those who love their coffee must have noticed how some coffee tastes different than others. Some tastes like dark chocolate or roasted almonds, while others taste plain dark and deep. Some have a fruity and bright flavour in comparison to some that taste like green tea. When it comes to talking and drinking coffee, there are a lot of flavours to speak about.


However, my reason for raising the flavour issues was not to discuss how different coffee flavours are, but why does coffee have different tastes.


The reason for the difference in coffee tastes is not generally because of the climate or conditions under which coffee is grown or for that matter the origin of the coffee beans (Which sometimes do play a part in flavour though) but because of the way coffee beans are roasted. That pronounced flavour is primarily determined by how intensively the coffee beans were roasted. The light or dark roasting of the beans determine how the coffee that you intake shall taste.


Dark and Light roasted coffee beans:


Like any other cooking procedure, coffee beans are roasted to remove the water and moisture out of the bean by force through the process of evaporation.


Lightly roasted coffee beans are denser as they are not roasted to the extent that like dark roasted coffee beans. In light roasting, the beans are left with some moisture in them. Since these coffee beans are denser, they will have more caffeine, more acids and more herbal flavours. (One point to note here that acid is not the typical chemical acid but the brightness of the light roasted coffee which is also referred to as “acid”)


In contrast, all moisture and water are sucked out from the coffee bean in the dark roasted procedure. The beans stay longer on the roasting machine and at a higher temperature and hence it makes them less caffeinated, less dense and straighter note in flavours.


What affects the caffeine content in a drink?


Whenever we drink coffee, caffeine is always on our mind. We tend to think that the degree of caffeine in your coffee decides the taste of the drink. It is indeed correct however the degree of caffeine is often decided by -


How has your coffee been roasted - Whether it is light roasted, medium roasted or dark roasted.


The type of coffee that has been used - There are two species of coffee plants that give us coffee seeds: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is the most common type of coffee, with more than 75 percent of coffee produced across the world. Robusta, on the other hand, is less known and used primarily in instant coffee.


The method of brewing - The caffeine extraction also depends on the brewing of your coffee. While espresso and cold brew will have less caffeine, French press, instant, drip and brewed coffee extract more caffeine.


Since roasting coffee beans is a prime decider on the caffeine extraction in a coffee drink, and we are also aware that roasting could be light, medium or dark, with light roast and dark roast more popular, let us now learn if dark roasted coffee beans have more caffeine or not.


Does Dark Roast Coffee have more Caffeine?


The answer is No.


The caffeine content in dark roast coffee is not more than Light roasted coffee beans. Research shows that if you were to test both the varieties of coffee beans by their volume, then light roasted coffee would show more caffeine content. However, on testing both the coffee bean by weight, the caffeine content in Light roast and dark roast coffee beans were similar.


The primary reason for dark roasted coffee beans having less caffeine than light roasted beans is that the dark roasting of the coffee beans happens till such time all the water and moisture content of the beans are removed. Thus, making the beans fluffier and with less caffeine content.


Caffeine is more or less stable across all roasts. However, dark roast coffee beans are less dense than light roast coffee beans, and that is what makes the difference in your coffee.


The last word


The amount of caffeine in your coffee is decided by the amount of coffee used while you are brewing it. Some might think that dark roast is stronger and hence would have more caffeine. But the truth is, if you think you need more caffeine in your drink then simply brew more coffee irrespective of the light or dark roasted coffee beans.


  1. Thank you for this very enlightening article! Now I know why my husband can sleep after espresso!🐱


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