Is it just us, or have we all be getting a bit comfier at home these days as we brew through the process of working from home and continuing to self-quarantine? At our home, we invested in a fancy French Press, some rich Italian coffee beans, and a nice milk frother to achieve that perfect barista-made microfoam feel.
At a Glance: Best Light Roast Coffee
It’s the little luxuries in life that make all the difference.
Speaking of luxuries, something we love to invest in is our coffee beans. Sure, equipment is nice and should always be taken into consideration, but the taste is something you can never skimp on. Light roast coffee is our latest obsession and we’re about to tell you why. If you like your coffee light then this article is for you.
Quick Summary: Best Light Roast Coffee Table
|Starbucks Blonde Light Roast Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
|Bulletproof Luminate Whole Bean Light Roast Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
|Wakey Wakey Gourmet Coffee Light Roast Beans||Check on Amazon →|
|Kicking Horse Coffee Light Roast||Check on Amazon →|
|Peet's Coffee Colombia Light Roast||Check on Amazon →|
|Cafe 1820 Tueste Claro Light Roast||Check on Amazon →|
|Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean||Check on Amazon →|
|Tiny Footprint Coffee Light Roast||Check on Amazon →|
|Cameron's Coffee Ground Bag||Check on Amazon →|
|Subtle Earth Organic Light Roast Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
A Few of our Favorites
Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast
Starbucks created this light blend to capture a broader audience when it came to a lighter taste. The bag itself is decorated with the tag “version 80” which pays homage to the fact that it took the well-known coffee chain 80 different tries to get it perfect.
It is a wash process coffee, meaning that the coffee cherries are de-pulped and then fermented. This promotes the separation of any remaining pectin that may still be stuck to the bean and parchment. Finally, they are washed clean prior to drying and roasting.
Flavor profile: Mellow with soft hints of cocoa and toasted nuts. Medium acidity and a very light body.
Bulletproof Luminate Whole Bean Coffee
If you read our latest article on organic coffee, this certified organic light roast coffee may be of interest to you. It is grown in the high altitude estates of Guatemala and Colombia and has taken over 10 years to perfect its process.
What we love about it:
- Sustainably washed
- Tested for toxins
- Good for Keto
- Rainforest alliance certified
- Bulletproof – hello healthy skin and all-day energy!
- Good for the environment
Flavor Profile: Stimulating notes of milk chocolate, orange, and citrus.
Wakey Wakey, Gourmet Coffee: Fresh Tarrazu Coffee By Perky Perky
This unique light roast coffee is made by women for women. Although we are sure men can enjoy its taste just the same. Don’t worry your secret is safe with us.
One thing we absolutely love about this brand is that it is craft roasted in Texas. So if you are American looking to buy American, this would be a great way to invest back into the economy while ensuring your daily cup of coffee.
Coming from Tarrazu, Costa Rica, this coffee offers the customization options of ground coffee, whole bean coffee, or K-cups, allowing you to choose the best fit for your daily lifestyle.
Flavor Profile: Smooth floral notes that are guaranteed never bitter.
Kicking Horse Coffee, Hola, Light Roast
If you are looking for another light roast organic coffee to test out, this sweet-smelling light roast coffee may be a great match for you.
Born near the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this is a brand with a lot of character. The Hola Light Roast’s beans come from Central and South American and support both fairtrade and sustainability.
It recommends its light roast coffee to be brewed using a pour-over, drip machine, or simply just cold brewed.
Flavor Profile: A body of cream and honey matched together with red fruit acidity.
Peet’s Coffee, Colombia Luminosa, Light Roast
This light roast coffee is on the more affordable end of the spectrum and comes from a well-known coffee chain in the US. Columbia Luminosa was Peet’s Coffee’s first-ever light roast coffee. The original recipe started with coffee beans that came from the Colombian highlands of the Huila region. However, they have since switched to, Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee.
Whether you are an experienced barista or just someone who knows you like coffee, the good people at Peet’s coffee have created a quiz for you to find your perfect blend and possibly give you further information on what you like. Click here to take the quiz now.
Peet’s coffee offers 5 different types of buying options from commercial brewer grinds to whole beans, making this a great option for both individuals with businesses and people who just want to use it at home.
Flavor Profile: Fruity citrus with undertones of smooth milk chocolate.
Cafe 1820 Tueste Claro Light Roast – Costa Rica Coffee
Although this is marketed as a light roast coffee, it could really fall a bit closer to a medium roast. If you are looking for something with a little more bite but still not too acidic, this would be a great match for you.
Despite a more robust taste for a light roast coffee, something that sets Cafe 1829 apart, is that it uses coffees from 8 different coffee production areas in Costa Rica. It’s known for its softly sweet aroma and is considered one of the best coffees in Costa Rica by many.
Flavor Profile: A brew that sings of citrus acidity and red fruit flavor.
Real Good Coffee Co. Breakfast Blend Light Roast
This coffee comes with a built-in ziplock seal, making it easier to lock in its fresh taste for longer than other brands without a strong seal. Their company also seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to customer service. Not only did we find super attentive responses to customer questions, but we also loved their zero questions asked satisfaction guarantee.
What we also like about it:
- It comes in a resealable 2 lb bag.
- It’s one of the more economic choices on the market.
- Always free shipping.
Flavor Profile: A quick hint of citrus and paired with smooth aromatic notes of milk chocolate and cream.
Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Light Roast Signature Blend
With global warming and climate change being at the forefront of our minds, this brand offers an eco-friendly option that is good for both you and the environment.
How did this company create the first carbon-negative coffee? It takes 4 lbs of CO2 to produce and distribute 1 lb of Tiny Footprint’s coffee. For every pound that’s sold, Tiny Footprint donates a portion of its proceeds to fund reforestation in Ecuador’s Mindo cloud forest. Over time, the reforested area will remove 54 lbs of CO2 from the atmosphere.
While it doesn’t come with an airtight seal, all packages are shipped in compostable kraft paper bags.
Flavor Profile: The essence of bright lemon and orange finished off with a gentle touch of cocoa.
Cameron’s Coffee Breakfast Blend
Coming at us with a variety of light roast coffee blends, Cameron’s coffee has everything from a Breakfast Blend to an Organic French Roast, Vanilla Hazelnut, and even a toasted Southern Pecan roast.
What sets this company apart? They roast all of their coffee beans in small batches in European style roasters. Cameron’s also uses a special cooling process to cool the beans once they’ve reached their optimum roast. Their Breakfast Blend is particularly popular with their repeat customers for its smooth taste and delicious smell.
Something we love: They also offer eco pods that don’t involve any plastic waste.
Flavor Profile: Paired with a fruity aroma, it also boasts keynotes of nuts and light cinnamon.
Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Coffee Light Roast
With options for 2 lb. or 5 lb resealable bags, this USDA Organic grade coffee is GMO-free and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
What we don’t love: Despite the extensive information written on Amazon.com, there isn’t a lot of detailed information on their website. There are also several 1 minute YouTube videos with robotic voice reviews that seem to cheapen an otherwise nicely-created and well-received brand.
Flavor Profile: Rich and chocolaty with a velvety body, notes of honey and caramel, and low acidity.
All this coffee talk has us craving a good cup of coffee, but we will let you be the judges of who makes the best light roast coffee for your early mornings.
What Else You Need to Know
With that being said, informed decisions are always the best decisions. So let’s learn a little more about light roast coffee. What makes it the best coffee for some? How does the coffee roast affect the overall taste of the best light roast coffee? The difference between light roast and dark roast? And much much more.
Is light roast coffee less bitter?
As you know from our article on the Difference between Arabica coffee beans and Robusta Coffee beans, Arabica beans have a reputation for being the least bitter of the two.
Because of the way the lightly roasted beans are roasted, lighter roasted beans are usually less bitter than the more darkly roasted beans. However, it is not simply the roast that affects both the taste and the bitterness of the bean.
Of course, time and temperature are huge factors in the final product of your taste, but there are also other factors like the cleanliness of the brewing equipment used, the quality of your beans and how they were grown and prepared, the coffee-to-water ratio, and even the grind size could all change the taste of your drink.
Light Roast vs. Dark Roast
If you are new to the game of learning about great coffee, let’s go over some of the basics.
What’s the difference between light roast and dark roast coffee? Well, obviously the roast. Darkly roasted beans are left in the roaster much longer than lightly roasted beans. But do you know how this affects the actual bean? We’ll tell you.
When heating coffee beans, you are forcing all of the water and the moisture to come out. Coffee beans that are more lightly roasted will inevitably have more moisture stuck inside, making it denser than a dark roast coffee that has been left on the heat, thus forcing any excess moisture to evaporate.
Light roast coffee:
- It’s more caffeinated.
- Thinner in the body.
- More fruit-forward, herbal, and delicate flavors.
- Higher in acid, also referred to as brightness, but not actually chemically acidic.
- More complex in flavor.
Dark roast coffee:
- It’s less caffeinated.
- Fuller in the body.
- It carries a bolder, more straight-forward flavor.
- One-dimensional in flavor.
For more information and a deeper understanding of the difference between light roast coffee and dark roast coffee, check out this article by our friends at Bon Appetit.
Is Light Roast Coffee the Strongest?
It sounds like kind of an oxymoron, doesn’t it? “Light” roast being “strong”? Wouldn’t you assume it’s weak? Not quite. Based on the information discussed above, you know that lighter coffee is both denser and more caffeinated than dark roast coffee.
If you’re not a lightweight when it comes to coffee and you’re looking for more of a challenge, check out our article on the strongest coffee in the world
Is Blonde Coffee the Same as Light Roast?
Blonde coffee is a term that has popped up over the last decade or so. But is it the same as light roast coffee beans? The simple answer to this question is yes and no. It depends on how the coffee beans are roasted and made. At times, a blonde roast can be the lightest of the light. Meaning that it was roasted somewhere between 356-401°F and has a high level of brightness, otherwise known as acidity.
Other popular coffee brands, such as Starbucks, leave their beans in the roaster a bit longer. This places their blonde beans at more of a medium roast rather than a light roast.
Since there isn’t a standardized coffee bean roast chart in the coffee industry to describe each individual level of roast, it’s important to check the brands you like and usually buy from in order to see how they roast your favorite coffee beans.
How to Roast the Best Light Coffee
Watching this video on the roasting process of light roast coffee, you can almost smell the coffee beans through your computer screen. It is simply delicious.
If you don’t have a fancy-schmancy coffee roaster at home, there are even tips for home cooks who want to try out roasting coffee beans on their own home stoves.
If you are already familiar with how to roast coffee beans, tune into 5:20 to learn more about the different types of roasted coffee beans.
First vs. Second Crack
Preparation and planning are the keys to the best light roast coffee. Roasting for somewhere between 9-10.5 minutes is the sweet spot in terms of hearing that first crack.
What is a crack you might ask? A crack is when a coffee bean becomes edible. Coffee beans are roasted to either the first crack or the second crack. A first crack is what defines a light roast coffee bean. Second cracks mean that the beans have been roasted to either a medium or dark roast level.
Is Light Roast Coffee Healthier than Dark Roast?
According to the Journal of Medicine, light roast coffee contains higher concentrations of chlorogenic acid and more antioxidants than dark roasts coffee.
Why is this important?
Well most of us already know that antioxidants are full of antiaging properties. But chlorogenic acid is equally important because it helps fight against inflammation and cell damage.
No matter the type of coffee you are drinking, there are undoubtedly several health benefits you can receive from your daily cup, but in this case, lighter may be better.
Is Light Roast Coffee a Good Match for the French Press?
Being massive fans of the good ole French press, this is a tricky one. It seems that beans of a more medium or darker roast match the French press better than lighter coffee roasts.
Why is this?
The heating process for medium and darker roasts allows the beans to retain most of their oils. These oils really sing when using this fine mechanism and make for some really good coffee.
Whole Bean vs. Ground Coffee
Which is better?
Let’s be real, ground coffee has its perks and conveniences. Being able to skip that extra step in the morning can really add some time to your much-needed REM sleep cycle. Not to mention being able to avoid the jarring sound of whole beans in a coffee grinder first thing out of bed.
On the other hand, a true coffee aficionado might argue that the extra time spent on grinding whole coffee beans is more than made up for in freshness and taste. We’ll leave it to you to decide which one you value more, the fresh taste of whole beans? More sleep? The struggle is real.
This one is easy to forget when investing in either ground coffee or whole bean coffee. The way coffee is roasted plays a huge part in the taste of the flavors that come out of the beans. Packaging plays an even more important role in keeping your roasted coffee fresh.
Exposure to air can mean the difference between a longer shelf life of your coffee and the taste turning stale before you know it.
If you’re interested in the best way to store your light roasted coffee, or any whole bean or ground coffee, you can read more about the Design Science of Coffee Bean Packaging from the good people at Food Crumbles.
The Best Light Roast Coffee Brands
When we say the word “best,” we take into consideration that best is relative to everyone involved. Only you can decide what brand of beans truly fits you and your lifestyle. But we are always here to help, and we have found this video by Hot Shots on the top 5 coffee brands. After all, the more you know the better decision you can make in choosing what works best for you.
What we love about this video, is that straight off the bat the host goes over how they went about their research in finding the most popular coffee brands. They also cover the taste-testing process they do on each of these 5 coffee brands with both black coffee and also with cream added. Check it out for even further tips on how you can find the best light roast coffee brand and coffee beans to meet your needs.
Don’t have time to sift through a YouTube video? No worries, here’s the cliff notes version:
Although not all of the brands mentioned in the video above offer light roast coffee beans, 3 our of the 5 do. Here are some you may want to give a try:
- Intelligensia – House Blend – Light roast
- JB Coffee – Woodstock Blend – Light Coffee
- BulletProof coffee – Luminate – Light Roast
If you are looking for roasted coffee that has the perfect balance of depth and flavor, Coffee Bros would also be a great brand to check out. Their Ethiopian and Colombian light roast blend includes floral notes of honey and citrus that pack a powerful punch of flavor into each sip of coffee.
Q: What does light roast coffee taste like?
A: Due to its roasting process, light roast coffee has a more complex taste that leaves you with a thinner body and higher points of acid. You can also count on a less bitter taste and more notes of citrus, fruit, or berries. Depending on the origin of the bean, you may also taste hints of floral notes, wine, or even an earthy moss flavor.
Q: How do you light roast coffee beans?
A: Make sure you are prepared for the entire roasting process. Even if you are roasting your whole bean coffee on a frying pan at home, try to delay the color change of your coffee beans for at least 4-5 minutes. Slowly develop the color of each bean. Use the colors as your queue and then cool your beans as soon as possible. The final step is of course the taste test. Pro tip: It’s a good idea to keep a running log of your successes and failure to develop your personal best light roast coffee.
Q: Why is light roast coffee better for you? –
When it comes to health benefits, lightly roasted coffee contains a higher content of caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and antioxidants than dark roast coffees. Due to the higher levels of heat during the roasting process, these benefits are either burned off or significantly reduced when roasted to a darker coffee level.
Though there are hundreds of brands out there that sell a seemingly endless selection of light roast coffees, you will be the ultimate decision-maker on what good coffee is and isn’t. Light roasted, dark roasted, whole bean coffee or ground coffee, it’s all up to you.
If you like your coffee light, you’ve got options.
From our perspective, both Real Good Coffee Co. Breakfast Blend Light Roast and Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Light Roast Signature Blend are the best light roast coffees out there. Real Good Coffee for its stellar packaging, economic price, and smooth hints of citrus and creamy milk chocolate. And Tiny Footprint for their organic whole bean coffee, their positive impact on the environment, and their bright lemon and orange flavors finished off with a hint of cocoa. What can we say? We are suckers for chocolate.
If you’d like to try these brands, you can find Real Good Coffee Co. here and Tiny Footprint Coffee here. In case Tiny Footprint’s light roast ground coffee is out of your price range, we suggest looking at their cold brew elixir, medium roast, or even dark roast at nearly half the price. If you are a die-hard fan of lightly roasted coffee, a similar and more affordable whole bean coffee is Bulletproof Luminate Whole Bean Coffee, which can be found here.