Buying Guides

The Best Dark Roast K-Cups

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Are you crazy about Keurig coffee? Then the best, most delicious dark roast k-cups are a must-have! There are many reasons to enjoy a succulent, savory dark roast cup of joe in the morning, and if you’re a Keurig brewer, enjoying your delicious dark roast is even easier. 

With just a push of a button, your  Keurig will perfectly brew a cup of dark roast coffee for you. But what are the best dark roasts to choose from? There are so many different dark roasts out there, but there are only a few that are delicious enough to deserve to make it from the shelf in the store to your favorite mug at home.

At A Glance: Best Dark Roast K-Cups

The Deets About Dark Roast Coffee

Ask any coffee addict and they’ll give you a variety of different reasons to join the dark side. They are often very bold, rich in flavor, and embody a silky-smooth texture to sip on. Their succulent, savory characteristics account for a variety of different kinds of coffee, from french roasts, cold brews, and espresso roasts. If lighter roasts are ideal for flavors like fruity citrus and nuttiness, then you can expect general flavors like chocolate, caramel, spice, and earthy tones for darker roasts.

In addition to this, dark roast coffee is a rich source of antioxidants that many people enjoy because they aid in fighting free radicals. Some of these include riboflavin, an important vitamin that contributes to healthy cell growth and production, as well as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) which helps to convert digested food into energy.

Quick Summary: Best Dark Roast K-Cups

Emeril's Big Easy Bold, K-Cup for Keurig Brewers, 24 Count (Pack of 2)EMERIL COFFEE KEURIG SINGLE-SERVE K-CUPCheck on Amazon →
rc2-table__imageWANDERING BEAR DARK ROAST K-CUPSUSE ROASTY20 - GET 20% OFF →
Dunkin Donuts K-cups Dark Roast - 24 Kcups for Use in Keurig Coffee BrewersDUNKIN DONUTS DARK ROAST K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →
SF Bay Coffee French Roast, Dark Roast Compostable Coffee Pods, K Cup Compatible including Keurig 2.0, 36 CountSAN FRANCISCO BAY FRENCH ROAST K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →
Starbucks Dark Roast K-Cup Coffee Pods — Italian Roast for Keurig Brewers — 6 boxes (60 pods total)STARBUCKS ITALIAN DARK ROAST K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →
Community Coffee Signature Blend Dark Roast Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Pods, Box of 72 PodsCOMMUNITY COFFEE SIGNATURE BLEND K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →
Koffee Kult Premium Dark Roast Coffee Single Serve coffee cups in pods for Keurig 2.0 coffee brewers- 12 countKOFFEE KULT DARK ROAST K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →
DEATH WISH Death Cups [10 Count] Single Serve Coffee Pods, World’s Strongest Coffee, Dark Roast, Capsule Cup, USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Arabica and Robusta BeansDEATH WISH DARK ROAST K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →
Tim Hortons Dark Roast Coffee, Single-Serve K-Cup Pods Compatible with Keurig Brewers, 80ct K-CupsTIM HORTON’S DARK ROAST K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →
Peet’s Coffee Decaf House Blend K-Cup Coffee Pods for Keurig Brewers, Dark Roast, 60 PodsPEET’S DECAF DARK ROAST K-CUPSCheck on Amazon →

Decorating and Brewing Dark Roast Coffees

Many coffee drinkers tend to drift towards darker roasts because when it comes to the roasting process, it’s easier to implement additional natural or artificial flavors or sweeteners. Rarely will you find a lightly roasted coffee that is flavored with pumpkin spice, hazelnut, or mocha. Most of the time, these roasts will be darker because the longer roasting process diminishes the authentic flavor of the beans and holds onto the flavor that’s created during the roasting process itself.

When it comes to brewing, we recommend brewing methods that will help you amplify and coax out the roasting flavors inside of the coffee grounds. Darkly roasted coffee beans are often more robust and oilier than their lightly roasted counterparts, so the brewing method will help you to accurately extract the flavors in the beans. Some of the popular brewing methods are the french press, cold brewing, and even espresso brewing!

The Best Dark Roast K-Cups

Emeril Coffee Keurig Single-Serve K-Cup

At the top of our list, Emeril’s Dark Roast K-Cups are just a jewel in the crown of culinary genius, chef, restaurateur, and nationally renowned TV personality Emeril Lagassé. Though the majority of his skillset lies in his years of professional culinary experience and restaurant locations in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Miramar Beach, Orlando, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Emeril’s Big Easy K-Cups are filled with rich flavor that reflects the spunkiness and savory flavor in cajun/creole New Orleans cuisine. With smooth, smokey earth tones and sweet cocoa flavors in each sip, Emeril’s Coffee is roasted to perfection –upholding the reputation of quality that Emeril is known for. You can expect a savory amount of flavor in each cup, in fact, you can enjoy it as a simple cup of black coffee–or add a little razzle-dazzle with cream and sugar!

Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Coffee Pods

Wandering Bear
Wandering Bear Dark Roast K-Cups
Our rating:

With a little extra boost of caffeine packed in and the slightly sweet flavor, these organic dark roast K-cups are hard to beat.

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Treat yourself to a bold cup of coffee, and use Wandering Bear’s organic pods to do it. We think you’ll really enjoy this dark roast variety for a couple of reasons, the first being that the way the joe’s intense flavor and high caffeine level (with 250 milligrams of the stuff per cup) hit you on an early, groggy morning feels like magic. 

The second reason we think you’ll love brewing these recyclable K-Cup pods is that it leaves no bitter aftertaste in your mouth once you’ve finished your cup. And our last, but certainly not least, reason for adding this product to our list of dark roast options is because it has hints of chocolate and caramel that give it a sweeter taste — no creamer and sugar necessary. 

Dunkin Donuts Dark Roast K-Cups

On Sale

America runs on it, and it’s one of the first coffee chains to make its debut in the United States. One of the best, most original coffee brands to choose from, Dunkin is known for roasting and brewing some of the most delicious coffee made out of 100% arabica beans.

Dunkin’s Dark Roast is similar to the medium roast, yet with deeper, richer notes of flavor. Certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, Dunkin’s Dark Roast has flavors that are sweet, smoky, and silky-smooth in texture. We recommend this K-Cup roast for those who really enjoy a dark roast that’s packed to the brim with a deep, dark, sweeter black cup of coffee.

San Francisco Bay French Roast K-Cups

French roasts are a kind of gourmet coffee that’s cherished by coffee lovers not only in France but everywhere else too! A difficult roasting technique to master, San Francisco Bay has perfected it with their French Roast K-Cups. With each sip, you can expect savory flavors of sweet chocolate, spicy cinnamon, and a luscious smokey finish. Also–they also offer a decaf version!

Before the roasting process even begins, San Francisco grows their beans under the shade of mountain shadows in Central and South America. As a result, the amount of acidity in the coffee diminishes, making it easier on the stomach. In addition, San Francisco Bay also packages its coffee in a kind of compostable, environmentally-friendly K-Cup that’s mostly made of a filter-like material instead of a solid plastic casing.

Starbucks Italian Dark Roast K-Cups

On Sale

For all the recommendations of delicious dark roast coffee out there–a delectable Italian roast is a MUST. One of the giants of the coffee industry, Starbucks’s Italian Roast is a flavor-filled, mouthwatering roast that will satisfy your deepest coffee cravings.

With notes of subtle smoky undertones and caramelized sugar, Starbucks crafts this roast using 100% arabica beans. The roasting technique is carefully crafted and well-balanced to ensure that this roast is darker than Starbucks’s espresso roast, but also lacks the overwhelming smoky flavors of the french roast.

Community Coffee Signature Blend K-Cups

A classic and favorite of the local coffee industry in Louisiana, Community Coffee is a Baton Rouge-based coffee company that’s been crafting gourmet coffee with a southern twist ever since its debut in 1919. Known for their rich, bold, locally inspired flavors, Community Coffee has been roasting some of the best dark roast coffee to cure southerners’ cravings for over 100 years now. The Signature Blend consists of arabica beans that have been roasted to perfection while embodying flavors like decadent dark chocolate.

Community Coffee believes that–as its name implies–the community is an important factor of life, and what brings people together better than coffee? Sourcing its beans from companies that support military service members, local schools and educational programs, and much more.

Koffee Kult Dark Roast K-Cups

Koffee Kult roasts their coffee in smaller batches to ensure that the taste in every batch of beans each batch is roasted to highlight the unique, intricate flavors within the beans. It’s this strategy that makes the Koffee Kult’s Dark Roast K-cups so succulent and delicious in the first place. Koffee Kult’s beans sourced for their dark roast are fair trade certified from areas like Sumatra, Columbia, and Brazil. With a heavy body, notes of cinnamon, caramel, and slightly brighter acidity.

Making sure to not over-roast their coffee through strictly supervised hand-roasting, this dark roast has flavors that are soothing to enjoy at any time of day! Koffee Kult has K-Cups that make it convenient for brewing, and they’re compatible with Keurig 1.0 and 2.0–not to mention they’re also 100% recyclable!

Death Wish Dark Roast K-Cups

Calling their version of K-Cups “Death Cups,” Death Wish Coffee markets itself as one of the strongest coffees on the market today. Though the caffeine content is pretty much the same as other coffees like it, Death Wish is potent when it comes to the savory flavors. The signature dark roast has flavor profiles like ripe cherry, chocolate, and also has a lower acidity–making it savory and easy to enjoy.

During the roasting process, Koffee Kult roasts their beans for the dark roast until what’s referred to as the “second crack” (which we’ll explain later). After this point, the beans are then taken out of the roaster and placed into a bin to cool, which is a great roasting technique because it amplifies the flavors within the coffee beans. That’s one of the primary reasons why we enjoy Death Wish–because of the careful measures taken during the roasting process.

Tim Horton’s Dark Roast K-Cups

Another popular coffee company across the United States, Tim Horton’s has been crafting quality coffee since the company’s debut in May of 1964. A Canadian company, Tim Horton’s coffee has found its way across the world: throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and more–and now to your Keurig!

Tim Horton’s Dark Roast is made up of beans sourced from Central and South America is rich, smooth, and full-bodied with a smoky undertone of flavor. This blend by Tim Horton’s is beloved by many, primarily because it has one of the smoothest textures of all the coffees on our list. The secret behind the silky-smoothness is that Tim Horton’s has a team of experts to select and filter through the coffee beans to make sure that only the ripest, highest quality beans make it from the roasting process and to your favorite mug.

Peet’s Decaf Dark Roast K-Cups

If you’re a dedicated dark roast lover, but don’t enjoy the annoying effects that caffeine can have, then Peet’s Decaf Dark Roast K-Cups are the answer to your prayers! Still maintaining the signature style of distinctive, authentically cultivated, and quality roasted coffee, Peet’s Decaf Dark Roast lacks the caffeine, yet is deeply roasted to maximize the lively and sweet flavors within the beans.

Peet’s has been in the business for roasting and brewing delicious coffee since 1966. The beans sourced for these K-Cups are 100% arabica beans and are roasted to perfection to ensure that you get a robust cup of coffee every time.

Things To Keep In Mind

Lack Of Unique Flavor Profiles

Though dark coffee is enjoyed by many because of its smooth, smoky-sweet flavor, as well as its ability to be paired well with sweeteners and creamers. However, darker roasts usually don’t have a wide range of complex flavors–simply due to the way that the beans are roasted. Heated over a longer amount of time, the more complex, succulent flavors that are unique to single-origin roasts are cooked away.

The roasting process, especially for darker roasts, replaces the unique coffee bean flavor with the desired flavors during the roasting process. For example, some coffee roasters cook their beans with the addition of natural ingredients like cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Differences In “Cracks”

When it comes to the roasting process, as the coffee beans begin to heat up and release gasses and moisture, there’s a cracking/popping sound that occurs as a result. After the second cracking noise, simply referred to as the “second crack,” beans that are being darkly roasted will be removed 30 seconds to a minute after the second crack. After this, the beans are highly vulnerable to burning.

Something else to keep in mind about dark roasts is that the beans can burn easily if the roasting process isn’t carefully monitored, resulting in a burnt aroma/flavor. That’s why so many coffee fanatics enjoy the art of darkly roasted coffee because the flavor of the beans is fully amplified and caramelized, yet aren’t overcooked.

Acidity and Caffeine

Need another reason to love dark roasts? The darker the roast, the lighter the acidity. Contrary to common belief, darker roasts are often less acidic than lighter roasts that typically have a stronger, brighter acidity. Simply stated? Not only are darker roasts potent in sweeter, bolder flavor, but they are also easier to drink for those who have sensitive stomachs.

One common misconception about dark roast coffee is that it contains more caffeine than other roasts. In actuality, dark roast coffee contains the least amount of caffeine. This is because as the beans are roasting, the caffeine compound is broken down and loses its potency. If you’re choosing a roast simply based on the caffeine content, you may want to look for lighter roasts to accommodate your taste buds.

The Verdict

We recommend these K-cups for those who are wanting to enjoy the sweet, bold flavors of dark coffee without worrying about having to buy whole beans, grind them, and brew the coffee themselves. But what’s the best dark roast K-Cup is for you? Keurig and its K-Cups solve this problem by allowing you to brew a savory cup of coffee with the push of a button.

If you love dark roast coffee and find yourself constantly brewing with a Keurig, any of these dark roast K-Cups will make a great addition to your K-Cup collection. So have fun brewing these dark roast K-Cups, and as always:

Happy caffeinating!

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