Is French Roast Coffee A Dark Roast Yes, It's Deep And Dark!

Is French Roast Coffee A Dark Roast? Yes, It’s Deep And Dark!

Last updated on May 7th, 2024 at 10:34

A frequently asked question by coffee lovers, is French roast coffee a dark roast? The answer is yes, it’s a deep, dark and intense tasting coffee and is, as a matter of fact only one of the four dark roasted coffees is darker than a French roast, an Italian roast.

Keep reading for more details about this deep, delicious and tasty but roasty coffee.

Is French Roast Coffee A Dark Roast?

This question, is French roast coffee a dark roast, is one that is easily answered with a single word, and it is a positive, affirmative yes, French roast coffee is a dark roast coffee.

It is the second darkest of all the four dark roasted coffee beans.

While there are standard names for the four coffee roasts that make up the dark roast coffee category, here are the most popular and commonly used names and their roasting temperatures:

  • Full City Roast: Roasted to 437F (225C) Medium brown in color with only patches of oil on the exterior of the coffee beans. Roasting it halted at the start of the second crack. The lightest of all the dark roasts.
  • Vienna Roast: Roasted at 446F (230C) and named after where the roast was discovered and popular. The beans are moderately dark brown, with a light coating of oil. Roasting is stopped in the middle of the second crack.
  • French Roast: Roasted at 464F (240C) and is characterized with their dark brown beans with a shiny coating of coffee. The beans are roasted just after the second crack has finished.
  • Italian Roast: Roasted at 473F (245C) and is easily identifiable with their black shiny coffee beans that are coated in oil. Roasted to beyond the second crack, longer than a French roast.

A French roast is a roasty robust coffee with an intense flavor. It’s bold with a light acidity and lingering caramel notes. It’s perfect for brewing espresso shots and milk-based espresso beverages as the strong coffee flavor cuts through the milk perfectly.

It’s a very special roast; if you love deep, dark roasted coffee I recommend that you give it a try and report back to us your thoughts!

Is French Roast Coffee A Dark Roast
French Roast Coffee Is A Dark Roast

Read: What is the difference between French roast and Italian roast coffee?

Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

The question, is French roast strong can be looked at and answered from two distinct angles; the strength of flavor and the caffeine content.

In terms of flavor, it is clear, very clear, that a French roast is a strong tasting coffee regardless of the type of coffee that you brew.

As far as the caffeine content goes, you will get a neat and very ample caffeine kick, that is not in question or doubt.

It is a French roast, and does have a slightly reduced caffeine content when compared to a medium roast and a light roast.

with caveat – it depends on how you measure your coffee. If you measure using a scoop, you will end up with a reduced amount of caffeine. This is due to a darker roast being larger and taking up more areas and thus less coffee grounds are in the coffee scoop.


when you measure by weight, due to the reduced water content and other compounds being lost due to the roasting process, dark roasted coffee beans are lighter which means more coffee is required to meet the set weight for making a cup of coffee and thus a dark roasted coffee will have more caffeine than a lighter roasted coffee.

Caffeine is a stable molecule, and is unaffected by the roasting process. What alters the caffeine content of coffee when comparing light roast and dark roasts, assuming all other variables are equal, is how you measure your coffee as demonstrated.

Is French Roast Coffee Bitter?

I have tried and enjoyed many different French roast coffee beans and for making many different types of coffee beverages and I can most certainly speak from experience, that there are some bitter notes and flavors from French roast coffee.

It’s not an overtly bitter coffee, but they are there, lingering in the background. The sugar and caramelization of the sugars cancel out the stronger bitter flavors.

French Roast Coffee Benefits

There are many benefits of a French roast coffee, the best one for me is an absolutely great tasting coffee that is deep, dark and very roasty.

There are a number of health benefits that are associated with coffee and not particularly French roast coffee that can legitimately be attributed to French roast coffee benefits.

I’ll clean and clear on the facts, while I am not a medic nor claim to be, there is a whole body of scientific research that is validated by peer-reviewed studies that prove that coffee and the compounds in it are great for various aspects of human health.

These health benefits are due to the powerful antioxidant, chlorogenic acid, that is found only in coffee, the phenolic compounds, the nutritional profile and the flavonoids.

The research indicates an improvement in cardiovascular health, brain health, and even mental health as well as the reduced risk of diabetes.

French Roast Coffee Benefits
French Roast Coffee Has Many Benefits

Read: Is French roast coffee low acid?

Why Dark Roast Coffee Is Bad?

Not everyone will enjoy a deep dark roast coffee like a French roast, Italian roast or the lighter two roasts which are a Vienna roast and a Full City Roast.

As coffee roasts go up in the roasting scale they lose their characteristics and complexity and nuanced flavors of the beans and its origin. The aroma, as well as the flavor, is also lost.

As you move up on the roasting scale, the flavor is more from the roasting process with each roast level.

At the higher roast levels of dark roast, namely a French and an Italian roast, the beans may have a poor balance of the acidic notes and the sweet and bitter notes.

A well-roasted French roast should have a neat balance of the bittersweet notes; an Italian roast has the bitter notes dominating the coffee.

Also, a drawback is when not buying premium quality beans for a dark roast like a French roast or an Italian roast, it is very common for roasters to use low quality beans and use the roasting process to mask and hide the defects and poor quality of the beans.

Is Dark Roast Coffee Unhealthy?

Quite the opposite, opposite as there are many health benefits of drinking coffee regularly as some of the studies conducted are multi decade long term studies.

Dark roast coffee is seen as being unhealthy due to the coffee oils contributing to cholesterol levels, but a few cups of coffee per day are not going to dramatically alter your levels and if it is a concern the coffee oils can be filtered out using a paper filter.

Although the coffee adds to the flavor and body, it contains cafestol, which increases your cholesterol.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is French Roast Coffee A Dark Roast

Is French Roast Medium Or Dark?

French roast coffee is a deep, strong and intense dark roasted coffee. It belongs to the highest roast category of coffee beans and is roasted beyond the second crack, but it is not the darkest roast; the darkest roasted coffee is an Italian roast.

Is French Roast And Dark Roast The Same?

A French roast coffee is a dark roast coffee bean as it is roasted beyond the second crack. The dark roast category of coffee beans has four different roasts, which are:

  • Full city roast.
  • Vienna roast.
  • French roast.
  • Italian roast.

A full city roast is the lightest of the dark roasted coffee, while an Italian roast coffee is the darkest of the dark roasts.

Is All French Roast Coffee Dark Roast

Yes, if coffee beans are labeled as being a French roast, the coffee is a dark roast. Expect it to be intense, sweet and smoky with a thin body.

Read: What is French roast coffee?

What Roast Level Is French Roast?

The roast level of a French roast is a dark roast. Unfortunately there is no set naming culture for coffee roasts and their names vary. You may see a French roast labelled as an espresso roast; this is to indicate that the roast and coffee bean is ideal for making shots of espresso.

What Is Another Name For A Dark Roast?

A dark roast is a category of 4 different coffee roasts which, as standard naming culture for the four dark roast coffees, are full city roast, Vienna roast, French roast and Italian roast.

Other popular names used for dark roasted coffee beans are Spanish roast, espresso roast, New Orleans roast.

What Is The Strongest Coffee Roast?

The strongest coffee roast is a dark roast coffee. As I have emphasized earlier in this article, this roast category has 4 different coffees, the darkest of them is an Italian roast, which means an Italian roast is the strongest tasting coffee due to the boldness and intensity of the roast.

Why Is French Roast So Bitter?

French roast is a roast level that is so high and dark that none of the flavors from the origin remain in the beans as it has been, literally roasted out. Instead, the flavor comes from the roasting process. Due to the high temperature, some of the coffee bean fibers burn and give a bitter flavor.

What Is Another Name For French Roast?

There are many other names for a French roast, including the following:

  • Colorado Roast.
  • California Roast.
  • Brick Roast.
  • Square Roast.
  • Espresso Roast.

Final Thoughts – Is French Roast Coffee A Dark Roast?

That question, Is French roast coffee a dark roast, should be answered for you. It, a French roast coffee is of course a dark roast coffee. If you have any questions about this article, ask away, I will answer all questions received.

Join our fun and friendly coffee community and tell us about your own experiences with French roast coffee. Do you have a favorite bean or brewing method? Tell us! Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

Blogarama - Blog Directory