Is French Roast Coffee Strong Does It Pack A Punch

Is French Roast Coffee Strong? Does It Pack A Punch?

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:24

When someone asks the question “Is French roast coffee strong?” it is a question that is not loaded but is two pronged, and thus I’ll give that two pronged answer details if it is strong in caffeine content and if a French roast is strong in terms of flavor.

For one of the two responses the answer is yes, the other is no! But which is which?

Keep reading to find out!

Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

A French roast coffee beans and the cup of coffee produced is not any stronger in terms of caffeine kick or caffeine intake than any of the other three dark roast coffee beans.

In terms of flavor it is an intense brew with deep earthy aroma and a distinctive pungent taste. It can be said to be strong in terms of taste but not in caffeine.

Is French Roast Coffee Strong
French Roast Coffee Is Strong

Read: What does French roast mean?

What Does French Roast Coffee Taste Like?

A French roast is an enjoyable coffee, of the dark roasted coffee beans it is, in my opinion one of the better ones to make a cup of coffee with when you want that deep, deep darker roast and the flavor they bring to the table.

A French roast is characterized by the intense, strong and dominant smoky bittersweet flavor and thin body.

When you compare it to a lighter roast like a blonde roast or a very light roast coffee like a white coffee, French roast beans have a more roasty flavor and are notably less acidic. Often with a charred, charcoal-like note.

The taste of roast and aroma nuances overpower any unique flavors from the beams themselves which absolutely overpower any unique flavors from the beans origins. You simply cannot tell even the coffee varietal or origins as these unique tastes have completely gone.

A quick recap of what a French roast coffee tastes like:

  • Dark, smoky and nearly burnt.
  • Bold and intense.
  • Less acidic than other roasts.
  • Bittersweet.
  • Has a thin body.
French Roast Taste
A French Roast Tastes Great!

Read: Dark roast vs French roast

French Roast Coffee Meaning

The definition of a French roast coffee beans is one that has been roasted at an internal temperature of 240C (464F), which is notably higher than the two dark roast coffees below them, Full city roast and a Vienna roast.

The high temperature roasting process produces a darker color of coffee beans and richer flavor and bolder, smoky taste.

The meaning of and the name is in reference to the roasting process that creates those dark roasted coffee beans. The name, no surprise at all here, is in reference to where the roasting process comes from.

And no prizes for guessing where an Italian roast originates….or a Vienna roast!

French Roast Coffee Benefits

The nutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that are in a dark roast coffee have the potential to provide health benefits.

A dark roast contains vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) which is good for the conversion of food into energy. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is VIP for the growth and development of healthy cells.

Dark coffee roasts have other health benefits, some of which are:

  • Improved liver health. 
  • Reducing risk of cancer. 
  • Brain health. 
  • Your overall nutritional profile.

French Roast Coffee Vs Italian Roast Coffee

Both of these coffees fall into the upper half of a dark roasted coffee and, this little battle is between the kings of the dark roast.

A French roast I have already spoken about earlier in this article. An Italian roast, is a step higher than a French roast and is also known as a dark French roast and as a Spanish roast.

It is roasted at a slightly higher temperature at 245C (473F) and as a result the beans are almost completely black and very oily.

The taste of an Italian roast is much deeper, with a burnt, ash-like taste which, when you love an occasional very, very, very dark roast is exceptionally tasty. It is a roast for a coffee die hard!

Both are great for making an espresso with an Italian being for special occasions and a French roast. If dark roasts are your thing, it is good for your daily coffee or shot of espresso.

For me, it is a tough choice as both are great roasts. An Italian is absolutely fabulous roast but is a bit strong in flavor to be a daily coffee (for me), a French roast is a winner for a good enjoyable daily dark roasted coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

Coffee lovers and coffee aficionados who enjoy a light roast will have a greater caffeine kick than those who enjoy a dark roast. The caffeine content difference between roast is not that much, not a great difference.

What will make a bigger difference to the caffeine content in your cup of coffee is the brewing process and the type of bean that you used.

This is a myth in the coffee word that the darker the roast and stronger the flavor, the greater the amounts of caffeine. This is what coffee lovers call the caffeine myth.

The opposite is true!

As you go up the roast levels from light to dark, the caffeine level reduces.

Read: What is French roast coffee?

A French roast is different due to being roasted at 240C (464F) and beyond the second crack. They are often called a double roast coffee for this reason. The biggest difference of this type of roasted coffee is their color, which is a dark brown and their distinctive oily surface.

Their taste and flavor is also different. They have deeper, darker and more dominant coffee flavor with a smoky notes and a lingering bittersweet taste.

A French roast is an espresso roast, it is the same roast level. Although an espresso roast can be any one of the 4 coffee roasts that are defined as a dark roast, it is very common for a French roast to be the minimum roast for an espresso.

Neither the flavor nor caffeine content is stronger.

There are some bitter notes in a French roast coffee, they are more bittersweet due to the caramelization of the natural sugars that are in a dark roast coffee. The bitter taste comes from the roasting process, carbonizing some but not all the coffee bean fibers.

The slightly bitter taste can be toned down with a dash of milk or sugar.

Starbucks French roast is a strong dark roast with bitter flavor and smoky notes. It is not overtly bitter or too bitter. If you find it to be too bitter for your own personal taste, add a pump of simple sugar.

Final Thoughts – Is French Roast Coffee Strong? 

Well, if anyone asks you “is French roast coffee strong?” you know to tell them that use it is strong and dominant in terms of flavor but not so much in terms of caffeine content. 

Did you brew up a French roast? 

How was it for you? 

Did you go all French and use a French press with your French roast? 

Join our online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your coffee creations, ideas, images, tips and coffee selfies. 

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

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