What Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like Does It Taste Burnt

What Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like? Does It Taste Burnt?

Last updated on November 24th, 2023 at 13:31

While enjoying a real full-bodied dark roast, I was asked “What does dark roast coffee taste like?” So I ordered one for the lady that asked.

The best way of finding out what a particular coffee bean, blend, or roast profile tastes like is to try it yourself. Either you like, loath it or love it!

The entirety of this article is about the taste profile of dark roast coffee beans.

Let’s brew this one up!

What Is A Dark Roast Coffee?

Dark roast beans are dark brown and have a glossy, oily surface. The oil is from the oils that are deep inside the beans and make their way to the outer surface due to the high temperature roasting process. Darker roasts have darker, deeper flavor profiles, a heavy body and low acidity.

The flavors in coffees roasted to a dark roast have a lot of their characteristics or their origin roasted out of them and are not at all suited for your expensive specialty beans. The taste of dark roast brews are caramel like due to the sugars getting burned and chocolate like nutty flavors come through.

They go very well with dark chocolate. Often you see this roast served with a small complimentary chocolate.

Coffees of this roast are rarely sold in more than two variations by specialty coffee roasters. This is mostly due to a lack of flavor diversity.

What Is A Dark Roast Coffee
A Dark Roasted Coffee Bean

Read: What are the different roasts of coffee?

What Does A Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like?

The flavor profile of a dark roast from specialty coffee roasters using good quality fresh coffee beans can produce a rich and sweet taste profile with a bold, rich full body and texture. These beans are more oily and leads to a toasted taste, often a bittersweet and chocolaty flavor.

The coffee bean quality will determine just how good the end coffee is. Cheap, low quality beans will produce a low quality average coffee.

What Does A Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like
The Best Way Of Finding Out What A Dark Roast Tastes Like Is To Go Try It!

Read: What is the difference between medium and dark roast coffee

Does Dark Roast Coffee Have More Flavor?

A dark roast is not a denser coffee bean than light roasts. The dark roast profile is created by heating coffee beans at a higher temperature where it loses moisture, caffeine and the flavors of the geographic location of origin.

Dark roasts are more of a deep coffee flavor that you are perhaps more familiar with, full-bodied, bold and uncomplex.

Is Dark Roast Coffee More Bitter?

As a rule to follow for coffee roasts, darker roasts are more bitter in taste than light roast beans. So, yes, dark roast coffee is more bitter than all lighter roasts, including medium dark roast, light-medium roast and light roast.

If it is bitter coffee that you like, then you will enjoy darker roasts. Just to put some more emphasis on how bitterness works in relation to the roast level, the darker the roast, the more bitter your coffee will be.

This increase in bitterness is because of the chlorogenic acid lactones breakdown during the roasting process into phenylindanes.

Is Dark Roast Coffee More Bitter
Dark Coffee Is More Bitter

Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Burnt?

An accurate statement is that as we go up through the coffee roast levels the taste becomes deeper, stronger, bolder than the previous roast level.

Unfortunately, as we move up in these levels from light to dark we experience less and less of the subtle, light flavors from its country of origin.

It is unfortunate that the origin flavor is lost during the roasting process.

A dark roast, to be very clear, does not taste burnt. The average coffee drinker will not experience or notice a burnt taste.


a very dark roast like an Italian roast will probably taste rather burnt to you. An Italian roast is the deepest, darkest roasted coffee.

Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Burnt
Dark Roast Does Not Taste That Burnt!

Is Dark Roast Supposed To Taste Burnt?


many people say that dark roast tastes burn in my opinion they don’t. I’m just being very clear here there is a hint of an ash-like slightly crisp bitter taste, but it is not full on burnt like you are eating a mouthful of charcoal.

Coffee, of any roast, is not supposed to taste burnt. The one with the most burnt taste is the Italian roast, which is a special and specific dark roast that is roasted at a higher temperature than regular dark roasts and is almost black.

Why Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Burnt?

Only an over roasted dark roast bean will taste burnt. This usually happens when the fresh coffee bean has been roasted too quickly at too high a temperature.

This is usually due to an inexperienced coffee roaster, or a specialty coffee roaster inexperienced at roasting at this coffee roast level as they normally do not roast to a dark roast level.

Nobody enjoys a cup of coffee that has lost its smoky flavor, and tastes burnt. Not even the hardiest of the hardened and hardiest of coffee drinkers.

Is A Dark Roast Coffee Stronger?

People that enjoy a good cup of coffee mistakenly think that caffeine kick and caffeine content is stronger in dark roasts than light roast coffee.

This is the caffeine myth of the coffee industry. As a coffee bean roasts, the caffeine level, as confirmed by coffee roaster friends and by proven scientific fact, decreases as we move up the roast levels from light to dark.

Thus, by definition, it is lighter roasts that have more caffeine.

An espresso lover or misinformed barista may tell you that a lightly roasted cup of coffee has less caffeine. An espresso is a short, sharp caffeine boost, but when measured on a per ounce or per ml basis, you will find that light roasts have more.

By definition, a light roasted espresso shot like a blonde espresso will have more caffeine than its dark espresso roasted counterpart.

Notably, an espresso roast is a dark roast that has its caffeine level enhanced by adding robusta beans.

Why Is Dark Roast Coffee So Popular? – Why Do People Prefer Dark Roast?

Coffee from person to person is something that changes a lot from bean to roast to origin and how they like it brewed. There are more variables in coffee than there is in wine.

A lot of people like dark roasts due to it being much easier on their stomach or the reduced caffeine content. I like dark roasts and very dark roasts like a French roast or Italian roast if I want to enjoy a coffee late in the evening.

Others simply because they like the strong, bold, smoky flavor…Or a misplaced conception of dark roasts being more caffeinated.

It is probably more popular, in my opinion, is this is the coffee and roast profile that they are accustomed to when they first started drinking coffee as a casual coffee drinker, since it is what most regular coffee shops use.

A lot of people enjoy the deep flavor and simply don’t go for coffees that have a floral flavor or any delicate flavor or origin flavor or anything like that and just want a full-bodied coffee with bolder, more straight forward flavor from a good fresh coffee bean.

Why Choose A Dark Roast?

There are many reasons to choose a dark roast. One of the main reasons is the taste profile and this particular roast is well suited to a late evening coffee due to the reduced caffeine content. A good full-bodied coffee with a smoky chocolaty flavor is best enjoyed after an evening meal.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like?

What Is Better Medium Or Dark Roast Coffee?

Better is subjective and based on your personal taste and opinion. If you enjoy a coffee beans that have some of the taste from the roasting process and still retain some flavor from the beans, a medium roast will be better suited for you.

But, if you prefer a coffee where most of the flavor comes from the roasting process, then a dark roast will be more suited for you.

Does Dark Coffee Taste Good?

Yes, dark roast coffee beans taste good, but good in a very different way from which light and medium roasts do. They are deep, dark, bold and with tastes of dark chocolate, woodiness, caramel and spices.

What Is The Most Flavorful Coffee?

The most flavorful coffee beans that you will find are Arabica pea berry coffee beans. This type of coffee bean is a rare genetic mutation and needs to be hand-picked. Instead of there being two beans in the coffee cherry there is only one and thus does not need share the flavor and nutrients with a second bean.

Which Coffee Has Most Flavor?

The coffee roast that has the most flavor from the origin is a light roast coffee. The lighter a coffee is roasted, the more of the flavors of origin that the beans have. As the beans go up through the roast levels they start to take on more of the flavor associated with the roasting process.

This is why a medium roast is so called: it’s a balance, a middle ground with some flavors from the origins and flavors from the roasting process.

Technically speaking, the most flavorful coffee beans are a light-roasted pea berry coffee. There is a reason why coffee fans love this type of coffee.

What Roast Of Coffee Tastes Best?

For most people, a medium roast or medium-dark tastes the best as they get a degree of the unique flavors from the beans and their location and some from the roasting process.

What Roast Coffee Is Best For Beginners?

A medium roast coffee is the best for beginners as this is what beginners are most familiar with due to being the most commonly available roast.

Does Dark Roast Taste More Like Coffee?

Yes, dark roasted coffee tastes more like a traditional coffee would taste like, deep, dark, bold and intense.

Is Dark Roast Coffee Stronger Than Regular?

No, there is the misconception that darker roasts have more caffeine. With all other variables being equal, all coffee roasts have the same amount of caffeine except two roasts: A French roast and an Italian roast.

Both a French roast and an Italian roast are roasted at temperatures that are slightly above the melting point of caffeine and therefore the caffeine gets slightly damaged during the roasting process for these two dark roasted coffees and thus has slightly less caffeine.

Frappé-Ing It All Up! – What Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like

The curious or wondering what does dark roast coffee taste like if you have never tried a coffee can know that the roasting process and roasting a coffee to this roast profile brings out bolder, more straight forward flavors that are full-bodied, smoky, dark, chocolaty and deeper with a reduced caffeine content and more bitter.

Join our active and vibrant online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your thoughts: do you prefer a dark roast or a light roast or is your reference somewhere in between?

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 Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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