What Does French Roast Coffee Taste Like? A Walk On The Dark Side!

Many coffee curious coffee fans often wonder what does French roast coffee taste like with newbies making an easy mistake and confusing French press coffee with French roast coffee.

The difference between the two is clear, a French press coffee is a brewing process while a French roast coffee is a coffee roasting style.

But what does a French roast coffee taste like?

Does it tickle and tantalize your taste buds?

Keep reading to find out!

What Does French Roast Coffee Taste Like?

The taste and flavor of French roast coffee beans is deep, dark, bold and intense coffee with a charcoal-like flavor that some lovers of this roast profile say is smoky and sweet with caramel and earthy notes without being burnt.

It’s a roasty coffee, with almost all the flavor due to the roasting process and the skill of the master roaster and his or her team. The flavor of bean and its origin and unique characteristics have almost completely gone.

It’s a strong dark roast, but is not the strongest in terms of the flavor as an Italian roast is darker and stronger due to being roasted at a higher temperature.

It is not the roast with the greatest caffeine content as the roasting process is slightly detrimental to the amount of total caffeine in the coffee beans, that goes to the lighter roasts, more specifically light roast coffee beans.

Is French Roast Coffee Bitter?


French roast coffee is a robust, roasty and very dark roasted coffee that is taken beyond the second crack. The high roast level produces an astringent coffee with bitter notes.

It is a great tasting coffee with a low acidity when compared to a light roast. The bitter flavors come from the burnt coffee fibers which occur during the roasting process.

Despite the bitter notes, it’s not overtly bitter and is a rather tasty coffee, and is particularly great for making espresso and French press coffee.

Why Is French Roast Coffee So Bitter?

A French roast is bitter due to the roast level. It’s a dark roast where very little, if any, of the nuanced flavors from the coffee bean is left with the flavor coming from the roasting process. The bitter flavors come from the fibers of the coffee bean burning, which is also responsible for the ashy flavors.

French Roast Coffee Caffeine

French roast coffee bean have a lower caffeine content than all other coffee roasts apart from an Italian roast, as unfortunately a dark roast coffee has lower amounts of caffeine than both medium roast and light roast coffees.

The general rule of thumb is that as a coffee goes up the roasting scale, the less caffeine it has, which means that French roast beans are the second lowest in caffeine behind an Italian roast.

The amount of caffeine in a coffee drink has more to do with the extraction process and the drink that you are making than the coffee beans.

The brewing method plays a larger role in how well it can extract the caffeine, and thus it is difficult, almost impossible as well as pointless to tell how much caffeine that an individual roast has as another variable is at play also, the actual coffee beans.

Different beans from different locations, different varieties and processed differently all play a factor in the total caffeine content of an individual coffee bean, as well as the roast level.

As a ballpark figure, an espresso made with French roast you can expect 75 mg of caffeine, while an 8 Oz (240 ml) brewed coffee will have approximately 130 mg and a 12 Oz (360 ml) cold-brewed coffee will have 155 mg of caffeine on average.

Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

Yes, in terms of flavor, a French roast is one of the strongest and deepest tasting coffees, one sip or whatever coffee beverage that you have brewed with this coffee roast, you will immediately notice just how strong and intense the coffee flavor is.

French Roast Coffee Benefits

French roast coffee has many benefits, which are backed by independent peer-reviewed research. These benefits are linked to coffee in general and the powerful antioxidants, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and the nutritional profile.

Improved liver health, cardiovascular health and a reduction in the risk of diabetes.

Also, research indicates the coffee drinks that enjoy 3 cups of coffee per day are less likely to suffer depression due to the ability of coffee to enhance dopamine production.

French roast coffee benefits also stretch to your brain health as many studies indicate a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

One benefit that can be attributed to French roast coffee is the roast being less acidic it is less likely to irritate your stomach.

French Roast Coffee Vs Dark Roast

A French roast is a dark roast coffee. The dark roast category of coffee beans has 4 roasts which are:

  • Full City Roast.
  • Vienna Roast.
  • French Roast.
  • Italian Roast.

It’s the second-highest roast of all coffee roasts and produces a rich tasting coffee and is excellent for espresso shots and French press brewing.

French Roast Coffee Vs Italian Roast

An Italian roast is deeper and darker than a French roast and, while tasty and perfectly enjoyable, it is reserved for coffee lovers that enjoy a coffee with the maximum intensity with an almost burnt ashy flavor.

A French roast is a little lighter on the roasting scale and doesn’t have the burnt and has less of the ashy tastes.

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

Is French Roast The Strongest Coffee?

No, a French roast is not the strongest coffee; there is one roast that is deeper and darker and that is an Italian roast.

Does French Roast Coffee Taste Burnt?

There are some burnt flavors to a French roast coffee, but not completely. Expect a sweet smokiness and some charred notes.

An Italian roast, which is darker than a French roast, tastes burnt. With quality beans an Italian roast can be tasty, especially if you love deep, intense dark roasts.

What Is The Difference Between French Roast And Regular Coffee?

A French roast is a deep, dark roast coffee and much deeper than a regular coffee roast. It’s roasted for longer and at a higher temperature, which produces a coffee bean that is dark, shiny, oily and has a deep chocolate flavor.

Is French Roast Coffee Stronger Than Regular?

Yes, French roast coffee has a much stronger and deeper taste than regular coffee beans and roasts.

As far as caffeine content goes, generally speaking, a French roast has less caffeine as it is a dark roast. Dark roast coffee beans have less caffeine content than their light roast coffee beans. The lighter a roast, the more caffeine the beans have.

Which Coffee Roast Is Tastiest?

Which coffee roast that has is the tastiest and retains more of the flavors of origin is the gold roast, which is better known as a white roasted coffee. It’s lighter than even a blonde roast.

Why Does French Roast Taste Weird?

If you are not used to or have not tried a French roast coffee it will naturally taste a little weird as it has a strong bitter flavor from the burnt coffee bean fibers. There are some ash-like notes.

Is French Roast Coffee Easier On The Stomach?

The American Chemical Society found that dark roasts like a French roast and Italian roast as well as espresso roast and espresso coffee are easier on your stomach than other coffees.

Why Is It Called French Roast?

The name French roast is so called as the style of coffee roasting was popular with the French who brought the roast to the United States.

An Italian roast is so called for the same reason: it is the deep, dark roast coffee that has its origins in Italy.

Final Thoughts – What Does French Roast Coffee Taste Like?

By reading this far you have found out exactly what does French roast coffee taste like, and perhaps you are ready to try it out and make a great, bold espresso or an intense French press coffee with a French roast.

Join our fun and friendly coffee community and tell us about your French roast coffee experiences? Did you like? or was it too strong for you? Find us on Facebook/Meta.

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