What Roast Is The Strongest Coffee Which Is The Caffeine King

What Roast Is The Strongest Coffee? Which Is The Caffeine King?

Sluggish in the morning and your regular cuppa Joe is not giving you that caffeine kick, and you want to know what roast is the strongest coffee? Does switching your roast make your brew increase the amounts of caffeine in your coffee?

Is a darker roast stronger?

In this article I’ll not only tell you what roast is the strongest coffee in terms of caffeine levels I’ll tell you which bean and brewing method that gets the most caffeine per cup.

Let’s get down to it and find out which coffee has more caffeine than others and get brewing a real strong coffee.

Which Roast Has The Most Caffeine?

A light coffee roast has more caffeine when measured by the content of a cup of coffee. This is due to light roast beans being smaller and being roasted at a lower temperature and for a shorter period of time, you end up with more coffee and that means more and higher level of caffeine.

This is when you measure by scoop and not by weight.

Due to dark roast coffee beans being bigger in size than lighter roasts due to the beans expanding, you get fewer beans used (assuming the same grind size). You will end up with fewer beans used to fill the scoop and thus a reduced caffeine content.

When you measure by weight, it is a different story. Dark coffee beans are denser and have more of their water content roasted out during the roasting process than their light roasted coffee beans counterpart and have a reduced mass and thus more caffeine.

Since a standard coffee shop does not weigh coffee, and measures it by scoop per portafilter it is fair and accurate to say if you order a light roast at your local coffee shop you will get a greater caffeine content than a dark roast.

What Roast Is The Strongest Coffee
A traditional way of roasting.

Coffee Curiosity: What is the difference between medium and dark roast coffee

Does Light Roast Have More Caffeine?


light roast coffee not only has more caffeine, it has more or the origin flavors, the original flavor from the geographic location in which they came from, the altitude, soil, are characteristics associated with them.

They also have more of the lighter, brighter floral flavors. It is unfortunate that these unique distinct tastes are lost during the roasting process. It is for this reason that if you have great beans or want to buy great location specific beans of single origin, then you should buy a light roast.

At Latte Love Brew we recommend that you do your own roasting at home for maximum freshness.

Which Roast Has The Most Caffeine
A more modern industrial roaster

Brew Hacks: How to make dark roast coffee taste better

How Much Caffeine In Light Roast Coffee?

It is difficult to give an exact figure for every bean of every roast and every brewing method. The amount of caffeine varies even your brew time and the temperature in which you are extracting the coffee oils, flavonoids and other compounds at.

As an estimated average, a small 8 ounce (240ml) cup of lightly roasted brewed coffee contains approximately 120 mg of caffeine.

As a comparison, an espresso (a dark roast) contains from 50 to 75 mg of caffeine. More notably, an espresso roast is often a blend of beans with a specific bean added to the arabica beans to boost the caffeine content.

Light roasts are much better for your speciality single origin coffee beans, where you want to enjoy the flavor profile. Due to the elevated caffeine content and coffee strength, you are best enjoying these beans are best enjoyed in the morning or early afternoon to early evening.

I’ll talk more about which bean has more caffeine later.

How Much Caffeine In Light Roast Coffee
Light roasts are suited for long extraction methods like the pour over.

What Affects The Caffeine Content In Coffee?

There are many factors that affect how much caffeine content is in a cup of coffee. This includes the type of bean used, the roast, the brewing technique, the grind size, brewing temperature and how long the coffee is brewed for.

The average cup of coffee over all for an 8 ounce (240ml) cup ranges from 80 mg to 100 mg, where as I mentioned above, a light roast averages 120 mg of caffeine for the same cup of coffee.

That is a 20% to 50% increase in caffeine content just by switching roast.

What Coffee Bean Has The Most Caffeine?

Which coffee beans you use affects how much caffeine there is in your coffee drink. Not all beans have the same amount of caffeine. The two main types are Arabica and Robusta which account for 90% of all coffee sold in the world, with Arabica beans accounting for 60% of global sales.

It is Robusta beans that have the most caffeine.

Robusta beans are the coffee beans that have the most caffeine and considerably so! The average robusta bean has 2.9 mg per bean, which is approximately 2.2% to 2.7% caffeine content by weight.

Arabica beans contain 1.9 mg of caffeine per coffee bean which is 1.2% to 1.5% of caffeine content by weight.

This means that a Robusta bean has on average 65% more or 1.65X more caffeine per bean. If an equivalent Arabica bean has 100 mg of caffeine, a Robusta will have 165 mg of caffeine on a per-bean basis.

When calculated by weight, a Robusta bean has 55% more caffeine. It is this bean that gets added to espresso blends to boost the caffeine content.

What Coffee Bean Has The Most Caffeine?
Arabica beans contain less caffeine than robusta.

Which Coffee Brewing Method Has The Most Caffeine?


you know that a light roast is better than a dark roast coffee for caffeine content on a per-scoop basis and that Robusta beans have the most caffeine. It does not take a genius to work out that if it is a caffeine boost that you are looking for, you should be looking at a light roasted robusta beans.

But getting that caffeine out of it and getting a top quality tasty brew in the process brings us to the above question – which coffee brewing method has the most caffeine?

The answer is the humble French press. You can make a strong cup of coffee with this brewing method, one that an ample 8 ounce (240ml) cup of coffee will have on average 160 mg to 200 mg of caffeine with Arabica beans and 248 mg to 310 mg with Robusta beans.

That is a serious caffeine kick!

As a fantastic bonus, the French press is one of the better extraction methods for pulling out all the high temperature flavors of the light roasted beans.

A cold brew is certainly another extraction method worthy of consideration, as an average 8 ounce (240ml)  Cuppa Joe will tip the caffeine scales at 210 mg when brewed with light roasted robusta beans.

Also, a cold brew will help you to extract all the unique flavours associated with your lightly roasted coffee beans.

What Roast Is The Strongest Coffee
With the right roast, right bean and right brewing method you can get great caffeine kick.

Final Thoughts, Frappé-Ing It All Up! – What Roast Is The Strongest Coffee?

In terms of the strongest coffee when taking into account the caffeine content and not stronger flavor there is a big difference between dark roast, medium roast and light roasted coffee beans. The difference in caffeine levels goes up as the roast gets lighter.

A stronger coffee, a greater coffee strength from the caffeine kick can also be experienced by changing the coffee bean from Arabica to Robusta. Further enhancement and increase in caffeine can be obtained via your brewing method, with the French press and cold brew extraction methods being the best caffeine content.

As a regular coffee drinker and one who loves his coffee make sure you enjoy your brew. So what roast is the strongest coffee? – If I have not spelled it out already, it is a light roast.

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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