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.

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 a 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

Read: 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 of 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

Read: 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.

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

How Much Caffeine In Light Roast Coffee
Light Roasts Are Suited For Methods Like The Pour Over

What Affects The Caffeine Content In Coffee?

here 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 coffee to water ratio plays a role too as the greater the amount of coffee uses expressed as a ratio means you will have a more focused coffee and a greater concentration of caffeine.

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.

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 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.

Also, a cold brew will help you to extract all the unique flavors 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 A Serious Caffeine Kick

What Is The Strongest Coffee?

The coffee beverage with the highest concentration of caffeine and the strongest taste is a ristretto. A ristretto is hot brewed and has a coffee to water ratio of 1:1 making it more concentrated than an espresso which has a coffee to water ratio of 1:1.5.

There is more caffeine per ounce in a ristretto than any other coffee beverage.

Is Dark Roast The Strongest Coffee?

No, a dark roast is only the strongest coffee in terms of flavor as it is a strong and dominating deep and bold taste of coffee. A darker roast does not have more caffeine and is by definition not the strongest coffee in terms of the caffeine kick.

Many coffee lovers make the false assumption that a stronger taste means a greater amount of caffeine. The opposite is true: the stronger the taste of the coffee the weaker the caffeine kick.

Which Coffee Is Stronger Light Or Dark Roast?

The stronger coffee is a light roast. Coffee drinkers often associate the stronger taste of a dark roast to higher caffeine content. The demonstrable fact, backed by a number of studies, is that a light roast has more caffeine. There is not a great difference, and it is absolutely unnoticeable by your body.

When you check out Starbucks website you will see a blonde roast coffee, which is the lightest of the light roasts and has more caffeine than their medium and dark roasts. The difference between roasts is minimal: for an espresso shot it is only 10 mg per shot.

What Is The Strongest Roast Of Coffee At Starbucks?

The strongest roast at Starbucks is their blonde roast coffee. A Venti brewed coffee has 475 mg of caffeine. This is singularly speaking the most caffeinated beverage at Starbucks.

For the other drink sizes, Short, Tall and Grande the Clover reserve roast brewed coffee has more caffeine than the equivalent beverages of the same size when compared to their blonde roast.

Is Espresso The Strongest Coffee?

No. It is a huge misconception and understanding that an espresso shot has a high caffeine content. There are many more coffee drinks that have more caffeine in total amount.

Where an espresso excels is the amount of caffeine per ounce, typically 65 mg per shot for a regular coffee shop and 75 mg per shot at Starbucks. 65 mg to 75 mg per ounce is strong and far stronger than all other coffee beverages.

A Drip coffee for example can have 155 mg of caffeine in their Short 8 Oz (240 ml) drink, which has more than double the total amount of caffeine but less on a per-ounce basis (75 mg per ounce Vs 19.375 mg per ounce).

A Ristretto has 65 mg of caffeine in a 20 ml shot (2/3rd Oz). On a per-ounce basis, a ristretto has 90 mg of caffeine Vs 75 mg per ounce of an espresso shot.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Roast Is The Strongest Coffee

Which Coffee Roast Is The Strongest Taste?

Dark Roast coffee are roasted for longer than a light roast and medium roast coffee beans and have a reduced acidity and stronger taste.

The roasting process and taking to a dark roast level removed almost all of the flavors from the coffee bean and their origin and takes on the entire taste related to and associated with the roasting process and has the strongest and boldest taste.

Which Coffee Roast Is Stronger Light Or Dark?

when you are comparing the caffeine content of light and dark roasted coffee, you will find that light roasts are stronger. While stronger in caffeine, they are lighter and brighter in terms of flavor as light roast coffee has more intricate and delicate flavors of origin and have a lighter taste.

When it comes to taste, a dark roast is stronger while a light roast is stronger in caffeine.

Does Dark Roast Mean Stronger?

No, the term “dark roast” is in reference to the color of the beans as they are dark roasted. A dark roast has been roasted for longer and at a higher temperature.

A dark roast is stronger, deeper, darker and bolder in taste as the beans almost completely take on the flavors from the roasting process. A dark roast does mean that a coffee has a higher caffeine content.

Which Roast Coffee Is Darkest?

The darkest coffee roast is obviously the darkest of the dark roasts, which is an Italian roast. The roasting process and temperature is slightly higher than a French roast 240C (464F) Vs 245C (473F) for an Italian roast.

An Italian roast has a smoky and ashy taste. It is a very deep and dark. The smoky and ashy taste is from the sugars and oils burning.

Which Coffee Roast Is Smoothest?

The smoothest and most rounded and balanced coffee roast is a medium roast. This roasting level is a middle ground, a balance between a light roasts and dark roasts. You get a fair amount of the taste of origin and a degree of flavors from the roasting process.

What Is The Most Popular Coffee Roast?

The most popular coffee is a medium roast. It’s the highest selling roast worldwide and at Starbucks, their signature Pike Place, is a medium roast coffee.

This roast level is enjoyed for the balanced flavor and aroma.

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.

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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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