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Which Do You Prefer: Dark Roast Coffee vs. Medium Roast Coffee

Which Do You Prefer: Dark Roast Coffee vs. Medium Roast Coffee

Is there anything better than starting your day with your hands wrapped around a mug of liquid magic? Whether you prefer strong and black or sweet and creamy, a cup of Joe is the way most people start their day, take a break during the day, and wrap up an evening meal. There is just no wrong time for a quality cup of coffee!

Is a Coffee Bean a Fruit?

House Blend Coffee in Bag

In case you were worried about the nutritional value, a cup of coffee is brewed from beans that are the seeds of a coffee cherry. The anatomy of a coffee bean and the steps leading to the delicious brew that’s in your cup are both complicated and interesting, starting from the outside skin of the coffee cherry (exocarp) through the dry milling process that removes the endocarp to the end result of the medium or dark roasted beans. In simplest terms, how long the coffee bean is roasted is how we get medium roast coffee and dark roast coffee.

What are the Differences Between Medium and Dark Roast Coffee?

Personal preference will continue to influence the debate about which coffee roast is best until the end of time. Dark roast coffee tends to have less acidity but also lacks some of the flavor profiles found in medium roast coffee. One debate we can put to rest is that they both have similar levels of caffeine, although one of many myths about coffee is that dark roast has higher levels.

Dark Roast Coffee

Dark roast coffee beans are roasted the longest, often roasting until the second crack. The long roasting process makes them the darkest in color and gives them a richer profile that’s more chocolatey in flavor. The longer the beans are roasted, the higher their antioxidant levels are to increase your body’s ability to fight off free radicals

Common Names for Dark Roast Coffee Beans

  • French
  • Espresso
  • Turkish
  • Italian
  • Dark French
Dark Blend Coffee in Bag

Dark roast coffee is popular for its rich flavor and aroma. The true black color reflects the depth of the roast on the beans and results in a liquid that coats your tongue and satisfies your palate. The color of the dark roast coffee is the result of the length of the roast – the longer, the darker – and the appearance of the beans before grinding.

Medium Roast Coffee

Medium roast coffee is preferred by those who like balanced flavor and prefer less of the floral notes often offered by light roast coffee. Medium roast coffee beans are typically roasted until just before the second crack. They get their complex aroma and taste from the roasting process but not to the degree of a dark roast coffee.

Common Names for Medium Roast Coffee Beans

  • City
  • Regular
  • American

Medium roast coffee beans often retain the flavors of their distinct region or the varietals where they originate. Die-hard medium roast coffee drinkers appreciate the complexity of the flavors in a medium roast. Medium roast coffee isn’t a compromise between its light and dark roast counterparts – it is a distinct experience waiting to be savored.

What Sweetener is Best for Dark and Medium Roast Coffee?

Coffee with Honey Added

While true coffee aficionados may prefer their brew straight-up black, others like to alter the flavor profile with sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are the least favorite additive, often causing a more medicinal flavor that is undesirable. There are other sweeteners besides sugar to enhance the flavor of either a dark roast coffee or medium roast coffee if you are so inclined.

Desirable Sugar Alternatives for Sweetener

  • Honey
  • Agave
  • Molasses
  • Maple syrup

Beyond pure cane sugar and raw sugar, there are new flavors to be experienced with different coffee roasts. If you want to move beyond your usual sweetener routine, you may find you enjoy molasses in your dark roast coffee and agave nectar in your more floral flavor profiles. You may even enjoy classic white sugar in your medium roast coffee if you are willing to venture away from your classic black cuppa. 

How Long Do Coffee Beans Stay Fresh After Roasting?

Colombian Supremo Coffee in Bag

Roasted coffee beans can stay fresh six to nine months after the shelf life if in an unopened, sealed package. If you’ve already opened the bag, you want to grind and brew them within six months. You may be able to increase the longevity of your favorite dark roast coffee beans by storing them in an airtight container.

Have you noticed how some commercial coffee chains have drinks that have a very bitter or even burnt taste? That isn’t about freshness. The reason for the bitter taste is that the beans are roasted at a higher than usual temperature to produce large quantities. Think about that the next time you are tempted to hit the drive-thru. 

How Do I Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee at Home?

The number one factor that goes into making the perfect cup of coffee is the water. Using filtered water, keep the temperature just under a boil to extract all the natural flavors. Make sure your grind is consistent, and always use the freshest roast beans you can find.

Now that you have the ingredients, how are you going to brew the coffee? If it is early morning, you will want to keep it as simple as possible. An afternoon cup of delight? That might be worth the wait for a full-bodied cup of pour-over coffee. 

3 Popular Methods of Brewing Coffee:

  • French press
  • Drip
  • Single-serve coffee pods

Should I Order My Favorite Roast Online?

Sumatra Gayo Single Origin Coffee in Bag

Absolutely! When you order from a quality purveyor online, you are ordering from a company that loves coffee as much as you do! Establishing a relationship with an artisanal coffee company is a great way to explore the flavor profiles of different beans that you are confident will be at their best.

Unless you like waiting in line for the local barista to crank out that commercial cup of Java, buying online is a way to ensure freshness. Or maybe you prefer the beans from the grocery store that were bagged… how long ago? A quality online coffee company offers more than just quality and convenience – they offer the reassurance that every cup is going to be an eye-opener!

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