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Dark roast coffee
"A symphony of flavors that lingers long after the last sip"

Dark roast coffee is a popular and distinct style of coffee roasting that produces a deep, rich flavour profile characterized by boldness, low acidity, and a prominent bitter-sweet taste. To understand dark roast coffee fully, it is essential to delve into the art of coffee roasting, the chemistry behind the process, and the impact it has on the coffee beans.

Dark coffee roasting is a specific method of roasting coffee beans that results in a rich, bold, and intense flavour profile. During the roasting process, green coffee beans undergo chemical changes, transforming their colour, taste, and aroma. 

Dark roast coffee beans are roasted for a longer duration and at higher temperatures compared to lighter roasts, leading to distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Dark roast coffee is characterized by its longer roasting time, typically reaching higher internal temperatures (around 240-250°C or 464-482°F). 

During the roasting process, the Maillard reaction occurs, which is a complex series of chemical reactions between amino acids and reducing sugars. This reaction is responsible for the brown color and flavor development in dark roast coffee.

Dark Roast Coffee Beans

The Dark Roasting Process:

Selection of Beans:

Quality dark roast coffee starts with a selection of high-quality coffee beans. Arabica beans are commonly used for dark roast due to their complex flavours and lower acidity, but Robusta beans are also occasionally used for their higher caffeine content and ability to withstand intense roasting.


The green coffee beans are carefully cleaned and sorted to remove any impurities and defective beans. During the roasting process, green coffee beans undergo chemical changes, transforming their color, taste, and aroma. 


The roasting process begins by heating the green coffee beans in a roasting machine. As the beans heat up, they undergo a series of chemical reactions that influence their taste and appearance.

Yellowing Stage:

Initially, the beans turn yellow as moisture evaporates and certain acids break down.

First Crack:

As the temperature increases, the beans reach a critical point called the “first crack.” This is an audible popping sound caused by the expansion of the beans as they release water vapour and carbon dioxide. At this stage, the beans are considered a light or medium roast.

Development of Dark Roast:

After the first crack, the beans continue to roast further. In the case of dark roast, the beans are roasted past the first crack and often well into the “second crack” stage. The second crack is another audible popping sound, which signifies that the beans are undergoing more significant changes, including caramelization and the Maillard reaction.

Caramelization and Maillard Reaction:

During the dark roasting process, the sugars in the beans caramelize, giving the coffee its sweetness and richness. Additionally, the Maillard reaction occurs, resulting in the formation of new flavor compounds that contribute to the coffee’s complex taste profile.

Dark Roast Point:

Roasters must carefully monitor the process to achieve the desired level of darkness. Dark roast beans are taken out of the roaster just before the oils within the beans begin to migrate to the surface, which occurs at what is known as the “second crack” point.


Once the beans reach the desired roast level, they are rapidly cooled to stop the roasting process and preserve the flavours developed during the roast.

Characteristics of Dark Roast Coffee:

Bold Flavor:

Dark roast coffee is known for its bold, robust flavour with a pronounced bittersweet taste.

Low Acidity:

The longer roasting time breaks down acids in the beans, leading to lower acidity in the final cup of dark roast coffee.

Heavier Body:

Dark roast coffee typically has a fuller and heavier mouthfeel compared to lighter roasts.


The aroma of dark roast coffee is often described as rich, smoky, and intense.

Oil on Beans:

Dark roast beans may have a slight sheen of oil on their surface due to the oils being released during roasting.

Caffeine Content:

Contrary to popular belief, dark roast coffee actually has slightly less caffeine than lighter roasts, as caffeine content decreases during the roasting process

The Brewing method for dark roast coffee

French Press:

The French press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is a classic and simple method for brewing dark roast coffee. It allows for full extraction of the coffee’s oils and flavours, resulting in a rich and full-bodied cup.

Espresso Machine:

Dark roast coffee is a popular choice for espresso due to its intense and bold flavors. Espresso machines use pressure to extract the coffee essence, producing a concentrated shot of dark roast coffee.

Moka Pot (Stovetop Espresso Maker):

The Moka pot is a stovetop device that brews coffee by passing boiling water through dark roast coffee grounds, resulting in a strong and flavorful coffee reminiscent of espresso.


The AeroPress is a versatile and portable brewing device that can produce a smooth and strong cup of dark roast coffee.

Cold Brew:

Cold brew is a popular method for extracting the flavours of dark roast coffee over an extended period, resulting in a smooth and less acidic brew.

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