Back to the Blog
Ian coffee

...And when do you want it?

Coffee strength is a definitely a hot topic and hands down the question I get asked most is 'Which is your strongest coffee?'

“It's up to you,” is the best answer. But, for a less annoying answer, read on and I’ll explain about coffee roasts and how the taste of a coffee is different to coffee strength.

Firstly, are dark roasted coffees stronger than light roasted coffees?

No, different flavours become dominant depending on the variety of bean and how much it is roasted. So some flavours get stronger and other, weaker. Coffee strength does not change as far as caffeine is concerned.

So what is Dark roast and Light roast all about then? Spill the beans!

Raw coffee beans are green - that is their colour and what they are called. Put simply, you roast coffee beans for longer or at a higher temperature to make them darker. Most beans or blends are better suited to a particular level of roasting to bring out their specific qualities.

The coffee roast affects the amount of caffeine in the coffee and the flavour but this is different to coffee strength. A light roast will typically have a tiny bit more caffeine if measured by volume but they are about the same if measured by weight (dark roasts weigh slightly less) and light roasts generally have more of the delicate, brighter flavours. They are often more complex in terms of taste and aftertaste.

Dark roasts are more 'Single note', having one dominant flavour which can make them well suited to making milky drinks but they also may have more nutty tastes and can have some chocolate tones.

Ground or beans coffee1

What affects coffee strength?

Now. Strong coffee! Coffee has a wide variety of flavours as mentioned above but the biggest effect on coffee STRENGTH is how you make it, what brewing/extraction method and how much you use! Want a stronger coffee - put more coffee beans or ground coffee in! So when you think about making a strong coffee, have a think about what you really mean. Is it a high caffeine content or is it a strong flavour? Our highest caffeine coffee is Brilliant Raccoon which has bright, balanced flavours but a light roast - making it a popular coffee for athletes. If you like a strong flavour though, Intrepid Baboon is an espresso coffee so it provides a rich heavy body thanks to its slightly darker roast and a bit of 'bite' from the Robusta beans we’ve included in the blend.

It sounds so simple but it’s easy to get confused. Some people will try a new coffee and find it either overpowering or a bit bland compared to their favourite but the difference may just that they need to tweak the quantity used.

Try it and join the Dark (or Light) side of the world of coffee geeky-ness.