Versatility is one of the attributes that makes coffee a special drink. Coffee comes in a variety of roasts, with lightly roasted coffee gaining a ton of popularity in recent years.
It’s safe to say there are a lot of misconceptions about light roast coffee. One being that it’s not as flavorful as dark roast, when in reality it retains more of its original flavor than dark roast does.
If you’re looking for light roast coffee, we’ve done the hard work for you by hand-picking some of the world’s best light roast coffee. Go through the list below to find what suits your taste.
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Quick Glance: The Best Light Roast Coffee
Summary: Best Light Roast Coffee Beans
Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend Whole Bean Light Roast
Kicking Horse Hola Ground Light Roast Coffee
Peet’s Coffee Luminosa Breakfast Blend Ground Light Roast
Coffee Bros Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee
Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Whole Bean Organic Coffee
The Best Light Roast Coffee
1. Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend Whole Bean Light Roast
Grown in South and Central America, but roasted and packaged in Seattle, the Real Good Coffee Breakfast Blend has a citrus taste, smooth aromatic notes, and hints of milk chocolate.
Lighten up your mood and start your day with the Breakfast Blend. It delivers a bright citrus taste with notes of chocolate and cream.
As you grind the whole coffee beans, the coffee’s soothing aroma will diffuse throughout the kitchen, giving you the kick you need to start the morning.
This light roast coffee works with any coffee machine, including French press, pour over, drip, espresso maker, Aeropress, and more.
The Breakfast Blend contains only fresh and organic Arabica beans.
Real Good Coffee Co advertises that they make coffee that’s good for drinking, for the planet, and for your wallet.
And they back this claim with 100 percent recyclable packaging even on single-serve pods.
2. Kicking Horse Hola Ground Light Roast Coffee
Kicking Horse Hola ground coffee will brighten your mornings.
The Hola Ground Light Coffee tastes like heaven; pause for a second and imagine your taste buds meeting the juicy red currant combined with a creamy honey body.
It’s suitable for a wide variety of brewing methods: pour-over, drip machine, espresso,French press, and cold brew.
Don’t have a lot of time to grind coffee in the morning? No problem, as the organic light roast coffee comes pre-ground so you jump right to the brewing process and spend the rest of the time enjoying a cup of tasty coffee.
If you have a little time there’s a whole bean option that’s delicious too.
And what about the aroma? You should look forward to hints of condensed sugarcane as well as hints of hazelnuts and brown sugar in the finish.
The coffee comes from 100% Arabica beans, which are shade-grown from South and Central America.
Roasting takes place in the Canadian Rocky Mountain peaks and the beans are grown in a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible way. Therefore, this is one of the best light roast coffee types you can drink with peace of mind.
The coffee is organic and Fair Trade certified, which makes it superior. In a nutshell, this coffee is a hug, a high-five, and a nice swift kick to anything conventional. Get your hands on it and you’ll be looking forward to the dawn every day.
3. Peet’s Coffee Luminosa Breakfast Blend Ground Light Roast
Luminosa stands for “shining or bright” and this Breakfast Blend from Peet’s brings the sweetness of Columbian coffee together with the floral aromatics of Ethiopian coffee to form a perfect match.
You can look forward to sweet, smooth and bright flavor with citrus notes.
The company’s light roast team works around the clock to ensure that only the best beans are used to make this ground coffee.
Since 1966, Peet’s Coffee has been busy building lasting partnerships with farmers from across the world for coffee bean cultivation.The roast date is marked on every bag, no guessing how fresh your coffee is.
The Luminosa Breakfast Blend is Certified Kosher and 100% Arabica coffee.
It’s worth noting that you only get 12oz when you order this coffee. So, if you drink multiple cups in a day, you may want to order several bags.
4. Coffee Bros Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee
Two committed brothers, Nick and Dan Hunnewell launched the brand in May 2019. Their mission was to bring high-quality coffee to consumers while giving back to those regions that cultivate coffee.
The blends come from 100 percent Arabica beans whose aroma and the flavor is twice that of Robusta. And speaking of flavor, Coffee Bros light roast has exceptional taste notes, including floral, honey, and citrus fruit with a silky and crisp body.
To lock in freshness, Coffee Bros packs their light roast coffee as soon as they roast it and remove all air from the bags.
They send only small batches to Amazon on a weekly basis to guarantee freshness. Their whole bean coffee maintains its freshness for one to three months after roasting.
The unique flavors of Coffee Bros’ light roast coffee result from combining Ethiopian and Colombian coffee. Ethiopia is coffee’s birthplace; the Arabica varieties from this country are second to none.
Colombia, on the other hand, is known for its strict quality control executed by the National Federation of Coffee Growers. Therefore, the Ethiopian beans contribute to the honey and floral flavor of Coffee Bros’ light roast coffee. And the Colombian beans are responsible for the citrus taste. You can imagine all that rich flavor in your cup!
5. Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Whole Bean Organic Coffee
Are you looking for the best light roast coffee that’s both tasty and gives you value for money? The 2LB Subtle Earth can offer you the best of both worlds.
In terms of taste, Café Don Pablo’s light roast is a winner. This is partly because the beans come from Honduras, which is known for producing coffee with a succulent taste.
Secondly, the light roast coffee is purely organic and comes from 100 percent Arabica beans.
Café Don Pablo whole bean light roast is mild and smooth tasting. It’s ideal for French press, drip, and espresso brewing.
Absolutely no pesticides are used when growing this coffee and no chemical substances are used for fertilizing.
In terms of price, this 100% organic light roast coffee is among the best on the market. Imagine, you’re getting a whole 2lbs of tasty coffee at a wallet-friendly price!
Note that this being a whole bean light roast coffee, you’ll need a coffee grinder to achieve your optimal grind.
6. Caribou Coffee Daybreak Light Roast Blend
The light roast ground coffee blends from Caribou Coffee brings sunshine into your mouth with a sweet caramel and nut finish.
The Daybreak blend is a fantastic way to jumpstart your morning or invigorate your afternoon. If you prefer your afternoon cup to be decaf Caribou coffee has that covered too.
Caribou Coffee gets their beans from the Rainforest Alliance certified firms, thus guaranteeing ethical treatment and a fair deal for farmers as well as environmental protection.
The coffee comes from a blend of 100 percent Arabica beans from East Africa and the Americas, roasted to a yummy chocolate brown.
Authentic and subtle, this blend starts with a sweet and bright taste in your mouth and leaves you with the nutty and fruity hints after every sip.
Caribou Coffee works tirelessly to ensure their customers get not only top quality light roast coffee, but also peace of mind, as the coffee is sourced in a socially, economically, and environmentally manner.
Each year, Caribou takes a global tour in search of the best coffee bean varieties. After the selection, they handcraft the beans in small batches and carefully test them across multiple points to come up with the best tastes.
Daybreak Morning Blend is the best light roast coffee because it not only tastes good, you can also sip with peace of mind knowing that it is Rainforest Alliance Certified and so are other coffee types from this brand.
7. Cameron’s Coffee Breakfast Blend Ground
Cameron’s Coffee focuses on what defines a perfect morning brew: the beans.
The company selects only the top 10% of beans in the world and their focus is to bring out each coffee bean’s flavor for a smooth taste devoid of bitterness.
The Breakfast Blend isn’t an exception; it undergoes small-batch roasting to guarantee the optimal freshness of the resulting drink.
What gives this best light roast coffee its exceptional flavor is that it comes from 100% Arabica beans that are roasted exceptionally well.
The Breakfast Blend from Cameron’s is light and fruity yet it’s flavor is rich.
Cameron’s custom drums recycle heat to regulate airflow while evenly roasting the succulent beans and minimizing energy. The process produces cleaner emissions for the environment and its inhabitants.
What comes out is a carefully selected, well roasted coffee bean blend that’s crafted by experts who love not only a perfect cup of coffee but their work as well.
The consistency and quality of their light roast ground coffee will put a smile on even the most sophisticated coffee enthusiast.
Just take a sip!
8. Kuju Coffee Single-Serve Angels Landing
You’ll find it impossible to ignore Kuju’s uniquely designed single-serve coffee packets and superior quality coffee.
The single-serve packets designed from eco-friendly and recyclable material, converted into pour-over filters, containing specific amounts of ground coffee, are made to fit on any coffee cup.
You simply need to add water and voila! Your coffee is ready. While it looks as easy as your typical instant coffee, the quality is that of a delightful pour over brew.
Kuju’s light roast ground coffee, also known as Angels Landing, is made from 100% Arabica beans from South and Central America, and Thailand.
Kuju sources the beans from different parts of the globe, but mostly from a Thailand farmer who has employed former sex trafficking victims to help them rebuild their lives.
Angels Landing’s primary flavor notes are citrus, floral, and nutty, and the light roast consists of a medium body that’s slightly acidic.
Every packet undergoes nitro-flushing to eliminate oxygen and give the coffee beans optimal freshness.
Not only will you like Kuju for their premium quality coffee; you’ll also feel good about the company’s corporate social responsibility. Their facility runs on 100% wind power, and they are a 1% for the Planet member where one percent of their sales are donated to the National Park Foundation.
9. AmazonFresh Just Bright Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee
AmazonFresh offers one of the best light roast coffee beans. Their light roasted coffee is fresh, bold, and tasty.
While Amazon sources its beans from Central and South America, they pack and roast them right here in the United States. It’s 100% Arabica coffee.
This is a great coffee for everyday drinking and offers a lot of value for your money.
The coffee has a crisp and clean flavor. It works well with a variety of brewing methods including French press, Chemex, drip, and espresso.
Amazon offers a satisfaction guarantee and if you’re not satisfied for any reason within a year of purchase they’ll refund your money.
But keep in mind, this is the whole bean coffee that requires you to grind your own beans.
Resource: The Best Manual Coffee Grinders
10. Fresh Roasted Coffee Guji Coffee Ethiopian Sidamo Whole Bean
Most coffee lovers praise the Ethiopian Sidamo Guji Coffee mostly for its unique body and taste. Speaking of taste, the coffee has a fruity and earthy taste with notes of blueberry.
The whole beans have a single origin, which is Guji, Ethiopia. Guji is Southern Ethiopia’s coffee growing area and is known to produce the country’s highest quality coffee.
The location has acidic soil and a dry climate ideal for growing coffee beans that feature a fruity flavor.
To further, enhance the flavor, the beans undergo natural processing and are dried on raisin beds.
The company chooses its beans sustainably and carefully, keeping in mind the quality, flavor profile, and origin. Ultimately, they use a Loring Smart Roaster to roast the beans, which provides roasting precision and considerably reduces carbon emissions.
The freshly roasted coffee is sustainably sourced, Kosher Certified after which it undergoes roasting, blending, and packaging in the USA.
The coffee is available in whole beans in 2, 5, and 12 pound bags. A variety of sizes to suit your coffee drinking needs.
Light Roast vs. Dark Roast
Coffee beans all have different tastes: some have a bright, fruity taste while others are deep and bold in taste.
The coffee taste difference is not all about the climate, origin, or how a particular coffee was processed.
While all these help determine how the coffee will eventually taste, the ultimate determinant is the beans roasting intensity. When it comes to coffee roasting, there are 4 categories of roasts, light, medium, medium dark, and dark.
So what’s the difference between light and dark coffee?
Light coffee is roasted for less time than dark roast. It’s easy to identify a light roast bean as compared to dark because it’s light brown in color vs. a shiny black color.
The roasting processing extracts oil from the beans which ultimately changes the density of the beans.
The beans have far less oil on their surface than dark roast and because of that are denser. The longer beans are roasted the moisture is released from the bean.
Light roast is known for its mellow body and bright and fruity floral flavors. The flavor profiles are more diverse because more of the bean remains intact during the roasting process.
Coffee beans that are roasted for longer and at a higher temperature turn black and have an oily surface.
During this process the beans become less dense because moisture is lost during the roasting process.
Dark roast coffee loses the complex flavors from the origin of the beans because of the prolonged roasting period. This in turn results in more one-dimensional flavors vs. the bright, fruity, sweet and floral flavors you taste in light roast coffee.
Dark roast coffee delivers a more traditional coffee taste – think a stiff cup of black coffee with a hint of a bitter taste.
A dark coffee may have lost much in the heat of things, but it has a strong taste of roasted nuts, graham crackers, and caramel.
As the heat burns the moisture out, it simultaneously brings the coffee oils to the surface, and that’s why the body of dark coffee is thicker. It is the oil that gives the dark coffee its nutty flavor.
Together with caramelized sugar, dark coffee ends up with a rich, bold, and sometimes bittersweet or chocolaty taste that many coffee lovers tend to prefer over light coffee.
So which one should you choose?
That’s a tough question. It really depends on what flavors appeal to you.
If you crave coffee with sweeter flavor that’s bright and offers layers of complexity, light roast is your go to.
However, if you crave more one dimensional flavor with a richer, almost charred taste, dark roast is going to appeal to you.
How to Pick the Best Light Roast Coffee
In the last ten years, light coffee has grown exponentially in popularity because people have discovered that light coffee has its natural elements intact, unlike dark coffee that has a one dimensional taste.
But not all light coffees are the same; there are different types, each with its own unique taste. Some have a tangy and grassy flavor, which you may not like.
It is, therefore, vital that you get the right variety that suits you. We’ve got some guidance to share but, you’re likely going to have to try a few before you find your fav.
Do you want beans from a specific region or anywhere? Are you concerned about fair trade certification? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you consider how to pick the best light roast coffee.
Each region has its particular climate, growing conditions, soil, and coffee processing methods that directly influence the flavor of the coffee that ultimately lands in your cup.
Light roast coffee is significantly affected by this because it retains much of its original characteristics. In fact, it depends on them, unlike the dark roast coffee that relies on over roasting for its flavors.
There are mixed beans in the market, meaning a package is composed of beans from various origins or regions – called a blend. In this case, the origin plays only a small role because the product is a blend.
On the other hand, there are bags of coffee made up of beans grown in the same region. This is called a single-origin bean.
Therefore, you should decide what will work best for you: a blend of different coffees from various regions or from one specific region.
Note that blended coffee gives a rich and complex flavor, while single-origin beans have an exotic, unique taste associated with their origin region.
There are two outstanding types of coffee grown around the world: Robusta and Arabica.
Each of them has its merits, but when it comes to light coffee, Arabica beans are the best choice. Of the two, its quality is higher.
Arabica beans come with a sweeter, smooth taste with notes of sugar, berries, fruit, all of which are well highlighted in a light roast coffee.
These qualities get diminished in a dark coffee but are more profound in an Arabica light coffee.
Coffee has to be properly stored for optimal freshness and light roast coffee is no exception.
After roasting coffee is packaged in bags that also contain nitrogen to help preserve freshness.
However, once the bag is opened the exposure to oxygen and moisture are inevitable and the coffee will slowly begin to break down. Once the amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids are altered the taste and quality of your coffee will be impacted.
Proper packaging and storage extend the shelf life of your coffee and keep it fresh for longer periods of time.
There’s nothing that replaces freshly ground whole coffee beans but, let’s be real, there isn’t always time in the morning to grind your own beans.
After you open your coffee be sure to store it in an airtight container away from light and moisture. Moisture is kryptonite for coffee and should be avoided at all costs.
Nowadays there are many certifications available to ensure you get exactly the light roast coffee variety you are looking for.
This is important because fake coffee packages may indicate that a particular coffee originated from, say, Brazil or Kenya, yet it is from elsewhere or is a blend of different coffees.
Certification helps to protect you from such problems, so you should only go for brands with credentials.
The comprehensive certification also shows how the coffee is grown, processed, and distributed because this determines its taste or quality.
Through the certifications, you also learn if the growing, processing and distribution of a particular light coffee brand hamper the environment.
Is Light Roast Coffee Better For You Than Dark Roast?
Nobody should tell you what coffee taste you should prefer. It is a personal decision that typically evolves after trying different varieties of coffee.
Basically, dark roast coffee has a smoky, bitter taste and a sheen of oil on the surface. On the other hand, light coffee has pronounced acidity, a bold flavor from its origin.
But beyond color and tastes, are there any differences in what light or dark coffee has to offer you in terms of nutrition?
First, let’s debunk the caffeine myth that dark roast coffee has more caffeine content than light coffee.
The truth is, if our previous explanation is anything to go by, then dark coffee is the one that should have less caffeine because the intense roasting causes it to lose some of its elements.
However, light and dark coffee have little difference in their caffeine content.
Light coffee should have more active caffeine than dark coffee, but the difference is not significant.
Antioxidants and Anti-inflammation Properties
A study showed that drinking coffee reduces your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, and heart failure.
Light coffee has a higher concentration of the beneficial antioxidant called polyphenol chlorogenic acid than dark coffee.
This is due to the simple fact that light coffee is heated at lower temperatures, so the antioxidants are not destroyed. It is this antioxidant element that gives the light coffee its acidic taste.
Foods with antioxidants are healthy; the antioxidants are essential in protecting against cell damage and inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory foods generally protect against heart complications, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. The antioxidants also have anti-aging properties.
Is Blonde The Same As Light Roast?
There is the “first crack” phase in the coffee roasting process when the first beans start to pop. This occurs at about 375°F when the outer shells begin to expand.
Coffee that is roasted up to this stage will be lighter than light coffee. This lighter coffee used to be called Cinnamon Roast, New England Roast, Half City, or Light City.
However, from 2018 lighter coffee has become better known as Blonde Roast, thanks to Starbucks. They popularized it, claiming it is the truest light coffee.
So Blonde Roast is not the same as light roast; it’s actually a lighter version of light roast.
Is Light Roast Coffee The Strongest?
When it comes to the strongest tasting coffee, dark roast coffee carries the day.
Light roast coffee is, however, rich in the essential elements that your body needs. Coffee lovers who prefer a strong, bold taste over fruity, cherry aroma go for dark coffee.
Is Light Roast Coffee Healthier?
Light roast coffee is no more healthier than dark roast. Yes, it has antioxidants and anti-inflammation properties but dark roast coffee has been shown to help reduce weight and restore red blood cells so both can be considered healthy.
Is Light Or Dark Roast Coffee More Bitter?
Dark coffee is more bitter than light coffee due to the longer roasting process that it goes through.
Light coffee is taken from the roasting machine before it develops the charred flavor that dark roast coffee has. That said, the coffee type can also determine whether the taste ends up bitter or not, regardless of whether the coffee is a light or dark roast.
Is Light Roast Coffee Less Acidic?
No, light roast coffee is more acidic due to the high concentration of an antioxidant called polyphenol chlorogenic acid, which is less in dark roast coffee.
As we have pointed out, the best light roast coffee, or any coffee for that matter is a personal choice.
We hope that what we have done is give you more knowledge to help make the right choice when you want to drink light coffee.
Remember that the coffee industry keeps coming up with new ideas and methods of roasting coffee so always be on the lookout for new tips and tricks to enhance your coffee drinking experience.
If you are just joining the coffee at home club, starting with light coffee is a great choice.