Is Dark Roast Coffee Stronger Than Medium Roast?

Looking for a morning kick? Here’s everything you need to know about getting the strongest cup.

When you say you like a strong cup of coffee, what do you mean? Are you talking about the flavour or the caffeine content?

Often the two are linked. The assumption is that the darker the roast, the higher the caffeine count. We hate to totally shift everything you thought you knew about coffee, but that is precisely what we are going to do.

A strong flavour is all about the roasting process. The caffeine jolt, on the other hand, has nothing to do with roasting, it has more to do with the bean.

Before we get to what coffee will give you the most kick to rise and grind, we're going to take you to coffee roasting school.

The Precision of the Roasting Process

Though light, medium, and dark roasts have little bearing on caffeine level, the roast level makes a huge difference in the flavour profile.

Roasting is what transforms the bean into something that you want to put in your cup every morning. Depending on how long the bean is roasted, it can unlock a wide array of flavours. The heating process removes the moisture from the bean, changing its colour, aroma, acidity, and flavour.

When you heat a bean, it transforms from a green bean to what you imagine a coffee bean to look like. The heating process removes the moisture from the bean, changing its colour, aroma, acidity, and flavour.

It is a process that takes skill and precision. We choose coffee that inspires us to be better and roasting profiles that make us feel alive. If you visit our roasting facility, it is not uncommon to find us obsessed with the consistency, expression, and taste details.

To serve good coffee means to follow a cycle. Serving a good coffee comes down to the subtleties and nuances. Those are the places where our passion resides and what the roasting process unlocks.

So What is Stronger? Medium vs Dark Roast

Roasting is about the crack. As beans are heated, they crack. When we hear that first crack, that's when we know we are in light roast territory. Right before the second crack, around 440 degrees Fahrenheit, that's when we have found medium roast perfection.

Medium roast is slightly acidic, with complex flavours. Our Gazer, for example, is mild and light with a nutty flavour. Our Salute medium roast has a nutty flavour profile as well, but with some fruity notes.

When you go past the second crack, that's where the dark roast magic happens. Because they are heated longer, oils move to the surface of the bean. A dark roast has a full-body flavour and the lowest acidity. This full-bodied flavour and the darker colour of the bean are often what people associate with a strong cup of coffee.

Dark, bold, smooth, smokey with no bitter aftertaste. This is what you can expect from dark roasts like the Original blend or Diver's Brew.

So if a strong flavour is what you are looking for, our dark roasts have the most potent flavour profile; for more subtle notes, go for a medium roast.

What About the Caffeine Kick?

Now that we have talked about the roasting and unlocking the flavour, it's time to talk about the kick.

As we mentioned earlier, the roast really has nothing to do with caffeine content. Yes, roasting changes the flavours, aromas, and acidity, but has little to no impact on the caffeine content.

The caffeine is in the bean. Our Go Juice is a medium roast. It is also high in caffeine. That's because the blend of beans we use includes robusta beans. Robusta has the highest caffeine level per bean, making for a stronger coffee.

You might be saying, "just give me a roast loaded with robusta beans for that jolt I'm looking for." Unfortunately, robusta beans are very bitter. We have to blend it with other beans to make a drinkable cup.

So, if a strong cup of coffee means the most caffeinated, don’t look at the roast profile, look at what beans are in the blend.

Experience Our Full Roasting Spectrum

Now that you are an expert on roasting and flavour profile, why not experience the full spectrum of flavours with our sampler pack.

With four different blends, you can experience the milder flavours of Gazer to the boldness of Cleared Hot.

Enjoy the grind!