8 Best Light Roast Coffee: Flavor and Caffeine Content Reviewed

By: | Updated: April 13, 2021

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One of the main factors why coffee is such a popular and loved drink is because of its versatility. The large variety of brewing methods, coffee beans, and recipes, caters to everyone. 

What really makes coffee taste good or bad though, is a question of preference. A key factor is the type of coffee roast used on the beans, which determines the taste of your drink.

The most popular coffee roasts are Light Roast and Dark Roast coffee. These roasts are vastly different from each other and need specific brewing. In this article, we will discuss light roast coffee in detail as well as review some of our favorite light roast coffee on the market.

Light roast coffee has lower bitterness, but more acidity and caffeine. These qualities make light roast the ideal roast pick for some brewing methods which we will discuss below in detail.

The 8 Best Light Roast Coffees

We’ve carefully reviewed 8 of our favorite light roast coffees on the market. Let’s have a look!

light roast coffee

Comparison Chart

TANZANIA PEABERRY ‘Mount Kilimanjaro’ Whole Bean Coffee | Medium Roast | 2 LB Bag | Single Origin
Allegro Coffee Organic Breakfast Blend Ground Coffee, 12 oz
Kicking Horse Coffee, Hola, Light Roast, Ground, 10 oz – Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee
Café Britt – Costa Rican Light Roast Coffee (12 oz.) – Whole Bean, Arabica Coffee, Kosher, Gluten Free, 100% Gourmet & Light Roast (1 Year Shelf-Life)
AmazonFresh Just Bright Ground Coffee, Light Roast, 32 Ounce
Peet’s Coffee Costa Rica Aurora K-Cup Coffee Pods for Keurig Brewers, Light Roast, 10 Pods
DOTA Costa Rican Whole Bean Coffee, 12oz, Kosher, 100% Arabica Bean ( Light Roast)
Lion Coffee, Premium Gold Roast, 10% Kona Coffee Blend, Ground, 7 Ounce Bag

1. Stone Street Tanzania Peaberry – 2 LB Bag

The Stone Street Tanzania Peaberry Coffee is grown on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

This single origin coffee is wonderfully mildly acidic, has a rich body, an intense flavor and a fragrant aroma coupled with mellow winy overtones. Only 5 percent of the coffee bean crops grown in Tanzania  are Peaberry coffee beans.

This great coffee is perfect for cold brew, as well as other brewing methods like French Press as it’s light-medium roasted to perfection.

Pros

  • Great Flavors
  • Ideal For A Number Of Brewing Methods
  • Pure Tanzania Peaberry

Cons

  • May Be Too Sweet For Some

2. Allegro Coffee Organic Breakfast Blend – 12oz

The Allegro Coffee Organic Breakfast Blend is a USDA Organic, NON-GMO certified light roasted coffee that combines a great blend of Latin American and Ethiopian beans.

With milk chocolate, caramel, and citrusy undertones, these coffee beans are packed with flavor and can be used for a number of brewing methods.

On the downside, they are quite expensive at $ 11.99 for a 12 o.z bag.

Pros

  • Great Flavor
  • USDA Organic Certified
  • Expertly Roasted

Cons

  • Quite Expensive

3. Kicking Horse Coffee, Hola, Light Roast, Ground, 10 Oz

This 10oz ground coffee light roast blend from Kicking Horse contains a mix of Central and South American 100% Arabica coffee beans to bring a sweet and flavorful coffee.

The coffee is roasted fresh and ground in Canada. We love that this coffee is fully certified, which ensures that the whole manufacturing process has been carefully vetted throughout.

As far as flavor, this blend is sweet in flavor with juicy red currant acidity and creamy honey body tasting notes.

Overall, a great tasting coffee and the fact that it’s already ground makes it perfect for those who can’t grind their own beans at home.

Pros

  • Great Blend
  • 100 % Certified
  • Roasted Fresh In Canada

Cons

  • Strong Burnt Flavor Reported

4. Café Britt – Costa Rican Light Roast Coffee – 12oz

The Café Britt Costa Rican Light Roast Coffee is grown at high altitudes in seven regions throughout Costa Rica.

While a light roast is indicated on the packaging, by international standards it is considered as a medium-dark roast.

Do not let this put you off! This coffee is full of character and wonderful aromas synonymous with Costa Rican coffees.

With tasting notes of dark chocolate, smoky cedar, and citrus, the aromas from this coffee make it an excellent choice for light roast lovers. Highly recommended

Pros

  • Excellent Costa Rican Arabica Blend
  • 1 Year Shelf Life

Cons

  • Medium-Dark Roast May Not Suite All Light Roast Lovers

5. AmazonFresh Just Bright – 32oz

The AmazonFresh Just Bright is a 100% Arabica blend that combines Central and South American beans to create a light and crisp flavor. The beans are packed and roasted in the US to ensure maximum freshness.

The coffee is pre-ground which may not suit those who like to grind the beans at home. However, for beginners, the Amazon Fresh Just Bright is a good choice due to the light flavors and serves as a good introduction to light roast coffees before exploring more complex flavors.

Pros

  • 100% Original Arabica Coffee
  • Crisp And Clean Flavor
  • Large 32oz Pack

Cons

  • International Shipping Not Available

6. Peet’s Coffee Costa Rica Aurora

The Costa Rica Aurora by Peet’s Coffee combines a blend of Costa Rican beans with Kenyan ones to create a sumptuous coffee packed with a wide range of flavor notes.

This blend perfectly combines the dark and robust flavors from Costa Rican Arabica, together with the bright, sweet, and citrusy ones from Kenyan Arabica. 

Peet’s coffee also gives you the option of purchasing the blend one-time, or take advantage of their Subscribe and Save offer which gives a 20% discount and allows you to receive the Costa Rica Aurora on a subscription basis. 

The roaster also gives you many options to choose the ideal grind for you. The grind options include:

  • Whole Bean
  • Drip
  • Press Pot (French Press) / Percolator
  • Commercial Brewer
  • Espresso

With this many options, this blend is ideal for any type of coffee brewing. Peet’s Coffee also lets you know of the roasting date for this blend, allowing you to plan accordingly and get super fresh coffee in return. 

Overall, an excellent coffee from one of the top roasters in the US! Sublime!

Pros

  • Excellent Costa Rican & Kenyan Blend
  • Multiple Grind Options
  • Ideal For Multiple Coffee Brewing Options

Cons

  • Not Single Origin

7. DOTA Costa Rican Whole Bean Tarrazu Coffee, 12oz

DOTA Costa Rican Whole Bean Tarrazu Coffee is a light roast coffee that has an exceptional full body taste with citrusy and tropical fruit flavors.

The coffee is extremely aromatic, a trademark of Costa Rican coffees, this particular one comes from the Tarrazu region, known for producing excellent coffees due to the high altitudes.

We love that DOTA gives you the option of getting this coffee as whole or ground.

The roastery notes that this coffee is ideal for drip brewing to benefit from all the aromas and since the acidity is quite low, you’ll get more benefit out of drip brewing methods.

Pros

  • Great Costa Rica Single Origin Coffee
  • Ideal For Drip Brewing
  • Whole Or Ground Option

Cons

  • Low-Acidity

8. Lion Coffee Premium Gold 10% Kona Blend Coffee – 7oz

If you’ve ever tasted Hawaiian coffees, you know the flavor is something special.

The coffee from Kona, Hawaii’s Big Island, is world-famous for coffee lovers. The Lion Premium Gold is no exception!

Hawaii Coffee Company is a coffee roaster that specializes in Hawaiian coffees and teas made in the region.

The Lion Premium Gold is a light roasted coffee that combines a blend of Hawaiian grown coffees with a 10% Kona Coffee.

With sweet tasting notes and malt-like finish, the Premium Gold is an excellent choice for those who want a mellow coffee.

When it comes to light roast coffee, Hawaiian coffees are some of the best. As a bonus, you will also be supporting US-based coffee growers and roasters – a big win in our book!

Pros

  • Great Hawaiian Blend Coffee
  • Contains Premium 10% Kona Coffee
  • Great Price

Cons

  • Ground Only

Light Roast Vs Dark Roast: What Are The Differences

Although coffee can be roasted in various ways, the two main ones are Light and Dark roasts.

To make a decision on which roast will appeal more to you, we first need to understand what are the qualities and differences of each roast.

1. Light Roast Coffee

Light roast coffee is roasted at a temperature between 355 to 400°F. Light roast coffees have a higher concentration of caffeine, less oils, and more acidity than darker roasts.

What makes light roast unique though is the ability to keep a lot of the original flavors, aromas, and profiles of the coffee bean. 

Advantages of Light Roast Coffee

  • Contains no oils
  • Ability to keep original coffee bean characteristics
  • Complex but natural coffee taste
  • Higher digestibility
  • Ideal for a wide range of brewing methods

Disadvantages of Light Roast Coffee

  • More acidic
  • It’s higher caffeine content may not suit everyone

1. Dark Roast Coffee

Dark roasts coffee as obtained by roasting the beans at high temperatures of 450°F and more. Dark roast coffee is easily noticeable as the beans have a shiny, darker polished look.

This is because during the roasting process, the oils from the coffee bean rise up to the outer shell due to the high temperature.

The end result is a caramelised layer of oil around the coffee bean which gives it a much more robust flavor.

The oils allow for a much higher likelihood for crema to be formed during the brewing process, thus, making it the roast of choice for espresso.

Dark roast coffee is much stronger in flavor and contains more bitterness but has a lower caffeine level. 

Advantages of Light Roast Coffee

  • Robust and full-bodied taste
  • The perfect roast for espresso
  • Lower levels of caffeine
  • Easier to achieve crema

Disadvantages of Light Roast Coffee

  • Can be very bitter
  • It’s full bodied taste may not be for everyone

Light Roast Vs Dark Roast: What Are The Differences

Now that we’ve gone over the differences between light and dark roasts, we will talk about what things to look for when choosing your light roast beans.

Since coffee is a natural plant, which coffee beans you pick make a tremendous difference, the roasting process is there to intensify those flavors.

Here are what determines a good light roast coffee:

Coffee Origin

The origin of the coffee bean before roasting plays a very important role, especially if you want to track the country of origin of the coffee.

Since lighter roasts tend to keep a lot of the original flavors of the coffee bean, picking an origin based on your taste is crucial.

Light roast coffee from South and Latin America tends to have a milder and less aromatic taste. The flavors are noticeable yet subtle.

On the other hand, light roast coffee from Ethiopia and Kenya are extremely fruity and aromatic.

The bottom line is, if you like a particular taste, it’s important to know where it comes from. This helps you get beans that are consistent in taste.

Rather than getting a blend of coffees, we recommend focusing on Single Origin Coffee for more consistency.

Roasting Method

Oven Roasting or Stovetop Popcorn Popper Methods

The popcorn popper method is a DIY method of roasting your own coffee beans without any specialized equipment. To turn green beans into a light roast will take around 15 to 20 minutes roasting at a temperature of 355°F.

You can also use an oven if you don’t have a popcorn popper. The process is essentially the same.

Coffee Roasting Equipment

If you are serious about roasting the coffee beans yourself, then we recommend you getting a domestic coffee roaster. Coffee roasting equipment allows you to get a more uniform roast across your coffee beans.

It also gives you more control over which roast to pick, light or dark, or anything in between.

Roasting Process

The roasting process plays a vital part in the type of coffee roast that you will get.

To get a light roast coffee, you need to roast the coffee beans at a temperature of 355°F to 400°F

Coffee Bean Quality

Naturally, the type of coffee beans you use will play a large role in the final flavor of your drink. This means that it is very important that you choose the highest quality beans that you can afford.

Luckily, with a lot of advancements in coffee manufacturing and e-commerce, it’s very easy getting coffee beans from anywhere in the world right to your doorstep.

If you are planning to roast the beans yourself, purchase freshly harvested coffee beans. Green coffee beans are more affordable than the ready-roasted counterparts since the roasting process by the manufacturer is by-passed.

Cultivation Process

While we understand that picking the right light roast coffee brand is challenging to the many varieties and brands available. Choosing a reputable brand (or artisan roaster) would be a good start.

A reputable brand ensures that the entire coffee manufacturing process has been vetted to ensure higher quality standards.

Some of the best ones go even further by ensuring that the coffee is farmed ethically and the cultivation, harvest, roasting, and packaging meets local and FDA compliance.

You can’t go wrong with any of the coffees mentioned above in our review as they all meet this criteria.

Packaging

Fresh beans equals more flavor and aroma. In fact, packaging plays an important role in sealing all the essential flavors and aromas of your light roast coffee, which of course affects the final taste.

Making sure that the coffee you purchase is airtight and is made of material that doesn’t affect the taste of coffee beans will guarantee a superior tasting coffee as the coffee beans are fresh.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a powerful, yet mild tasting coffee that will deliver a strong caffeine kick, then light roast coffee is perfect for you.

Ultimately, whether you prefer light roast or dark roast depends on preference. If you’re like us, you’ll love both of them!

However, we understand that not everyone likes the stronger tasting coffees that dark roast produces. In that case, any 8 of the light roasts coffees will be a right fit for you.

Do you like Light Roast or Dark Roast coffee? Let us know!

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by Brett