Does Dark Roast Have More Caffeine Than Light Roast

By July 9, 2017

Coffee is a branch of knowledge. It’s not just a drink. Its process from seed to cup is complex. When talking about coffee roasting, one of the most common myths is that dark roast coffee has more caffeine than light roast. However, another myth claims that dark roast coffee has less caffeine. Which one is true?   

dark roast vs light roast

Over the last few years, I had come to believe that caffeine will be removed from the beans during the roasting process, which resulted a lower caffeine content in dark roast compared with light roast. However, it seems I was wrong.  Actually, caffeine is extremely stable during the roasting process. The caffeine amount lost in roasting process is negligible. This means, for the same kind of  beans, they relatively have the same level of caffeine whether it is dark or light roasted.  (Learn: Difference Between Decaf Coffee and Regular Coffee)

But sometimes the cup of light roasted coffee and dark roasted coffee will be differ in caffeine. Why?  How you measure your coffee may make the difference. During the roasting process, coffee beans will get less dense for the water loss and grow in size for its expanded fibers. That’s why darker roasted coffee beans are always larger than lighter roasted ones. If you measure the coffee beans by weight, the scoop of dark roast will have more caffeine,  for they are less dense and will have a few more beans. But if you measure by scoop, light roasted coffee will have more caffeine, as they are smaller and you can  squeeze more beans in. (Learn: How much ground coffee per cup of water)

What is coffee roasting?

roast coffee beans

Roasting transforms green beans into the aromatic brown beans that we bought in cafés. The roasting process will change the green coffee beans in taste and produce the characteristics flavor of coffee. It will not change the levels of acids, protein, sugars and caffeine in the coffee beans, it only changes its taste due to the maillard and other chemical reactions. So as to the question “does roast have more caffeine?”, the answer is no, they have almost the same amount of caffeine. If you want to maximize your caffeine intake, you should pay attention to is the plant species of the coffee beans. (Learn: What kind of coffee beans for French Press)

Which coffee beans have the most caffeine?

does dark roast coffee have more caffeine

The caffeine levels in different coffee beans vary. The Robusta bean is almost the strongest bean, which is 2.4 percent caffeine. But it is not preferred for its harsher taste. While the popular Arabic bean, it is only 1.5 percent caffeine. Also, the Ethiopian bean contains 1.13 percent caffeine and the Tanzanian bean contains 1.42 percent caffeine. If you want high caffeine intake at the same time with better taste, you’d better choose Arabic beans.  

If you love coffee, you should know more about coffee. When someone ask you does dark roast have more caffeine, remember the answer is no. 

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