8 of the best light roast coffees

After evaluating a number of ground and whole bean coffee options for the best light roast coffee, the Tanzania Peaberry from Fresh Roasted Coffee came out on top for me.  

In the case of the Tanzania Peaberry single origin bag of coffee, you will find a very unique bag of beans. This is not a very popular location for beans to come from. As a result, this bag is a must-try, even if it does not become your favorite.

If my choice doesn’t sound too great, here’s a little guide to help you find out a light roast that you might like, along with a few other great options. 

Coffees Being Reviewed

What Flavor Do You Want Out Of Your Coffee?

This is the biggest question I think you should be asking yourself anytime you are deciding on a type of coffee. I could recommend you all of my favorite coffees and you might not like any of them, so you should always try to pick something you think you’ll like. 

What I can do for you is help you narrow down your options in light roasts, so you can find a bean you might enjoy. Before we start narrowing them down, here are some general characteristics of light roasts: 

  • You can’t see oils on the outside of the bean 
  • All are light brown in color 
  • Have some sour/acidic characteristic to them 

Here are some common names and their characteristics of light roasts that you might see on a coffee bag: 

  • Cinnamon – brown, dry, no oils, flavor: grain, grassy, sour, noticeably acidic 
  • Blonde Roast – is another name for Cinnamon Roast that was coined by Starbucks. 
  • New England – darker than cinnamon, dry, no oil, still sour, but less sour, bread-y kind of flavor

Table of countries and their general flavor profiles

After doing some research, I made this table of some of the most popular coffee countries and the general flavors from them. One thing to note, is that most regions have a wide range of flavors. You should use this as an outline to find what flavors you want to find in your coffee. 

Colombiafragrant, rich, chocolatey
Guatemalasweet, caramel, fruity
Honduras nutty, lemon, chocolatey, sweet
Costa Rica clean, sweet, mild acidity
Arabian Peninsulasugar, fruity, berry
Nicaragua nutty, vanilla
Ethiopiafragrant, fruity, floral, citrusy

Yeah, a lot of them do have very similar flavor profiles. If you can’t decide on one region to start finding your light roast, I have some options down below to help you even further narrow your search down. 

Lavazza Organic ¡Tierra! Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Light Roast

For those of you who aren’t too specific on one flavor, coffee blends are a great choice. A blend of coffee is usually well-rounded, but lacks those super unique flavors single origin coffees have. 

With Lavazza Organic ¡Tierra! you’re going to be getting coffee from Africa, Central and South America. It’s going to have a lot of the sweeter flavors that won’t disappoint you. This coffee is described to have honey, malt, and chocolate notes. 

Lavazza Organic ¡Tierra! is also organic, meaning no chemicals are used when your coffee is grown or during processing. This bag of coffee is also 100% Arabica, which is sweeter in flavor compared to robusta. 

If you enjoy a coffee that is very balanced and has a natural sweetness to it, you might have to pick a bag up for yourself. 

Wink Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Here we have the Wink Blonde Roast Coffee. This is our first single origin coffee bean on this list. All single origin means, is that the beans all came from the same place. If you wanted to get the same unique flavor from your coffee every time, single origin is what you should get. 

What I noticed with a lot of the single origin coffees, is that the acidic and fruity notes are more emphasized. Which makes sense, since it isn’t blended with other coffees to balance it out like what most of us are used to. 

This blonde roast has flavors of citrus, earthy-ness, and nuts. This coffee is 100% arabica that comes from colombia. If we combine these flavors with the characteristics of colombian coffee, we have something that’s sweet with a bit of acidity. 

If you’re feeling more adventurous in how your coffee tastes, but not too far off the spectrum from what you normally get, this is a good choice. 

Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Here we have a Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee from Fresh Roasted Coffee. This coffee is a single origin coffee from Africa. 

This has flavors of black tea, lemon and peach. As you can see, the flavors of this coffee are almost tea like. A lot of specialty single origin coffees tend to be more tea-like in both flavor and appearance. 

Fresh Roasted Coffee does try to send out coffee within 24 hours of roasting. I highly recommend you order through their site if you’re planning on getting a bag, so that you can get the most out of this coffee. 

BLK & Bold, Limu Ethiopia Single Origin, Fair Trade Certified

Here’s another bag of coffee that is a single origin blend bag. The country of origin is Ethiopia. For those of you who desire to taste the uniqueness of the Ethiopian bean, this may be a good choice for you.

While a large number of our bags thus far have been whole bean bags, this one in particular is a ground bag of coffee. For some, this may not matter; however, for others, this may make all the difference in the world.

While a pre-ground bag of coffee may limit its effectiveness in a number of different brewing methods, the traditional drip coffee machine will flourish with this standard pre-ground bag. This is another bag of 100% Arabica coffee and will prove to be a great tasting unique cup of Joe.

Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Organic Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee

Here we have another coffee by Fresh Roasted Coffee. This one comes from Sidamo, Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia is known for its different regions that produce distinctive flavors.

With this coffee, you’ll be getting something that has earthy and berry flavors and has a sweet, creamy finish. The best ways to brew Ethiopian coffee is through: pour over, drip coffee, or cold brew. 

If you want to dive into an even more specialized flavor of coffee, I would recommend trying out this Ethiopian coffee.

Kicking Horse Coffee, Hola

With this bag of coffee, we find ourselves back in blended bag territory. Enjoy a combination of coffee flavors from Central and South America. While being a blended bag of coffee, it is also a bag that is a 100% Arabica.

This may be a good bag of choice for coffee drinkers who would just like to try out a blonde roast without having to commit to a lot of it. The reason for this is that the bag itself is only 10 oz. One of the major problems in investing in a large bag of coffee is that the second you open the bag, the rate at which the beans or the ground coffee will lose their freshness increases. 

You’ll be able to enjoy an aroma of ripe berries, rich nougat, and brown sugar while tasting flavor combinations of rich dark chocolate, cacao nibs, brown sugar and roasted hazelnuts. This blended bag of coffee is sure to impress and satisfy most coffee lovers. 

Caribou Coffee, Daybreak Morning

One of the great benefits of choosing a Caribou Coffee brand coffee is their approach to finding the right bean. Throughout the year, they pride themselves on traveling the globe to locate the perfect coffee bean. Not just that, but as the beans travel along their various checkpoints, they are tested to ensure you get high quality beans.

Along with great methods of ensuring an even greater quality is that Caribou Coffee is Rainforest certified. With a conscientious approach to their business, an eye on their coffee, and an eye on the environment, Caribou Coffee is a trusted brand of coffee.

This small bag of blended coffee weighs in slightly over a pound, comes pre-ground for those of you who want to avoid the hassle of grinding, and is in a small enough quantity to preserve a sense of freshness throughout the life of the bag.

Another great benefit of choosing this Caribou coffee blend is that it combines coffees from the Americas and East Africa. This will leave you with a cup of coffee that produces both a fruity and nutty taste.

Cameron’s Coffee Roasted Ground Coffee Bag, Breakfast Blend

Here’s another company that can be appreciated for the work they do behind the scenes. Every bag of coffee has beans or ground coffee within that have been roasted in small quantities.

This roasting method ensures that the roasting is done to perfection and that there are not a wide array of roast types slipping through the cracks. All of their beans are 100% specialty grade beans and are taken from the top 10% of beans from across the world.

This is a blend of coffee from Central and South America and a taste that is sure to delight the senses rather than produce a bitter taste as is often the experience. 

A great tasting coffee at an extremely affordable price. One thing to note about this company, is that others do not find their other coffees to be as good as the breakfast blend. But with you getting such a great price per bag of coffee, I would say go for it and try some of their other beans if you get the chance. 

FAQ & Tips 

Now that you’ve picked out what to get for a light roasted coffee, there are a few things you can do after getting them. 

How To Know You’re Getting A Light Roast 

The first thing we have to go over is what light roasted coffee is. Light roasted coffee on the roast spectrum, is the first stopping point where the beans can be taken out of the roaster. They are taken out of the roaster after what’s known as a “first crack”. That just means the beans have been roasted long enough and have started to pop like popcorn. 

Now what does it look like? I could try and describe it to you, but actually seeing what light roasted coffee looks like will be easier for you to remember. So here’s a picture of what some light roasted coffee looks like: 

So now you know what they look like. There are a few tests out there that you can perform yourself to really know if you’ve got a light roast. 

One thing you can do to test to see if it’s under-roasted, is to just give your beans a little squeeze with your fingers. If you can crack it open, then it’s good to go. But if it feels like a rock, then they need to be roasted a bit longer.

To test if your beans have gone past light roast, you can compare the color to a medium roasted bean. If it’s lighter than the image below you know you’ve gotten a light roast and if it’s about the same or darker, then you might want to send them back!

Tips to help you brew better light roast

If you’re new to brewing light roasts, I have a few tips to help you avoid brewing something that tastes like grass. 

The first one is to grind your beans a little finer than you would normally. Light roasted coffee beans have more moisture than darker ones, making them more dense. The additional moisture makes it harder to extract flavor from your coffee. Grinding your coffee a little bit finer will make extracting your coffee easier, giving you better flavor out of your beans. 

This next tip applies to both ground and whole bean users. If you find that your coffee tastes sour and unpleasant, try using hotter water when brewing. Try brewing your light roast at around 206 – 208 degrees Fahrenheit. According to an article by Fellow, the hotter water will pull out those sugars to help balance out those sour/acidic flavors in your coffee. 

Small Tips For After You Get Your Beans 

  1. Check the roast date of your beans. Closer to the day it was roasted, the better they are going to taste in your coffee. 
  2. Store them properly. Having an airtight sealed container, can help keep your beans fresher for longer. 

Light Roast vs Dark Roast

The main difference, which you probably already know, is that dark roasted coffee beans are just roasted longer. Any coffee bean can become a light or dark roast, but some have flavor profiles that are just better for a type of roast. 

Does Light Roast Coffee Have More Caffeine?

The short answer is yes. Light roast coffee does have more caffeine than dark roast. The longer beans go through the roasting process, the more caffeine is cooked out of the beans. Although, the difference in caffeine between a light and dark roast bean is very small. 

It does make a difference though is how you measure your beans to brew. Coffee is measured usually by weight or volume. To keep it short, if you measure by weight, dark roasted coffee will have more caffeine. If you measure by volume light roasts will have more caffeine. If you want to know a little more in depth I have a roast article that talks about caffeine. 

Blonde vs Light Roast Coffee 

Is there a difference? No, there’s no difference between blonde and light roast coffee. Blonde roast was coined by Starbucks, to describe the color of the bean. It’s used the same way Cinnamon roast is used to describe light roast coffee. 

The Best Light Roast Coffee?

There is no right answer to what the best light roast coffee is. What it really comes down to is what you want your cup of coffee to taste like. 

If you want my opinion, Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Tanzania Peaberry coffee, is a pretty good option for light roasts. Like I said earlier I highly recommend that you order directly from them, so that you’ll be able to get the freshest coffee possible. 

They roast when they receive the order and try to send it within 24 hours. You’ll really want fresh roasted coffee, so that you can fully enjoy the subtle tea flavors that this coffee has to offer. 

I hope you’re able to find a light roast that suits your taste if you don’t like my choice! 

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