Most coffee lovers, especially the beginners, are wondering does dark roast have more caffeine when compared to the light ones. This is basically a common and normal question that everyone has. And from the looks of it, it seems that people have come with their best and most logical answers.
Believe it or not, the debate over whether it is the dark or the light roast that has more caffeine has been around for quite some time. So, what is the fact? What’s the truth about the caffeine content?
The Importance of Caffeine
Why do you drink coffee? To avoid the headache? To give you a boost of energy? Or you just like the taste of it? The reason why there are so many people drinking coffee is the caffeine. It is the source of joy that you are feeling every time you take a sip. To be frank, most people drink coffee because of the caffeine – no matter how bitter, sweet, milky, or creamy the taste is.
It is the caffeine that gives you the boost of energy. It is the caffeine that wakes you up from the state of sleepiness. It is the caffeine that prevents you from having the headache. As you can see now, caffeine is quite important.
Does dark roast have more caffeine?
And now, we come to the matter of light roast and dark roast. Does dark roast have more caffeine? It seems that a lot of people believe it so. Because of the darker appearance, which is generally related to the darker, smokier, and bitter taste, people are under an impression that the roasts contain more caffeine. Sounds like a logical thought, right?
Well, some people believe that light roasts actually have more caffeine than the dark ones. Since the beans are only roasted slightly (not for a very long time), the contents are somewhat left intact and it includes the caffeine. So, which one is correct, really?
The truth is, none of both claims are correct because the caffeine is actually very stable even during the process of roasting. If you compare each bean, you will see that they have the same caffeine percentage. You see, when you roast the beans, each bean would lose its mass, resulting in the change of the density. The longer you roast the beans, the less dense they will be. When you roast the coffee beans, around 90% of the content (mostly water) will be lost.
So, how do you know which one has more caffeine than the others? You need to measure it by weight or by scoop. If you use the scoop standard, light roasts will have more caffeine due to their dense characteristics (compared to the dark roast). But if you use the weight standard, dark roasts will have more caffeine because there isn’t much mass to count.
So, in the end, the loss of caffeine or whether one type has more caffeine than the others is very minimal. Even when there is a slight difference between the dark and light roasts, you won’t be able to tell the difference, will you? The minimal effect of roasting can only be observed and traced within the controlled lab’s setting and environment. After all, it’s not like missing some mg of caffeine will have a full effect on your body – unless you are drinking decaf. That’s a whole different story.
After knowing the answer to does dark roast have more caffeine, you should also remember that different coffee plants will result in different caffeine level too.
Coffee is divided into two main species, Robusta and Arabica. Whereas Robusta is cheaper and harsher, Arabica is tastier and more expensive. However, it turns out that it is Robusta that has more caffeine when compared to Arabica.
An average 12 oz of Robusta contains caffeine in between 232 and 800 mg. Meanwhile, a 12 oz of Arabica contains ‘only’ 84 mg to 580 mg of caffeine. But the higher the caffeine content of the Robusta is, the less tasty it is. It is not something pleasant at all.
So, if you want to choose your coffee based on the roast colors, here is your best pick. The light roast has brighter taste and it is somewhat more acidic. The dark roast is somewhat smoother than and not as acidic as the lighter one. It goes back to your personal preference and like, really.
Now that you already know the truth, it shouldn’t be hard for you to make the decision. It doesn’t really matter whether you choose the dark or the light roast – the caffeine level is just the same. Moreover, you just learn that the higher caffeine in Robusta isn’t really tasty or pleasant.
This information also gives you a basic foundation that you can’t really see the coffee beans colors just to know the caffeine contents. Now that you already know the answer to does dark roast have more caffeine, it’s time for you to decide which one you like more.