Our 12 Best Light Roast Coffees To Buy in 2022

light roast coffee is not for everyone. it has different flavors than dark roast because it’s more vibrant and has less oil, but it can also seem watery or more bitter to some. big cup of coffee has put together a list of the top 12 light roast coffee options worth making, as well as some general information about light roast coffee.

our list was created with the coffee options you can buy right now in mind.

updated (November 2022): we have added organic Ethiopian yirgacheffe from volcanica to the list. this coffee is making a lot of noise in our tasting circles, so we thought it had to be on the list.

if you want the tl:dr (too long, don’t read it), here are our best roasts:

  1. editors choice(*10% coupon code already included in the link): fresh roasted llc – white knight
  2. best organic: volcanica best ethiopian yirgacheffe coffee, organic
  3. Best Kona: Hawaii Coffee Company – Premium Leon Gold 10% Kona Blend Coffee
  4. Best Small Batch: Cooper’s Draft Coffee – Ethiopian Bold Roast
  5. best social mission(save 15% using coupon code: bigcupofcoffee): grounds and hounds – single Colombian origin
  6. Best Sumatra: Copper Barrel Coffee – Sumatran Dark Roast
  7. better sustainable: exclusive blend of small footprint coffee – whole bean
  8. best peaberry (*10% coupon code already included in the link): fresh roasted llc – tanzanian peaberry coffee
  9. Best Budget No Frills: Café Don Pablo – Organic Light Roast
  10. our favorite light roast coffees you can order online

    light roasts are easy to find on the internet. essentially, the roasting process is the only difference between these and other more popular dark roasted whole beans. unique flavor, quality, and adapting to your budget are more complicated. Below are the best light roast coffees that have made our list of the top 11 high-quality light roast coffees you can buy today.

    editor’s choice – fresh roast llc – white knight

    Fresh roast is our best bet and for good reason. Their coffee is USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified. it is a blend of their single origin coffees. Also, its price is on the lower side compared to others. high-quality, certified, organic, single-origin, and at a solid price. what’s not to like?

    • increasing altitude: n/a (mixture)
    • processing method:combination
    • tasting notes: bing cherry, cocoa, clean
    • tan body: bold
    • roast level: light
    • Certifications: USDA Organic, Fair Trade Certified
    • Artisanal Blend: An exclusive blend of our exclusive single origin coffees
    • method of preparation: ideal for pour-over, drip or aeropress
    • Founded in 2009, Freshly Roasted Coffee was founded on a commitment to quality, service and sustainability. By sourcing coffee with integrity, they are able to offer businesses and consumers a wide selection of affordable, high-quality, freshly roasted specialty coffees.

      they were lucky enough to be named one of the fastest growing private companies in the country in 2015, 2016 and in 2017, and in 2017 they were ranked in the top 5000! Check out our full Fresh Roasted LLC review to learn more and find other gems.

      volcanica – Ethiopian yirgacheffe coffee, organic

      If you follow our blog, you’ll know we’re huge fans of volcanica. their yirgacheffe Ethiopian coffee is no exception. If you’re not familiar with yirgacheffe coffee or its flavor, check out this reddit thread on flavor profiles.

      Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is a type of Arabica coffee grown in the Ethiopian highlands. the terrain of this area makes it difficult for farmers to grow anything other than coffee plants, and because they are so isolated from other countries, these beans are rarely exported. Ethiopian yirgacheffe has a mild flavor with fruity accents and hints of chocolate or nutmeg.

      This particular roast from volcancia is their #1 selling product and for good reason. Finally, here’s a coffee that will thrill you to wake up to. Deep in the spectacular Ethiopian Highlands, there have been longstanding traditions of organic gardening and bountiful gathering for centuries.

      • growing altitude: 1900 meters / 6233 feet
      • processing method: washed process
      • tasting notes: lemon, blueberry and blackberry
      • tan body: bold
      • roast level: light
      • certifications: usda organic
      • handcrafted: single origin
      • method of preparation: ideal for pouring or dripping
      • volcanica pro tip for brewing: “Brewing water temperature should be 195-205 degrees. use two tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water.”

        fresh roasted – tanzanian pea coffee

        Peaberry coffee, also known as “single bean coffee,” is a rare type of coffee bean that grows in the shape of a pea. the beans are usually harvested by hand and can only be found in high-quality arabica trees. peaberry coffees are generally more expensive than traditional coffee beans because they often have higher levels of caffeine and flavor compounds.

        fresh roast has nailed this light roast. For less than $12 you can get a whole bean coffee that is straight from Tanzania Africa. We have found this coffee to be a great entry level pea coffee at an undeniably low price.

        See our full fresh roasted llc review for more information.

        • increasing altitude: 1,200 m (3,900 ft) – 2,000 m (6,561 ft) above sea level
        • processing method: farm washed and sun dried
        • tasting notes: lemon, peach, black tea
        • tasting notes: bold
        • aromatic notes: fruity flavor and medium acidity
        • preparation method: pour and drip
        • Hawaii Coffee Company – Golden Lion Roasted Coffee

          It’s a light roast coffee you won’t dare drink before bed. It is a vibrant cup of coffee with a sweet, smooth flavor and a slightly citrusy finish.

          • tasting notes: rich, bold and sweet with pleasant bitterness
          • tasting notes: with hints of coconut and fruity nuances
          • preparation method: pour and drip
          • Hawaii Coffee Company – Lion Premium Gold 10% Kona Coffee Blend

            is a premium Hawaiian coffee with 10% kona coffee beans. the coffee experience leaves you longing for that relaxing Hawaiian vacation. it is better to accompany with cookies for a snack.

            • tasting notes: bright, bold and smooth body
            • tasting notes: delicate and nutty
            • preparation method: pour and drip
            • about the hawaii coffee company
            • Hawaii Coffee Company is a coffee marketplace for all brands of Hawaiian coffee and tea. is a family of sister coffee companies with one main purpose. that’s delighting coffee drinkers with the best coffee and tea. To date, they are the largest Kona coffee roaster in Hawaii. they are also the main supplier of high-quality coffee for most industries on the big island.

              very good coffee with​ – blend for breakfast

              It’s a perfect combination for breakfast on a busy day. Coffee beans from Central and South America are 100% Arabica. The roasting plant in Seattle handles the roasting and packaging of the beans.

              • tasting notes: rich and smooth body
              • tasting notes: with hints of energetic citrus flavor
              • aromatic notes: milk chocolate and cream
              • brewing method: espresso maker, drip machines, French press, pour-over, aeropress, and mocha maker.
              • real good coffee co is a small team of coffee roasters based in seattle. Their primary focus is quality, sustainability, and affordability. this company has a proven track record of 30 years in bringing you the best tasting specialty coffee. no frills or gimmicks. just good coffee.

                brown horse kicking – hello

                kicking horse coffee hola blend made it into our best light roast coffee. this amazing coffee is deep, dark and delicious. roasted under the Canadian rocky mountains. coffee is a tasty cup to awaken the senses first thing in the morning. Furthermore, their coffee is certified fair trade and certified organic.

                check out our full kicking horse coffee review for more info.

                • tasting notes: light and silky body
                • tasting notes: with juicy red currants combined with a creamy body of honey
                • aromatic notes: ripe berries, rich nougat and brown sugar
                • brew method: pour-over, drip, espresso, French press, and cold brew
                • kicking horse coffee roaster is an amazing coffee roaster located in invermere, b.c. It’s the Canadian number. 1 Organic & Fair Trade Coffee Roaster & Acclaimed Best Place to Work in 2015 & 2018.

                  cafe don pablo – organic light roasted

                  Cafe Don Pablo’s light roast coffee originates from the coffee farms of Honduras. it is 100% Arabica and is certified GMO-free. its “depth of flavor” is due to its cultivation at high altitudes in the Honduran marcala. if you are looking for a coffee that is vibrant but low in acidity, this is the coffee for you.

                  • tasting notes: bright, silky-smooth coffee with a smooth finish and sweet aftertaste
                  • tasting notes: rich and chocolaty
                  • aromatic notes: honey, caramel and cocoa
                  • preparation method: pour-over, drip, French press
                  • cafe don pablo is a family owned gourmet coffee company based in miami, florida. This coffee roasting company specializes in Honduran gourmet coffee. Their coffee beans are personally grown, picked, and processed in Colombia. they manage their coffee tree production through their certified exchange program.

                    Small Footprint Exclusive Coffee Blend – Whole Bean

                    tinyprint’s signature light roast blend is a whole bean coffee that is 100% organic. It is a shade-grown Arabica coffee from the best coffee-growing regions of the world.

                    see our full review of the small footprint for more information.

                    • tasting notes: light and smooth body with mild acidity
                    • tasting notes: with hints of bright lemon and orange and a soft cocoa finish
                    • aromatic notes: natural sweet scent
                    • preparation method: pour-over, drip, French press, and cold brew
                    • The small-footprint coffee company is the world’s first zero-carbon coffee. is a company with an earthly cause. For every pound of coffee sold, a percentage goes to an environmental cause like the reforestation of the Mindo cloud forest. the tiny footprints support this cause in the belief that such movement can help the earth remove 54 pounds of co2. likewise, reforestation can provide a habitat for native plant and animal species.

                      new england coffee: new england donut shop mix

                      It is a premium arabica coffee bean that is light roasted for that smooth, smooth taste. New England Coffee Light Roast Ground Coffee is Kosher Certified coffee with no gluten or additives. the company maintains special dietary restrictions to guide coffee drinkers.

                      • tasting notes: light and smooth body with no bitter aftertaste
                      • tasting notes: sweet in tone with a smooth flavor
                      • preparation method: pour-over, drip, French press, and cold brew
                      • New England coffee is one of the oldest coffee brands in the United States. they sell tasty brews for adventurous coffee lovers. each coffee blend they offer has a distinct flavor and aroma. this difference helps you identify one variant from another.

                        cooper’s draft coffee – ethiopian bold roast

                        You must try the Ethiopian Bold Light Roast Roast. is a micro batch of single origin coffee from heirloom varieties. Cooper’s Cask sources its coffee beans from Fair Trade Certified and Organic coffee farms. If you are not satisfied with your coffee beans, you can always request a full refund within 30 days.

                        • production method: natural/sun-dried
                        • tasting notes: bold, smooth and vibrant
                        • tasting notes: with hints of citrus, raw floral honey and hints of wild berries
                        • aromatic notes: floral and fruity tones
                        • preparation method: pour-over, drip, French press, and cold brew
                        • cooper’s cask coffee is a specialist in gourmet coffee. they test and create new batches of coffee using award-winning whiskey and rum barrels. These barrels allow Cooper roasters to create amazing coffee with unique flavor profiles while roasting in small batches. the whiskey barrel is from sons of freedom spirits, while the rum barrel is from thomas tew rum.

                          Earths and Hounds – Single Origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

                          is a single origin Ethiopian coffee from the yirgacheffe regions. It has stunning crisp and vibrant floral notes and earthy undertones. check out our full review of grounds and hounds to learn more.

                          • growing altitude: 5000-7000 feet above sea level
                          • production method: washing and drying in the sun
                          • tasting notes: silky smooth body, well balanced
                          • tasting notes: with hints of orange blossom, lemon peel, honey and black cherry finish
                          • brewing method: percolator, cold brew, pour and drip
                          • save 15% on your order and get free shipping over $50 – click this link and use coupon code bigcupofcoffee.

                            what is a light roast coffee?

                            light roast coffee is a multi-layer of complexity. Lightly roasting can reveal the origin of the coffee beans, making it easier to profile the coffee based on its sweetness, fruity and floral tones. Although the terms used to describe the roasting process vary between coffee roasters and companies, there are easy ways to determine which roast options you prefer. include the following:

                            American roasting: the coffee beans are medium roasted. it is a roast that creates a moderate infusion with a vibrant flavor that is neither too light nor too heavy.

                            French Roast: The coffee beans resemble the color of dark chocolate. it is full-bodied and has a stronger flavor with a delicious bitterness.

                            Italian Roast: Italian coffee is bright brown, brown to black. it is very rich, strong and heavy. it is the preferred roast for espresso drinks.

                            Light roast coffee is generally light brown in color. it has a distinctive light body and an oil-free surface. the coffee beans never reach the second crack during the roasting process. this is how the natural flavors of the beans are maintained – they are more “raw” than a darker roast. compared to the medium roast and dark roast, the caffeine level is a bit higher.

                            what does light roast coffee taste like?

                            Not all coffees taste the same. there is a big difference in flavor between light, medium and dark roast coffee. if dark and extra dark roast coffee tastes bitter or almost burnt, then light roast coffee tastes sweet and earthy. this is because it has not lost its flavors during the roast.

                            Another notable flavor of light roast coffee is that it has an acid taste and a strong aroma. some light roast coffees even show aromatic floral notes. however, the flavor of the light roast can still vary depending on the processing method used. It can be natural, washed or semi-washed.

                            choose a light roast

                            If you want to try a light roast coffee for a change, choosing the best light roast coffee is the best way to go. How would you know if you got the best light roast coffee? here are some considerations:

                            source

                            The origin of the coffee bean plays a vital role in identifying the flavor profile of the beans. Currently, more than 100 species of coffee with Arabica and Robusta are produced and marketed.

                            Light roast coffee beans are often roasted in the oven at temperatures between 355 and 400°F. this is how the beans retain their original flavor. coffee beans are acidic, oil-free, and have a high concentration of caffeine. however, there is still inconsistency in flavor.

                            If you are observant of the coffee tasting and tasting notes, you will recognize the country of origin. For example, coffee from Latin America and Ethiopia have distinctive flavor characteristics.

                            Light roast whole bean coffee from South America is popular for its milder flavor and light aroma. if you prefer a light roast with a smooth body and fruity undertones, you will like a light roast coffee from Ethiopia.

                            coffee beans

                            Learning from the mistakes of roasting coffee beans in earlier days, modern light roast coffee now tastes better than dark roasts and has become ideal for specialty coffees.

                            The coffee beans are lightly roasted to preserve their unique bean characteristics. however, the variety of flavors, aromas, and aftertastes still depends on many factors including how the farmers grow the coffee plant, the method of processing, and roasting.

                            cultivated coffee plant

                            each coffee region cultivates the coffee plants that grow best in its soil. For example, Ethiopia grows traditional Arabica varieties, Brazil’s coffee farms pride themselves on their bourbon varieties, and Hawaii takes great care of its Typica variety.

                            Another factor is the type of soil used to grow these coffee plants. For example, Volcanica obtains its beans from coffee plantations abundant in volcanic soils. this volcanic soil is rich in micronutrients and minerals, giving the coffee beans a unique flavor profile.

                            processing method

                            There are 3 methods widely used in the processing of coffee beans. these are natural, washed and semi-washed. these methods can also affect the flavor and aroma profile of the coffee beans.

                            apart from this, the climate of the coffee region can make a difference in the method of processing. some coffee-growing regions are not good for natural processing due to their inconsistent climate. A good example is the coffee farms in the southern hemisphere of Brazil.

                            toasted

                            Light roast coffee maintains its caffeine level and flavor within a defined temperature range. it is cooler than dark roasts and is roasted between 350 and 400 degrees fahrenheit. this means that the coffee beans do not reach the second crack.

                            before light roast coffee approaches first crack, the beans go through different stages:

                            • green: as the first level where it preserves its “virgin green essence”.
                            • yellow: The coffee beans are beginning to emit a grassy odor.
                            • steam: The water content of the green coffee beans evaporates.
                            • First Crack: Also known as the “cinnamon roast.” this is where the real roasting happens.
                            • As the water content of the beans evaporates, the sugar in the beans begins to caramelize, and as the roast progresses, you will hear a crunch sound like when you are making popcorn.

                              Because light roast coffee beans undergo a short roasting period, they do not produce caramelized sugar or oil. what you taste from light roast coffee is the original flavor of the green coffee beans. for some people this often resembles the scent of freshly cut grass. even though it was roasted, the original flavor and aroma innate in the green coffee beans remain.

                              caffeine content

                              If you want to start your day with a smooth coffee but with a strong hint of caffeine, light roast coffee will do the trick. Light roast coffee is a favorite choice for espresso, as it can make coffee drinks more vibrant and flavorful.

                              when comparing the caffeine content of light roast coffee beans with those of medium and dark roast. many claim that light roast coffee has more caffeine than dark roast. This is because the lightly roasted coffee beans have not given up their unique flavors or chemical composition. when the coffee beans reach the first crack, the steam within the beans opens up leaving a higher concentration of “coffee”.

                              however, kicking horse reiterates that caffeine content is not measured by beans alone. in a small experiment carried out with ten grams of light roast and dark roast. these roasters explained that when you roast the beans, you lose the water content. so the beans become dense.

                              so when you measure your ground coffee with tablespoons, the best light roast coffee will appear to have more caffeine. especially that it is denser than dark roast. but, if you weigh the dark roast, it will also have more caffeine because it has less mass. confused yet?

                              Another point to consider is that there is a wide variety of Arabica coffee beans. as a result, the caffeine content of the beans can also vary.

                              light roast vs dark roast

                              Whether you’re a coffee snob or not, you can determine the flavor of your coffee through its roast level. even before roasting, green coffee beans are soft, tasteless beans with a fresh, earthy smell. once the raw bean is roasted, it is transformed into flavorful, crunchy beans.

                              Another factor that can determine the taste of coffee is its country of origin. since the coffee regions cultivate different species of arabica coffee plants. the country becomes part of the identity and flavor profile of the beans.

                              but the most common way to identify the flavor of the coffee bean is through its color. Coffee beans are color graded from light to dark and sometimes extra dark. color changes occur as roast temperature increases. as the beans absorb more heat, the oils begin to rise to the surface.

                              Although it’s not exact to classify coffee beans by color, the particular shade of brown makes it convenient to identify the level of roast. therefore, it makes the light roast more distinguishable than the dark roast.

                              light roast coffee has a light brown color. It has a light body and does not have any oil sheen on top of the cup. compared to the dark roast, it retained most of its caffeine. it did not reach the first crack. that’s why light roast coffee has an earthy flavor and a vibrant flavor.

                              Dark roast coffee shows a dark brown color, which can resemble dark chocolate. some dark roast looks black. When you brew this coffee, you will notice an oil sheen on the surface. as coffee beans are roasted beyond the second crack, they lose their original flavor. however, the extraction helps it to produce a unique new flavor distinctive to the coffee bean.

                              but if you’re not interested enough in the dark roast you buy, confusion often arises. dark roasts go by many names. these include Italian Roast, French Roast, Continental Roast, Espresso Roast, etc.

                              To help you out the next time you’re looking for the best light or dark roast coffee, we’ve outlined a single roast level and color gradations for each bean.

                              • Light roasted coffee beans retain the original flavor of the raw bean even after roasting.
                              • the body of the coffee bean becomes denser as it absorbs heat.
                              • light roast coffee has a more vibrant flavor than dark roast. It has a sweet tone and a citrus flavor.
                              • light roast coffee beans tend to look dry, while dark roasts appear shiny and oily on the surface of the bean.
                              • as the coffee beans absorb heat, the caffeine level decreases and the color of the beans darkens.
                              • conclusion

                                light roast coffee is definitely the perfect drink for a lively morning. it has a bit more caffeine and exhibits natural flavors and aromas retained only from a light roast.

                                If you’re on a journey to discover more about coffee, a light roast is the best coffee to start with. allows you to identify the origin of the coffee beans, as well as determine the innate flavor and aroma. similarly, testing the best lightly roasted coffee helps to distinguish which brewing methods work best with these coffees.

                                From the list of the top ten light roast coffees, my personal preference is the freshly roasted organic white knight, as it is light and silky with a nice bitterness. I can drink it every day.

                                When I want to splurge, I like Hawaiian Coffee Company’s 10% Kona as you can’t beat the taste of Kona blend. it’s undeniably different, yet remarkably delicious. It’s a good light roast coffee if you want to stay active all day, as it packs a punch.

bhh

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