Best Light Roast Coffee: Our Favorites
The coffee beans that we usually use for brewing espresso are either medium roast or dark roast. Light roasting is relatively new on the coffee craft scene. But it instantly gained fame among coffee lovers.
They love light roast beans for their fascinating and unique flavors. If you want to find out about all the buzz on light roast coffee, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve reviewed many light roast coffees. And we rounded up 10 of our favorite brands for this year.
One of the brands we reviewed was Lifeboost Organic Light Roast Coffee. It captivated our hearts for its bright, flavorful, and acidic brew. These are significant notes to look for when choosing the proper light roast coffee.
We ranked out Top 10 according to the following: price, flavor, origin, caffeine content, and more! So if you’re looking into trying a brand new coffee experience, keep on reading!
What’s in The Article
10 Best Light Roast Coffee Brands
Lifeboost Organic Light Roast Coffee (Best Light Roast Coffee Overall)
Fresh Roasted Ethiopian Sidamo Guji Coffee (Best Budget Light Roast Coffee)
Coffee Bean Direct Hawaiian Kona Blend Coffee (Best Light Roast Blend)
Kuju Coffee Angel’s Landing (Best Brand For Single Serve)
Dune Zip Zinger (Best Pre-Ground Coffee)
Tandem Sun Lamp (Best Decaf Light Roast)
Peet’s Colombia Luminosa (Best Light Roast Coffee For Cold Brew)
Grounds and Hounds Single Origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (Best Single Origin)
Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic Coffee (Editor’s Choice)
Coffee Bros. Light Roast (Staff Picks)
How To Choose The Best Light Roast Coffee
What Makes Light Roast Coffee Special?
10 Best Light Roast Coffee Brands
Let’s cut to the chase. Allow us to show you our top 10 favorite brands of 2021! Below you will find a list of coffee brands that offers light roast coffee beans. These beans are of different varieties. So if you want to learn more, keep reading!
Lifeboost Organic Light Roast Coffee – Best Light Roast Coffee
A doctor founded this brand. All the beans they produce are tested for 3rd party toxins. So it is sure to give you a delicious and healthy brew. This makes light roast coffee a healthier option. For those who enjoy their daily dose of caffeine.
Lifeboost Light Roast is an organic and single-origin coffee. All the beans from Lifeboost are shade-grown, non-GMO, and fair trade certified. They are all hand-selected and roasted in a way that ensures the best quality and flavor.
Our favorite thing about this coffee is that it’s delicious, sustainable, and ethical. You’ll get exciting flavor notes from this light roast. You’ll get notes of milk chocolate, nuts, and caramel. It will even give a hint of vanilla from its aroma.
We recommend steeping these organic coffee grounds in cold water. Doing this for an extended period helps extract the most flavor from the coffee. This is perfect if you want to make a delicious cold brew.
Finally, we love this brand because they only sell low-acid coffee. This allows you to enjoy your daily cup of joe without worrying about stomach acids.
Fresh Roasted Ethiopian Sidamo Guji Coffee – Best Budget Light Roast Coffee
Typically, top-of-the-line coffee with an Ethiopian origin comes with a hefty price tag. But, the Ethiopian Sidamo Guji Coffee from Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC is a rare exception. This makes us fans of this brand, earning it the title of Best Budget Light Roast Coffee.
The farmers carefully and sustainably select these beans. When choosing each coffee bean, they consider the origin, flavor profile, and quality. Their roasting process includes the use of a special Loring Smart Roaster. This helps them ensure that the coffee beans are roasted to perfection. The roasting process allows them to cut off carbon emissions by 80%. This is why the coffee they produce is sustainable and good for the environment.
Guji grows in the Oromia region in Southern Ethiopia. The area is known for producing some of the highest quality coffee in the country. Because the place has a dry climate and acidic soil. It gives the coffee beans remarkable fruity flavors.
You will notice fruity and wine-like flavor notes from this Sidamo Guji Coffee. It also has hints of cherry and strawberry. So expect a medium body, bright acidity, and an excellent earthy finish from this light roast.
Coffee Bean Direct Hawaiian Kona Blend Coffee – Best Light Roast Blend
This coffee company has a single primary goal – to serve coffee drinkers the best coffee and tea. The brand focuses on freshness, affordability, and quality. They have been producing coffee for the past 10 years. They are all hand-roasted from their facility in New Jersey.
Kona can be costly as it is one of the world’s best coffees. But, Coffee Bean Direct is a premium option that isn’t heavy on the pockets. They create this blend by combining 10% Kona beans. With high-quality beans coming from Central America. This particular blend matches the flavors and aromas of 100% Kona coffee. Without being expensive.
Coffee Bean Direct easily wins as our favorite blend among all the light roasts we tried. This is because it is inexpensive but delicious! They roast the beans in small batches. This brings out the bright acidity and mellow body. It also gives you flavor notes of coriander, macadamia nut, and chocolate.
Kuju Coffee Angel’s Landing – Best Brand For Single Serve
This brand features a unique design in its packaging. They offer single-serve pour-over coffee packets that we can attest to the quality. The packages are made of environmental-friendly material. They are fully recyclable and compostable!
Kuju Coffee Angel’s landing serves as an instant small pour-over filter. With packets that are pre-filled with measured amounts of light roast coffee grounds. It also comes with flaps that you can anchor to any mug. All that’s left for you to do is add hot water, and you’ll have a delicious cup of light roast in an instant. It works like instant coffee but tastes like a quality pour-over brew.
Angel’s Landing is Kuju’s specialty grade light roast ground coffee. This single-serve coffee is made out of 100% Arabica Coffee Beans. The beans hail from Thailand, Central and South America. What we love about the brand is that the farmers are former victims of sex trafficking from Thailand. They employ them to help the victims re-establish their lives. So you get good coffee while supporting a meaningful cause.
The flavor notes you’ll be getting from this coffee are excellent. They are dominantly floral, nutty, and citrus. This light roast features light acidity with a medium finish. Every packet you get is nitro-flushed. This removes all the oxygen while keeping the light roast ground coffee beans fresh.
Kuju has a state-of-the-art facility. It functions on 100% wind power. The brand is also a member of 1% of PlanetPlanet. They donate a part of their sales to the National Park Foundation. We love this single-serve product because it makes us feel good every time we buy from Kuju.
Dune Zip Zinger -Best Pre-Ground Coffee
Dune Coffee Roasters is a small-batch roaster. They are popular for the excellent coffee they produce. This brand is located in Santa Barbara, California. One of their employees placed third in the 2018 United States Barista Championship. So you know that the best baristas in the country make your coffee.
Dune’s signature breakfast blend light roast coffee is called Zip Zinger. This is a limited and seasonal product from the brand. This is because they adjust the production seasonally to ensure quality and freshness.
Currently, the mix of this light roast consists of beans of Brazilian, Ethiopian, and Colombian origin. The blend is combined with both washed and naturally processed coffee beans. This particular blend helps them achieve a perfect balance of bright acidity. With rich, dark undertones. It yields a versatile brew. Making it an excellent choice for adventurous coffee lovers.
The Dune Zip Zinger has flavor notes. Dominated by stone fruit, caramel, and chocolate aromas. This is rare among the light roast coffees we have tested because it shines on its own. You can also add milk or cream to this coffee. Doing so won’t affect its fantastic taste.
If you are a fan of the light chocolate notes from a good espresso, you will enjoy the Zip Zinger. It has the familiar flavors of espresso. That are enhanced by bright acidity and mellow sweetness.
Tandem Sun Lamp – Best Decaf Light Roast
High-quality decaf coffee is already challenging to find. We reviewed many light roasts of different varieties. The Tandem Sun Lamp is one of the few that impressed us with its decaf option. How much more for a lightly roasted decaf coffee.
Tandem Roasters, which hails from Portland, Maine, came up with a rare gem for decaf lovers. The Sun Lamp blend is not only a good decaf option. It is also good coffee in general.
The coffee is decaffeinated through Sugar Cane E.A. (ethyl acetate) decaffeination process. The process is also known as natural decaffeination. In regions such as Colombia, where sugar cane is abundant, this method makes a lot of economic sense. The process helps avoid excessive heat or pressure. It enables the green coffee beans to keep their cellular structure.
Sun Lamp is made with wet-processed coffee beans of Colombian origin. You’ll get flavor notes of berries and sweet vanilla. It also features hints of marshmallows, graham crackers, and green grapes. If you want a bright and exciting coffee experience. The Tandem Sun Lamp provides you with the kick without the caffeine aftermath.
Peet’s Colombia Luminosa – Best Light Roast Coffee For Cold Brew
After years of research and testing. Peet’s has finally come up with their first-ever signature light roast blend. The Colombia Luminosa Breakfast Blend is roasted in small batches. This results in a perfectly crafted combination. This brand makes our top 10 list. Because this breakfast blend coffee highlights the best features. Of light roast coffee beans.
Luminosa is a Colombian word that means “shining or “bright.” That is precisely what this coffee tastes like. The flavor notes it gives have a bright acidity, smooth flavors, and a mild body.
The beans are grown at a high altitude measuring over 4,500 feet. They hail from the mountainous coffee-growing regions of Colombia. Beans that come from the Huila region are known for their smooth and sweet character.
Coffee beans from Ethiopia are known for their fruity and floral character. These beans are mixed with the ones from the homeland of coffee, Ethiopia. By combining the two, it balances the flavors and results in interesting notes.
Because of all these exotic flavors, we prefer this coffee for cold brew than using it for pour-over. The long steeping process of cold brewing. Allows all the flavors to be extracted from the beans of dual origin. Additionally, Colombia Luminosa has an inherently mild body. Cold brewing keeps it from swinging from refreshing to overly rich.
This breakfast blend is indeed great to make in the morning. With its 100% Arabica Coffee Beans, expect to get hints of apple, cherry, and a subtle cocoa flavor in your cup of joe.
Grounds and Hounds Single Origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe – Best Single Origin
Ethiopia is the homeland where the best-tasting coffee is grown. Grounds and Hounds source their Ethiopian coffee beans from the coffee-growing region of Yirgacheffe.
This type of coffee is known for the smooth taste with fruity undertone. It also has a hint of chocolate. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is also rarely exported. This is because the terrain they grow on makes it hard for the farmers. To produce anything other than coffee plants. The area is also very isolated from other countries, making it hard to export.
Grounds and Hounds grow their beans at an altitude that is 5000-7000 feet above sea level. And the coffee beans undergo a washed process after they are sun-dried.
This single-origin coffee has special cupping notes. They are well-balanced, with a silky smooth body. The flavor notes have hints of orange blossoms, lemon peels, honey, and a black cherry finish.
We also love this brand for its versatility. It can be used for various brewing methods, such as percolator, cold brew, pour-over, and drip. They made our top 10 list. Because despite having a single origin. It still can make you a quality cup of coffee with exciting flavor notes.
Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic Coffee – Editor’s Choice
The next one is another brand. That sourced out their beans from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is another type of arabica coffee bean. They are grown from the highlands of Ethiopia, which gives them interesting flavors.
There has been a long-standing tradition of organic gardening and generous gatherings in the deep highlands of Ethiopia. Volcanica’s farmers grow their coffee beans at an altitude of 6,233 feet above sea level. These light roast beans also undergo a washed process. This organic coffee is Volcanica’s top-selling product.
Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic Coffee has a brisk citrus taste. And fruity flavor notes. You will get hints of lemon, blueberry, and blackberry flavors. Additionally, these green coffee beans are also USDA certified.
e have found that this coffee works best for pour-over and drip. And to make the most out of your coffee experience from this brand. We recommend you use two tablespoons of this organic coffee for every 6oz. of water. Keep in mind that the brewing water temperature has to be 195-205 degrees.
Coffee Bros. Light Roast – Staff Picks
Last but not least is a brand that makes light roast coffee for espresso and drip coffee fans. Coffee Bros. features a blend of high-quality beans from Colombia, Keffa, and Ethiopia. It gives this lightly roasted coffee a good flavor profile.
You can expect a crisp and bright brew with a creamy honey body. It also comes with citrus and floral notes. This light roast coffee has a sweet and silky taste.
The brand roasts their beans upon order. So you will surely get a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans in every sale.
This brand was founded by two brothers from Queens, New York. All their beans are ethically sourced out from small farms. A part of their proceed also goes to the organization, One Tree Planted. This means that you are planting a tree every time you buy from this brand.
How To Choose The Best Light Roast Coffee
We’ve already introduced to you our favorite brands. But if you still have trouble with light roast coffees, don’t worry. We also listed down some tips to help you choose a light roast coffee with the best quality. If you want to step it up a notch and want the strongest coffee brands, here it is.
The origin of the beans plays a role in the overall quality of the coffee. This is because various factors can affect the flavors you will be getting from the beans. Climate, soil, growing conditions, and process methods all equally influence the flavors.
You can get fuller flavors with lightly roasted coffee as compared to darker roast beans. This is because you roast the beans for a shorter period of time. Making the beans less affected by the roasting process.
If you are particular about the cupping notes. You will easily recognize the taste from the origin of the beans. One example is, coffee from Ethiopia and Latin American regions has distinctive features. Whereas light roast coffee beans from South America hold a milder taste and a light aroma.
Suppose you are developing an interest in tasting coffee from different regions. We recommend starting with green light roast coffee.
We are all familiar with the two main types of coffee – Arabica and Robusta. If you are looking into light roasts, you would want to go for Arabica beans.
This type has earned a reputation for its pronounced acidity. And sweeter taste, and softer taste. It has flavor notes of brown sugar, fruit, and berries. These flavors can be perfectly highlighted in light roast coffees.
Meanwhile, the harsh, green-like, and nutty taste of Robusta coffee remains popular. Especially with coffee drinkers who are fans of instant coffee. They are easier to access because robusta beans can thrive at lower elevations. They are also more resistant to pests and weather fluctuations. Another factor for its popularity is its caffeine content. Which is significantly more than its counterpart.
However, Arabica-Robusta blends have become a thing. Baristas have experimented in combining the two bean types. And coffee fanatics love it because of the dark and rich taste of robusta beans. Balances out arabica’s fruity and acidic flavors.
It is a socially conscious decision to look into the certifications. When shopping for the best light roast coffee. This is a factor that draws the essence of the flavor from the beans’ origin. Compared to how they are roasted. One determining factor for the quality and taste of the beans. Is how they are grown, collected, and distributed.
Nowadays, there are many different certifications for coffee. Many special interest groups coming from other parts of the world have come up with their own. As good as it sounds, this can pose a challenge to consumers to prove its legitimacy.
You will find a list of legitimate certifications that you want to look out for below:
It is a big green flag if the package of your coffee is labeled as USDA-certified Organic. This is a legitimate certification in the United States. This means that the beans are grown in a way that supports biodiversity and enhances the health of the soil.
USDA-certified Organic brands only use approved substances as well as organic farming methods. If you are conscious about the environment and your health. This is the certification you’d want to look out for.
Another certification from the United States is Fair Trade. This one ensures that coffee production includes social, environmental, and economic standards. These standards protect the health of the people and the planet.
When your coffee is Fair Trade certified, the farmers receive a fair price in every sale. They also get community development projects. And are established with long-term working relationships with consumers. Practices like these may also be labeled as “direct trade” or “ethically sourced.”
If your coffee has a certification from the rainforest alliance. This means that they take biodiversity conservation and community development into account. This is a combination that improves both socio-economic and environmental aspects. Of coffee-growing regions.
Food that follows the strict dietary standard of Jewish laws is referred to as Kosher. Coffee naturally implies these standards. But, if your coffee has a Kosher certification, it will help you ensure that it is made with 100% pure coffee. This means it does not contain any additives or processing methods. That might violate Kosher standards.
What Makes Light Roast Coffee Special?
Now that you know all about the many brands that offer light roast. Along with all the information you need for buying one. It is just as important to understand why people are raving about this new type of roast.
A multilayer of complexity is what a light roast is. When you lightly roast coffee, it will allow you to reveal the origin of the coffee beans. This makes profiling coffee according to sweetness, fruity, and floral tones straightforward.
Describing the process of roasting coffee may vary among coffee roasters and companies. But we will tell you why light roast coffee is exceptional in contrast to the other roasting methods.
Suppose you are someone who enjoys their daily cup of joe in the morning. And you prefer a mild taste with a strong caffeine kick; you will become an instant fan of light roast. This roasting method is a fan favorite among espresso lovers. Because lightly roasted coffee makes beverages more vibrant and flavorful.
In contrast to medium roast and dark roast coffee, many claims that you can get more caffeine in a light roast. This is because lightly roasted coffee beans. Haven’t given up their unique flavors or chemical composition. When a coffee bean reaches the first crack, the vapor inside breaks through. This leaves a higher concentration of “coffee.”
However, Kicking Horse tells us that the caffeine content does not rely on the beans alone. After conducting an experiment. The roaster explained that they lose all water content when you roast the beans. This makes them dense.
A light roast will look like it has more caffeine because it is denser than its counterpart. But, when you measure dark roasted coffee. They will have more caffeine content because it has less mass. You may also want to keep in mind that there are a wide variety of Arabica beans. This means that the caffeine content of each bean may vary.
If you are looking for a coffee that doesn’t upset your tummy, we have the best low acid coffees listed here.
Light Roast Vs. Medium and Dark Roast
Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or a beginner coffee drinker. You cannot deny the difference in the taste that depends on its coffee roasting levels. Green coffee beans, in particular, are already soft and tasteless even before roasting. They also come with fresh and earthly tones. But once you roast coffee beans, they transform into crunchy, flavorful beans.The easiest way to distinguish the difference between the beans. Is by looking at their colors. The colors of coffee beans range from light to dark, and sometimes they can even stretch out to extra dark. The longer the roasting time is, the darker the color of the beans gets. This is because as the beans begin to absorb heat, oils begin to surface.
Although this is the simplest way to tell them apart, it is still not the most accurate. But, this makes lightly roasted coffee more distinguishable than dark roast coffee. The light roast has a light brown appearance with a light body without the sheen of oil on top of the cup. This helps retain its caffeine content as compared to its counterpart. It did not reach the first crack. This is why light roast features earthy tastes and vibrant flavors.
Meanwhile, dark roast coffee is dark brown in color. With the resemblance of dark chocolate. Some dark roast even appears black. You will notice a sheen of oil on the surface upon brewing your dark roast. When you roast coffee to a dark roast, it will reach beyond the second crack. This makes it lose its original flavor. At the same time, the extraction allows the beans to produce a new and unique flavor. That you can only find in the particular bean.
There is often confusion when buying a dark roast. Especially if you are not so keen on the type of coffee that you buy. This is because they go by many names. Including Italian Roast, French Roast, Continental Roast, Espresso Roast, and the like.
To keep things simple for you, here is a summary of the roast levels and color gradation for each bean. This will help you in your search for the best light or dark roast coffee:
Lightly roasted beans. Keep the original flavor from the raw bean even after roasting.
The coffee’s body becomes denser upon absorbing heat.
Cofee that are light roasted tend to look dry. Whereas darker roasts appear glossy and oily on the bean surface.
Lighter roasts have a more vibrant flavor than its counterpart. It has a citrusy taste and is sweet-toned.
When coffee beans begin to absorb heat, they lose caffeine content, and the color turns darker.
Some coffee roasters and companies refer to light roast as breakfast blend coffees. This is because it makes the perfect cup of joe in the morning. It contains more caffeine and exhibits natural flavors and aroma. That they retain through the roasting process.
If you want to discover more about coffee and its origins, the light roasts are the perfect coffee, to begin with. This is because the roasting process allows you to the origin of the coffee beans. Additionally, it helps you determine its natural aroma and flavors. With its bright acidity and typical fruit and chocolate flavors. There is undoubtedly a light roast option that will please any coffee lover.
This year, Lifeboost’s Signature Light Roast stood out. It is made out of shade-grown whole beans. That originated from the Nicaraguan mountains. We love it because barely tastes organic. Featuring pleasant tones of hazelnut, caramel, and vanilla. It quickly won our hearts. And we are sure that this light roast will capture the hearts of every coffee lover out there.
We hope this article served as a helpful and informative guide. In your journey to discover light roasts. If you want to learn more about the different processes of coffee. Feel free to visit our blogs.