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Dark Roasts vs Light Roast: the truth about caffeine.

Dark roast vs Light roast Tuatahi

People often tell me that they drink a dark roast because they want a stronger coffee with a bigger caffeine hit. So are they correct in their thinking?

Before I answer we need to realise that there is actually two different topics at hand here, Coffee Strength and Caffeine Levels. 

We will leave the Strength discussion for a later post and will first address the subject of Roast vs Caffeine levels. 

NZ Caffeine levels Tuatahi

Caffeine: Is it on the Dark side?

So does a darker roast have more Caffeine? 

To put is simply, no. It actually has less. Contrary to popular belief lighter roasts have more caffeine than the dark roasts.  The longer coffee beans are roasted the lighter and less dense they become. Lighter roasted beans are heavier and denser allowing them to retain more of their naturally occurring caffeine. So on a bean to bean basis a lighter roasted bean actually has more caffeine than a dark roasted bean. 

Coffee pod caffeine levels Tuatahi

A weighty issue: Balancing the scales on Caffeine.

Balancing the argument is that nobody sells, buys or drinks coffee by the bean count. Whether it’s grinds, whole beans or even instant, coffee is sold by weight. As stated above darker roasted beans are lighter. Therefore 1kg of dark roast beans will contain more beans than 1kg of light roast beans.  The same applies in our 5g Nespresso® compatible capsules. There is actually more beans ground into the capsule in a dark roast vs light roast. So although the dark roast has less caffeine per bean there is actually more beans per capsule effectively countering the loss of caffeine.  

So be reassured that regardless of weather you are drinking a light roast or a dark roast the caffeine content is essentially the same.  So sit back, relax and enjoy the actual flavour of your coffee as well than just the caffeine kick. 


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