Dark Roast Coffee Vs Light Roast Coffee: Know Which One Is Healthier And Why?

Does light roast coffee or dark roast coffee have more caffeine? Which coffee is better for you, light or dark roast? Explains this Nutritionist.

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograUpdated at: Jan 22, 2021 17:36 IST
Dark Roast Coffee Vs Light Roast Coffee: Know Which One Is Healthier And Why?

Coffee lovers worldwide who reach for their favourite brew probably just expecting to kickstart their day or give an energy boost, but very little is known about the concept of ideal coffee which depends on the degree to which it is roasted. Coffee is are prepared from roasted coffee beans, the seeds of berries from certain coffee species. These coffee beans can be burned at different degrees and time to control coffee's flavour, differentiated into two types. One is light roast coffee, and the other is dark roast coffee. Raw coffee beans are green in colour, which are unroasted mature or immature coffee beans. They have a very earthy and grassy aroma, nothing like the typical coffee beans you sense. Green coffee beans are heavier than roasted beans because their moisture hasn't been lost to the roasting process. Are you aware that coffee is rich in antioxidants? All the research suggests that drinking coffee makes the mind sharp and keeps heart diseases away. But have you noticed that some coffee beans found in the market are lightly roasted, and some coffee beans are dark roasted? Now you might get confused thinking which coffee beans are more beneficial for your health? So we are removing your confusions by telling you which coffee is healthier for you to drink. This brings to some distinct features of the light and dark roast coffee.

Light roast coffee

Light roast coffee

  • Light roast coffee tends to have light brown colour as the roasting process and heat absorbed by the beans are low which generally traps the natural oil of coffee to be locked in the seeds and can't reach the surface. The lighter the coffee is roasted, the higher the acid content. This is significant in terms of health benefits, as the lighter roast seem to offer higher antioxidant properties due to less heat absorbed, making them better for the drinker.
  • Light roast is better for protecting against inflammation and cell damage compared to its dark roast. As it possesses more health properties due to less heat absorbed. Eating and drinking the right amount of antioxidants keeps your body safe from many chronic diseases and reduces inflammation. 
  • This means that if you drink light roast coffee, it is more healthy for you because the amount of caffeine in it is equal to dark roast coffee, while the amount of antioxidants is more and it also protects the body in a better way. Antioxidants that inhibit the action of oxidation in our body and prevent cells from getting damaged. These diseases include heart diseases, diabetes and severe neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer.

Dark roast coffee 

 Dark roast coffee

  • Dark coffee is generally opposite to light roast coffee as it has dark brown colour due to the roasting process and heat absorbed by the beans are very high which release the natural oil of coffee typically to be locked in the seeds and can be seen on the surface which gives a shiny coat to the coffee and a matte dark brown colour.
  • Dark coffee has many small cracks due to the roasting process, which breaks small openings in the beans for the thermogenic activity. The darker the coffee is roasted, the lesser the acid content. 
  • If you walk into your local cafe, you will likely see they prepare espresso and other espresso-based drinks with dark roast beans. This Is due to the aroma which dark coffee beans offer. 

Light vs dark roast coffee: Which is healthier?

 Light vs dark roast coffee

Generally, the more natural content is less tempered, the more benefits are observed. It states that light roast coffee is healthier and can be considered better than dark coffee; it also possesses higher antioxidant properties and protects against inflammation and cell damage compared to its dark roast. Scientists have found that if the coffee is a light roast or roasted on low heat for a long time, it can better protect the human cell. Light roast coffee can prevent cell damage or oxidation better than dark roast coffee and protect the body from inflammation. Besides, a high amount of chlorogenic acid was found in light roast coffee in lab tests. However, no effect was observed on caffeine levels of coffee by roasting.

Also Read: Have You Heard About White Coffee? Know Its Health Benefits, Taste and More

  • Which is stronger dark roast or light roast coffee? How coffee drinkers describe their beverage? They often define the "power" of coffee in a few distinct ways, including bitterness, caffeine content and taste. Light roast coffee is "stronger" if you compare its caffeine content. If you compare flavours, dark roast coffee will have a much bolder, richer taste than light roast coffee.
  • Is dark or light roast coffee more bitter? Lighter roast coffee decreases slightly during the roasting process; hence it is less bitter, higher in caffeine, brighter overall, and retain more of the region's specific flavour characteristics where the beans were grown. Comparatively, in dark roast coffee, most of the flavour is the result of the roasting process.
  • Which coffee gives you more energy? Its the way you measure your coffee which makes all the difference in the amount of caffeine that you will savour in your cup of joy. Do you measure your coffee by volume? If yes, then lightly roasted coffee will contain more caffeine. Do you measure your coffee by weight? Then the dark roasted coffee will provide you with the energy you desire.
  Research on coffee

Research on coffee

Recent research conducted in Korea was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, based on the effect of roasting coffee on its health properties. A unique antioxidant is found in coffee, which is called chlorogenic acid. Due to this antioxidant, coffee is considered so healthy. The researchers wanted to find out during the research that when we roast coffee, the difference in the amount of chlorogenic acid present. For this, scientists tested extracts of roasted coffee beans at several different levels with human cells to see how helpful they are in preventing inflammation.

Also Read: Here Are Some Unheard Benefits And Side Effects Of Chamomile Tea

FAQs related to coffee

  • Is it wrong to drink 5 cups of coffee a day? Research suggests that drinking up to 5 cups of coffee per day is not harmful to your cardiovascular health. However, more analysis is needed to thoroughly understand what is in coffee that may affect a person's risk of heart stroke or heart attack and affects your body.
  • How many cups of coffee per day? Some research suggests that 400 mg of caffeine a day may be considered safe for a healthy adult. According to this, you can consume up to 3-4 cups of coffee in a day. But if you are suffering from any disease or are taking medicines, you can ask your doctor about the amount of coffee you should drink.
  • Is it okay to have 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day? According to an extensive review of studies, 3 to 4 cups a day may have some health benefits; hence, moderate coffee drinking is safe. It is found that a lower risk of liver disease is found in some coffee drinkers. Some researchers also prove the lower risk of dying from a stroke. When a weakened heart has trouble pumping blood to the body, drinking 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day may ward off heart failure.

(With inputs from Chirag Parmar, Certified Nutritionist and Founder of Next Gen Foods)

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