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Are you new to light roast coffee? Or a diehard fan looking for a new favorite bean?
Either way, this roundup of the best light roast coffees is perfect!
Light roast isn’t for everyone, but as a coffee lover you should definitely give yourself the time to get used to its complexities.
Even if you don’t become a light roast ride and die, you’ll understand more about other roasts, coffee’s aromas and flavors and what balance tastes like in various blends.
A lot of coffee lovers swear that light roasts have the most flavor — it’s the closest you get to coffee beans in their natural state, after all!
How is Light Roast Coffee Unique?
As it’s roasted for a shorter amount of time, light roast coffee maintains much of the acid and fruit notes natural to the coffee bean.
Roasted to a golden to light brown color, light roast beans aren’t oily to the touch because the oils aren’t yet beginning to leave them like they would after more roasting. They tend to have slightly more caffeine than darker roasts, along with a freshness not often associated with traditional coffee drinks. The caffeine content is more about the denseness of the coffee beans — darker roasts are less dense, and so by weight they contain less caffeine.
Light roast coffee is really complex, with a rich mouthfeel but an energetic flavor. Spend some time tasting light coffees and you’ll learn a lot about your pallet.
Light roasts don’t tend to be enhanced by the addition of milk. This is, perhaps, why they don’t tend to be as popular as medium or dark roasts for day to day drinking.
Don’t let you put that off, though. Light roast coffee is home to vibrant, unique flavors that are changed by other roasts. Single-origin coffees are often best as light roasts, because the specific characteristics of a region can be experienced with a lighter roast to show them off.
The Best Light Roast Coffee Brands:
1. LifeBoost Light Roast Beans
Life Boost are one of my favorite coffee companies because they care about every stage of the process, from the experience of the coffee farmers, to careful bean selection to how the finished product tastes and even how it feels on the stomach.
Admittedly, LifeBoost is an expensive coffee. It is, however, worth it if you care about all aspects of your brew and how it gets to you.
LifeBoost coffees are all organic, shade grown, fair trade and organic. Beans are hand picked, washed in fresh water and dried in the sun. All LifeBoost coffee beans are cultivated by local farmers throughout Nicaragua. The beans selected for LifeBoost’s Light Roast are single-origin, 100% Arabica.
This is a smooth, drinkable light roast with the zing and citrus notes you would expect from a light roast but none of the acidity. LifeBoost is known for an intensely calm finish, and a total lack of bitterness despite interesting notes throughout.
If you’re worried about trying a light roast, or are interested in coffee for its health benefits, then definitely go for Life Boost Light Roast.
2. The Coffee Bros Light Roast Breakfast Blend
The Coffee Bros only entered the game in May 2019, but they’re already roasting some of the best coffee out there.
The two-strong coffee team sells largely through Amazon, which is great for us at-home coffee-lovers. They’re determined to make great coffee available to all, highlight the regions their beans hail from and give back to the farmers who cultivate their beans.
This light roast breakfast blend is sourced from Keffa, Ethiopia & Nariño and Colombia and is 100% Arabica. The tasting notes include honey, citrus and a floral back end. Overall, it’s crisp, silky and easy to drink. The perfect breakfast blend to wake you up and get your day started.
All Coffee Bros light roasts are packaged immediately after roasting, as light roasts are uniquely delicate. They keep really well as long as you store them in an airtight container.
As with all Coffee Bros beans, their Light Roast Breakfast Blend is fairly priced, stylishly packed and overall fantastic value.
This is the coffee for you if you want to start a light-roast adventure, but don’t want to break the bank.
3. Real Good Coffee Breakfast Blend Light
Right down to their packaging, it’s clear that Real Good Coffee is a no-bullshit coffee company that puts the beans first.
Their Arabica beans are grown in Central and South America, and are all sustainably sourced and packaged. They’re all fresh roasted in Seattle.
The light breakfast blend is a little richer than most. A smooth citrus nose leads into notes of milk chocolate and double cream, leaving you with no bitterness and a gentle after taste.
This blend is great prepared in any manner and withstands milk well for a light roast. It’s also good value for money, especially if your coffee needs extend to the larger 2lb bags.
If you’re just dipping your toes into light roasts, then let Real Good Coffee’s Light Breakfast Blend coax you further into the water!
4. Kuju Coffee Angels Landing
As well as being great tasting, Kuju Coffee is super eco friendly and ethically sourced. Plus, the coffee is specialty grade and Kuju donates a portion of all their profits to US national parks.
It might initially seem expensive, but this coffee comes in single-serve pour-over packs that are super portable and could replace your coffee shop runs (so overall you’ll save money and drink great coffee)!
This light roast is a fresh, enlivening coffee with a smooth finish and notes of grapefruit and vanilla. Enjoy it black, either hot or iced.
Angels Landing is packaged in a wind-powered facility and nitro-flushed to keep it as fresh as the day it was roasted.
If you’re always on the go, but you still want good coffee, Kuju is for you!
5. Kicking Horse Hola Light Roast
True to their name, kicking horse doesn’t hold back!
Their light roast is lively, with a red currant sourness and an almond and honey body. There’s little acidity and a rounded finish.
Kicking Horse beans are ethically sourced and grown in a socially responsible manner. Hola is 100% Arabica, with beans from a variety of Central and South American coffee farms.
A US company, Kicking Horse roast all their beans in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.
If you’re looking for adventure, and a real get up and go light roast, then go for Hola Light Roast.
6. Cameron’s Coffee Breakfast Blend
This light, fruity coffee is designed to wake you up!
The beans for the breakfast blend are sourced from South and Central America, and lightly roasted to a golden color. They’re never over-roasted, and only the top 10% of coffee beans are selected to ensure that the quality is always top-notch.
The light roast is smooth, with no bitterness. It’s richer than many similar roasts, with complex flavors of red fruits and a caramel finish.
One of the best things about Cameron’s Coffee is the price! This is a genuinely premium coffee at a bargain price.
If you want to try a great light roast but don’t want to break the bank, get yourself some Cameron’s Breakfast Blend.
7. Coffee Bean Direct Kona Blend
This cheerful, tart coffee is a real treat! A hundred percent Arabica, and sourced worldwide.
The light roast is interesting, with notes of coriander and macadamia nut and a buttery finish.
This is cafe quality, artisan coffee for everyone. It’s the price of grocery store coffee, with all the quality of something boutique.
Light roasts can be intimidating, but Kona blend is a very accessible introduction to the coffee style. You could serve it to anyone and they’d be happy!
If you want something well rounded and drinkable, then the Kona Blend is a fantastic option.
8. Cafe Don Pablo
Another fantastic value option, Cafe Don Pablo is certified organic, GMO-free 100% Arabica coffee.
This is a low acidity coffee, so it’s easy on the stomach and has no bitterness.
It has a really deep flavor, and a rich and chocolaty finish. It’s unusually deeply flavored for a light roast coffee, but very drinkable and smooth.
Admittedly, the packaging isn’t exactly stylish or modern on any of Don Pablo’s products. But don’t let that fool you!
This is great coffee at a really great price!
If you want a coffee full of passion, and a coffee that’s good for the planet, plump for Cafe Don Pablo.
The Last Word
Light roast coffee can take some getting used to. I’m a huge fan, but I’m aware that not everyone shares my passion.
I will say, though, that everyone should give it a chance. And that means more than just a single, nervous sip! Light roasts have incredible variety and a huge spectrum of flavor. They really are a great way to get to know coffee intimately.
And if you know coffee, you know that the roast isn’t everything. You might need to try a couple of different light roasts before you find your favorite.
If you’re totally new to this style, Real Good Coffee could be the perfect starting point and Cafe Don Pablo is also a good option. These are slightly richer blends that stand up to milk, and won’t be a shock.
For those of you who already love light roasts or are simply more adventurous, Kicking Horse’s Hola is a fantastic coffee. It’ll certainly wake you up, which I suppose is what most of us want from a cup of jo! Plus, you’ll be thinking about its complex sharp notes all day.
As you can tell, light-roast coffee is something I’m passionate about. I hope you’ll join me in loving it!
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