Best Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Table of Contents

Top Dark Roast Coffee Beans

When you roast a coffee longer, you give the beans a chance to reveal deeper, darker flavors. While light roasts tend to keep a few of their origin flavors, dark roasts tend to develop nutty or even caramel-like tastes.

It’s easy to spot dark roast beans. First, because they are much darker in color! And, secondly, because they tend to take on an oily sheen not seen on other lighter roasts.

If the best part of your day is a cup of heavy-bodied, low-acidic bliss — then we’ve got some recommendations coffee-cherry-picked just for you! We’re about to review 16 brands so you can get matched with your perfect mug of java.

Stick around or scroll to the end for an exclusive buying guide and frequently asked questions.

Product Ranking

This unique and aromatic dark roast from Koffee Kult will have you springing out of bed in the morning. Brew up a cup of this smooth, heavy-bodied coffee and savor the cinnamony flavor.

We love a dark roast that’s bold without being bitter. And that’s what you get when you buy these fresh-roasted beans. Sourced from Columbia, Brazil, and Sumatra, this blend is 100% Arabica.

Since you get to pick the grind, there are a variety of ways to enjoy this dark roast. However, we do recommend giving it a whirl (or a shot) as espresso if you have the means!

Key Features:

  • Small-batch artisan roasted
  • Shipped within hours of roasting
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Heavy-bodied, smooth, cinnamon flavor notes

Specifications:

  • Brand: Koffee Kult
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Origin: Colombia, Brazil, Sumatra
Product Ranking

Roasted high in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, Kicking Horse coffee is a force to be reckoned with. Get yourself in gear every morning when you brew up a cup of their Kick-Ass dark roast blend.

These Arabica beans are everything you want in a dark roast. Sweet, smoky, and audacious. With luscious tasting notes of dark chocolate, rich cacao nibs, hazelnuts, and a hint of brown sugar.

Kicking Horse cares about their coffee being not only good for the drinker but for the farmers and the planet too! That’s why they use certified organic and fairtrade coffee beans for their products.

Key Features:

  • Organic
  • Fairtrade
  • Tasting notes of cacao, brown sugar, and hazelnuts
  • Kosher

Specifications:

  • Brand: Kicking Horse
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Origin: Indonesia & South America
Product Ranking

Sometimes we have to tighten those purse strings, slap those wallets shut, and stick to a budget. If you’re currently dedicated to the hunt for the best bean for your buck — set your sights on this bag!

This Cafe Cubano dark roast from Mayorga is two pounds of natural, ethical goodness. It’s certified organic, shade-grown, and you can even try it risk-free through Amazon.

The distinctive flavors of sweet, smoky, syrupy vanilla are slow-roasted and give a smooth, bold finish.

But don’t take our word for it!

Brew and sip yourself, you’ll see what’s so special about this coffee right away.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Shade-grown
  • Direct-Trade
  • Kosher

Specifications:

  • Brand: Mayorga
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Origin: Latin America
Product Ranking

Seattle is well-known for having great coffee. The state is home to many commercial roasteries. 

One that stands out?

Real Good Coffee. And if you’re on the quest for a satisfying dark roast, you have got to give theirs a try! 

These single-origin Arabica coffee beans are bold. Tantalize your sense with tasting notes of spicy bell pepper and cedar rounded off with lemony acidity.

Key Features:

  • USDA Organic
  • 100% Arabica
  • Sustainable
  • Single-origin
  • Fresh-roasted in Seattle

Specifications:

  • Brand: Real Good
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Origin: Central & South America
Product Ranking

We’d like to nominate this one for the coolest name. Verena Street’s Shot Tower espresso is rich-bodied, sweet, and boasts a creamy complexity.

If you like an espresso with good crema (seriously, who doesn’t??), then you’ll dig this dark roast blend. It’s freshly roasted then packaged in the town of Dubuque, Iowa.

Key Features:

  • Rainforest alliance certified
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Kosher
  • Family-owned

Specifications:

  • Brand: Verena Street
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 11 ounces
Product Ranking

There’s a lot to love about this two-pound bag of Cafe Don Pablo’s dark roast. Like the fact that the Honduran Marcala beans are 100%, USDA-certified organic Arabica.

After harvest, the coffee is small-batch roasted to perfection, meaning deep, rich flavor — hold the acidity! They ship in a reasonable bag, letting you hold onto their freshness longer.

Best of all, buy through Amazon and you can try these coffee beans risk-free. An all-around win when you go with Subtle Earth organic coffee.

Key Features:

  • USDA organic
  • 100% Arabica
  • GMO-free
  • Small-batch roasted

Specifications:

  • Brand: Cafe Don Pablo
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Origin: Honduras
Product Ranking

French roasts. The oily sheen on the coffee beans when you shake them out for grinding. The sweet, smoky aroma. Buckle up for a morning cup that’ll blow your mind.

San Francisco Bay’s dark roast blend has an impressive flavor profile. Sip and you’ll experience bliss in the tastes of toasted cinnamon and dark chocolate. It’s a full-bodied brew with a smooth finish. Just how you like it.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Kosher
  • Sustainable business practices

Specifications:

  • Brand: San Francisco Bay
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Origin: Central & South America
Product Ranking

From a small-batch roaster in New York, comes Olde Brooklyn’s fresh whole bean blends. For fans of dark roast, we recommend their Italian.

The unique aroma stays intact during shipping because each batch is packaged right away in airtight bags. Grind up these hand-picked beans and indulge in a hot cuppa any time of the day.

Key Features:

  • Airtight bag w/valve
  • Fresh-roasted
  • Aromatic

Specifications:

  • Brand: Olde Brooklyn Coffee
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Origin: Columbia, Brazil, Guatemala
Product Ranking

Don’t want to go the Italian Roast route?

Good news!

Olde Brooklyn Coffee has a second dark roast offering. If you like classic black coffee, this is right up your alleyway.

Great price without sacrificing flavor or value, that’s the Olde Brooklyn way.

Key Features:

  • Small-batch roasted in New York
  • Sealed for freshness
  • Strong & dark
  • Available in bulk

Specifications:

  • Brand: Olde Brooklyn Coffee
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Origin: Columbia, Guatemala, Brazil
Product Ranking

Do the words “dark” and “velvety” put you in the mood for a cup of joe?

Us too!

Give this Perfetto dark roast blend from Lavazza a try to satisfy your coffee cravings. It’s full-bodied, just how we like our dark roasts.

The tasting notes offer hints of caramel — Perfetto! You’ll experience the true taste of Italy (where it was blended and roasted!) in every fresh cup.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica
  • Blended & roasted in Italy
  • Notes of caramel
  • Full-bodied

Specifications:

  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 12 ounce
  • Origin: Central & South America
Product Ranking

From the American veteran-owned company Black Rifle Coffee comes a coffee blend fit for the high seas. Set sail with a mug of Blackbeard’s Delight dark roast.

The Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) roasts their beans to order, guaranteeing freshness. This blend has a smoky aroma with a robust flavor of bakers chocolate.

Don’t pass these beans up or you’ll risk having Blackbeard himself rolling in his watery grave.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Veteran-owned
  • Roasted-to-order

Specifications:

  • Brand: Black Rifle Coffee Company
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Origin: Colombia & Brazil

Copper Moon believes in science, that’s why they practice global sustainability in sourcing their 100% Arabica beans. However, they don’t believe brewing coffee should be rocket science. So, brewing instructions on printed on every package of their coffee beans.

This family roastery thinks their Sumatra dark roast blend will have you ready to reach for the moon. Don’t sleep on this high-grade coffee…let it keep you up, up, UP!

Key Features:

  • Allergen and gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher
  • Globally sustainable practices
  • Small-batch roasted
  • 100% Arabica

Specifications:

  • Brand: Copper Moon
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
Product Ranking

Tiny Footprint Coffee is all about the environment. They claim to be the world’s first carbon-negative coffee.

What does that mean?

It means for every pound of the delicious coffee beans they sell, they donate a portion of the proceeds to reforesting in Ecuador. More trees equal less Co2 in the atmosphere.

Try their organic Nicaragua Segovia for a sultry dark roast experience like none other. These beans have origin flavor notes of fig, bright apricot, and spice.

Key Features:

  • Organic
  • Fairtrade
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Shade-grown
  • Sustainable (carbon-negative!)

Specifications:

  • Brand: Tiny Footprint Coffee
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Origin: Nicaragua
Product Ranking

Team dark roast. Team smoky and smooth. Might as well rename our team — Team French Kick! Cause we are all aboard with this blend from Bulletproof coffee. 

These beans grow at high-altitude estates in Guatemala, before they get hand-picked at the peak of ripeness. The Bulletproof process includes measures to minimize the chance for mold elements to affect their bean’s performance and potency. 

They’re small-batch roasted until dark and bursting with notes of baking chocolate.

Key Features:

  • Organic
  • Rainforest alliance certified
  • Keto-friendly
  • Toxins-minimized
  • Small-batch roasted

Specifications:

  • Brand: Bulletproof
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Origin: Central America
Product Ranking

Fresh Roasted describes their Black Knight blend as a dangerously dark roast. It’s got a bold body, tropical notes, and a caramelized finish.

To further round out the whole flavor extravaganza, these beans are 100% organic Arabica, Fair Trade certified, and roasted on an environmentally-friendly machine.

Key Features:

  • Kosher
  • USDA organic
  • 100% Arabica
  • FairTrade
  • Eco-friendly roasted to order

Specifications:

  • Brand: Fresh Roasted Coffee
  • Ground: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs.

Buying Guide & FAQ

Light, Medium, and Dark Roast Coffee Compared

What’s up with different roasts anyway?

Here’s the skinny:

  • Light roasts are mellow bodied with bright flavors. They’re lighter in appearance and without oil on their surfaces. The light roasting enables them to preserve a crisper acidity, unique aromas, and subtle aftertastes. Often they are a bit floral or fruity.
  • Medium roasts go a bit longer in the process. They are a great middle-ground, boasting medium brown color and body, no oily surface, and they tend to take on a bit more sweetness than a light roast.
  • Dark roasts are roasted long enough to turn that dark brown almost black color, they tend to have an oily shine to them as well. They’re heavy-bodied with low acidity. Their flavors are deeper like dark chocolate, caramel, and nuts.

Dark Roast Coffee Beans 101

Benefits of Dark Roast Coffee

Many experts agree on the benefits of sipping coffee. From antioxidants to a lower risk of cardiovascular/coronary heart disease, unless your doctor says otherwise — enjoy that mug of brew! Dark roasts might be even more beneficial because of their lower acidity.

Are Dark Roast and French Roast the Same?

French Roast is a dark roast, but they are not the same. French roast is considered a double-roast. It is very dark and nearly-burnt. 

Dark roasts exist on a roasting scale and typically fall between 430-450 degrees Fahrenheit. While a French Roast will hit a high heat of 464 degrees Fahrenheit!

Does Dark Roast Coffee Have More Caffeine?

Dark roasts taste more caffeinated because they are so robust. And old data suggested that light roasts had more caffeine because the longer the roast the more caffeine leaches out.

The truth?

They likely both contain nearly the same levels of caffeine. The reason light roasts have a bit more caffeine is because of their weight. Dark roasts lose a bit of density (not caffeine) the longer they are roasted. 

If you want a more caffeinated dark roast, just measure out some extra grounds!

If you’re moderating your caffeine intake, you can use a bit less.

Why Dark Roast Is Actually Easier on Your Stomach

We mentioned under the benefits of dark roast coffee that it is lower in acidity. 

Scientifically, darker roasts produce more N-methylpyridinium. This chemical stops your stomach from over-producing acid. Making it easier on your digestive tract than a more acidic light roast.

Dark Roast Coffee Myths Debunked

We already debunked the more caffeine myth, here are some more:

  1. Dark roast coffee must be oily. While a good dark roast may have a slight oily sheen, too much oil leaching out is not ideal. The oil is where the flavors lie, you want to keep those inside your beans!

  2. While it is true that dark roasts are less acidic than light roasts, they are not less acidic than medium roasts. Their pH is the same. 

  3. Dark roasts seem stronger in flavor, and that’s sort of true. They lose the mix of subtle, origin flavors enjoyed in lighter roasts, but gain a stronger, singular flavor.

Tips for Brewing a Better Bold Coffee

Ask anyone passionate about coffee and their first tip will be — it’s all about your beans. Buy small amounts of the freshest coffee beans you can. The freshness of the roast is the leading lady of your morning cup. 

Secondly, make sure you’re using the best available water. Fresh, cold, filtered water so it won’t affect the flavor of your favorite coffee beans.

Next, take a look at your brewing temperature. You want to use water that is not quite boiling. 195-205 degrees is the sweet spot, closer to 195 F is optimal.

Final tips: grind your fresh beans right before brewing, make only what you’ll drink immediately, don’t reheat. Enjoy!

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Sources

Mycotoxins Myth: The Truth About Mold in Coffee:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/the-mycotoxins-in-coffee-myth#bottom-line

Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696634/#:~:text=Coffee%20consumption%20was%20consistently%20associated,at%20three%20cups%20a%20day.

Coffee and Caffeine — How Much Should You Drink?
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-coffee-should-you-drink

Antioxidant Effectiveness of Coffee Extracts and Selected Constituents in Cell-Free Systems and Human Colon Cell Lines
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20589861/