French Roast vs. Dark Roast Coffee: What’s the Difference?

French roast coffee and dark roast beans: are they really different?

If you have a basic idea about the difference between dark beans, medium roasts, and other lighter roasts, this question is not that easy to answer.

Do you like the tasting notes of French roast beans? Or do you prefer the classy coffee flavor of darker roasted coffee beans?

French Roast vs. Dark Roast

Coffee drinkers notice a clear difference between these two roast levels, and it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.

This blog post will explain the difference between French roast coffee beans and dark roast coffees. We will also discuss the benefits of each type of coffee and help you decide which one is best.

What are dark coffee roasts?

It’s all about the roasting process!

Dark roast coffee is coffee that has been roasted for a more extended time than light roast and medium roast coffee. This coffee bean is roasted until it reaches an internal temperature of about 435 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, coffee beans will start to release their oils, and the beans will turn a dark brown color.

Dark roast coffee has a richer flavor than light roast coffee and it is also less acidic. There are some popular dark coffee roast levels: 

  • Italian roast
  • Continental roast
  • American roast
  • Espresso roast
  • Vienna roast

Each one of the darker coffee roasts has its unique flavors.

What are dark French roast coffee beans?

French roast coffee beans are roast level roasted for longer than typical dark roasts. This roasting process produces a darker color and richer flavor for a coffee bean. Consumers who enjoy a robust, bold taste in their coffee frequently choose French roasted coffee.

Originated in Europe, this roasting style produces an extremely dark roasted coffee with a smoky, charred taste. This roasting technique is mistaken for creating in France when associated with the European style.

What does French roast coffee taste like?

French roast coffee is typically a darker, more intense tasting than dark, medium, and light roast coffees. It has an overpowering smokiness that some people find enjoyable while others dislike intensely. That’s why a lot of coffee-lovers avoid french roast coffee.

What does a dark roast coffee taste like?

It’s often bold and rich, full of body and texture. Dark-roasted beans are oilier, which sometimes leads to a bittersweet or toastiness and decadent dark chocolate flavor!

Dark coffee roasts have the least caffeine because they’re roasted the longest. That said, light roast coffee will give you the most vigorous kick.

Is French roast beans stronger than dark roast?

The French roast is no more potent than any other dark roast when it comes to caffeine. The flavor of this intense brew makes up for its low levels with an earthy aroma and pungent taste that will have you coming back for these coffee beans again and again!

Which is darker, French roast or dark roast?

French roast is one of the darkest coffee roasts. These coffees are usually black as night and have a thick, greasy surface. These degrees of roast lack any identifying characteristics of origin.

Are french roast and dark roast the same?

French roast is often considered to be the ultimate dark roasted coffee. This type of bean characteristics, smoky-sweet flavor, accompanied by a thin body, and mouthfeel make it perfect for any time!

Popular Dark Roasts

  • Koa Coffee Estate 100% Kona

Popular French Roasts

  • Lion Coffee French Roast

How do you make a good French roast coffee?

The emersion coffee brewing method is best for French roast because it allows customization. Choose a method that uses water to submerge the coffee grounds and extract the coffee. French press, Aeropress, and cold brew are all excellent choices for French roast coffee.

However, there are a few factors that will make all the difference. To make a delicious cup, grab your favorite high-quality coffee beans and follow the process:

  1. Rinse the beaker with hot water to keep the temperature stable after each use.
  2. To the bottom of a French press, add one tablespoon of coffee ground for each cup of water.
  3. Boil the water. Boiling water is important because it will dissolve the flavor of your coffee.
  4. Pour hot water into a French press to brew your coffee
  5. Stir.
  6. Pour additional water.
  7. Let steep.
  8. Plunge and serve.

Dark roast: the best recipe

It takes approximately 8-10 minutes to complete the procedure. It isn’t as quick as brewing a cup with a Keurig machine, but the wait will be well worth it. Even if you don’t have all of the equipment suggested above, use whatever you’ve got and follow these steps to make a far superior cup of coffee.

Here is a recipe for a great Italian roast coffee. Of course, you can use it for any other darker variety.

1. Measure your beans: 2.5 ounces of beans for 10 cups of coffee. Adjust depending on the coffee pot you are using.

2. Grind your beans. When beans are ground, they generate static. The beans cling to the grinder container as a result of the static. 

The static disappears after a few minutes if you allow them to sit for a while, making pouring the beans into your filter easier. That’s why grinding them first is so important. 

Remember, the grind size is critical. Make sure you’re using your brewing method and grinding appropriately.

3. Add cold water to your coffee maker. Coldwater produces superior coffee. You might think that it doesn’t matter since the water will be heated anyhow, but it does.

Use filtered or distilled water if possible, but not reverse osmosis water. Coffee tastes best when brewed with clean fresh water.

4. Put your filter in your brew basket. If you use a reusable filter and dispose of it, the reusable filter will stay in the landfill for far longer than the paper filter you could have used instead.

5. Rinse and wipe out your coffee pot. When you empty your coffee pot, some of the oils remain behind. It should be cleaned and washed out every day.

6. Add your beans to the brew basket. It’s almost time to pour. Add your beans and gently shake the brew basket to ensure evenly distributed throughout it. Then, reinsert it into your coffee machine.

7. Press the start button. You’re almost there! The water will start bubbling approximately 25 seconds after you turn it on.

You’ll be able to pour your cup of coffee and take your first sip after 6 minutes.


The French roasts are considered to have the darkest flavor of all roasts. It is also the darkest roast. The roasting process provides a pronounced smoky taste from burning oils and sugars in coffee beans roasted at 482°F.

The gentle sweetness balanced by this dark roasted quality makes it an excellent choice when you’re looking for something with depth but not too heavy! If you prefer light roasts or medium roast coffees – probably French and Italian roast (or any other variety of dark roasts) won’t satisfy your cravings.


French roast is a type of dark roast coffee. It has less caffeine than other roasts, but it also tastes different. As with most things in life, the choice between French and dark roasted will come down to personal preference more than anything else.

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Nathan is the founder of The Darkest Roast (featured in the NY Times, Yahoo, and Tasting Table). He is a self-taught coffee expert and has tried 100s of coffees from around the world. Nathan's goal is to help you find the best coffee, so you only drink the best.