What Is The Best Dark Roast Coffee? Top 10 Delicious Options to Try Now!

Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or just love a warm, bitter cup of the good stuff to get you going in the morning, dark roast coffee is the strong, nutty-flavored coffee that is favored by many. 

Or perhaps you’re looking to upgrade from milder, medium roast coffee into something a little more noir?! Either way, here are the best dark roast coffee beans money can buy.

What is Dark Roast Coffee?

Dark roast coffee is full-bodied coffee beans roasted longer than other coffee types. This prolonged roasting process produces a stronger, darker, and more bitter taste in your coffee.

This process typically involves drawing out the beans’ oil, giving them a glossier look. Dark roast coffee often inhabits a bold flavor with smoky hints, although flavor will vary depending on what region of the world it’s from.

To roast the coffee beans to achieve the ‘dark’ status, they must be roasted at a temperature of around 440 degrees Fahrenheit. Any heat that exceeds this will burn the beans and give them an unpleasant charcoal taste and texture.

The History of Dark Roast

Dark roast predates the specialty coffee trend, and yester-year coffee industry workers would roast all green coffee beans at a high temperature to ensure an even flavor, whether the quality of the beans in question was good, bad, or somewhere in between. 

The idea was to get them to taste the same by creating a high roasting process that would influence the flavor dramatically by applying very hot heat and eradicating any ‘imperfections’ in the beans. Many contemporary coffee experts are known to look down their noses at dark roasts because of this fact, believing it to be a careless, lazy way to treat the coffee bean.

Coffee roasting dates back to circa the 15th century and is said to have originated in Greater Persia, where whole beans were placed in a brazier over hot coals. Due to this heating process, the dark roast was the first coffee ‘type.’

Light roast coffee is created when the beans make a crack noise (known as ‘first crack’), around 385 degrees Fahrenheit. Light roast coffee beans must not be roasted at a higher temperature than this.

Top 10 Best Dark Roast Coffee Beans

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into some of the best dark roast coffee beans on today’s market. Please note: these are in no particular order.

1. Taylors of Harrogate After Dark Ground Coffee (Caffeinated)

Despite being an English-based company, Taylors of Harrogate After Dark coffee is brimming with exotic flavors and blends from Latin America, Africa, and Indonesia. This coffee is 100% ground from Arabica coffee beans and hosts a cocoa and brown sugar flavor. Perfect for that morning cup of coffee! This product is kosher, and Rainforest Alliance and Carbon Neutral certified.

Info at a glance:

  • Country of Origin: UK
  • Format: Ground coffee
  • Strength – 5

2. Lavazza Crema e Gusto Arabica & Robusta Dark Roast Ground Coffee (Caffeinated)

Lavazza is the Italian heavyweight of coffee, and they certainly know their stuff! This dark roast coffee is full-bodied and boasts warm, spicy hints – perfect for a chilly morning! Lavazza Crema e Gusto ground coffee can be used in filtered coffee, French press, and Moka pot and features beans sourced from South-East Asia and Brazil. It is also fully vegetarian and gluten-free.

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: Italy
  • Format: Ground coffee
  • Strength – Unspecified

3. illy Coffee Intenso Bold Roast Ground Coffee (Caffeinated)

This full-bodied arabica ground coffee boasts a smooth and rich flavor and is designed for espresso coffee. With over 80 years in the coffee game, illy guarantee consistent, smooth taste and texture in all of their certified Italian roast coffee.

They are also fully B Corp certified, meaning they meet the highest environmental and social standards, and have been nominated as one of the most ethical companies for ten years in a row!

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: UK
  • Format: Ground coffee
  • Strength – Unspecified

4. Marley Coffee Buffalo Soldier Organic Dark Roast Coffee (Caffeinated)

That’s right – the Rasta Master himself has his own coffee brand! Dark, sultry, and wickedly delicious, these smooth coffee beans boast a rich, chocolatey taste with hints of dark berries. This award-winning coffee brand is fully organic and is Rainforest Alliance and organic soil association-certified.

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: Jamaica
  • Format: Whole bean coffee
  • Strength – Unspecified

5. Starbucks Espresso Roast Dark Roast Finely Ground Coffee (Caffeinated)

Designed for the perfect dark roast latté, everyone’s favorite coffee chain has created this finely ground coffee for those who like strong and dark coffee but with sweet caramel hints. Mmm!

Enjoy your favorite take-out coffee treat from the comfort of your own home with this fan-fave, which is 100% ethically sourced and is in partnership with Conservation International, meaning you can enjoy cup after cup of this delicious coffee knowing it is fully eco-friendly and cruelty-free.

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: United States
  • Format: Ground coffee
  • Strength – Fuller-bodied

6. Teeccino Organic Chicory Herbal Coffee, French Roast, Dark Roast (Caffeine Free)

The pleasures of coffee can be enjoyed without that dreaded caffeine kick! This Teeccino Organic Herbal French Roast is also fully vegan and kosher and is roasted using ramón seeds and French chicory. 

It boasts a rich and creamy flavor, making it ideal for a quick espresso or a big slow warm latté with friends. Also, because these coffee beans have zero caffeine content, a cup of this joe can be enjoyed any time of the day or evening without promising a sleepless night!

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: United States
  • Format: Unspecified
  • Strength – N/A

7. Peruvian Strictly High Grown Dark Roasted Coffee (Caffeinated)

South America and coffee are as unanimous as mac ‘n’ cheese! 

Sourced from the jungles of the Chanchamayo Valley in Central America, and because this valley is over 1350 meters above sea level, it is classed as “strictly high grown” and is also shade-grown, adding density to the coffee beans, thus adding more flavor to this delicious dark roast coffee. Because these coffee beans are grown so high up, they are fully organic, and no pesticides or fertilizers have ever come near them.

In terms of flavor, these coffee beans boast a rich red wine taste with a chocolatey undertone. Yummy!

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: Peru
  • Format: Unspecified
  • Strength – Unspecified

8. Red Label Dark Roast (Caffeinated)

Soon to be rebranded under the name House, this Columbian roast coffee is designed for filter coffee machines and comes in the option of ground or whole-bean coffee. It is 100% Arabica coffee and is perfect for coffee lovers who enjoy fuller-bodied coffee with a long finish.

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: Columbia
  • Format: Ground or whole bean
  • Strength – Medium dark roast

9. Iron & Fire Decaf Specialty Coffee (Decaf)

These naturally decaffeinated roast coffee beans offer a delicious chocolate flavor with a nutty finish. Unlike many decaf dark roast coffees, Iron & Fire adheres to traditional coffee processing and caffeine removal methods. These exceptional dark roast coffee beans are Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade certified.

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: UK
  • Format: Ground or whole bean
  • Strength – N/A

10. Definitely Decaffeinated Dark Roast Single Origin Coffee Beans (Decaf)

Decaf dark roast coffee that hails all the way from the land of amazing coffee, better known as Columbia?! Sign us up now!

This dark roast coffee has a strong, delicious hit of dark roast coffee to ignite those taste buds, but without the added caffeine. This brand relies on a 100% chemical-free decaffeination process, so a delicious cup of this joe has no added nasties and zero compromises of taste!

Info at a glance:

  • Country of origin: UK
  • Format: Whole bean coffee
  • Strength – N/A

Dark Roast Coffee: FAQs

Is a dark roast coffee stronger?

According to Kicking Horse Coffee, “Some coffee drinkers think dark roasts are stronger and have more caffeine kick than light roasts. The truth, however, is that caffeine content remains pretty much the same during each stage of the roasting process. The difference between roasts is taste, not the amount of caffeine.”

What are the health benefits of dark roast coffee?

Drinking dark roast coffee has multiple benefits for our health, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Improving digestion
  • Energy boost (from caffeine)
  • Improved memory (from caffeine)
  • Liver Health/improves blood filtering
  • Can reduce the chance of insulin resistance
  • Reduces the risk of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • It enhances cognitive function & can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Coffee beans have high levels of vitamin E, which improves skin and hair health, as well as boosts the immune system
  • High levels of vitamin B5, which helps us convert food into energy and encourages the growth of red blood cells

Is dark roast coffee healthier?

In theory, dark roast coffee beans are healthier than light roast coffee because of the added vitamins and health properties. It is also more effective for weight loss than its lighter roast counterparts.

Which is better, light or dark roast?

That is down to individual preference. Light roast coffee tends to be sweeter and fruity, whereas dark roast coffee flavors are richer and often harbor a bitter taste. Dark roast coffee beans are roasted at a higher temperature, making the taste dark and giving the illusion that this coffee is stronger.

Which type of coffee is the healthiest?

According to The Healthy, regarding the highest level of antioxidants, blonde roasts are the healthiest option of coffee beans; in particular, Blonde Robusta has the highest amount of antioxidants. Medium-roast Arabica coffee beans closely follow this.

Why do people drink dark roast coffee?

It is commonly thought that people drink dark roast coffee because it has more of a caffeine hit to it, which is untrue. Dark roast offers a richer, bolder flavor and compliments the accompaniment of milk and cream and syrups or sweeteners. It is purely down to individual tastes and palate preferences.

Which coffee is highest in caffeine?

According to Coffee Affection, the top ten coffees with the highest caffeine content are:

  • Black Label Coffee by Devil Mountain (1,555 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce cup) – this is said to be the world’s strongest coffee!
  • Very Strong Coffee (1,350 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • High-Voltage Coffee (1,150 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • Black Insomnia Coffee (1,105 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • Biohazard Coffee (928 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • Death Wish Coffee Co. (728 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • Red Goat Coffee (up to 702 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • Killer Coffee (645 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • Banned Coffee (474 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce cup)
  • Perk Up High Caffeine Coffee (up to 408 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup).

All of these coffees should be enjoyed in moderation.

What are green coffee beans?

Green coffee is just standard coffee, which is sourced from Coffea fruits. It keeps its green color due to not being roasted (which causes the browning/burning effect in typical coffee). It typically contains more chlorogenic acid than roasted coffee beans and has several health benefits, including lowering blood pressure.

Where can I learn more about coffee?

Coffee is a big part of many of our lives, but if you’re looking to become something of a coffee connoisseur, there are ways to educate yourself to get the best out of your coffee. You can learn about the best coffee beans, grinders, accessories, and so much more.

Final Thoughts

Dark roast lovers are spoilt for choice when selecting the best dark roast blend to tease those taste buds and get your day off to a great start! Whether you prefer decaf or a caffeine explosion, there are ample choices for whatever coffee-making facility you use at home.

Dark-roasted coffee beans are typically sourced from South America. They are generally known to offer a dark chocolate taste, so for those with a richer, more refined palate looking to delve deeper into the warm and fuzzy world of coffee, dark roasts are the ideal option!

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Jeff Stone
Jeff is a coffee aficionado. He loves a couple cups of joe first thing in the morning. He like trying out new grounds and gear and then writes about it here. When he is not sipping java, he is usually writing it for his clients as a software engineer.

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