What is the Best Medium Roast Coffee?

Medium roast coffee = the sweet spot between light roast and dark roast; the perfect cup of joe for those who like to remain on the fence! If you’re looking to treat yourself to a new medium roast (either ground coffee or bean coffee), let us take the lead and find the most delicious medium roast coffee money can buy regardless of your budget. Spoiler alert: there isn’t a single tub of Folgers or Maxwell House in sight.

What Does ‘Medium Roast’ Mean?

Coffee beans are roasted to three levels to achieve three types of taste: light roast, medium roast, and dark roast. To simplify: the longer the coffee beans are roasted, the darker they will be. 

So, many coffee lovers consider a medium roast as the happy medium or the ‘sweet spot’ between light and dark roast coffee. Medium roast coffee generally offers a good balance of flavors and a medium caffeine content – hence the name.

In terms of the roasting process, medium roast beans are roasted at a temperature of between 410 – 440 degrees Fahrenheit, which, in coffee industry terms, is known as just before ‘second crack,’ which means when the beans make their second popping sound (like popcorn in the microwave) when heat is applied to them. 

Light roast coffee has met its desired status when it hits ‘first crack’ and dark roast beans after they’ve hit ‘second crack.’

10 Great Medium Roast Coffee Beans to Try

  1. Kicking Horse ‘Three Sisters’ Whole Bean Coffee

Anyone familiar with the Kicking Horse coffee company will know that great flavor is a guarantee. Despite the Three Sisters coffee beans being medium roast, they are still full of rich, dreamy flavor. 

It harbors the fruity taste usually only noticeable with lightly roasted coffee but also boasts smoky tobacco and dark cocoa tones, synonymous with dark roast coffees.

We love that this coffee is a Fairtrade and organic coffee type, so it’s both ethical and largely chemical-free. It’s also great value for money. The only downside, which is quite often the case with big-name coffee beans that are roasted in big batches, is that there can be an inconsistency in both flavor and quality.

  1. Cooper’s Coffee Kenya AA Beans

Fans of non-chain, indie coffee companies may relish that all Cooper’s coffee is sourced on one farm, meaning the quality and flavor are much more consistent than that of big-batch roast coffee. They are also roasted in smaller batches, further assisting in this brand’s reliability and its coffee flavor.

Because these coffee beans are medium-dark, the flavors are richer than most medium-roast coffee and contain molasses, dark chocolate, and honey wheat.

The only off-putting aspect of this coffee choice is the higher price (owing to being a single-origin brand). Also, those coffee lovers who are strictly on the medium part of the roast scale may find this coffee a little too dark for their liking.

  1. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Colombia Select

Many avid coffee drinkers are often strict about the origin of the beans they drink, and Columbia certainly has no shortage of its devotees.

This coffee comes in single-serve pods and is suitable for every Keurig coffee maker. What we love about these Green Mountain coffee beans is that they are 100 % Arabica, fully Kosher, and Fairtrade-approved. In terms of taste, this bean coffee boasts a fruity explosion of plum and apricots with a deliciously smooth caramel finish.

As cons go, the only noteworthy one is that if you like to add milk, creamer, sugar, or sweeteners, you may find the flavor is a bit too light and sweet.

  1. illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee

Italian coffee connoisseurs have made this Classico medium-roasted coffee with flavors ranging from orange blossom caramel to delicious jasmine. This whole-bean coffee is also packed well, meaning it stays fresher than most other Arabica coffee beans. 

illy has been in the coffee biz for decades, and its flavor and quality consistency are well-known. They are also one of the most ethical and sustainable coffee companies.

The only downer here – and it’s not really a downer – is that because these beans are whole, you will need to make sure you have a grinder.

  1. Volcanica Sumatra Mandheling Coffee Beans

These single-origin 100 % Arabica coffee beans are heavy-bodied, have low acidity, and are brimming with red wine, dried fruit, and brown sugar flavors. Because these coffee beans are grown in volcanic soil, this coffee is full of minerals and is also organic, so it’s chemical and pesticide-free. Oh, and it’s Fairtrade, too – triple whammy!

Because of all of the aforementioned goodness, naturally, the price of this medium roast coffee is a bit higher than most other similar options but is absolutely worth every penny.

  1. Kauai Whole Bean Coffee

Roasted coffee from one of the dreamiest locations in the world?! Yes, please!

Kauai is Hawaii’s largest coffee grower, and the warm Pacific sunshine and volcanic soil, plus the dense moisture in the air, make it a plant-growing haven – including coffee.

These smooth 100 % Arabica coffee beans are sustainably grown, farmed, and packaged, as Kauai is committed to good farming practices. These commitments show in this delicious coffee’s smooth, organic, fresh taste.

This coffee is so good; we actually can’t find a single fault!

  1. Peet’s Coffee Medium Roast Big Bang

This mellow ground coffee from the well-known coffee brand Peet’s, is soft and mellow, with tropical fruit undertones. And unlike many other freshly roasted coffee brands, the roasting date is included on Peet’s packaging.

There are a couple of downers here, though. Firstly, for those looking for organic coffee and/or Fairtrade – this isn’t the brand for you. Also, despite the roasting date being present and the packaging being good quality, sometimes quality consistency is an issue here, leaving this roasted coffee tasting a little stale.

  1. Caribou Coffee Ground ‘Caribou Blend’

Caribou ground coffee is inexpensive and widely available at most supermarkets and food stores. This roasted coffee has a delightful berry flavor with hints of spices and a nice cocoa finish. Perfect for a warm mug of joe on a cold day.

Caribou Coffee is Rainforest Alliance-certified and roasted in small batches, a process known for maintaining quality and consistency. However, despite this latter factor, sometimes the flavor can be inconsistent. 

We’ve tried Caribou Blend medium roast ground coffee where the taste has been a bit too light – bordering on bland – and other times, it tastes more like a dark roast – bordering on burnt. So, you may want to look out for this if you’re strict about your medium status!

  1. Taylor’s Lazy Sunday Ground Coffee

Taylor’s of Harrogate is a popular English coffee and tea company. And while those Brits are known for their love of tea, they’re also partial to good-quality coffee – which is exactly what this ground coffee is. And the best part? It’s super inexpensive too.

Those who love their brands to be eco-friendly and sustainable will like Taylor’s, as they are Carbon Neutral and Rainforest Alliance-certified and are supportive members of the coffee farming community.

This medium-ground coffee has subtle hints of citrus and milk chocolate, making it a smooth and mellow drink. Taylor’s has been going for over 130 years, so they definitely know their stuff when it comes to coffee (and tea!)

The only bummer here is the packaging, which isn’t recyclable.

  1. Blue Mountain Coffee, Strength 3, Medium Roast

Stemming from the famous Blue Mountains of Jamaica, this delicious 100% Arabica ground coffee is strong but sweet, offering toffee and caramel undertones with subtle fruity hints. It is as enjoyable with milk or creamer as it is on its own.

Also, 5% of sales of this coffee is donated to the Free the Bears UK Charity, which has seen almost one thousand bears rescued & bear sanctuaries built across Southeast Asia. Almost £19,000 has been donated to this charity since 2020, too = great coffee with a great cause! The packaging is also 100% recyclable too.

As for complaints – we have none.

Best Medium Roast Coffee – The Verdict

It’s hard to pick a clear, defined winner here, with such strong contenders in the race, but after much consideration, we crown Blue Mountain Medium Roast as the well-deserving winner!

Not only are there no faults we can pick with this delicious ground coffee, but it tastes heavenly – with its sweet and fruity hints not taking away the gentle giant strength this coffee has. We also love that this brand has a charitable cause behind it. Not that we ever needed a reason to stock up on this fragrant and taste bud-tingling coffee, but if we did – that’s certainly it!

Medium Roasted Coffee: FAQs

Are medium roast coffees high in caffeine?

There are different schools of thought in terms of caffeine content per roast type. Some say medium-roasted coffee has the highest caffeine content, whereas others say it falls somewhere in the middle of the scale. In theory, though, the roasting process holds no bearing on the caffeine content.

What is medium-roasted coffee good for?

Aside from being the ‘sweet spot’ between both light and dark roasted coffee, medium grind or medium whole bean coffee is high in antioxidants – more so than other blends – so you can enjoy your joe while benefiting your blood and liver!

What roast levels make the best coffee?

Generally, this comes down to each individual’s palate and personal preference. However, in terms of smoothness, medium-roasted coffee is top of the list and harbors the benefits of being neither too light nor too dark.

What is the difference between medium and dark roast coffee?

Simply put, dark roasted coffee beans are roasted for longer, resulting in a richer, slightly more bitter, but less acidic taste. However, coffee beans that are roasted for a longer period often run the risk of losing their original unique flavors.

What coffee roast is best for beginners?

Again, everyone’s preferences and taste buds vary, so there’s no right or wrong answer to where someone should begin their coffee journey. That said, it can be wise to begin with lightly roasted coffee and work your way up until you find the right roast. 

In terms of enjoying the unique flavors of different coffee beans, light roast coffee is your best option as this option maintains the most flavors as it is roasted for less time, meaning the flavors don’t get lost in the heating process.

Does coffee help with weight loss?

Yes, drinking coffee can help in losing weight. Coffee beans are full of nutrients and are very good for speeding up digestion and metabolism, so incorporating plain Americano coffee into your diet can help you shed a few pounds. However, avoiding coffee drinks with additional ingredients, such as sugar, milk, cream, sauces, and syrups, is best.

Final Thoughts

Coffee lovers often migrate towards medium-roasted coffee because it offers the best of both worlds in strength and flavor. Many suggest that it also boasts the most caffeine, so it can also help you get a spring in your step in the morning! Win-win!

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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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