Looking for a bright and crisp cup of coffee?
Then a light roast might be the perfect option for you.
Today, you can find a bunch of brands making this type of roast. But which one to pick?
In this article, we’ll review the best light roast coffee out there so that you can easily make your pick.
Let’s dive in.
Best Light Roast Coffee: Top 11 Picks
- Coffee Bros. Light Roast (Best Overall)
- Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend (Best for Drip Method)
- Kicking Horse Coffee Hola Light Roast (Best Alternative Flavor Profile)
- Real Good Coffee Company Breakfast Blend Light Roast Coffee Beans (Best for Milk-Based Drinks)
- Peet’s Coffee Luminosa Light Roast Ground Coffee (Best Preground Coffee)
- Coffee Bean Direct Hawaiian Kona Blend Coffee (Best for Digestive Issues)
- New England Coffee Donut Shop Blend K Pods (Best for Keurig)
- Lifeboost Blonde Espresso (Best for Espresso)
- Lion Gold Roast Coffee (Best for Subscription)
- Volcanica Colombian Geisha Coffee (Best Single Origin Coffee)
- Lion Decaf Hazelnut Coffee (Best Decaf)
Coffee Bros. Light Roast
Light yet complex – this is the simplest but the most accurate description of this light roast by Coffee Bros. And to achieve that, the brand resorted to using a single Arabica variety named Caturra.
Cattura is a Bourbon hybrid that’s known for excellent quality. It’s grown at high altitudes of over 5200 feet. In this case, the Cattura beans from Ethiopia and Columbia are used to create a delicate and bright flavor.
This blend makes a very balanced and sweet cup of coffee, with citrusy notes and the aroma of honey and maple. It’s the perfect Breakfast blend – it has a medium body and acidity but gives a high caffeine kick.
This is the best coffee for an espresso shot. But if you prefer regular coffee, you can definitely use it for that as well.
To ensure it always remains fresh and flavorful, this blend is made in small batches and shipped on a weekly basis. To lock in freshness, coffee is packed right after it’s roasted, while the one-way valve allows the beans to degas.
Not going to lie – it’s rather pricy. But if you don’t drink gallons every day, it will surely last a while.
Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend
Breakfast blends are known for their subtle and smooth flavor profiles, and Daybreak by Caribou Coffee is no different. But that doesn’t mean it’s plain.
This 100% Arabica beans blend is very delicate and sweet, with notes of caramel and floral cherry aroma. It also leaves a nutty aftertaste that lingers for a while. The brand marketizes it as “a taste of sunshine in every sip,” and I think that’s pretty accurate.
Of course, this morning blend also gives a good caffeine kick. If you’re someone who can’t wake up completely without a strong beverage, you’ll be happy with how energizing a cup of this coffee is.
This coffee is hand-crafted and roasted in small batches, so it’s always fresh when you open the bag.
It’s worth noting that the brand is both Rainforest Alliance certified and Climate Pledge Friendly. What this means is that it’s committed to socially responsible coffee production and a healthier planet.
Daybreak is sold as ground coffee formulated for drip or pour-over methods. I do wish you can buy a whole bean version as well, as this flavor profile sounds pretty great for a cup of espresso.
Kicking Horse Coffee Hola Light Roast
If you prefer more unique flavor profiles, then Hola roast from Kicking Horse Coffee is definitely something you should try.
Generally, you expect a light roast to be mild and subtle. But that’s not exactly the case with this coffee. Hola blend is deep and acidic, with a creamy body and notes of honey and red currant.
Not going to lie, I’m sure this description may sound weird, and even all over the place. But I assure you, this blend makes a very balanced and delicious cup of coffee.
This blend is made with Arabica coffee beans from Central and South America. The brand is certified organic and Fairtrade, so you can rest assured every step of production, from bean to cup, is done in a sustainable way.
This coffee is coarsely ground, so it’s designated for drip and pour-over brewing methods. What’s more, the complex flavor profile makes it great for a cold brew as well.
Unfortunately, you can buy this roast as whole beans. Therefore, you can’t use it for other brewing methods, like espresso or Moka pot. That’s too bad, as its unique flavor would surely suit those methods well.
Real Good Coffee Company Breakfast Blend Light Roast Coffee Beans
If you prefer your coffee with milk, then this Breakfast blend by Real Good Coffee Company is an excellent choice for you.
This coffee is made with Arabica beans from Central and South America. That’s why it delivers a smooth and well-balanced flavor profile with citrusy notes and the aroma of milk chocolate. It’s already creamy, but you can add milk to make it even richer.
I like that this blend is sold as whole beans, so you can grind it however you want. The flavor profile makes this blend suitable for different brewing methods.
Like a typical light roasted coffee, this blend has high caffeine content. A single cup in the morning is enough to get you through most of the day. But even though it’s energizing, this coffee doesn’t feel that strong. And it’s mildly acidic, so it’s not heavy on your stomach.
This coffee comes in a 2-pound packaging made of kraft paper. If you don’t drink coffee that often, you might not get through it before the beans start going stale.
At least the oxygen barrier keeps the beans fresh before it’s opened. It’s also releasable, so you don’t have to transfer the beans to a container afterward.
Peet’s Coffee Luminosa Light Roast Ground Coffee
Luminosa means bright or shiny, and that’s a perfect way to describe this light roast by Peet’s Coffee.
This blend is a combination of Arabica beans from two regions. The first is the Huila Region up in the Columbian highlands. Grown at over 4,500 feet, these beans are known for a very sweet yet smooth flavor profile.
The other variety comes from Ethiopia, the coffee birthplace. Beans from this region have a floral character with hints of wine and berries. Alone, Ethiopian coffee can be very intense and sweet, just like a fruit salad.
But combined, these two varieties create a well-balanced, subtly sweet cup of coffee. It has a medium body and notes of passionflower and stone fruit.
This delicate flavor profile works really well with pour-over and drip brewing methods.
Every single bag of Luminosa you buy will always be fresh. That’s because this blend is hand roasted on a weekly basis, then shipped in sealed bags to keep oxygen out.
This coffee comes only as preground. On the one hand, it’s useful if you don’t have a grinder. But, it’s also a downside for people who like to grind the beans to their liking and enjoy fresh ground coffee each time.
Coffee Bean Direct Hawaiian Kona Blend Coffee
A light roast is where Kona coffee beans really shine. And while this blend only uses 10% of Kona and the rest from other Arabica varieties, you can definitely notice the unique Kona notes.
Other Arabica beans are grown in Brazil, Costa Rica, Sumatra, and Kenya. Combined together with real Kona, these beans produce a balanced cup of coffee with notes of coriander, mocha, and macadamia nut.
Interestingly enough, this light roasted coffee is very low in acidity. This makes it suitable even for those experiencing digestive issues from light-roasted coffee.
And even though it has a mellow flavor, it’s actually very caffeinated. A single cup of this coffee in the morning is an excellent way to wake up and get energized.
Since it’s sold as whole beans, you can grind this coffee at home in different coarseness settings. The unique flavor profile makes this blend suitable for all kinds of brewing methods, ranging from French press to cold brew.
I must admit, I’m not thrilled by the fact that this coffee comes in large 5-pound packaging. That can be too big even for those who drink coffee on a regular basis. Even if you transfer it into airtight packaging, it might go stale before you consume the whole thing.
New England Coffee Donut Shop Blend K Pods
If you own a Keurig machine, you might have fewer options when it comes to light roast. But there are certain blends, like the Donut Shop by New England coffee, that definitely make up for the lack of options.
This blend is made from 100% Arabica coffee beans grown in different regions around the world. The varieties are carefully combined to create coffee that has a smooth and mellow flavor profile.
Since it’s low in acidity, Donut Shop is suitable for everyone, even those with stomach issues. What’s more, it pairs extremely well with creamer or milk. In the case of the latter, you can use both dairy and plant-based options.
With pods, freshness is not a big concern. And that’s especially the case with Donut Shop, as these capsules are made in small batches, which ensures their flavor remains the same.
It’s always good to know the coffee you’re buying was made sustainably, with the protection of workers and biodiversity in mind.
What’s more, the brand has committed to making its capsules 100% recyclable. With that being said, recycling isn’t exactly made easy, so many people still find throwing the capsules in the trash more convenient.
Lifeboost Blonde Espresso
If you never tried blonde espresso, boy, you’re missing out.
Lightly roasted beans give espresso a delicate and slightly sweet flavor. And that’s really noticeable with this coffee by Lifeboost. It’s single origin, so it has true and authentic notes that are quite prominent in your cup.
The beans are grown on a small farm in the mountains of Nicaragua. The combination of high altitude and humidity creates a perfect environment for coffee to mature slowly. Because of this, the beans develop a distinctive and complex flavor that makes a delicious blonde espresso.
What I especially like about this coffee is that you can get it preground or as whole beans. So whether you have a grinder or not, you can choose the option that suits you.
This coffee is rather expensive, but you can save up by signing up for the subscription plan. That way, you can order a batch of freshly roasted coffee to be delivered directly to your door.
Lion Gold Roast Coffee
This Gold Roast by Lion is a classic light roast, in the true sense of the word. What this means is that it has a subtle sweetness and floral aroma, well rounded into a medium-bodied cup.
Some might find this flavor profile plain, but I think it’s simply classic.
The coffee beans are hand-picked from premium Arabica varieties, so the flavor profile is very clean and delicate. Every step of the process, from bean to cup, is done under strict standards, so rest assured you’re drinking premium quality coffee.
Even though it’s mellow and sweet, this coffee is rather strong in terms of caffeine. So while it’s perfect as a breakfast coffee, you might not want to sip on it right before bed.
You can order it as both preground coffee and whole beans. The option to grind your own beans allows you to use this coffee with a variety of brewing methods, including Moka pot and French press.
If you end up liking it, you can sign up for the subscription plan. This means your coffee bags will be delivered directly to your doorstep on a schedule.
Volcanica Colombian Geisha Coffee
Don’t want to feel the buzz of coffee for the next few hours? This coffee by Volcanica has about 30% less caffeine than most other light roasts, so it won’t cause your hands to shake as much.
The Colombian Geisha is single-origin coffee grown in the Huila region, populated by mountains and volcanos.
What’s unique about this coffee plant is that it has a slightly different appearance. The beans are long and slender, and the plant is naturally resistant to many diseases that attack coffee plants.
And as for the brewed cup, Geisha has a sweet flavor and distinctive notes of jasmine, black tea, and apple jack. This coffee develops a successful balance of acidity and sweetness, which makes it so popular. It’s great on its own, but not ideal for milk-based coffee drinks.
If ordering for the first time, you can buy a 16-ounce batch to try it out. Then, if you end up liking it, you can get bigger packaging, up to 5 pounds.
You can choose between beans and pre-ground coffee. In the case of the latter, you can pick between espresso, drip, and French press grind size.
Lion Decaf Hazelnut Coffee
Light roasted decaf? Yes, it’s possible.
While most brands use darker roasts for decaf coffee, Lion combines the lighter roast and a distinctive flavor profile.
To achieve that, the brand combines different Arabica varieties grown from all over the world. Together, they create a cup of coffee with smooth hazelnut flavor and subtle coconut notes. No artificial flavoring is involved!
The brand uses the Swiss Water Process to get rid of all the caffeine from the light roast. This process slowly removes up to 99% of the caffeine from coffee, without altering its flavor. Just water, temperature, and time are used to make that happen.
If you end up liking it, you have the option of subscribing to it. That way, you can have a fresh batch delivered to your house every few weeks, depending on the schedule that works for you.
Normally, this coffee was only available in Japan. But nowadays, you can get it online, although only in 7-ounce bags. If you have a huge family of coffee drinkers, it could be a plus. But otherwise, your coffee will get a bit stale in the end.
The Ultimate Buying Guide to Light Roast Coffee
When you’re buying a light roast coffee for the first time, there are quite a few things to keep in mind.
In this section, we’ll go over each one in detail.
As you probably know, different roasts have different, distinguished flavors. Coffee roast level greatly influences the development of unique flavor profiles.
For example, dark roast coffee beans are known for their smoky and chocolatey flavors because the beans are roasted for a long time (after the second crack).
Medium roast coffee, on the other hand, leaves the roasting a bit earlier than the darker roast, so they are still smooth and kind of sweet.
But light roast coffee bean leaves the roasting after the first crack, before they start being overpowered by caramelized sugars and oils.
Light roast has a rather complex flavor. It can be sweet, crispy, floral, and fruity, all at the same time!
Some of the more usual notes with light roast are:
- Green tea
In most cases, a light roasted coffee will have more than one of these notes combined.
When a roasting process is only done halfway, we’re talking about the white coffee beans. Coffee beans turn into a very light beige color.
Coffee can either be blended or single-origin.
Coffee blends combine different elements from different beans, creating a specific flavor profile.
Single-origin coffee, on the other hand, has an unaltered flavor profile, which can be rather complex and exotic.
When it comes to light roasted coffee, both will work. But single-origin coffee may stand out more, depending on the variety. Some of the most popular light roast products on the market are made with single-origin beans.
Unfortunately, coffee and ethics don’t always go hand in hand. You see, coffee plants grow in specific environments. And in most cases, that’s in underdeveloped rural areas, where farmers are forced to work at much lower wages.
What’s more, finding a suitable area to grow coffee often leads to the alteration of ecosystems. That includes deforestation, water pollution, and soil erosion.
To give you a better perspective, let’s put it this way: for every cup of coffee consumed, around one square inch of rainforest was destroyed.
And given that coffee is a $10 billion industry, you can only imagine how big of an impact it can have on the environment and people.
To try and make this right at some point, many companies decided to make coffee production as sustainable as possible. And let’s be real – you also want the coffee you’re drinking to not destroy the planet.
For that reason, I strongly advise buying only coffee with specific certifications that ensure it was made in a very sustainable way.
Some of the most important ones are:
- Fair Trade Coffee Certification – standards that support farmers and help protect the environment
- USDA Organic Coffee – coffee is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides
- Rainforest Alliance Certification – used methods that support social, economic, and environmental sustainability
To Sum Things Up
Nowadays, you can find pretty great light roast coffee on the market. But the one that’s at the top of the list is Light Roast by Coffee Bros.
It’s made with high-quality beans and gives a very balanced and sweet cup of java.
It’s also roasted weekly in small batches, so you will have a freshly roasted coffee every time. And since it’s sold as whole beans, you can use it for whatever brewing method you want.
Trust me, even casual coffee drinkers will enjoy this coffee.
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