What Is French Roast Coffee? – A Must-Know For Coffee Lovers

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Coffee is a drink that many people around the world enjoy. Some people prefer it black, while others like to add flavors or milk to their cup of joe or maybe, french roast. So, what is french roast coffee?

The French roast is for those who enjoy a darker flavor. It has a stronger flavor than other types because the beans are roasted longer than most, bringing out more caffeine and oils. If you want to find out more, keep reading.

What Is French Roast Coffee?

A French roast is one of several varieties of coffee roasted in various ways since the nineteenth century. It’s commonly used to describe exceptionally dark roasts with strong tastes, particularly Turkish or espresso-roasted coffees!

This kind is also known as New England Roast, Spanish Roast, and Italian Roast. You can’t go wrong with any of them—they’re all delectably wonderful.

How Does French Roast Coffee Taste?

The dark roasting technique brings out the aromas of coffee beans when you consume a French roast. Normally, the temperature is high enough to release oils from the bean and bring them up into your tongue for a fragrance that begins as smoky and tastes more profoundly with each drink.

Manufacturers can also use citrus fruits or berries to provide a lighter touch. It can also have a strong brown hue, particularly if it comes from Sumatra, Indonesia.

The flavor characteristics of various coffee roasts are subtle yet distinct. Some argue that French roast coffee has the deepest flavor when compared to Italian or other kinds. However, Italian roasts are quite greasy and tend to be darker than French roasts!

To find the perfect bean for you, just try a few different roasts and see what tastes best!

What Is The Roasting Process of French Roast Coffee?

Coffee bean roasting is an art that requires time and accuracy. Roasters utilize instruments like the Agtron Gourmet Scale to assess color characteristics ranging from zero (light roast) to 100 (dark roast). It can achieve a score of 28-35 on this scale for French roast!

There are numerous essential phases in coffee roasting, and the duration of each step is known as the roasting technique for that stage.

  • Green: This is the stage before you apply heat to them.
  • Yellow: The initial browning process occurs at this time.
  • Steam: The period it takes for coffee beans to absorb a considerable quantity of heat for the water to evaporate.
  • First Crack: As the pressure steadily builds, the coffee beans are shattered, producing a crack and double in size. The distinctive flavor of roasted coffee beans will emerge from this point on, and the beans will be darker.
  • Second Crack*: The coffee beans will release a second crack with a darker look at this point. At this moment, the oil will begin to flow over the surface of the coffee beans, resulting in the birth of a whole new flavor.
  • Burn.

*The consensus for the French roast is that the beans are removed from the roaster sometime near or at the end of the second Crack.

For some roasters, the internal temperature for a French roast begins to push 464 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the highest end of the recommended roast temperatures. Beyond that, beans begin to burn and present a fire hazard.

French Roast Coffee Light, Medium, and Dark Roasts Compared

So, how does it stack up against other roasts? There are light, medium, and dark roasts available! So, whatever your preferences are, there will undoubtedly be something for you.

Light Roasts

Lighter roasts are not as dark and oily as darker roasts. They retain some of the natural tastes but do not release any oils to allow for a second crack, so they taste lighter than strong black coffee with an acidic aftertaste.

Lightweight coffees do not go through as much processing as heavier coffees. Thus, they will be more acidic, herbaceous, and fruity.

This is also an excellent choice for people who want a high caffeine content, as light roasts preserve more caffeine molecules inside the beans. The incredibly powerful flavor will appeal to you.

Medium Roasts

The medium roast is a wonderful compromise between light and dark roasts. It does not release any oils to the surface of your bean, yet it keeps some taste during the process – not overly acidic or missing in natural flavors like many other coffees on the market today!

Dark Roasts

Dark roast coffees are the strongest of the three because they take the longest to roast, resulting in a more intense flavor. However, as we discussed previously in this essay, dark roasts have an oily sheen and bitterness that some people adore while others despise!

How Much Caffeine Does French Roast Coffee Have?

When drinking coffee, it’s critical to keep the caffeine content in mind. On average, a French roast has 95 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee. An espresso contains 63 milligrams, and decaf contains only 3 milligrams!

Caffeine levels are greater in lighter roasts and considerably lower in deeper roasts. As they roast, caffeine molecules burn off and manifest into energy, making your coffee taste better and keeping you from getting too excited about it! 

If you want to make a strong cup of coffee, use a drip-brewing technique, as many experts do, for the best taste experience.

We all have varied tastes when it comes to coffee. Some like light roast, while others prefer dark, less acidic, or more powerful flavors. However, knowing what sort of beverage could be right for you can only help you select something excellent for yourself—and possibly even turn you into a “coffee expert.”

What To Consider Before Buying French Roast Coffee?

Many people like French roast coffee because it is tasty and popular. Though we appreciate the rich flavor, it is all too common for certain major roasters or sellers in this sector to ignore their quality to sell as many goods as possible at any cost—to you!

When purchasing a bag of French roast coffee, it is critical to examine its reputation and origin. Here are some aspects that you should take a look at before taking out your wallet:


French-roasted coffees have an oily surface, which causes them to deteriorate and become stale or rotten faster than lighter roasts. To avoid this problem, buy only what you’ll need for the week, lock it in an airtight container, and keep it until brew time!

Bean Quality

A French roast’s objective is to remove any traces of the coffee’s natural flavor. This is accomplished by disguising it with overwhelming roasted tastes, which may be obtained by using lower-quality beans and a longer roasting time.

As a result, several firms make very repulsive beverages! If you buy from brands that don’t care when picking what they sell and have a little reputation, you’ll notice bad quality quickly.


French roast beans, like several other dark roasts, have a bitter flavor. This is due to the carbonization and charring process that occurs within them for this specific type of coffee bean. Nevertheless, many people love it since it has a smoky flavor from its combustion!

French roasts are ideal for people seeking the real flavor of the coffee. A darker roast can bring out more bitterness but not much else in your beverage. On the other hand, utilizing a finer grind and French press brewing technique will assist with sweeter tastes that lay beneath!


Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

The answer is yes, very likely.

Because it has been roasted for a lengthy amount of time, French roast coffee is robust. This indicates that the beans have had more surface area exposed, resulting in a stronger flavor and fragrance. Still, other factors, such as water ratio during brewing, also play a role in deciding how potent your cup will be!

Is French Roast The Same As Turkish Coffee?

Turkish coffee and French roast coffee are two very distinct things. They are definitely not the same.

The French roast is a kind of coffee, whereas ‘Turkish Joe’ refers to the method of brewing. And you can use any sort of bean for Turkish joe as long as it’s been finely ground from their famous “French” variety.

Final Thoughts

French roast coffee is a dark-roasted coffee that has been roasted to generate more than half of its weight in carbon. The flavor is strong and smokey, with undertones of chocolate or caramelized sugar cane. 

We hope this blog article on “what is french roast coffee” has helped you better understand French roast. Please enjoy your brewing experience. Thank you so much for reading and we hope to see you again soon.

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).