What Is French Roast Coffee? (The Dark Full Roast Explained)


Seeing the title, you asked “What Is French Roast Coffee?”, you might’ve assumed it to be a France based coffee or something of that sort. Well, it’s not that simple, but we will make it simple for you.

Even if you’re not aware of roasting styles or how roasts of coffee matter, don’t worry, we’ll dispel it all. Technically you don’t get great coffee straight from the pods, refining is key. And by refining we mean all the steps and processes it goes through after being harvested.

Roasting is one of the many steps any coffee beans go through before consumption. Coffee beans don’t just pop out of the pod’s beverage ready. Coffee beans go a long way before making it to your cup.

There are certain variations of the roast when it comes to coffee roasting. Light, medium, dark are the three main variations of the coffee roast levels.

French roast belongs to the dark roasted coffee variation.

What is French Roast Coffee

To get to know in detail about the complex flavors of the French roast read the whole article through!

What Is French Roast Coffee?

We also have detailed articles on what is an Americano and how to make strong coffee, in case if you want to check those out.

French Roast Coffee

One of the dark roasted beans are named French roast coffee; it is a dark chocolate color coffee bean roasted to smoky perfection with a slight hint of body. Conventionally this is light in acidity but heavy on the bittersweet smoky palate.

Europeans used to prefer this style of roasting for beans which is how the name got its point of inception as the French Roast.

Dark roasts like this are roasted in a temperature scale of 464 °F and kept between 482 °F (240 °C -250 °C). Roasting helps develop flavors and notes which are already present in the coffee bean. The time and temperature that is invested in roasting coffee beans all work together in bringing out the already present note in the coffee.

The flavor profile for French roast tends to be on the strong and smoky side with a heavy accent; it is acategory of dark roast. The beans develop a rich dark color with a shiny oil sheen on the topcoat.

What Does French Roast Coffee Taste Like?

What Does French Coffee Taste Like

We can say, the French roasted coffee taste resides on the heavier side.

Because it has been roasted for a longer period, the taste palate resides on the smokier side i.e., the roasted side. The natural sweetness is pushed aside and it tastes bitter due to the roasting.

The fruity notes that you’ll find in a light to medium roast is not present in the French roast. Roasting brings out about 800 to 1000 different flavor compounds in the beans making them the best French roast coffee beans.

What Does French Roast Coffee Look Like?

What Does French Roast Coffee Look Like

The coffee bean is dark brown and smooth in texture with a glistening topcoat. The oil from inside comes to the surface of the coffee bean and it is made possible through the coffee roasting process.

French roasted coffee is considered a double roast according to the coffee roast chart. The coffee beans are roasted till the second crack. A slow roasting method that helps develop the flavor along with the colors without distorting the chemical compounds and making it taste bold and strong.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Cup Of French Roast?

(French Roast Coffee Caffeine Content)

We also have detailed articles on what is caffeine and how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee, in case if you want to check those out.

French Roast Coffee Caffeine Content

If you think the darker the roast, the higher the caffeine then you’re mistaken. It’s actually in the reverse order. The caffeine content is more saturated in light roasts. As you go down the slope from light to dark the caffeine intensity decreases significantly.

French roasted coffee caffeine level doesn’t hit as high as it’s smoky bittersweet notes. A 100-gram cup of French roast brew generally has 40 mg caffeine in it. Whereas, a 100-gram of light to medium roast coffee brews have around 1.2 to 1.5g of caffeine. Which is around 60% more caffeine!

If you’re planning to brew a cup of coffee using this wonderful roast but unsure about the caffeine kick, then don’t be. Caffeine content highly depends on the volume of coffee grounds you use.

How To Brew French Roast Coffee?

(How Is French Roast Coffee Made?)

We also have detailed articles on how to make the best cold brew coffee at home, how to make bulletproof coffee at home the keto coffee creamer recipe, then how to make Turkish coffee and whipped coffee, and then how to make coffee while camping, in case if you want to check those out.

How To Brew French Roasted Coffee

Since the French roast has a strong body and it’s heavy on the rich smoky palate it’s not favorable for all sorts of brew. If you’re stuck with ‘how to make French roast coffee’ then you can opt for a regular, or cold brew, an espresso would do just fine as a French roast coffee recipe.

You may know espresso is used as a base for most coffee drinks. This is true for French roast coffee, latte, and cappuccino as well. (By the way, do you know what is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino? Do you have your own best latte machine for home use or cappuccino maker? If not, you can read here how to choose the best cappuccino maker for your home as well as the best latte machines).

However, If you’re looking for an easy way out or don’t have French roasted coffee ground on you then you can opt for French roast coffee pods or k cups for your own best single serve coffee maker. These are a few easy options out which work like a special French roast coffee maker.

If all else fails then you can always have Starbucks as your saving resort. The Starbucks french roast coffee beans are a classic go-to for many. Starbucks French Roast is their darkest and boldest roast available.

How Is French Roast Coffee Roasted?

(Coffee Roasting Process)

We also have detailed articles on the best home coffee roaster, the Behmor 1600 plus review, and the Gene Cafe coffee roaster review, in case if you want to check those out.

Coffee Roasting Process

Coffee beans go through a methodical procedure in the roasting stage. First off, dried coffee beans are thrown into the roaster with an internal temperature of 500 °F.

The beans slowly start changing color and fragrance in the first 5 minutes; in 2 to 5 minutes full color and flavor develop with the first crack i.e., a popping noise that goes off when the roaster reaches an internal temperature of 360 °F, this is a light roast stage.

If you’re looking for a medium roast then you have to build the temperature from 360°F – 395°F. in this stage, the roast is at optimum balance in color and flavor condensation.

When the beans are a dark brown chocolaty colorand the roaster is at an internal temperature of 410°F to 435°F you’ll hear a second crack, at this stage the beans emit a rich smoky aroma with bold and strong flavors completing the dark roast.

The beans look amazingly dark and chocolaty in color with a shiny oil sheen.

Remember, temperature and time plays a key role in getting the perfect French roasted beans. Roasting at the proper channel of temperature helps develop color and flavor without cutting down on essential moisture content.

How Did French Roast Coffee Get Its Name?

(History Of French Roast Coffee)

We also have detailed articles on where do coffee beans come from and the history of coffee, in case if you want to check those out.

History Of French Roast Coffee

Around the 19th century, the Europeans heavily relied upon a strong-bodied coffee. This style of brew was very popular and in-demand back then. Hence later on this dark roast took up the name “French Roast” around 1971.

Starbucks back then made this rich and dark roast even more inviting adding their twist to the blend of French roast, making it one of the best French roast coffee of that time. The adult beverage industry took new leaps with this new blend.

What’s Lighter Than French Roast Coffee?

The most common and popular light roast is the espresso roast. If you’re looking for even lighter roasts then a few more notables would be Full roast, High roast, Continental roast, etc.

All these roasts have more mouthfeel and heavier body in comparison to French roast.

What’s Darker Than French Roast Coffee?/ (French Roast Vs Dark Roast)

Typically, dark roasts are used as espresso blends. Roasts like Italian roast, New Orleans Roast, Spanish Roast, and French roast are all dark roasts. The darker you roast your coffee bean the more you lose its flavor of origin.

The darkest roast is known as the Spanish roast or the Dark French.

French Roast Vs Italian Roast/ (What Is Italian Roast Coffee?)

French Roast Vs Italian Roast

Ok, up to the stage you have well known what is French roast coffee? Now it will be easy for you to understand what is Italian roast coffee?

Both the French roast and the Italian roast fall under the dark roast category. The Italian roast is a slightly more overdone version of the French roast, so it is heavier on the smoky and bitter accents.

In comparison to Italian roast, French roast holds a less bitter and smoky note. The natural sweetness present in coffee beans gets pulverized.

Both the roasts leave a dark rich color with a heavy sheen of oil on top of the beans.

Let’s Watch a Video Review: What Does French Roast Coffee Really Mean?

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Is French Roast The Same As Turkish Coffee?

The French roast is a degree of roast of the beans, the Turkish coffee is an entire preparation of coffee. The coffee is prepared using a finely ground coffee on scalding hot sand and ideally served with sugar.

So, they’re definitely on different levels but you can make Turkish coffee using the French roast coffee bean.

Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

Yes, it is a strong coffee but not in terms of caffeine but in terms of flavor. French roast is characteristically rich, smoky, and dark in color.

Is French Roast Coffee Good For You? (Is It Healthy?)

Coffee loses some of these essentials as they get roasted. The fibers of the coffee bean are structured as such that more carbon compounds get distorted hence the French roasted coffee nutrition facts aren’t high in comparison to light roast coffee.

If you’re worried about the calorie count then French roasted coffee calories are negligible.

The percentage of calories in 100 gm of French roasted coffee is zero. Simply put – if you like the taste, it is good for you.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Stay Fresh After Roasting? /How Do You Store Coffee After Roasting?

Once you roast the beans there isn’t much you can do to hold in the freshness. The raw beans can hold their freshness intact for as long as 12 months.

Storing the roasted coffee beans in a dark airtight container for as long as 7-10 days. Light and moisture are the natural enemies of roasted coffee beans.

Which Is Better – Dark Or Medium Roast Coffee?

Medium roast coffee is the best roast if you ask me since the more you roast the more the flavor of origin is lost in the process.

The richness, acidity, fruity notes, etc. are all at their best state in this level of roast. The more coffee beans get roasted to dark the more it lacks the natural built-in qualities of coffee and deepens on the body and aroma of the coffee.


We hope we could quench your thirst and now you have the answer to ‘What Is French Roast Coffee’.

Now you know how there are plenty of other roasts besides the French roast. How different each style of the roasts is from one another.

The best coffee is the cup that makes you the happiest. If you haven’t tried the French roast coffee yet, it might be a shot worth taking. You might end up linking something that tastes a bit different than regular coffee.

Say yes to trying out new coffee, or simply indulge in a cup of coffee with any style of roast you prefer. The choices are endless!


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