The 10 Best Dark Roast Coffee Beans – Top Picks & Reviews

best dark roast coffee beans

“Taste the heat, not the sweetness,” is a terrific way to think about dark roast coffee. This is because the roasting’s powerful, nutty flavor overpowers the coffee bean’s delicious, nuanced flavor. Dark roasts go well with milk and cream because the powerful, occasionally harsh flavor is smoothed out.

I wrote these reviews for you if you want to try the best-tasting dark roast coffee. I also included a quick buyer’s guide to help you understand not only what’s excellent, but why.

The 10 Best Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Don Pablo Signature Blend

Scoop Cafe Don Pablo’s Signature Blend beans into your drip machine if you want to start your morning with a cup full of powerful, rich flavor. A cocoa-toned brew with a smooth taste and a reasonably substantial body is produced by a blend of coffee beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil. Additionally, coffee drinkers will not be bothered by the low acidity of this brew.

Coffee aficionados who are concerned about the quality of the beans used in their brew will be relieved to learn that Cafe Don Pablo exclusively uses high-grade arabica beans. You can use them to brew pot after pot of excellent coffee that’s good ’til the last drop once they’ve been small-batch roasted to dark goodness.


Origin: Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala

Variety: Arabica

Roast: Medium-Dark

Features: Low acidity, Non-GMO, Gluten and nut-free, Vegan and Keto friendly

Organic Dark Brazilian Nossa Senhora de Fatima Coffee

fresh roasted coffee

On the Fresh Roasted website, the Organic Dark Brazilian receives nearly 5 stars. It’s popular for a reason: it’s inexpensive and delicious. When you buy directly from the Nossa Senhora de Fatima farm, you’re supporting a social eco mission and buying single-origin, Fair Trade, organic certified coffee.

Fresh Roasted employs state-of-the-art roasting technology. This method aids in the enhancement of coffee bean flavor and quality and keeps their coffee beans as fresh as possible.

The property of Nossa Senhora de Fatima is home to Ricardo de Aguiar Resende and his wife, Gisele. The pair have poured their hearts and souls into building social activities, including homes for their workers and a school with a comprehensive educational curriculum for the farm’s children. When you buy from them not only you will enjoy great coffee but you also help in the preservation of the environment.


Origin: Minas Gerais, Brazil

Variety: Arabica

Roast: Dark

Tasting notes: raisin, woody, baked peaches

Certifications: USDA Organic certified and Fair Trade

Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast

volcanica coffee

Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast is the Volcanica Coffee Company’s own exquisite version of whole bean dark roast coffee. This whole bean espresso coffee features a finely balanced blend of Arabica coffee beans from Central and South America. It has a light acidity, ranging from 3.5 to 4.2.

Volcanica Espresso offers a thick caramel sweetness that balances the smokey overtones. You may get this one in 16 oz packs if you want a medium to a lightly caffeinated cup of coffee. On the stovetop, you can keep it warm and delicious for up to 20 minutes. 


Origin: Central and South America

Variety: Arabica

Roast: Dark

Tasting notes: Sweet Caramel, Signature Dense Intensity, Light Acidity, and Spice

Certification: Kosher

Copper Moon Sumatra Blend

Sumatra Premium Coffee Blend by Copper Moon Coffee is a robust blend with herbal and almond undertones, a smooth, smokey taste, and a lovely earthy scent. These beans are sourced from Indonesia’s far regions and roasted to a full-bodied, robustly gratifying blend.

To ensure that each coffee has the best aroma and flavor, the green coffee beans go through a meticulous small-batch roasting procedure.

Copper Moon Coffee has developed its own global sustainable coffee bean sourcing program, concentrating on social, economic, and environmental effects. They look for the best high-altitude, low-altitude, organic, single-origin coffee beans from small family-owned farms in order to improve the family’s and farm’s well-being. The goal is to provide you with the highest quality coffee that you can proudly brew and serve.


Origin: Indonesia

Variety: Arabica

Roast: Dark

Tasting notes: herbal notes, almond

Features: Gluten-free, non-GMO, allergen-free

Certification: Kosher

Peet’s House Blend

Peet’s is noted for its distinctive blends, which are made with greater care and attention to detail than any other coffee at this price point. Their dark House Blend is their most well-known product, having been created by Mr. Peet personally and remaining a top seller over the years.

It’s made up of a variety of beans from all across Central America, all of which are 100% arabica high-altitude produced. They’re hand-roasted to just past the second crack for a bright, balanced, medium-bodied cup of coffee. The result is a Latin combination that is vibrant, sweet, and comfortable. With a nice spiciness and a crisp, citrus finish, it’s rich and approachable.


Origins: Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua

Variety: Arabica

Tasting notes: Citrus, sweet, spice

Certification: Kosher

Death Wish Coffee

Death Desire Coffee Co. does not wish for your death in the literal sense. However, this “world’s strongest” coffee is alerting you that its ground and whole bean coffee grinds have a stronger flavor but are never bitter.

This Death Wish coffee is prepared from arabica and robusta coffee beans that have been carefully picked. It is a USDA-certified organic coffee that is 100 percent natural. Each cup of Deathwish’s World’s Strongest ground and whole bean coffee contains only one calorie. Your diet is safe because it has no extra carbs, gluten, or protein.

The recommended brewing ratio for their ground and whole beans is 2.5 tbsp per 6 ounces of water for an excellent Deathwish cup.


Variety: Arabica

Tasting notes: subtle flavor notes of cherry and chocolate

Certifications: USDA Organic certified and Fair Trade

Lavazza Crema e Gusto

Crema e Gusto combines Brazilian Arabica beans with African and Indonesian Robusta beans to produce a fragrant flavor with a rich, full-bodied finish. A perfect combination of intensity and well-balanced aroma.

The best way to enjoy these beans is by using an espresso machine to extract all the flavors. 

From coffee growers to staff and customers, Lavazza has always put people at the center of its world. That is why Lavazza works hard every day to promote and implement its values in a way that incorporates all Group stakeholders.


Origin: Brazil, Indonesia

Variety: Arabica and Robusta

Roasting: Dark

Tasting notes: Spices

Koffee Kult Dark Roast

Koffee Kult is a rare artisan roaster that has grown without compromising quality. Their dark roast blend is their most popular, producing a powerful and bold coffee that is yet smooth and clean tasting. They use specialty-grade beans from Guatemala, Colombia, and Sumatra to create a blend that nicely blends the vibrant flavors of South and Central America with the usually fruity and earthy flavors of Sumatran beans.

For a rich and aromatic brew, they slow roast the beans to just past the second crack. It has an unexpected brightness to the cinnamon flavor, which is complemented by more traditional dark chocolate and nut tones.


Origin: Guatemala, Colombia, Sumatra

Variety: Arabica

Roasting: Dark

Tasting notes: Cinnamon, chocolate, nuts

Certifications: Kosher

Mayorga Coffee Cafe Cubano Roast

We love the robust flavor of Cuban coffee, and we think you will too if you pick up a bag of Mayorga Café Cubano java. These dark roast coffee beans include undertones of sweet vanilla and a slightly smokey flavor that will please almost anyone’s taste buds.

Mayorga only uses the freshest coffee from small farmers and co-ops in Latin America, therefore these beans are responsibly sourced. Mayorga’s Café Cubano coffee has a particular flavor thanks to a slow, small-batch roasting procedure — the dark roast’s robust flavor is probably what makes it the brand’s distinctive mix.


Origin: Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua

Variety: Arabica

Roasting: Dark

Tasting notes: Vanilla, sweet, smokey

Features: Organic, Non-GMO, No allergens

Certifications: Kosher

Lifeboost Embolden Dark Roast


This coffee has a pH of 6, which is significantly lower than most other coffee alternatives, which range from 4.5 to 5.

Nicaraguan beans that were grown in the shade and are USDA certified organic.

Lifeboost coffee beans are grown in biodiverse Nicaragua and have a rich, chocolate body with a hint of orange peels and a spicy finish. It’s a rich coffee with little bitterness, making it ideal for espresso machines.

They’re also organic and shade-grown, which means they ripen slowly for a richer flavor and are free of pesticides, exactly like nature intended!


Origin: Nicaragua

Variety: Arabica

Tasting notes: Chocolate, orange, spicy

Features: Organic, Non-GMO, Low acid

dark roast coffee beans

What is Dark Roast?

Dark roast coffee has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that we started to see an increase in popularity. In fact, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, dark roasts account for about 25% of all coffee sold. 

That said, not everyone agrees on what exactly constitutes a “dark roast.” Some people think that anything with a shade darker than espresso is considered a dark roast; others say that only coffees with an acidity rating below 2.5 are dark roasts. Regardless, most agree that dark roasts are generally richer and bolder than lighter roasts.

Science of dark roast coffee

When coffee beans are cooked, chemical and physical changes occur, resulting in the color, aroma, and flavor of the beans. The sugar inside the coffee bean caramelizes during the roasting process. The fats within the coffee bean produce the fragrant oils we notice when we make coffee.

The roasting process produces the flavors you’ll find in a dark roast. Bitterness, smokiness, and burnt flavor are all frequent in dark roasts. This is because it is roasted at a temperature of 240°C (464°F) and is roasted past the second crack.

The flavors of a dark roast coffee

Yes, the flavor of coffee beans is affected by the roasting process. The flavor of dark roasts, on the other hand, is defined by roasting.

Roast profiling helps us to assess the flavor of the coffee by analyzing the 800 to 1,000 different scent compounds created during the roasting process.

Darker roasts provide a more homogenous collection of tastes and scents since they derive so much of their flavor from the roasting process. They are, nevertheless, far from boring. Chocolate, toasted nuts, spices, and dark sugar, like molasses and caramel, are common flavors in dark roasts, along with more substantial aromas described as earthy, woody, and smokey. Great dark roasts often have to balance bright, fruity tones, including apples, cherries, and berries.

If you are interested in roasting your coffee beans at home, you can take a look at the video below.

How to Choose the Best Dark Roast Coffee Beans


If you want to open a package of coffee and drink it over a few weeks, you’ll need to buy whole beans to preserve the flavors. Despite the fact that ground coffee is vacuum-sealed and quite fresh, you must consume it within 36 to 48 hours of opening the container.

Another point to emphasize about freshness is that coffee will have various flavors if drank within a few days following roasting. The consistency of the brew could also be off. Coffee requires time to expel carbon dioxide and other noxious substances. This is why valves are commonly found on coffee packages. You have a few alternatives when it comes to purchasing your dark roast coffee. That being said, very fresh is much better than old and stale.


When it comes to judging the quality of dark roast beans, things can get a little tough. When compared to a lighter roast, the roasting process causes more oils to flow out of the beans. But, when it comes to oil, how much is too much? What exactly isn’t enough?

Even the greatest dark roast coffee beans’ oily appearance isn’t a good indicator for judging freshness or quality.

Flavor profile

The dark roast may be the only option for many people who grew up with a medium roast that didn’t taste all that great. Coffee roasting is a two-edged sword. It gets rid of both the bad and the good flavors. So, while roasting may remove certain weird flavors, it will also remove the pleasant floral undertones. Dark roast, on the other hand, provides a unique chance. Dark roasts are more bitter than light roasts, however, there are differences. You may get a chocolatey, full-bodied coffee with a silky mouthfeel. These are some desirable unique qualities of dark roast.


The roasting process masks many of the unique characteristics, whether coffee is single-origin or not is less important for dark-roasted beans. Nonetheless, it has a job to perform. It may have a more distinct flavor than a blend, but you may not be able to discern the regional peculiarities. In our perspective, the advantage of single-origin coffee for dark roast, or any roast for that matter, is that it is easier to trace the coffee back to an ethical source.


For their products, any coffee company might have numerous certifications. These might provide you with guarantees about the product’s quality. Here are the most common ones you’ll come upon:

  • Fair Trade – this means that coffee growers and enterprises work under better trading terms, adhere to environmental standards, and develop more sustainably.
  • Rainforest Alliance certificate – this means the farm it came from has been assessed and passes a number of essential environmental criteria for conservation.
  • USDA Organic – If your coffee is organic, it will acquire this certificate. This indicates that the company doesn’t use chemicals that are potentially dangerous to your health, such as synthetic pesticides and herbicides.


Because the majority of coffee users have a cup (or three) every day, the cost is a significant factor. It’s also worth playing with. See if you can choose between a $5 bag of beans and a $20 bag of beans. Simply because coffee is more expensive does not imply that it is the best for your taste buds.

The Best Ways to Brew Dark Roast at Home

You don’t have to be a professional barista to make an excellent cup of coffee. There are only two things you’ll need: dark roast coffee and a machine. You should be familiar with dark roast brewing procedures if you want to make your favorite cup of coffee at home. These are accomplished through the use of espresso machines and French presses.

Espresso machines

Have you ever wondered why espresso is so dark? The roasting level of coffee beans is important when making a decent espresso. The taste and aroma of the coffee are determined by the level of roasting. Coffee beans are green, soft, and smell grassy before they are roasted.

When raw coffee beans are roasted, they become a crisp coffee beans with a pleasing scent, flavor, and appearance. As the coffee beans absorb heat, their color changes from green to light brown, medium brown, and finally dark brown. As the temperature rises, the oils begin to surface.

Espresso roasts are black because they are roasted to a temperature of 465 to 480 degrees Fahrenheit (240-248 celsius degrees) on the inside. This roasting temperature is used to bring out the roasted coffee bean’s specific flavor profile.

The subtle nuances are lost in the roasting process. As the roasted coffee bean darkens, its particular flavor and nuances become more apparent.

Espresso machines are used to extract the coffee’s thick concentration from whole beans or finely ground beans. An emulsion of oil droplets is extracted in the initial phase of dispersal. The second phase extracts the suspended particles from the compressed coffee beans. Layers of bubbles or foam are formed during the final or third phase.

So, when you create an espresso, you’re looking for the results of the three processes to come out of the espresso machine. Every coffee drink, including cappuccino, macchiato, mocha, latte, and americano, starts with this.

French press

The French Press is a European method of caffeination in which soaked ground coffee is put directly into hot water. Pour your choice grounds into the carafe to make your french pressed brewed coffee. After that, fill it with boiling water according to the ratios specified on the ground’s container.

Stir briefly to ensure that the coffee grounds and water are well mixed and saturated. Place the lid on after four minutes and slowly apply pressure to the plunger. Pour all of the ground coffee into the carafe and press it down until it touches the bottom.

To minimize sludging and over-extraction, decant your French Pressed brewed coffee into a cup or a thermos.


Is Dark Roast Coffee More Bitter?

A dark roast becomes more delicious once it has past the second crack. It no longer has the green coffee bean’s natural flavor, but it does have a distinct personality. The dark roast loses its brightness as it becomes bitter after being roasted. Dark roast, on the other hand, becomes full-bodied.

Darkly roasted coffee beans are far more bitter than light and medium roasts, with a similar amount of caffeine.

Is Dark Roast Coffee Healthy?

In most diets, dark roast coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants. These antioxidants give coffee its dark, rich brown color, and they can help fight free radicals, which cause cellular damage and have been linked to cancer.

Riboflavin is also present in dark roast coffee. This is a crucial part of your cell’s proper development and growth. It keeps your blood healthy and helps your body convert amino acids into usable forms.

Is there more or less caffeine in dark roast coffee beans?

Dark roasts, according to some coffee drinkers, are stronger and contain more caffeine than light roasts. The truth is that the caffeine concentration of coffee remains rather constant throughout the roasting process. The taste of roasts differs from one another, not the quantity of caffeine they contain.

Caffeine concentration in light roast and dark roast coffee is about identical when evaluated by weight. If measured by the scoop, light roast coffee has somewhat more caffeine than a darker roast since the beans are denser. Dark roasts have less mass because they’ve been roasted longer.

Does dark roast coffee have more flavor?

The best dark roast coffees have a lot of flavors. They have dark chocolate, spice, and wood flavor to them. Dark roast coffee beans are less acidic than medium and light roast coffee beans, and they have the heaviest body and most intense aroma.

Dark roasted coffee beans are roasted for a longer time or at a greater temperature than lightly roasted coffee beans. They become less thick, less caffeinated, and have a more single-note flavor as a result. As a result, dark roast coffee has a richer body and stronger flavors. When drinking a hot or cold brew, you can tell the difference between a light roast and a dark roast.

Are dark roasts considered “low-acid”?

They don’t have a different pH than any other medium roast coffee. Dark roasting, on the other hand, enhances the extraction of a molecule that aids in the inhibition of stomach acid. Dark roasts are thus frequently referred to as stomach-friendly coffee.


I hope this list can help you to understand more about the options that you can find on the market and how to evaluate good dark roast beans.

If you want to find out more about other types of coffee beans, I invite you to take a look at our guide about the best light roast coffee beans.

Giacomo is an Italian living in Shanghai since 2016. After working as a barista in Italy, he started to be more interested in the different types of coffee, beans, and the ways to prepare this ancient beverage. He founded Authority Coffee and he is currently on a mission to find the best coffee in China.