Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by John Moretti
If you’re a coffee lover with an appreciation for a strong and rich flavor palette, light roast coffee is for you.
The acidic flavoring and sweet scenting aromas command the admiration of hardcore coffee drinkers across the globe. And today, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight best light roast coffee beans that will leave you craving more.
For the harried reader, here’s a summary of our top picks for coffee. These are some of the top blends in the market and won’t disappoint.
- Best Overall Roast – Fresh Roasted’s White Knight
- Best Yirgacheffe Roast – Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic Coffee
- Best Affordable Peaberry Roast – Fresh Roasted’s Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee
- Best for Cold Brews – Lifeboost’s Light Roast
- Best Kona Blend – Hawaii Coffee Company’s Lion Premium Gold 10% Kona Blend
- Best Small Batch Roast – Cooper’s Cask Coffee Ethiopian Bold Roast
- Best Sustainable Roast – Tiny FootPrint Coffee Signature Blend Whole Bean
- Best Budget Roast – Cafe Don Pablo Organic Light
Fresh Roasted’s White Knight – Best Overall Roast
If you’re looking for the best light roast coffee on the market, without accounting for individual preferences or pricing, we invite you to try Fresh Roast LLC’s White Knight blend.
When it comes to high-quality coffee, few companies can beat the standard set by Fresh Roast.
The company sources their beans from Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Colombia, to Maui, Haiti, and Kenya. All their products are USDA organic certified, backed by authorities like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and the Rainforest Alliance. Not to mention, their pricing is well-deserved based on the value you’re getting.
The White Knight blend is a bold body mix with a chocolatey cocoa taste that will leave you wanting more.
Produced using 100% Fair Trade Certified Arabica Coffee Beans, this light roast makes a heady brew that leaves a clean finish. Coffee lovers will detect sweet undertones of wild bing cherries underneath the rich flavor.
Fresh Roast is committed to preparing high-quality and environmentally conscious roasts. In addition to ethical sourcing, they also use Loring roasters with minimal carbon footprints. The smokeless roasting method has allowed them to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 percent.
The integrity of the water and soil in which beans are grown is preserved throughout the growing process. No synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, or genetic engineering is allowed to interfere, giving you a perfectly organic, sustainable roast.
You can purchase this roast in 12 ounces, 2 pound, or 5-pound bags. Since the roasting, blending, and packaging occurs in US-based facilities, with continuous oversight, quality is ensured.
Resealable bags with a custom-designed one-way valve ensure no air is trapped and your coffee stays fresh for as long as you want.
In fact, the Fresh Roast single-serve coffee pods come with nitrogen inflation, so customers get the complete flavor-packed experience with their coffee.
While you can brew this artisan blend in a variety of ways, you may want to try a pour-over or drip method for the best results. Alternatively, Aeropress is also a great way to extract the rich flavor from this light roast.
Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic Coffee – Best Yirgacheffe Roast
Light roasts are a world of their own. These acidic blends with their sweet and citrusy flavors are a far cry from the dark cocoa flavors most coffee drinkers are used to.
But once you dive into this world, you’ll never go back. As beginners develop their palette and explore their options, they will discover a particular type of blend called the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
Yirgs aren’t for everyone. These beans are native to the isolated Ethiopian highlands, and their export is controlled. Getting the blending and extraction right is also no easy task. But when done correctly, the complex and layered flavors will open your eyes to a completely new world of coffee.
Yirgs have a very distinctive flavor palette and are known for their tea-like consistencies. Volcanica’s best-selling Ethiopian Yirgacheffee is a smooth roast with floral and fruity accents and undertones of nutmeg.
You can expect a bold body brew with pronounced citrus, blueberry, and blackberry tones that longtime Yirgacheffe drinkers will appreciate.
You can purchase this roast in 16 ounces, 3 pound, or 5-pound bags. The larger the bag, the more discount you can get when ordering directly from their site. Grind options include whole bean, drip grind, espresso grind, and french press.
Yirgacheffe roasts are known for their higher densities and lighter roasts, so you’ll need to steep them longer and aim for a higher level of extraction. A finer grind works best with this type of blend, along with high brewing temperatures in the range of 195 to 205 degrees.
A good ratio to use is 2 tbsp per 6 oz of water. When brewed well, this roast gives you a very harmonious acidity that consummate drinkers of light roasts will appreciate.
Fresh Roasted’s Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee – Best Affordable Peaberry Roast
A huge favorite among light roast drinkers is the Tanzania Peaberry Coffee, which is native to the Mbeya Region. Rich in flavor, with a strong aroma and medium acidity, this smooth brew is a hit among consummate coffee drinkers.
You can tell Peaberry beans apart from other light roasts by their characteristic smaller and rounder bean shape.
The distinctive flavor of the Peabody comes with a higher than regular caffeine content, making it a hit among light roast drinkers.
Generally, these beans are more expensive than other coffee beans, but Fresh Roasted’s Tanzanian Peabody Coffee is a flavorful yet affordable roast, making it a perfect beginner or entry-level option.
The full-bodied Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee gains its fame as one of the best light roast coffee options because of its complex and rich flavor palette.
Coffee lovers can expect a distinctive fruity flavor accompanied by notes of lemon, peach, and black tea. Similarly, the consistency is also smooth and tea-like.
A clean finish and medium acidity make Fresh Roasted’s Tanzanian Peabody Coffee the perfectly balanced brew for coffee lovers looking to try something new.
The Peaberry is a rare type of bean, sparsely found on premium Arabica trees.
Another point to note is that the bean is not native to the region where it is grown and was only brought there by 19th-century missionaries. As a result, its harvest is low, and production is often handled by smallholder home processors, central pulpers, and larger private estates.
Harvesting is done by hand in the months between June and December. Perfectly developed beans are often picked around September. Picking them in the months before September gives you underdeveloped cores while picking in the months after makes them overdeveloped. In either case, they are not as flavorful. As a result, exports are handled in the months between November and July.
You can purchase this roast in 12 ounces, 2 pound, or 5-pound bags. If you want larger quantities, you can get a 30-pound delivery, which is 6, 5-pound bags.
Grind options include whole bean, drip grind, coarse, and fine grind. For people who take a liking to the roast, there’s even an option for auto-delivery, so you’ll never run out.
The mid-level acidity makes Fresh Roasted’s Tanzanian Peabody Coffee a great choice for cold brews.
Alternatively, you can use an Aeropress or French Press. With the right brewing method, you can expect a floral, fruity flavor and notes of lemon, peach, and black tea. The light and bright brew make the perfect morning coffee.
Lifeboost’s Light Roast – Best For Cold Brews
For coffee lovers who prefer cold brews with chocolatey notes, Lifeboost’s Light Roast certainly does the trick. Grown in the Nicaraguan mountains, these high-quality beans are hand-selected and carefully roasted by experts in the craft.
So if you’re looking for a light brew to start your day, this is definitely the one!
Buyers can expect a fragrant light roast with a nutty taste profile, along with notes of caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla. The careful roasting results in a layered and rich flavor palette that is less acidic than other light roasts on the market.
Grown in mountain shade without any influence of pesticides, the crop is of the highest quality.
What sets Lifeboost’s Light Roast apart from its competitors is the care that goes into each stage of the roast. First, premium beans are hand-selected by Nicaraguan farmers. Then they undergo a 26-hour fermentation process that leaves the skin soft enough to easily remove without causing any damage to the bean.
Next, the farmers gently wash the beans in spring water and leave them to dry out under the sun until they reach a humidity of 11.5%. Once the process is complete, the final product is allowed to rest for a 30 day period during which it ripens and increases in flavor.
Of course, all of this is guaranteed. In fact, third-party independent testing for mycotoxins, heavy metals, insecticides, and pesticides is used for quality control. Over 400 variables are tested before the product is packaged and put up for sale.
You can purchase this roast in 12-ounce bags of beans or ground roast, depending on your preference.
There’s also the option of getting your roast in a burlap sack along with free shipping. If you develop a preference for Lifeboost’s Light Roast, you can schedule your deliveries anywhere from weekly to monthly.
The biggest issue people have with light roasts is their potential for extreme acidity.
Luckily, Lifeboost’s Light Roast has a very balanced, light acidity. Cold brewing for around 16 to 18 hours will mellow out the flavor even more, making it a perfect roast for cold coffee lovers.
Hawaii Coffee Company’s Lion Premium Gold 10% Kona Blend – Best Kona Blend
Hawaii Coffee Company is the best brand for light roast drinkers who love any kind of Hawaii-grown bean.
They are the largest supplier of Kona roast out of Hawaii and have an established distribution network spread out over the Big Island. If you’re looking for a reliable outlet that will promise timely deliveries and high-quality products, this is the brand for you.
The Premium Gold 10% Kona is a beautiful and perfectly balanced blend that goes great with a light breakfast or afternoon snack.
A sweet yet mellow brew, the Premium Gold 10% Kona is an affordable and balanced roast.
Coffee lovers can expect a malt-like finish with nutty undertones. Cupping notes promise a bright, bold, and smooth blend that is a great option for beginners or first-time drinkers.
This mild yet delicious light roast works well with an evening snack, though long-time drinkers of light roasts may not get the kick they’re used to.
People who work or are heavily invested in the coffee business will know that the Hawaii Coffee Company emerged in 2000 and was a collaboration between Lion Coffee and Royal Kona Coffee.
The two already established coffee brands decided to join forces and become even more formidable with a highly efficient production and distribution system. If there’s one thing you can count on when you’re ordering from Hawaii Coffee Company, it’s product quality.
You can purchase this roast in 7 ounces and 24-ounce bags, which you can order in ground or whole-grain form.
Depending on how fast you go through the Premium Gold 10% Kona, you can set a shipping schedule of two, four, six, or eight weeks. Of course, first-time drinkers can get a one-time delivery to get them started.
While you can brew the Premium Gold 10% Kona in various ways, you can try a pour-over or drip method for the best results. Alternatively, Aeropress is also a great way to extract the flavor from this light roast properly.
Cooper’s Cask Coffee Ethiopian Bold Roast – Best Small Batch Roast
If you’re looking for a high-quality gourmet roast, the Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian Bold Roast definitely won’t disappoint.
The single-origin roast is actually a micro lot and has a unique flavor profile courtesy of several heirloom varietals. The beans come from organic and Fairtrade certified farms where only the best growing practices are followed.
The Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian Bold Roast is a floral, fruity brew with distinctive notes of citrus, lemon, raw honey, and wild berries. The bold and layered taste is accompanied by a vibrant aroma that promises drinkers an immersive experience.
What sets Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian Bold Roast above other coffees is their layered production system that ensures product quality. Each lot of beans is thoroughly checked and studied before being selected as part of the micro-lot cycle. Then the coffee cherries are laid out on raised beds in the middle of the hot desert and sun-dried to perfection.
The slow natural drying process allows the deeper notes of the cherry to seep into the coffee bean. This gives us the sharp citrus or wild berry undertones in the bean.
A light roasting process ensures that the maximum amount of flavor and caffeine is preserved. Since the company follows a policy of small-batch roasting, you can expect freshly roasted beans each time you order.
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, the company offers a full 30-day refund for unsatisfied customers. Coffee lovers can expect a smooth, flavorful brew that will leave them wanting more.
You can purchase this roast in 12 ounces, 2 pound, or 5-pound bags. Grind options include whole bean, french press, auto drip, and espresso.
The sleek black packaging will leave a sharp impression when left on your kitchen counter. The sealable top will keep your roast fresh and full of flavor for weeks after you open your pack.
Some of the best ways to brew Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian Bold Roast include the pour-over, french press, or drip methods. Of course, the mildly acidic light roast is also great for cold brews that will give you an even and mellow flavor.
Tiny FootPrint Coffee Signature Blend Whole Bean – Best Sustainable Roast
The Tiny FootPrint Light Roast Signature Blend is an exquisite whole bean roast. Shade-grown in some of the most popular coffee harvesting regions around the globe, this Arabica blend is completely organic.
In fact, part of the reason the Tiny Footprint Coffee Company is so popular is that it is a zero-carbon coffee production house, the first of its kind. A percentage of the sales even contributes to fighting green causes worldwide, including the Mindo Cloud Reforestation project.
This light body roast is accompanied by a mild acidity characteristic of light roasts. Coffee drinkers will first notice its sweet and heady aroma, followed by citrusy notes of lemon and orange.
A mild cocoa finish brings the notes together, giving you a smooth and well-balanced finish.
Only beans of the highest quality make it past the initial checks. Then they are craft roasted in a vintage Probat drum roaster.
The German-built machine can hold up to 90 kgs of beans at a time, ensuring consistent product quality and freshness. Of course, the company has outfitted the machine with modern parts such as ribbon burners to make it more fuel-efficient.
You can purchase this roast in 16 ounces or 3-pound bags. Vacuum sealed bags keep the roast fresh, helping to maintain flavor and moisture. You’ll open the bag to a heavenly aroma.
If you’re looking for the best ways to extract the Tiny FootPrint Light Roast Signature Blend flavor, you should try the pour-over, french press, or drip methods.
Since the roast has a mild acidity, it also works well in cold brews. If you want a rich flavor, you’ll do well using a fine grind, but if you want a milder result, try a coarser grind.
Cafe Don Pablo Organic Light – Best Budget Roast
Cafe Don Pablo is a family-owned business that is renowned for its expert gourmet blends.
The Cafe Don Pablo Organic Light Roast comes from farms in Honduras. When it comes to roasts, geography plays a huge role in the flavor result, and the high altitude of the Honduran Marcala certainly contributes to the vibrant complexity found in this brew.
A rarity among light roasts, drinkers can expect rich, chocolatey tasting notes from the Cafe Don Pablo Organic Light Roast.
While the texture is silky smooth, the brew ends with a sweet finish. Prevailing notes include honey, caramel, and cocoa that can be properly drawn out with a solid brewing process.
What makes this roast unusual is its low acidity that appeals to people who are new to the world of light roasts.
From sourcing the very best Arabica beans to their small-scale roasting, Cafe Don Pablo prioritizes quality above all else.
While the specialty beans are grown in Honduras, the processing and cultivation occur largely in Colombia, the home of the family. Each stage in the production cycle receives immense care, and it is the attention to detail that sets this product apart from the rest.
You can purchase this roast in 2-pound whole bean bags.
The best method for brewing is the one that works for you. However, if you want to explore your options, try the pour-over, french press, or drip methods.
When properly brewed, these techniques will allow you to get the most flavor out of your brew.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for the best light roast coffee, there are many great options to choose from. It all depends on the type of flavor profile you want. Once you figure out what type of beans you prefer, geographically and taste-wise, it’s only a matter of exploring your brewing options. There are no wrong options when it comes to light roasts.
No matter where you start, you’ll find something worth your while!