What Is Bold Coffee? (Explained for Beginners)

Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Barry Gray

Nothing is better than a cup of coffee to get you up in the morning. I know it delivers that energy shot I need to get everything moving, but sometimes a regular coffee just doesn’t hit the mark.

But if I know I’m feeling sluggish when I wake, I always know there’s an alternative that could make a difference, and it’s a bold coffee.

A bold coffee is a dark roast coffee complete with a robust and full-bodied flavor. It is usually made from Arabica beans resulting in a smoother finish that is more pleasant to taste. Often, it will use beans that come with hints of either chocolate or caramel to add to the overall flavor.

But I admit I have a few reasons why I love a good bold coffee at times, and it’s not just to do with the shock to the system that it seems to be capable of delivering. 

However, I see a few misconceptions surrounding bold coffee, so over the next few minutes, I need to address those and ensure you have the whole picture. After all, if you have never experienced a bold coffee before, I want you to know exactly what to expect.

bold coffee example

Bold Doesn’t Always Refer to Strength

I need to begin by saying that the term “bold” doesn’t always have to refer to the strength of the coffee. This is a common mistake, and it’s one I need to rectify.

Instead, when I’m talking about a bold coffee, it’s more to do with the flavor and aroma you get from it that heightens the senses and gives you a superior coffee-drinking experience.

What Exactly is a Bold Coffee?

americano bold coffee with intense flavor

Your typical bold coffee is made from a dark roast. You need the dark roast as that’s the type of bean capable of delivering the full-on experience regarding flavor and aroma.

The flavor here is intense. It’s smokey and robust. 

You may also experience the flavors as being more acidic than others, and it gives a sense of having been better developed as a coffee compared to what you are used to.

At first, you may encounter a strong and fierce base note to the aroma and taste. But once you break through that part, you experience an array of other notes that add to your experience.

Basically, I could never describe bold coffee as being flat. That’s just not the case.

Is it Stronger Than Normal Coffee?

The short answer here is no. The problem is a misunderstanding of terminology as people automatically presume something that is bold, in the coffee sense, must automatically be stronger.

But it’s not about the brewing method. Instead, our focus is on the roast and the bean to unlock the boldness of this coffee. 

Also, it’s down to us and our own individual preferences for the strength of our coffee. If you want a more robust coffee, you add more coffee.

It really is that simple.

Yet, that’s not what we are doing here. Instead, this bold coffee allows the beans and roast to speak for themselves, and that is why you would never choose a light roast to make a bold coffee.

In that instance, it would be impossible.

How Does a Bold Coffee Compare to a Regular Coffee?

comparing different types of coffee

So, if a bold coffee is not a strong coffee, then you may want to know how it compares to the regular cup that you could drink in the morning.

Here’s an important point I need to make regarding a regular coffee. It can be made with any type of coffee bean and any roast. 

That’s a huge difference compared to a bold coffee, where you are automatically restricted by the roast, so you do have fewer options when it comes to the bean.

But that’s not the only difference between the two.

The Aftertaste

I know not everybody pays attention to this part. Still, it’s vital if you wish to really understand the different flavors that burst through a cup of coffee.

A bold coffee has a distinctive aftertaste to it that’s often missing from a regular cup. The aftertaste plays a vital role in the overall experience, and it’s the part that really separates a bold coffee from a regular cup.

With a regular coffee, you will often discover more of a light or even creamier aftertaste. This is thanks to the different roasts, which means less oil is released from the bean.

A bold coffee is different.

The darker roast releases more oil, and that oil is capable of completely changing the aftertaste and how it makes your mouth feel after every sip.

But bold coffee also has those smokey and intense flavors coming from the bean, and those flavors tend to hang around for some time. How intense the flavors are can vary depending on the brewing method, so be aware of that when trying from an espresso to a French press or a pour-over.

Is a Bold Coffee the Same as a Rich Coffee?

is bold coffee the same as rich coffee

I have a confession to make. When I started out on my coffee journey, I came across this idea of a bold coffee, and I thought it would probably be the same as a rich coffee.

That’s a real problem. 

You see, rich coffee can be produced with both light and dark roasts, and that’s different from a bold coffee.

A rich coffee can have a body to it, but it can also incorporate more fruity and floral notes and not just the smokey taste you get with a bold coffee.

Is a Bold Coffee the Same as Strong Coffee?

The answer here is a resounding no and for a good reason.

A strong coffee occurs because you have increased the brew time. You have allowed the water and the coffee more time to infuse with one another.

But again, this doesn’t then correlate to it being a bold coffee. It’s just not the same.

That’s because strong coffee only refers to the direct brewing time and nothing else. The brew time has nothing to do with a bold coffee. 

Actually, you can make a strong coffee using any type of roast, from light to dark. Again, that doesn’t apply to a bold coffee, so it’s a different thing. 

Plus, you may also want to increase the amount of coffee you have used along with increased brew time to get that strong coffee. It really is very easy, but still, not something you would do with a bold coffee.

How Does a Bold Coffee Taste?

drinking bold coffee

I’ve had several bold coffees over the years, and it clearly all depends on the beans you use, as that’s where the difference really comes in. 

This is what I love about coffee. The variety of flavors you get from different beans grown in various parts of the world is astounding. 

From a rich chocolate taste direct from Honduras to coffee with more of a caramel taste, through to coffee from Sumatra with more of a nutty twist to it, opportunities are endless for a bold coffee.

But for me, it’s those roasted flavors that manage to run up and hit me hard. Yet, that’s what I’m looking for in this instance, so I feel content when my taste buds are kicked into life.

And here’s a tip for you if you plan on making your own bold coffee. Try to stick with Arabica beans.

I say that because Arabica beans tend to be significantly smoother when it comes to the flavor, and that makes a difference with a bold coffee. 

Why I Love a Bold Coffee

I love trying different types of coffee. I see it as an experience, and when you throw in different beans and flavors, your options seem endless.

But that’s not why I love this type of coffee. 

First, there’s the flavor. I know the beans I like, so I know which beans to avoid depending on whether I want fruity or bitter coffee at that time.

Also, there is strength to it, but it’s more the full-bodied nature of the coffee that stands out. It delivers depth and a smoothness to the taste that comes to the fore when you use a darker roast. 

For me, this type of coffee is one to savor and where you get to explore the flavors. It’s not intended to be something you rush, as that takes all the fun out of it.

I also feel this is the type of coffee where it allows you to explore different beans thanks to the intensity. Personally, I think it delights the senses, and that’s really something coffee should do as much as possible.

My Recap on a Bold Coffee

A bold coffee is an interesting drink, and here’s my rundown of the key points I feel stand out when looking at what this type of coffee has to offer.

  • Don’t confuse a bold coffee for a strong coffee. They are different
  • Bold coffee uses a dark roast only
  • It produces a smokey taste
  • It often has hints of chocolate and caramel
  • It’s different from a rich coffee
  • It allows you to savor the taste and flavors
  • The aroma also plays a role in a bold coffee

Seriously, if you have never even thought about a bold coffee before, it’s something I feel you need to check out. It could open your eyes to coffee in a new way you never thought possible.

My Conclusion

A bold coffee can be something extraordinary. It has a depth of flavor to it that you will love, and don’t forget the role the aromas will play as well.

I understand a bold coffee may not be for everyone. If you don’t enjoy a more intense experience, then this coffee drink could be too much.