11 Best Light Roast Coffee Options

If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, changing to a light roast coffee may do the trick. There are many reasons to like light roast coffee including the fact that they tend to have more caffeine than other roasts. What should you look for in a light roast coffee? Why should you choose it over other roast strengths? In this handy guide, we will explore the best light roast coffee options available and discuss what makes a great light roast. 

Top 11 Best Light Roast Coffee Beans

1. Starbucks Blonde Roast Ground Coffee

Starbucks, the world’s most consumed coffee brand, has created a light blonde roast coffee. This is a blend inspired by Latin American farmers retaining the same taste as the farmers used to serve but have become mass-produced. The coffee is produced through a wash process, meaning that the coffee cherries, where the coffee beans come from, are de-pulped and fermented. This separates any remaining pectin that causes that acidic taste and can cause acid reflux in those with stomach sensitivities. After this, the beans are washed clean, dried, and roasted. This process ensures a light roast with low acidity. 

Being one of the most selling light roasts on the market, it will be incredibly easy to find both online and offline. Its lighter taste is ideal for a broad audience, having delicate notes of cocoa and lightly roasted nuts. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Starbucks
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Ground Beans
  • Light roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight:28 oz bag
Pros
  • Can be used for a variety of brewing styles
  • Ethically sourced
  • Easily accessible and affordable
  • Popular brand
  • Great quality (took 80 tries for them to perfect the recipe)
  • Also available in K pod cups
Cons
  • Shipping limited to the United States

Sample Customer Review… Well I’m not a big loyal fan of any product it really has to stand out beyond the average or I’ll get the knockoff of it and be satisfied. Not so at Starbucks I will l pay extra with more than one x to have Starbucks coffee because I have not found anything that is comparable to it. II just like a cup of coffee not with all the fluff but a good cup of coffee. love Starbucks I don’t go to the Starbucks restaurant but I will buy the coffee. I just feel like what I pay for a cup of coffee I can buy a bag and have plenty. I know they have plenty of customers that go to the store and they have a really really loyal customer in me who will order their products and make them herself because they are that good.

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2. Kuju Premium Pour-Over Coffee

For those who enjoy pour-over coffee, Kuju offers convenient single-serve packets with 100% Arabica beans from Thailand, Central, and South America. Their light roast ground coffee is called Angel’s Landing. It has a smooth finish with floral, nutty, and citrus flavor notes. Angel’s Landing is kept fresh through a nitro-flushed process that removes all oxygen from the packets and is packaged in a wind-powered facility. These packets are especially convenient because they clip right onto your coffee mug for an easy pour. They can be used for either hot or iced coffee and are easy to consume black as there is very little acidity.

Kuju Coffee is one of the most eco-friendly and ethically sourced coffee companies I have seen. In addition to having 100% wind power state-of-the-art facilities, they are a member of 1% for the Planet and 1% of all their sales benefit the National Park Foundation. Their single-serve packets are made with compostable and recyclable materials. Kuju’s farmers in Thailand also employ former victims of sex trafficking as a way for them to reestablish their lives. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Kuju Coffee
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Ground Beans
  • Single-serve Pour Over
  • Light roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 0.5 oz packets; Pack of 10
Pros
  • Ethically sourced
  • Compostable and recyclable packaging
  • Eco-friendly philanthropy and business practices
  • Convenient servings
Cons
  • A bit pricey

Sample Customer Review… I’m a camper, backpacker, and scout mom. Before finding Kuju pour over I would pack my bulky percolator for camping trips and instant coffee for backpacking trips.

When I stumbled upon Kuju online and read that it was founded by two Eagle Scouts, I knew I wanted to support the company and give it a try. Kuju is quite honestly the best cup of coffee I have EVER had on the trail. While backpacking and drinking instant coffee to get my caffeine fix, I really had to swig it down and ignore the taste. With Kuju, I’m getting an incredible cup of coffee on par with what I could make at home.

I will never pack my percolator on camping trips again. Coffee lovers, please give this a try. It will not disappoint! I have recommended Kuju to all my friends and family that spend time outdoors.

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3. Peet’s Coffee Luminosa Breakfast Blend

Peet’s Coffee, a well-known brand, has five different blends available. Their Luminosa Breakfast Blend is a light roast coffee with notes of citrus and undertones of smooth milk chocolate. Originally these beans were harvested in the Colombian highlands, but Peet’s have since switched to sourcing their beans from Ethiopia. This gives the coffee more floral tones in addition to the citrus. This coffee has a mild and smooth taste, making it easily drinkable for those with stomach sensitivities. This coffee brews very quickly compared to other coffee beans. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Peet’s Coffee
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Ground Beans
  • Certified Kosher
  • Light roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 12 oz bag
Pros
  • Three types of blends available
  • Grown 100% responsibility
  • Colombian Highland grown ensures quality
  • Brews fast
Cons
  • No international shipping
  • The only size available is 12 oz

Sample Customer Review… This coffee has become my hands-down favorite coffee! I used to only drink dark roasts, then found my way to lighter roasts. I would say this is pretty similar to Starbucks Veranda but totally better. I used to buy Starbucks Veranda, but have been drinking the Colombia Luminosa for a few months now and completely love it. It seems to have a brighter, more complex flavor. Peet’s Big Bang is great too, but this is my favorite. I’m pretty disappointed that they are out of stock right now, so my recurring monthly order isn’t being shipped. I’m drinking the Big Bang roast that I picked up at my local Kroger, but they were out of Colombia Luminosa too. Bring it back!

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4. Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend

Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend uses sustainably sourced, premium quality Arabica beans from Central and South America. They are collected in large batches then shipped to and freshly roasted in Seattle, Washington. After roasting, these beans are packaged in bags with a built-in ziplock seal. This ensures that the beans remain fresh. They are suitable to use in drip machines, French press, and pour-over coffee. 

This light roast is richer than most with smooth citrus notes with undertones of milk chocolate and double cream. This gives this coffee a smooth, gentle taste. Unlike a lot of lighter roasts, this breakfast blend withstands milk well, although it might not be necessary with the tones of cream already in the roast. This roast is ideal for those who would be looking to buy coffee in bulk as it is only available in 2lb bags. This is a good value for the cost and the company offers zero questions asked satisfaction guarantee. If you ever have a question or concern, their customer service is top-notch. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Real Good Coffee Company 
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Whole beans
  • Light roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 2lbs 
Pros
  • Ideal for drip machines, pour-over, and french press
  • Kosher
  • No additives or artificial ingredients
  • Resealable bag to ensure freshness
  • One of the most economic choices on the market
Cons
  • Only available in one size
  • Need a grinder to use

Sample Customer Review… I was drinking 100% Kona coffee for a while (and, yes, paying for it), but then moved someplace where the price would have been astronomical, so I had to change brands. I gave “Real Good Coffee” a try. When I first received it, I thought “uh oh.” The beans were really dark and almost greasy-looking (the beans DO get a little more stuck in my coffee grinder, but that’s really no big deal). This coffee turned out to be fantastic!

I ultimately decided to try this brand because of the customer service I saw offered. This company took the time to answer any unhappy reviews and they tried to fix the problem. I followed their advice and didn’t over-grind my coffee, so it wasn’t bitter right from the start. Anyway, good products matter, but so does great customer service, and companies who offer both get my money over others.

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5. Subtle Earth Organic Coffee

Subtle Earth Organic Coffee made by Cafe Don Pablo is 100 percent organic certified by the USDA and the CCOF. Ethically sourced in Honduras, small farmers handpick their beans and grow them adjacent to pepper plants. These pepper plants act as a natural repellent for bugs. This allows them to grow high-quality beans without the use of harmful pesticides. In addition to being organic certified, Subtle Earth Coffee is also GMO-free. 

This coffee, although pricey, is available in bulk. They come in 2lb or 5lb bags which will last a while. The double-sealed packaging is a plus, keeping the coffee beans fresh. They come with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee by the company and are only available in whole beans. This will require a grinder but these are fairly inexpensive if you do not already have one. 

Subtle Earth Organic Coffee has a rich and chocolatey flavor profile, complemented by notes of honey and caramel. This light roast has a surprisingly deep flavor, low acidity, and no bitterness making it smooth and very drinkable. These beans can be used for traditional coffee drip machines, french press, and espresso machines. Slow roasting will extract the full-bodied flavor of the roast but is flavorful no matter what method you use. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Cafe Don Pablo
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Whole beans
  • Light roast 
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 2lb
Pros
  • Certified Organic
  • GMO-free
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Great flavor
  • Bulk 2lb bag
  • Fresh
  • Can be used in different types of coffee machines
Cons
  • Need a grinder to use
  • Only available in 2lb bag
  • No international shipping

Sample Customer Review… Shade-grown/bird-friendly organic are the buzzwords for any coffee! The world needs to understand the huge difference. That said, a light, smooth wake-up coffee is my preference, and this one is perfect! I’ve been drinking the Allegro Mexican for years, and this coffee is even more sublime!

And the price is much better too! For anyone who has gotten off of the dark-roasted bandwagon, interested in flavor with more caffeine, this is the coffee to try. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed! And I drink my coffee black, with no sugar.

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6. Cameron’s Breakfast Blend 

Cameron’s Breakfast Blend is the perfect coffee to wake up to. Using 100% certified special grade Arabica coffee beans, Cameron creates their blends in small batches ensuring that they use only the highest quality beans which have been rated the top 10% in the world. These beans are sustainably sourced from Central and South America and are never over-roasted. They are roasted just enough to have a golden color in European-style roasters. Cameron’s uses a special cooling process that ensures freshness. 

This breakfast blend has a delectable fruity aroma paired with delicious notes of nuts and light cinnamon. It is no surprise that delicate care is used to ensure the best quality. What is a surprise is that these premium quality beans are available at a bargain price. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Cameron’s
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Ground beans
  • Light roast 
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 12 oz bags
  • Also available in eco-pods
Pros
  • Premium quality at a bargain price
  • Sustainable
  • Small batch process
  • European style roasted
  • Great flavor
Cons
  • Not as strong as other premium coffee brands

Sample Customer Review… Bold, dark, smooth. Just opening the bag sent delectable shivers coursing through my body. The aroma is dreamy. The first sip has the power to melt away the morning frost that has encased your soul during the night. Its life-giving power awakens the sleepy beast that resides within, fueling you with the carnal energy to conquer any obstacle that charges at you. Do not fear its mystic magic, embrace it. Embrace it and rule the world.

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7. Cafe 1820 Tuesto Claro

Claro has been in business since 1820 and today it is still a staple coffee in Costa Rican households and eating establishments. Using coffee beans cultivated from the high altitudes of Costa Rica, Claro uses 100% premium Arabica coffee beans. This light roast has an aroma of the coffee fruit and provides a balanced flavor of coffee fruit with citrus acidity. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Cafe 1820
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Ground Beans
  • Light roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 8.8 oz bag
Pros
  • Years of expertise
  • Easily accessible and affordable
  • Popular brand
  • Great quality
Cons
  • Not available in whole beans

Sample Customer Review… We love Cafe 1820 and used to get it from flight attendant friends of ours when they would fly to Costa Rica. Apparently, this is a very popular coffee with International travelers from the US and can be found very inexpensively in certain grocery stores in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, it’s not sold here, and when we moved away from our friends, our sources dried up – until we found it on Amazon.com! The price is a lot higher than what we used to pay, but it’s worth it. I stocked up with my first order, which helped to offset the shipping cost, so it wasn’t so bad. We like this much better than Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, or Duncan Donuts coffee. It’s very rich and smooth, and the aroma is outstanding. After I ordered, Amazon sent me an e-mail offering an automatic replenishment program where they’ll ship you a certain number of bags each month. I may sign up when we get low on coffee again. I highly recommend Cafe 1820 and I’m a coffee addict!

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8. Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend Coffee

Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend Coffee combines the sweetness of caramel with tones of floral cherry making a pleasant start to your morning. Being a small patch process company, Caribou Coffee selects only the top 1% beans in the world to create a high-quality batch. Being 100% rainforest certified, you can rest assured that their beans are being sourced ethically and sustainably. This means they are dedicated to improving farmers’ livelihoods and mitigating the effects of climate change. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Caribou Coffee
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Whole Beans
  • Light roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 12 oz bag
Pros
  • Ethically sourced and sustainable
  • 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • Sweet with caramel and fruity tones
  • Affordable
  • Small batched; high-quality process
Cons
  • International shipping is not available

Sample Customer Review… We have one of those coffee makers that take whole beans and grinds them for you. Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to find whole bean coffee. Luckily a friend recommended the Caribou brand. We tried the Blonde and this one, the mahogany, and absolutely loved the flavor of the Dark roast! Amazon makes it easy to keep stocked with good prices and an easy subscription service.

Read more at Amazon.com

9. Fresh Roasted White Knight Coffee

Being Fair Trade certified, guarantees the Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC pays everyone a reasonable wage including their overseas bean suppliers. They have a great reputation for making high-quality organic coffee. Their White Knight roast is a light roast coffee with clean notes of bing cherry and cocoa. Only available in the option of whole beans, a grinder is necessary to use it. Whole beans often have a richer flavor than pre-ground beans, ensuring high quality. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Whole beans
  • Light roast 
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 2lb
Pros
  • USDA organic certified
  • Fair Trade certified
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
  • Direct Trade certified
  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Available in bulk size
Cons
  • Has a mixed taste since beans are from different origins
  • Pricier than many other coffees
  • Cannot be used without a grinder

Sample Customer Review… Really, in my book, this is what the dark side is all about. A non-burnt dark roasted bean. Fabulous fragrance, makes me want to prolong coffee break. Our local market has a variety called Black Satin that tastes quite similar, that’s a fine description of this brew’s qualities. Bold, not harsh. Wonderful wake-up call. Possibly not as strong flavored as Starbucks’ Italian roast. I think I’ll come back for more!

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10. AmazonFresh Just Bright Coffee

You may not have known that Amazon has its own coffee brand called AmazonFresh. Their Just Bright Coffee blend is a light roast made with 100% Arabica beans grown in Central and South America. It has been acclaimed by many for its taste with addictive nutty, caramel notes that will keep you drinking it all day. Not only is it tasty, but budget-friendly. You have the option of a 12 oz or 32 oz bag which will last a few weeks and is about half the price of other 2-pound high-quality coffees. 

Specifications

  • Brand: AmazonFresh
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Whole beans
  • Light roast 
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight: 12 or 32oz bags
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Buy in bulk
  • Great value and taste
  • Available in three roast strengths
Cons
  • Widely acclaimed as a morning coffee
  • Can only ship within the United States

Sample Customer Review… We have a Jura high-end self-grinding machine that needs a light roast (oily beans not recommended, clog it up). Our whole family drinks a lot of coffee. We LOVE Illy and use that as a weekend treat. This Amazon light roast is great for every day. Light roast does not necessarily mean light taste folks. It just means less roasted and oils stay in the bean versus coming to the outside of the bean (beans will not look as shiny or dark). True coffee flavor versus roast/burnt flavor. Great for a true coffee lover. Factoid: Light roast also has more caffeine because the bean is kept intact versus roasting oils out of the beans. This coffee is for the coffee lover, not a Dunkin donuts brew lover!!

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11. Kicking Horse Hola Coffee

Kicking Horse is a reputable coffee brand using 100% Arabica beans organically grown in Central and South America. Being a Fairtrade, organic, and kosher certified company, Kicking Horse coffee is guaranteed to be ethically sourced, sustainable, and of high quality. Their light roast blend called Hola has a sweet aroma of brown sugar, rich nougat, and cocoa powder. Hola has an acidity of juicy red currants with flavor notes of a creamy honey body. Not only can you be sure that this is an ethically sourced blend but it has great value. Despite its high quality, it is available at a bargain price. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Kicking Horse
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Ground Beans
  • Light roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Weight:10 oz bag
Pros
  • Organic certified
  • Kosher certified
  • Fairtrade certified
  • Sustainability and Climate Friendly pledge
  • Great quality for a bargain price
Cons
  • The acidity may not be appealing to everyone who is looking for a light roast

Sample Customer Review… Let me take you to a place in northern Ohio. A place where a guy ordered coffee and over the course of a weekend he fell in love… And I mean that. I purchased a grizzly claw, and I love it! It’s not bitter, it’s smooth and easy to drink. It’s dark. Very dark but the coffee is great. I’ve tried deathwish coffee, I’ve tried black rifle coffee and this hands down is in another league. You can taste notes of hazelnut and I’m not a fan of hazelnuts ever but this coffee is seriously phenomenal. I’m sold. I’ll be trying their other flavors very soon. Dark blend lovers, you will not be disappointed. Light blend lovers, this isn’t over roasted or bitter at all. Give it a chance. I promise at the very least you won’t “not like” it

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Why Should You Choose a Light Roast Coffee?

Caffeine Content and Flavor

Light roast coffee options are great for those who want the energy and taste of coffee without the acidity that comes with darker roasts. It is a false belief that the light roast coffees are watered down and do not have flavor. Light roast coffees can be very flavorful and tend to have more caffeine than other types of roasts. Often they have a fruity aroma of cherry, currant, or citrus with notes of sweets like chocolate, cream, or caramel. 

It Is Great For Black Coffee

Since they are flavorful yet low in acidity they can be ideal for black coffee, especially for beginners to black coffee. Of course, it can also be enjoyed with milk or creamer if that is your preference, but a light roast is very flexible in the respect that almost anyone can enjoy it black. 

Low Acidity

Most light roast coffees are low in acidity. This is not only ideal for those new to drinking black coffee, but it is great for those who have stomach sensitivities to the acid in coffee. High acidity can aggravate acid reflux in some individuals. If you find that after drinking coffee you have stomach discomfort, switch to a light roast and see if it makes a difference for you. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of great light roast coffee options that provide high quality for a great value. They can be very versatile in the way you wish to brew whether it is pour-over, Moka pot, drip machine, etc. Many people who do not normally enjoy black coffee find light roast easy to drink black and it is ideal for those who normally experience stomach discomfort due to acidity


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Written by Jack Ludec; Contributer: David Chu

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