What Is French Roast Coffee?

There are several different roasts for coffee beans beyond light and dark roasts. French Roast coffee is one of them. If you don’t have any prior idea about the specific Roast, let me start by …

What Is French Roast Coffee Cover

There are several different roasts for coffee beans beyond light and dark roasts. French Roast coffee is one of them. If you don’t have any prior idea about the specific Roast, let me start by saying that it isn’t a roast made by just the French.

French Roast is a particular term to indicate the level of roast of the coffee beans. It’s simplistically called “a dark roast.”

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Regional Roasts Similar To French Roast

This particular roasting process is a regional roasting method that became popular all over Europe around the 19th century. Other regional roasts that are similar to French Roast includes:

  • American Roast
  • Italian Roast
  • New England Roast
  • Spanish Roast
  • Vienna Roast

Flavor Profile Of French Roast Coffee

French roast coffee has a smoky-sweet flavor, intense taste, thin body, and mouthfeel. The coffee beans look really dark from being almost burnt while roasting and can often have a charcoal-like flavor note.

French coffee has lower acidity than many light roasts, with a thin body. As a result, the mouthfeel is more watery than usual.

Read out our article & learn how to make a strong french press coffee.

How Is French Roast Coffee Roasted?

The roasting temperature for French roast coffee is pretty insane, considering the temperature goes up as high as 464F (240 C).

When the roasting process goes on, the coffee bean cracks twice. The first crack happens when the steam is released, and the second crack occurs when the walls of the coffee beans break down and release the coffee oils all over.

When the roasting’s finished, the coffee beans have a dark brown/black color, with a glistening layer of coffee oils.

How Should I Brew French Roast Coffee?

French Roast performs best with any kind of drip-brewing method. But the best method for this coffee would be the French Press. French Roast coffee also makes excellent Espresso.

5 Interesting Facts About The French Roast Coffee

Now that we know the basics about one of the most unique roasting methods let’s look at 5 fun facts about French Roast Coffee.

Want to know more of french coffee? Check our 20 best tips for french users article.

Fact #1: The Name Doesn’t Contain The Origin

Though the name can make you think of the roasting method from France, it’s not.

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In the 19th century, Almost everyone in Europe liked their coffee dark. Among all the varieties of roasts invented in different European countries, the French Roast hogged the limelight by being the darkest roast.

The name “French roast” is more about the characteristics of the Roast than the place of origin for the said Roast.

Fact #2: AKA Turkish Roast

If you’re looking for French Roast in a coffee shop menu but can’t find it, it’s listed in the menu named “Turkish Roast.”

All the Western coffee shops offer you a French roast when you order a dark roast, while some offer a “Dark French Roast,” which is just a modified version of the French Roast with more oil and darker in color.

Fact #3: French Roast Isn’t The Darkest Roast Out There

From the definition and roasting description, it’s easy to think French press is the most intense coffee out there.

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Though the French Roast is famous worldwide as the darkest Roast, the true holder of the title is the Spanish Roast. The Roast is so dark that the color of the bean is black.

Fact #4: The Most Darkest Versatile Dark Roast

Though the coffee beans are really dark roasted, they can be used with different brewers and recipes, making them the most versatile of all dark roasted beans.

French roast coffee beans can be brewed with any kind of brewing method, from an auto-drip coffee machine to a French press.

French Roast is the kind of dark roast bean you can experiment with, which means a lot of freedom to try out different recipes.

Fact #5: A Specialized Tool is Used to Measure the Beans’ Color

The Specialty Coffee Association of America has a device known as “Agtron Coffee Roast Analyzer” to measure the darkness of the beans by scanning them using light.

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The softest, lightest brown scores 95 on the scale, while the almost black shade scores 25. The darker the shade, the lower the score goes. Of course, it’s upside down, but who am I to question scientists?

French Roast scores 35-30 on the machine.

Should You Avoid French Roast Coffee?

There are a few situations where French roast coffee doesn’t suit the case at first appearance, but there are workarounds for that too! Let’s look at some of the issues and their workarounds.

Issue #1: French Roasts Spoil Faster Than Others

French roast coffee lets out many natural coffee oils surrounding the beans. Due to the oils, the coffee starts going rancid faster than most regular coffee beans.

You can work around the issue by buying enough beans for a week and then storing them in an airtight container. After that, the rest is just to hope for the best.

Issue #2: It’s Tough To Find French Roast Without Blends

Most French roast you can find are actually cheap blends with inferior beans, which are just roasted darkly to mask the quality of the beans. 

The solution is to buy from trustworthy roasters who don’t deal in blends, and you can get the best beans they have to offer.

Issue #3: Business Practices That Exploits The Coffee Farmers

Remember the blends we talked about earlier made out of cheap coffee beans? Unfortunately, most roasters who deal in these blends carry out unfair practices that don’t support the farmers or the environment.

In this case, the best thing to do is to buy fair trade coffee. Fair Trade coffee is all about promoting equality and ensuring fair pay for coffee farmers and coffee roasters.

If you had enough of french press coffee, read our alternatives to french press coffee article.

Bottom Line

French Roast is best for those who like the dark roasted smoky bitterness from their cup of coffee. However, there’s nothing to worry about if you’re more of a coffee with milk fan. The sweetness of the milk can wonderfully counter the bitterness of the French roast coffee beans.

Have you decided to give this dark Roast a try? If the answer is yes, enjoy your coffee.



Is Turkish Roast and French Roast the Same Thing?

Yes, they are both different to address the French Roast.

How Do French Roast Beans Get So Dark?

French roast beans get roasted twice, and the long, dark Roast changes the shade of the coffee beans to a near-black color.

Is French Roast the Darkest Coffee Ever?

No. Though the French Roast gets all the popularity, it’s not the darkest roast. Spanish Roast is the darkest roast of all the roast coffee types.

What’s Lighter Than French Roast?

Espresso Roast is slightly lighter than French roast.

How Did French Roast Get Its Name?

French Roast gets the name from the Roast’s birthplace, France. Among all the regional roasting methods from Europe, the French Roast is the most well-known.