What Is a French Roast Coffee

If you are a certified coffee lover, then it is highly likely that you have already heard about French roast coffee. It is a famous variation of coffee that a lot of those who love coffee prefer. Fresh coffee has better taste and aroma than other beverages and that’s also what you can expect from preparing a cup of your favorite French roast.

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This specific coffee variation is dark roasted and has a distinctively charred flavor and smoky sweetness. With that, it is no longer surprising to hear those who have tried it out, referring to this beverage as burnt coffee. Other terms used to refer to this coffee are Turkish roast, dark roast and espresso roast.

Benefits of Drinking a French Roast Coffee

Can you enjoy a lot of good things from drinking at least one cup of French roast coffee every day? Find the answer by learning the benefits of this famous beverage derived from roasting coffee beans.

Rich in Niacin

Being categorized as a dark roast coffee, French roast coffee is rich in Vitamin B3 or niacin, which contributes a lot in improving your overall health. Niacin is a big help in managing your cholesterol level and keeping your digestive system, nerves, and skin healthy, so a cup of French roast coffee rich in niacin is surely good for your health. The fact that it is rich in niacin also allows you to stick to a more well-rounded diet.

Unique Flavor

If you want your coffee to have a unique flavor profile, then you will surely enjoy the taste of French roast coffee. In most cases, it provides a smoky-sweet and intense flavor as well as a thin mouthfeel and body. You will also notice a charcoal-like and charred note from the flavor it emits.

Easy on the Stomach

A cup of French roast coffee is also beneficial because it seems to be easier on the stomach and your digestive system compared to the others. One viable reason behind this is its acidic content is lower than other coffee varieties. It is stomach-friendly as it undergoes a dark roasting process, which stimulates the process of extracting chemical design to inhibit stomach acid.

How Does a French Roast Coffee Work

A French roast coffee works based on the specific method you implemented when it comes to its preparation. One good thing about a French roast coffee is that you can make it using a wide range of coffee beans. This means that you do not have to look for a specific coffee bean to be able to enjoy it. All it takes is to adhere to your chosen roasting technique.

Just like when you need to use the appropriate tool for grinding coffee when you don’t have a grinder, it is also essential for you to pick the most suitable roasting technique, so you can enjoy a French roast coffee. Your chosen roasting technique can make the coffee beans you decided to use crack a couple of times.

When that happens, expect the oils within each bean to be released. Such a process is the reason behind the unique and distinct nature of the French roast. It is not like other roasting methods that only cause the coffee beans to crack once.

This results in coffee beans capable of producing brews with delightful tastes, particularly a burnt undertone loved by most of those who adore coffee. If you are a coffee lover yourself, then it would be best to invest in the best mug warmer, too, so you will be able to enjoy a warm cup of French roast coffee anytime.

Pros and Cons of a French Roast Coffee

Pros and Cons of a French Roast Coffee

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To further increase your knowledge about French roast coffee, it is necessary to be aware of its pros and cons, including the following:


  • Not as acidic as other coffee beans, making it easy on the stomach
  • Nice aroma and unique flavor profile
  • Provides a few nutrients that are beneficial for the body and health
  • Offers several ways to consume it – You can prepare and enjoy it in various ways. Making coffee in a siphon coffee machine is even possible. Aside from that, you can go for the pour-over or French press brewing option to enjoy a cup of it.


  • Tends to become stale faster than other varieties, like the lighter roasts. The reason could be the oily and distinct surfaces of French roast coffee. Avoid this problem by storing it in a safe and airtight container. Buy only the amount you can consume for around a week, too.

French Roast Coffee Roasting Process

If you are interested in making your own French roast coffee, then it helps to get to know more about the different stages involved in roasting. Among the simplified roasting stages that you have to be aware of are the following:


This serves as the first stage (the start) of roasting. In this stage, expect the coffee beans to remain green while being introduced and exposed to heat for the first time.


This second stage will make the beans turn yellowish. You will also know that the roasting has already reached this specific stage if the coffee beans begin bringing out a grassy smell.


The next phase of the roasting process is the steam characterized by steam rising from the coffee beans once the water evaporates.

First Crack

During this stage, expect to hear a cracking sound as soon as the coffee beans expand. It also happens once the sugars are successfully caramelized. When the roasting process reaches this stage, the coffee beans will become darker. This can make them belong to the medium and dark roast categories.

Second Crack

You will also hear a second cracking sound, which is more violent than the first one. This stage indicates that the roasts are already under the darker classifications.


This is the stage that you have to try avoiding during the roasting process. If you get into this stage, then the coffee beans will no longer appear like coffee beans but tiny and unusable pieces of charcoal. The result will also have a terrible smell, with the beans being completely burnt. Make it a point not to get into this roasting stage as it means that you were unsuccessful in making a great batch of French roast coffee.

If you have already mastered the roasting process, then you may also want to invest in a high-quality and premium French press travel mug as such will let you enjoy this type of coffee anytime you want.

How to Choose the Best French Roast Coffee

Undeniably, a whole bean of organic coffee is better than grounded coffee. The same premise also seems to work for French roast coffee as a lot of people prefer this variation over the others. However, be extra careful when selecting this coffee to prevent you from buying a low-quality one.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind once you start making the selection:


Whether you are using a coffee grinder for French press or not, there will always be issues in terms of the ability of French roast coffee to remain fresh for a long time. The reason is that French roasts are known for their oily and distinct surfaces, causing them to get spoilt or rancid faster compared to lighter coffee roasts.

The freshness of this roast, therefore, should be one of your major considerations when shopping. It would also be best to determine how much of it you will be using every week. Try to buy based only on your usual weekly consumption. Avoid buying in bulk, too, and try to look for smaller sizes of the bags offered by companies.


How to Choose the Best French Roast Coffee - Origin

Another important factor to consider about French roast coffee is its origin or where it comes from. Note that a lot of coffee lovers look for certain bean origins because of their distinctive flavors. You will have a hard time doing that when shopping for French roasts, though.

It is because this roast is so dark that it can fully overpower even the prominent notes and tastes in beans. With that said, be aware that the taste will almost always be the same regardless of where the beans originated. Despite that, it is still advisable to study the origins of the roasts before buying. Your knowledge will give you an idea if there are major distinctions that will let you determine which one is the best.

Bean Quality

Shopping for good French roasts should also involve spending time checking out and scrutinizing the quality of the beans. Note that since French roast coffee mainly showcases the dark roast’s quality, instead of the actual taste and flavor of the beans, it is possible that the real essence of the beans will get diminished at the time the roasting process takes place.

With that in mind, it is no longer surprising to see other companies using poor-quality beans when making French roasts. The problem with these low-quality beans is that they are often sourced and farmed unethically and in areas that are not environmentally sustainable. It is the reason why you still have to look for French roasts coming from high-quality beans, particularly those derived from processes that support ethical principles and practices.

Fair Trade

This factor is strongly related to the previous one – the bean quality. You need to avoid low-quality French roasts and coffee beans as much as possible. You can do that by looking for the label stating that the product is under Fair Trade. Another way to do it is to do extensive research about the company offering it to determine the level of transparency regarding sustainability and sourcing.


One thing to remember about French roasts is that they tend to have a bitter taste. It is mainly because of the fibers’ carbonization inside the coffee beans. While some dark roast coffees produce fantastic charcoal or smoky taste loved by a lot of people, the bitterness, as well as the burnt undertones, seem to be more overpowering when it comes to using French roasts.

That said, it would be best to go for lighter French roasts. You may also want to use a coarser grinder. Manual grinder provides consistent coffee grinds but make sure to go for the coarser one and combine it with the use of a French press. Doing so can somehow release its slightly sweet taste.


While this factor is not a huge issue if you are following other brewing techniques, you still have to remind yourself that oilier coffee beans also result in the need for more frequent cleaning of your coffee machines and grinders. You may even have a challenging time cleaning your Ninja coffee bar in that case.

This cleaning problem may also arise if you use the beans inside an espresso machine, especially if it features a built-in grinder. It is because its oils may cause the clogging of the machines. Left uncleaned, this might damage your precious appliances.

How to Make a French Roast Coffee

The most effective way to prepare your desired cup of French roast coffee is to have a French press around and use it. It is a big help in bringing out the coffee’s bold and full-bodied nature. Here are the steps:

Step 1 – Put the freshly ground coffee in the beaker

Pour hot water (around 199 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit) into it. Ensure to add the right quantity of water. As a rule of thumb, add around 500 ml of water for every 30 grams of the coffee grounds.

Step 2 – Press down the French press’ plunger

This step is necessary for ensuring that the coffee grounds stay at the beaker’s bottom. Wait for it to brew.


French Roast Coffee vs Other Roasts

One thing you should remember about French roast coffee is that it will always have a different set of characteristics compared to other roasts. You have to learn about how it is different from the others, so you can better decide if it is indeed worth the try.

French Roast Coffee vs Full City

If you are looking for a lighter variation of French roast coffee, then the Full City may be an appropriate choice for you. Many consider it as the next definable coffee roast that is lighter compared to the French roast. This roast features a few visible oily spots on its surface.

However, the two are still different in this area because the French roast still has oilier surfaces. Full City is an incredible choice if you still want to go for a dark roast but do not prefer the burnt and smoky flavors that come with the French roast.

French Roast Coffee vs Espresso Roast

While some say that the roast of the French roast and espresso roast coffees is similar, there are still those who claim that the latter is a bit lighter compared to the former. Despite that, you will still notice that the two share a similar shiny and dark brown surface while having burnt undertones.

French Roast Coffee vs Spanish Roast

If you believe that the French roast is the darkest in the market right now, then it is time to correct that misconception as there is a variation that is more distinguishable and darker than it – and that is the Spanish roast. You can immediately distinguish it with its almost black shade and oily and slick surface. The taste of both French and Spanish roast, though, is flat while having some hints of charcoal.

French Roast Coffee vs Dark Roast

French roast coffee is not the only dark roast that you can find in the market right now. In fact, you will notice subtle differences between various coffee roasts. This means that in terms of how dark it is, it has fierce competition, especially if you compare it with the Italian or Spanish roast. It is because this type of coffee is extremely dark. It is even oilier compared to the French roast.

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

When shopping for French roast coffee, you have to try avoiding the cheapest ones as there is a great possibility that they are also sourced from low-quality conditions and origins. It does not necessarily mean you should shell out a huge sum of money for this coffee, though.

The most important thing to do is to find out which among the French roast coffees available right now have reasonable prices while boasting of the quality and performance that you are hoping for.

Do’s and Don’ts with a French Roast Coffee

Do’s and Don’ts with a French Roast Coffee


  • Determine how much you can consume in a week before buying. That way, you can avoid wasting money in case you have bought more than what you can consume per week. Remember that this type of coffee loses its freshness faster than the others.
  • Grind French roast a bit more coarsely. It can contribute to extracting some of its sweet tones and flavors.
  • Invest in a good French press. This machine can be a big help in making the best French roast coffee. It is because of its ability to highlight the sweeter parts, as well as the oils, of the coffee.


  • Do not let the coffee stay in the French press’ beaker for an extremely long period. This tip is necessary for preventing the result from becoming too bitter.

FAQ About French Roast Coffees

Is French roast coffee strong?

Yes, it is. Aside from its strong flavor profile, you will also notice its dark and smoky aroma as well as its pungent taste. Despite that, it is still not as strong as other dark roast coffee in the market today.

How is French roast coffee different?

French roast coffee is different because of its flavor profile, roasting process, and aroma. One thing that distinguishes it from the others is that it has a bold and intense taste. It is also very dark, making it look almost burnt and smoky. Despite its strength, it still has a bit of sweetness. Compared to light roast coffee, the French roast is less acidic. Moreover, it also boasts of its thinner body as well as a watery mouthfeel that is better than the others.

Is Starbucks French roast good?

Yes. A lot of coffee lovers in different parts of the world enjoy the brand’s dark French roast. It is not surprising considering how good Starbucks is in the industry. As a matter of fact, this coffee brand is renowned and recognized worldwide. It also has a huge chance of keeping you satisfied regardless of the technique you used in brewing it.

Is French roast the same as Turkish coffee?

No, the two are different. However, you are still allowed to take advantage of French roast coffee beans in preparing Turkish coffee. One thing that makes the two different, though, is the level of their roast, with the French roast being extremely dark while the Turkish one using finely ground coffee cooked in water, usually containing sugar.

What does French roast coffee taste like?

In terms of the taste, you will notice the French roast overpowering the beans’ flavor, especially at the start of the second crack. In most cases, you will not be able to get a taste of where the coffee beans came from. What you will notice is a smoky and roasted flavor. You will also immediately notice that the French roast sometimes features lighter elements, such as citrus or berry aroma, even if it underwent a dark roasting method.


French roast coffee holds a lot of promise, especially for coffee lovers out there who prefer a stronger and more distinctive taste of the coffee. Just make sure to learn everything about French roast coffee and how to prepare it, so you will always be able to satisfy yourself with each cup of it.

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