When you’re basking in the glory of your perfect cup of coffee, there are a lot of factors to consider; smooth taste and aroma, balanced flavor, and perhaps, if you’re the type, you’re also weighing things like caffeine content.

Coffee drinkers often debate about which roast has more caffeine- the blonde or dark roast? It’s not as simple as one might think:

The truth is, if you brew coffee using the same amount of coffee by weight, the caffeine content will be the same for every brew. So it doesn’t matter if you’re using blonde or dark roasted coffee beans.

However, depending on the type of coffee you like to brew at home (or order at your local Starbucks), the caffeine content changes.

Well, I did some research to find out for sure. Keep reading to learn everything about these coffee roasts and their caffeine content!

Which has more caffeine, blonde or dark roast?

There is no significant difference between the amount of caffeine in blonde and dark roast coffee.

However, the roasting process does change the flavor of the coffee somewhat. Blonde roast coffee has a milder flavor than dark roast coffee.

When blonde roast coffee is brewed using finer grounds (most often for espresso), the caffeine content is greater compared to a dark roast. However, with brewed coffee, dark roasted coffee has a slightly higher caffeine content.

Starbucks blonde roast.

I’ll talk more about how the brewing technique you use will impact the caffeine content below, but first, let’s talk about how the amount of caffeine can change depending on how you weigh your coffee.

You’ll get almost the exact same amount of caffeine in both the blonde and dark roast if you weigh the coffee beans.

For example, if you brew two espresso shots using the same amount of coffee beans, with the blonde and dark roast (in grams), you’ll get roughly the same amount of caffeine in both espresso shots.

However, this all changes when you’re using measuring scoops for your ground coffee. As the dark roast has been roasted for longer, more water will have been evaporated and will have less mass than a blonde roast.

You can have a look below for the same amount of blonde and dark roasted coffee beans for comparison:

Blonde roast on the left. Dark roast on the right

As you can see from the photo above, the darker roast has many more coffee beans, although they both weigh the same.

How does the brewing method impact the caffeine content?

Whatever type of coffee you drink, one thing you may be wondering is which roast has the most caffeine? Many people assume that a dark roast has more caffeine than a light roast, but that is not necessarily the case!

Have a look below for a detailed look at the caffeine content and how they differ between coffee roasts:

Brewing techniqueBlonde roast caffeineDark roast caffeine
Espresso85mg of caffeine per shot75mg of caffeine per shot
Brewed coffee180mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup (0.24 l)190mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup (0.24 l)

The above-listed caffeine content is an estimate and can differ slightly. As you can see, when you order a blonde roast espresso at Starbucks, it’ll have more caffeine.

When taking a look at brewed coffee, you’ll get a slightly higher caffeine content with the dark roasted coffee beans.

Dark roasted coffee beans.

This has all to do with the way the coffee is brewed and how much ground coffee is used for a cup of coffee.

The finer the coffee grind, the more flavor and caffeine you can extract from the coffee beans. This is why the blonde espresso has the higher caffeine (because a finer grind size is used).

The dark roast is stronger in flavor when tasting these coffees side by side, which you can read more about in this article.

Does acidity have an impact on your coffee experience?

Most people compare strong coffee with acidity and a strong flavor profile. This is because the taste of acidity in your coffee can be overpowering.

If you have experienced this, I recommend drinking more pour-over coffee like Chemex. This will filter out most of the strong flavors and will result in an easy drinkable cup of coffee.

Most espresso-based drinks have a higher amount of acidity, especially when you’re using a blonde roast for this.

The longer the coffee beans are roasted, the more the coffee bean matures, leaving you with less acidity. However, it can also taste bitter to some people.

So take this into account as well when looking for your next coffee beans or when ordering your favorite coffee drink!

Blonde or dark roast, which is better for you?

There is a lot of debate over whether blonde or dark roasts are better for you, but the truth is that they both have their own unique benefits.

Blonde roasts can sometimes be higher in caffeine and generally have a sweeter flavor, while dark roasts will have a more bitter flavor.

Both types of coffee can be good for you, but it really depends on your personal preferences.

If you prefer a lighter roast with more floral notes, then go with a blonde roast. If you prefer a darker roast with a stronger flavor, then go with a dark roast.


If you’re an avid coffee drinker, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are different levels of roasts.

The darker the roast, the bolder and more intense it is- which can be great if you like your morning cup to wake up with a punch!

However, some people prefer their coffee slightly lighter in flavor so they can enjoy other flavors throughout the day without feeling jittery or overstimulated.

It’s all about finding what works for YOU, but don’t forget how much caffeine is in each type of roast before making a decision!

Learn more about coffee beans


  1. hi jeffrey
    you say” darker roasts have more caffeine” which is contrary to what most other articles on the internet.

    to quote from your article, “Generally speaking, dark roasted coffee beans have more caffeine because a lot of water has been evaporated while roasting the coffee.”

    • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

      Hi Cici,

      Thanks for leaving a comment on this; let me explain this further.

      Because dark roasted coffee beans weigh less, it contains more caffeine than a different coffee roast, if you use the same amount.
      They weigh less because they are roasted longer. The longer you roast coffee beans, the more water evaporates.

      So, if you make a cup of coffee with the French press, using dark roasted coffee beans, and one cup with a medium roast, the cup of coffee using dark roasted coffee beans will have more caffeine. If you weigh out 20 grams of dark and medium roasted coffee, you’ll see that you have more coffee beans when using a dark roast: more coffee beans = more caffeine in your coffee.

      I hope this answers your question. If you have any other questions, please let me know, as I’m happy to help.


  2. Hi there, you may want to do a quick fact check. Robusta coffee tends to be far more bitter due to caffeine content. Coming in at 2.4% caffeine it is twice the strength of the far more popular Aribica beans.

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