French Roast Coffee – it doesn’t come from France. It’s simply dark roasted.

french roast coffee and croissant

French roast coffee does not, of course, come from France. Any more than Italian roast coffee comes from Italy.

The term simply describes the darkness of the roast.

French roast is very dark. About as dark as you can go without completely losing the flavor of the coffee, and being left with a taste of burned charcoal.

Here’s what happens. When you roast coffee to this degree, the oils start to rise to the surface of the bean, and the sugars inside caramelize, giving you a bittersweet tone and almost no acidity at all.

If your French roast coffee tastes too bitter, then the roasting has been poorly done. Over-roasted coffee will also taste thin and burned.

North American dark roast? It’s not quite the same.

North Americans generally like their coffee a little milder than coffee drinkers in continental Europe.

So even when you buy a French roast coffee in the U.S. or Canada, you will rarely get the real thing. You’ll get something a little more mellow.

The one exception to this is if you buy from Peet's Coffee. Alfred Peet has made a point of roasting his coffees in the European tradition. Starbucks followed suit, although perhaps not to quite the same degree.

Both companies now have hundreds of imitators, all of them trying to tap into the fad for a darker roast.

However, as we said, the French roast coffees you buy or order in a coffee shop are rarely as dark as you would find if you ordered it in a cafe in Paris.

And that’s OK. The darker you roast, the more you lose the subtler tones and flavors of the beans. While dark roasting may be fashionable, it is not always the best way to enjoy the full potential of many of the finer coffees.

Back to How to Make Coffee...


About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…










Follow me on Google+


Follow Me on Pinterest





What's new...

  1. The 4 stages in the journey of a coffee bean.

    These are photos I took on my trip to the Blue Mountains of Jamaica earlier this year. The first photo shows two beans fresh from the coffee cherry. Most

    Read More

  2. What is the strongest type of coffee bean?

    QUESTION: What is the strongest type of coffee bean that will provide the boldest flavor? ANSWER: Interesting question! And one that is open to variety

    Read More

  3. How do you make Swedish coffee?

    QUESTION: My aunt used to make delicious coffee that she called Swedish coffee. All I can remember is that she used egg shells in with the grounds.

    Read More

  4. Coffee and reading...perfect companions.

    Recently I published some photos I have taken in coffee shops and restaurants. Some of my most cherished memories come from sitting with family or friends,

    Read More

  5. The Angels' Cup Coffee Tasting App and Delivery Service.

    Angels' Cup is a new company offering a coffee tasting app and a monthly coffee delivery service.

    Read More