Best Dark Roast Coffee Beans: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Reviewed by Urban Bean Coffee Team

on August 6, 2021

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The best dark roast coffee listed below has been selected by Urban Bean Coffee because of its exceptional taste, variety, and experience of customers.

Dark roast coffee is considerably distinct from other types of coffee in that it exemplifies a richer taste, and is smoother owing to its unique roasting process. This makes the best dark roast coffee a great choice for almost all types of coffee preparation, starting from drip coffees to Italian brews. 

Buying the best dark roast coffee however can be a tricky affair, given that the quality of the whole bean coffee depends on the type of beans chosen by the coffee manufacturer, and the time and method they use for the roasting process. However, after checking out this space, and comparing several options alongside, we’ve narrowed down on 10 great options. 


OUR TOP PICK

Lifeboost Coffee

LifeBoost Dark Roast Coffee

Nicaraguan Arabica coffee is characterized by a medium body, and a balanced sweetish flavor profile with hints of nuts, vanilla and chocolate.

Key Features

• Perfect for any brewing method

• USDA organic, mycotoxin and pesticide free certified

• Healthiest low-acid coffee


PREMIUM PICK

Volcanica Coffee

Volcanica Kona Coffee

Blend of high-quality beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Sumatra.

Key Features

• Perfect for espresso

• Kosher certified

• Ground and whole bean coffee available


BEST DECAF PICK

Equator Coffees

Equator Decaf Dark Roast Coffee

Perfect Arabica blend for those who like dark roast but are limited in caffeine.

Key Features

• Swiss Water processed decaf

• Flavors of dark chocolate, and roasted nuts

• Blend of Brazil and Colombia beans


Best Dark Roast Coffee

Therefore, it’s hard to choose only the best product from the market. Everyone has different reasons for buying dark roast coffee. To help make your choice easier, we have organized the best dark roast coffee brands by value for money. Here are the Urban Bean Coffee’s top 10 best dark roast coffees in 2021:

1. Lifeboost Coffee – Best Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Why do we like dark roast coffee from Lifeboost? For being an organic coffee with low acidity.

If you have any stomach issues, you should try Lifeboost. It has a higher pH value than regular coffee, so is much less acidic. 

Also, this coffee is organic. It grows under the shadow of trees in the highlands of Nicaragua. Only premium Arabica is grown here, as well as the Maragogipe variety, which can only grow in environmentally-friendly places.

This coffee has shades of dark chocolate, orange peel, and spices. This product is good for espresso machines, drip coffee makers, pour-over, and French presses.

2. Coffee Bros. – Best Dark Beans for French Press

The Coffee Bros. dark roast coffee was launched in May 2019, and was a hit from the get go. It features traditional dark roast flavors, but is also a bit unique from the rest given it is slightly lighter in an effort to showcase its natural flavor notes. 

It is made from 100 percent Arabica coffee beans, which offers two times the flavor and better aroma when compared to the competition. Furthermore, the Coffee Bros. dark roast coffee is backed by a unique roasting technique, which consists of creamy caramel, dark chocolate and fresh maple syrup.

It comes well packed to preserve its freshness, where all the oxygen is removed from the bags, so it will last for roughly one to three months past the roast date. This coffee roast from Coffe Bros. originates from Sumatra, Brazil and Peru, and unlike other products in the market is not over roasted or burned. 

Pros

Made from 100 percent Arabica coffee beans.

Originates from Sumatra, Brazil and Peru.

Packed to preserve freshness.

Unique roasting technique.

Lasts for 1 – 3 months past roasting date.

Cons

A little bit expensive than other similar products.

3. Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass – Best Dark Roast Ground Coffee Cold Brew

The Kicking Horse tops this list of best dark roast coffees for several reasons, starting with its sweet, smoky and rich flavor. It features a unique blend of beans, and is out through a remarkable brew method that consists of chocolate malt, molasses, licorice, all topped with an earthy lingering finish.

The Kicking Horse ground coffee is a perfect choice for several coffee making processes including pour over, drip machines and cold brews, and is sourced from environmentally friendly plantations in Indonesia and South America. Further, the Kicking Horse is claimed to be 100 percent organic, kosher arabica coffee, and is roasted right below the Canadian Rocky Mountain peaks. 

Pros

Sweet, smoky, rich flavor.

Drip machine, pour over and cold brew methods.

Grown in socially and environmentally friendly environment.

Roasted in the Rocky Mountains.

Cons

May need a little more caffeine.

4. Death Wish Coffee – Best Dark Coffee for Pour-Over

The Death Wish dark roast flavor coffee slots in at the #4 position on this list of best dark roast coffees, most notably due its rich flavor, made possible with a combination of arabica and robusta beans. Further, it showcases premium quality, and is USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade certified, so you can be rest assured of great flavor with every cup. 

The Death Wish best coffee whole bean dark roast coffee exemplifies a smooth taste, with subtle chocolate and cherry notes. It does not showcase any bitter flavors, making it a great choice for all types of coffee drinkers. Adding to this, it is billed as being 100 percent natural, and does not contain any artificial flavors or preservatives. 

Pros

Natural.

No bitter flavors.

USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade certified.

Subtle chocolate and cherry notes.

Cons

May be too strong for some coffee lovers.

5. Peet’s K-Cup Coffee Pods – Best Dark Roast Coffee Pods for Keurig

Brought to you by Mr. Peet, Peet’s K-Cup Coffee Pods are offered rich and flavorful taste, and is a full-bodied and complex world blend. It is a great choice to brew in the morning or any time of day, and is roasted with the same care as the company’s bagged coffee. 

Peet’s K-Cup Pods are single serve variety, and are quick and easy to make. Further, it is sourced from nine roasters, and aged over an average of 13 years. They boast unsurpassed nuance and complexity, and are sourced from growers around the world. 

Pros

Rich flavorful taste.

Sourced from 9 roasters.

Great to brew at any time of day.

Cons

May have a laxative effect.

6. Koffee Kult – Gourmet Dark Roast Coffee for Drip Coffee Maker

The Koffee Kult dark roast coffee beans are our #6 pick for several reasons, starting with its 100 percent arabica flavor. The beans do not contain oils and are 100 percent fresh. The beans are sourced from Guatemala, Columbia, and Sumatra, and have been voted #1 for smooth yet strong bold flavor. 

It is dark brown in color, and features notes of cocoa, and cinnamon and is topped by a long finish. Further, it can be used to make succulent espresso shots, or can be combined with steamed milk to create delicious cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos. 

Pros

Beans sourced from Guatemala, Columbia, and Sumatra.

Beans contain no oils hence are fresh.

Cons

Packaging could be improved.

7. Don Pablo Coffee – Best Dark Coffee Beans for Stomach

The Don Pablo Whole Bean dark roast coffee is a special blend that hails from Brazil, Guatemala and Peru. It features medium to full bodied flavor, topped with an extremely smooth cocoa finish, 

Further, the Don Pablo Whole Bean dark roast coffee is GMO free, and does not cause any acidity. It features light caramelization of the bean’s natural sugars, which basically work well towards providing a touch of roastiness, while providing a slight sweet after taste. 

Pros

Smooth cocoa finish.

Does not cause acidity.

Sweet after taste.

Cons

May not work well for French press.

8. Solimo Coffee Pods – Budget Dark Roast Coffee Pods

The Solimo Dark Roast coffee pods are a select blend that comes from Indonesia, Africa and Latin America. Further, this full bodied coffee features a hearty punch, and a smooth finish.

The Solimo Dark Roast is compatible with 1.0 and 2.0 K-cup coffee makers and does not cause any acidity. It is a 100 percent arabica brand, comes in the form of dark roasted pods, and is backed by a satisfaction guarantee. 

9. Starbucks Coffee – Best French Roast Coffee

The Starbucks French Roast coffee is 100 percent Arabica beans, which are grown in Central and South America. Adding to this, it features a dark roast as well as a mild finish, and is packed right after roasting with a one way freshness valve. 

The Starbucks French Roast is roasted by the pros, which is roasted to deliver rich, deeply robust pour. It is a great choice for several different types of brews including rich crema expressos. 

Pros

100% arabica beans.

Roasted by the pros.

Great for several different types of coffee.

Cons

Flavor may not be strong enough for some coffee drinkers.

10. Caribou Coffee – Value for Money Dark Roast Coffee 

The Caribou dark roast coffee comes in at the #10 position on this list, owing mostly to its sweet caramel and nut finish. Adding to this, this light breakfast blend features chocolate wonder and vanilla Hazelnut dreamstate, and is made from the best coffee beans

The Caribou coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified, meaning each cup you brew is nothing short of premium. It comes in a tight sealed pack to preserve freshness, and is made from flavorful vanilla and floral notes of Guatemala beans.

Pros

Chocolate wonder and vanilla Hazelnut dreamstate.

Made from sustainable coffee beans.

Flavorful vanilla and floral notes of Guatemala beans.

Cons

A little light for strong coffee lovers.

Dark Roast Coffee Buying Guide

Best Dark Roast Coffee

Which Beans Make the Best Dark Roast Coffee?

The best beans for dark roast coffee come from several countries including: 

Columbia – labels marked 100 percent Columbian feature a smooth and complex body, and is usually regarded as artisan coffee. 

Ethiopia – regarded as the world’s fifth largest coffee producer, Ethiopian dark roast coffee beans typically showcase extremely mild fruity undertones. Further, they do also offer a robust flavor, and are grown at higher altitudes somewhere around 1,700 to 2,200 meters above sea level. 

Tanzania – this country’s beans usually involve two beans grown alongside each other, and feature medium acidity.

Guatemala – dark roast coffee beans from Guatemala feature a full body topped with a rich and spicy flavor. It is much more heavier than coffee beans grown in other countries, and is infused with chocolate and lemon notes that result in an elegant taste in each brew. 

Indonesia – Sumatra Mandheling is one of the renowned dark roast coffee blends from Indonesia, and feature very low acidity. The coffee when roasted well displays aromas of maple syrup, toasted almonds and chocolate. Further, Indonesian blends feature a smooth and robust body, resulting in a distinct taste for all coffee lovers. 

Dark Roast Coffee Varieties 

Continental – this originates from French and Belgian traditions, and these beans are roasted as much as possible to bring out their max potential flavor. 

New Orleans – this a dark and bold roast that showcases a nut like finish. 

Espresso – these typically have an oily and shiny exterior, and are almost black in color. 

Viennese – this dark roast variety is generally characterized by deep color, and tiny spots of oil on the beans. 

Italian – this is Starbucks specialty, and is made especially to bring out sweetness and intensity. 

French – this variety of coffee showcases the darkest color of all coffees, and features a smoky and rich flavor. 

FAQ

Is Dark Roast Coffee More Bitter?

Dark roast beans are those that have been roasted over a longer period. This type of coffee is very common in the United States, and is basically a strong coffee with lots of caffeine. Dark roast is also cheaper than light roast, and also be a bit more flavorful given that the beans are sourced from high altitudes and diverse ecosystems.

Do Dark Roast Coffee Have More Caffeine?

A very small amount of caffeine is lost during the roasting process, and the degree of roasting does not substantially affect the amount of caffeine in the coffee.

What’s dark roast coffee beans?

Dark roast coffee, as the name suggests, is a roast that contains dark brown beans (similar to the color of chocolate). The beans get this dark because they’re roasted for longer. As the beans roast for longer, more oils appear on their surface.

What does dark roast coffee taste like?

Dark roasting is determined by roasting for longer and to a higher temperature, and this coffee is characterized by minimal acidity and chocolate, nut, and caramel tastes. In case of unsuccessful roasting, the characteristic features of dark roast coffee are smoky, burnt shades.

What is the best dark roast coffee?

For being an organic coffee with low acidity we consider that Lifeboost is the best dark roast coffee. It grows under the shadow of trees in the highlands of Nicaragua. Only premium Arabica is grown here, as well as the Maragogipe variety, which can only grow in environmentally-friendly places. If you have any stomach issues, you should try Lifeboost. It has a higher pH value than regular coffee, so is much less acidic.

Is dark roast coffee more bitter?

Dark roast beans are those that have been roasted over a longer period. This type of coffee is very common in the United States, and is basically a strong coffee with lots of caffeine. Dark roast is also cheaper than light roast, and also be a bit more flavorful given that the beans are sourced from high altitudes and diverse ecosystems.

Do dark roast coffee have more caffeine?

A very small amount of caffeine is lost during the roasting process, and the degree of roasting does not substantially affect the amount of caffeine in the coffee.

1. Coffee Roast Guide – National Coffee Association USA

2. The Bitter Truth About Starbucks Coffee – Medium