A LIGHTER SHADE OF BOLD
Which statement is true:
A. Darker coffee roasts have more caffeine than lighter roasts because they taste stronger.
B. Lighter coffee roasts have more caffeine than darker roasts since they’re exposed to heat for a shorter period of time.
If you take whole coffee beans of the same origin and roast some to light roast, some to medium roast, and some to dark roast, all of them will have about the same caffeine content.
The real potency in the best coffee comes from the beans and the flavor profile you create by roasting those beans. That’s why, just like our OG Dark Roast and Valhalla Java, Death Wish Coffee Medium Roast is The World’s Strongest Coffee.
It’s not just great coffee. It’s a kick-ass, high-caffeine, organic coffee that’s a little lighter than our dark roast, aka a lighter shade of bold. It’s the perfect blend for coffee drinkers who crave high octane but want something smooth.
But how can a medium roast be as strong as a dark roast? We can’t reveal all of our secrets, but we can let you in on some coffee know-how that even the snooty barista at your local joint may not possess.
What Is Medium Roast Coffee?
Medium roast coffee is the go-to coffee in the United States. When asked what kind of coffee roast they drank the previous day, more than half of respondents in a 2020 survey said medium roast. Dark roast came in second, with light roast getting only about 15 percent of the vote.
Medium roast appeals to a lot of people for its lighter taste. It’s more “easy drinking” and less “in your face.” The roasting process elicits a more balanced flavor profile with notes of fruit, plus some toasted caramel. Medium roasts are also lighter, less acidic and nuanced. You take a sip and want to come back for more to identify that new flavor you just experienced. On the other hand, dark roasts typically are bolder, feature chocolate notes and tend to be more consistent in flavor throughout the cup.
Here’s a full breakdown of your typical medium roast vs. dark roast:
Bean color: Medium brown
Taste: Fruit notes, nutty
Acidity: Low and balanced
Flavor profile: More standardized (think: plain chocolate ice cream versus chocolate marshmallow with fudge ripple) yet bolder.
Common names: American Roast, Breakfast Roast, City Roast, Regular Roast
Bean color: Darker brown
Acidity: Slightly higher and smooth
Flavor profile: More nuanced; you’ll taste more notes. Bold and rich.
Common names: French Roast, Italian Roast, Espresso Roast, Continental Roast, New Orleans Roast, Spanish Roast
The Roasting Process
You can probably guess that a medium roast coffee is roasted for less time than a dark roast coffee. For a not-perfect comparison, it’s like medium versus well-done steaks. (In this instance, “rare” would be the equivalent of light roasts.)
But the job of roasters is about so much more than changing the color of the coffee beans. The careful roasting process also determines the flavors, aromas, acidity and body of the coffee beans and the resulting cup of coffee.
Like a steak on the grill, beans are roasted to their desired “doneness.” As the temperature slowly increases, the beans undergo what’s called the Maillard reaction. This is when the sugars and amino acids in the bean react together. All you need to worry about is that this is the first thing that causes a shift in the flavor. In particular, this reaction affects the acidity, sweetness and viscosity of the resulting coffee.
As the heat continues to rise, next up is the caramelization stage. Like onions in a pan on a Food Network show, the sugars in the beans brown, leading to nutty and sweet flavors and aromas.
Then, depending on how long the beans are roasted, there are the first and second cracks. The flavor continues to develop as the beans literally begin to crack and puff up. At the second crack, oils from inside the bean reach the outside surface.
The roast of a coffee depends on which stage you stop this whole process. Light roast coffees are removed from heat when the first crack occurs. Medium roasts are removed between the first and second cracks. And dark roast whole bean coffee is removed after the second crack. Whatever point the roasting stops, the beans are then cooled and either packaged and sold as whole bean coffee or ground coffee.
Meet the World’s Strongest Medium Roast
Our new Death Wish Coffee Medium Roast is not like the typical medium roast coffee you buy in a coffee shop. While it is lighter, it’s just as bold and incredibly smooth as our OG Dark Roast.
We are constantly sourcing the highest-quality coffee beans to craft the perfect blend. For all of our roasts, we start with only USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade coffee beans, which have benefits for the environment, the farmers and your health. For the Medium Roast, we source Robusta and Arabica beans from India, Peru and Ethiopia.
The Robusta beans provide the wake-up call. They have about twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. The downside of that wonderful jolt? Robusta beans can have a bitter aftertaste. Luckily, Arabica beans are sweeter. Depending on how you roast them, you can bring out fruity, chocolatey or even caramel flavors.
We’ve used a special roasting technique for the new Medium Roast to create a brighter flavor profile than our OG blend. Our Medium Roast has notes of stone fruit, hints of caramel, roasted peanuts and a finish of smooth dark chocolate. On the other hand, our dark roast has a richer flavor of cherry and dark chocolate.
But both roasts lead to a coffee that’s smooth, low in acidity and bold. They’re both also the most caffeinated coffee you can find. We’re talking double the strength of your average cup of joe.
Our Death Wish Coffee Medium Roast is perfect for any dark roast coffee lovers who:
- Want a smooth flavor to ease into the day, with a kick that wakes even the dead.
- Want to shake up their daily coffee routine without sacrificing the strength of their joe.
- Want to convert their friends to the dark side. (Disclaimer: You may regret this; they could start stealing your coffee).
No matter how you make your coffee—with a French press, Keurig, pour-over, cold brew, you name it—if you want a lighter shade of bold, Death Wish Coffee Co. has you covered. You can buy our new Medium Roast coffee in ground, whole bean or Death Cups — we can’t wait for you to try it.