What You Need to Know About French Roast Coffee

7 min read AUG 08, 2023

French roast coffee is a dark roasted brew quickly becoming one of the most popular roasts. It has a rich, robust flavor with a bitter and slightly smoky taste.

Its name comes from its origin in Europe, where it was usually blended with more robust beans to create an intense and flavorful cup of coffee.

What Is French Roast Coffee?

French Roast Coffee is a dark-roasted coffee with intense flavor, smoky taste and charred aroma originating from Europe.

Its rich, intense flavor, robust taste and smoky aroma characterize it. It's believed to have originated in France during the 1800s; however it has since spread all over the world.

When roasting French Roast Coffee at home or commercially, the beans are typically brought up to around 485 °F (252 °C) – which takes somewhere between 8–10 minutes depending on the roaster type and size of the batch being roasted.

French Roast Coffee Explained

French roast coffee has a rich and intense flavor, with smokiness, ashiness, and charring notes. It is darker than other types of roasts such as Italian or Espresso roasts.

How Roasted Is French Roasted?

French Roast coffee beans are given an extended roast in order to achieve a dark and smoky flavor profile. This involves roasting the beans at higher temperatures for longer periods of time, resulting in a darker brown hue than lighter roasts.

French roast is usually roasted between 425°F - 435°F (218℃ - 224℃) for around 15 minutes or more which causes the oils of the bean to break down and caramelize on their surface, creating that distinct dark appearance and adds bold intensities to its taste.

The size and type of the beans can vary, so it’s important that each batch is checked in order to ensure optimal coverage as well as desired color results.

How Does It Taste?

French Roast coffee is a dark roast and thus has an intense flavor profile that does little to mitigate its characteristic bitterness and smokiness. The end product produces subtle notes of sweet caramel which lend depth to the final cup.

By comparison, most medium-roasted coffees are a lighter brown in color than that associated with French Roast, have less acidity and citrus tones, and retain more body because they're roasted slightly longer than light roasts but not strong enough to overpower other flavors you may add.

French Roast Vs Dark Roasts

French roast features an intense smoky aroma and fuller body compared to other types of dark roasted varieties. This unique character comes from the level of roasting which imparts strong, distinctive flavors into each cup.

The beans are usually sourced from Central or South America, with bolder taste profiles being sought after by some coffee lovers who enjoy its robustness.

When it comes to flavor and acidity, French roast has a more full-bodied flavor than other dark roasts like Italian. It also has higher bitterness because more oil is extracted in the process; however, it still preserves its smooth quality without becoming overly bitter.

Lastly, general caffeine content decreases as the coffee beans get darker due to the number of oils burned away in the process — but this also varies based on bean origin and size.

Extra Facts

French roast coffee has a rich, robust flavor and a slightly smoky taste. Due to its full-bodied flavor profile, it is the most popular form of dark roast coffee in Europe and beyond.

French roast beans are heated for longer than other types during roasting until they achieve their signature deep brown color with slight hints of black throughout. Coffee beans used for French roast contain more oils than other varieties, contributing to the bold flavors associated with this type of brew.

Since this style involves additional roasting time over medium or light roasts, burnt and bitter undertones may be present depending on how darkly roasted these beans were taken.

Should You Avoid French Roast Coffee?

French Roast Coffee has an intense flavor, but that intensity and richness can come at the cost of sustainability. The roasting process entails burning the coffee beans to create those deep flavors, which means some natural chemicals are lost in the process and may even lead to soils being stripped of their nutrients or overly dependent on fertilizers.

This leads to increased energy use for the production and transportation of these beans, as well as a lack of bean freshness.

It’s important for individuals consuming French Roast Coffee to consider where these beans have been sourced from and what methods were used in processing them. By looking into sustainable farming techniques, one can guarantee that natural resources aren’t being overused during their cultivation and that local producers using organic practices are always worth supporting.


French roast coffee offers a unique, intense flavor profile with its smoky and charred notes. It is strong yet smooth, making it an ideal choice for experienced coffee drinkers who desire the perfect cup of caffeine.

Most people find the sharpness too overpowering while others adore its bold flavor. French roast coffee is definitely worth trying if you prefer more flavorful brews — as long as you can handle the extra intensity! When brewed correctly and served without additives or creamers, French roast provides some surprising health benefits, like increased antioxidants that help support your immune system.


Is French Roast The Same As Turkish Coffee?

French roast and Turkish coffee may sound similar but they are actually quite different. The term ‘French Roast’ refers to a certain level of roasting, which has less acidity and caffeine compared to lighter roasts due to the longer time it spends in the heat.

This results in beans with a sweet smoky flavor balanced out by an intense taste, thin body, and mouthfeel. When compared to other levels of roasting such as light or medium roast coffees, there is a noticeable difference found among French roasted coffee varieties.

On the other hand, Turkish Coffee is not a description of the bean that's being used but instead indicates how it's prepared; usually coarse ground coffee boiled in water until it forms a foam on top.

Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

French roast coffee is known for its smoky flavor, but it isn't necessarily any stronger than other dark roasted coffees when it comes to caffeine content. In fact, darker and deeper roasts generally have less caffeine due to their increased time on the roaster.

When choosing your type of coffee, one factor that you should consider is how strong you like your coffee as this can influence which type of bean originates from what country and also affects roast color–lighter shades indicate a more delicate taste. In contrast, darker colors typically mean bolder flavors.

The term “French roast” simply indicates how dark the beans were roasted; it does not refer to any particular bean origin or region.

Where Does French Roast Coffee Come From?

French Roast Coffee is a dark, robust type of roasted bean that can be sourced from around the world. Common origins include Central American coffee beans like Costa Rican or Nicaraguan, African coffees such as Kenyan or Cameroonian, and Indonesian ones such as Sumatran or Celebes Kalosi.

For example, high altitude areas tend to produce beans with denser structures and acidity balanced by fruit notes in the cup. Lowland grown beans are often more full-bodied than their high altitude counterparts and offer syrupy sweetness.

How Is French Roast Coffee Processed?

French Roast coffee is created through a painstaking and time-intensive roasting process. The beans are heated to an extremely high temperature, typically between 427F and 464F, for at least seven minutes until they turn a rich dark brown in color.

During the roasting process, fibers within the beans carbonize, and some of them even start to burn off, creating that unique seared-over charcoal flavor associated with French Roast coffee.

Is French Roast Stronger Than Other Coffees?

Contrary to popular belief, French roast coffee is not necessarily stronger in terms of caffeine content than other common coffees such as medium and dark roasts. In fact, the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee largely depends on how much ground is used and how it’s brewed. Generally, there’s more surface area exposed with lower roast levels which allow for greater extraction into coffee beverages.

As defined by its position on the coffee roast spectrum at around 28-35, French Roast usually has a strong but balanced flavor profile that blends smokiness from being roasted longer with hints of darkness often described as “ bittersweet chocolate” coupled with fruity notes reminiscent of berries or dried fruits.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast.

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