Understanding the nuanced differences between Italian roast coffee vs. French roast coffee is essential if you’re looking to perfect your dark roast brews or pick the ideal bean to learn how to make Cafe Du Monde coffees at home.
Here we’ll explain the flavor profile variances and advice on selecting exceptional coffee for your home coffee roasting machine.
French Or Italian Dark Roasts – Which Is The Better Coffee?
An Italian roast is darker, bolder, and has higher oil content than a French roast bean, so they’re your go-to if you want the richest possible brew.
French roasts are also strong, with a deep smoky aroma and powerful flavor – but have a slightly milder bitterness level on your palate.
The Differences Between Dark Roast Coffee Beans
There’s a lot more to it and it’s worth appreciating that a French or Italian roast coffee isn’t necessarily grown or roasted in either of these countries. Rather, that name refers to the stronger, slightly charred flavor, as opposed to designating the bean’s origin.
Read on to discover the subtle difference and which coffee we’d recommend for an impeccable espresso, especially if you’re assessing the cost of roasting coffee beans at home and want a sure-fire winner.
Is Italian Roast Coffee Stronger Than A French Dark Roast?
Both roasts are among the darkest coffees you can buy, roasted well past the first crack of the bean and until the heat reaches a stage where the bean explodes.
It’s a delicate process because a roaster needs to control the heat with precision.
Flavor Profiles Of Italian Vs. French Coffees
The appeal of dark, intense roasts is that they start to develop a broad depth of taste, including hints of:
- Cocoa or dark chocolate
- Toasted marshmallows
- Baking chocolate
- Caramelized sugar
Roasting beans for longer results in more oil being released, with a deeper color, although a lower caffeine content.
French roasts are slightly thinner but smokier, whereas Italian roasts are more full-bodied and darker.
The Best Coffees To Make With A Dark Roast Bean
Dark roasts are usually used to make espressos – you can use lighter roasts, but the acidity level is an acquired taste. Prolonged roasting reduces acidity, so your shot of coffee is more balanced and sweeter.
You can also make cappuccinos, mochas, and lattes, which work well with one to two espresso shots, topped with steamed milk, milk foam, or coffee syrup.
Choosing Beans To Make A Dark Roast Coffee At Home
ICT Coffee explains that a Colombian Supremo bean is the ultimate dark roast, creating an artisanal roast coffee with complexity and smoothness.
Other suggestions include:
- Ethiopian Yirgacheffe: a French roast with a mild fruity base and a chocolatey taste experience roasted for longer than its Colombian counterpart.
- Tanzanian Peaberry: a unique bean that features hints of florals, oats, and citrus.
- Sumatra Mandheling: a familiar bean for regular coffee roasters and is best French roasted to produce an almond aroma with a touch of chocolate and maple syrup.
- Guatemalan Antigua is our final recommendation, with a heavier body and traces of lemon and chocolate for a spicy coffee kick.
Your taste preferences will be specific to you, so it’s wise to think about whether you’d like a smoother, gentler taste or an extra-strong coffee, and try to buy beans as fresh as possible.
Unroasted beans are also widely available through coffee retailers, so there is a world of choice to experiment with and discover your perfect dark roast bean if you think you have what it takes to roast your own coffee at home.