Best Light Roast Coffee for 2021: How to Choose Yours

best light roast coffee

If you’re looking for the best light roast coffee you’ve come to the right place, my friend.

There are many different types of roasts and each one has its own set of characteristics. Light roast coffees are, of course, roasted for less time than their medium or dark roasted coffee bean counterparts, so they have a lighter taste with more acidity and fruitiness. They also tend to be smoother than darker roasts because there’s no bitterness from lengthier roasting times.

how to find the best light roast coffee for you!

You might choose to drink light roast coffee if you want something that tastes fruity but not too acidic, smooth but not too mild, and flavorful without being overpowering. It’s perfect for those who like their coffee on the sweeter side. The best way to find your favorite type of light roast is by trying them out until you find what suits your palate best!

We’ll do our best, too, to give you a thorough idea of what to expect with the most highly rated light roast coffees, to help make the selection process a little easier. We will also provide some helpful facts and tips about light roast to further help you narrow down your top candidates.

How do we come up with our ‘best of’ list? Honestly, with time, and attention to detail. We scour the internet world, discover what’s available, and filter out the brands that don’t make the cut. Then, we study the features and benefits individually for those that look promising, comb through the reviews and actually read them, to identify the pros and cons of each brand as identified by real-life users. From there, we identify the top…the best…the most consistently rated higher…and present them to you.

By the way, if you click on a link and then decide to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Short List: Best Light Roast Coffee Brands for 2021

In a hurry? Here is the short list of our top 6 recommendations for light roasted coffee in 2021:

What is Light Roast Coffee?

Coffee beans are roasted to eliminate the bitter taste of raw coffee beans. Roasting brings out the natural sweet aroma of coffee beans, overcomes their grassy and green tinge and gives it a caramel-like aroma.

Chemical changes take place as the beans are heated to a high temperature, then quickly cooled to stop the process.

Light Roast Coffee has been roasted for a shorter period of time than medium or dark roast, to bring out its natural sweetness and reduce bitterness. It is also sometimes referred to as New England or Light City roast. You’ll want to note that a light roast contains higher acidity.

You’ll sometimes see a light roast referred to as Light City, Half City, or even Cinnamon Roast.

What Does Light Roasted Coffee Taste Like?

what does light roast coffee taste like?

Depending on its roasting level, light roast coffee can have a variety of tastes from floral to fruity and even nutty tasting flavors.

The most common flavors of light roast coffee are nutty, herbal, floral and even fruity. It is such a versatile type of coffee because it can come in so many variations.

The flavor of light roasted coffee is also milder than darker roasted coffee and this is one of the reasons why light roast is quite popular.

Does Light Roast Coffee Contain Caffeine?

Yes, light roast coffee contains caffeine. And you might conclude that there is less caffeine in light roast coffee because it’s, well, lighter than a dark roast.

But here’s the thing. The strength of the brew, the color of the coffee, the boldness of the taste, doesn’t indicate more caffeine. Light roast coffee has about the same caffeine content as dark roast coffee.

Now, when you compare them by weight, there is a difference. A little bit of difference.

Light roast beans are smaller than dark roast beans because they have been in contact with heat for a lesser amount of time.

For example, if you are measuring out equal amounts of both dark and light roast, there will be more coffee beans in the light roast ‘bucket’, so the coffee made with them will have slightly higher caffeine content.

These factors also affect the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee:

  • the type of roast
  • amount of coffee used
  • how large the serving size is
  • the brewing method used

Just remember that drinking a cup of light roast coffee will give you about the same amount of caffeine as drinking a cup of dark roast coffee. You’re probably going to choose a light roast because of the taste.

Best Light Roast Coffees to Choose for 2021

Peet’s Coffee Colombia Luminosa Breakfast Blend K-Cups, Light Roast

Peets Luminosa Breakfast Blend light roast coffee

what happy customers are saying:

  • excellent coffee – smooth, very tasty, rich
  • love this coffee, it is now my morning treat!
  • a wonderful, smooth, round taste
  • it’s so tasty and smooth, no creamer needed
  • this one is a keeper!
  • I am never going back to my previous dark sins

Peet’s Colombia Luminosa Breakfast Blend is a light roast coffee that offers a sweet and rich cup. It has hints of passion flower and stone fruit, with a bright acidity. The roast has been designed to highlight the natural sweetness and delicate flavors of this coffee. It is perfect for brewing both a pour over and cold brew coffee.

Colombia Luminosa is made with 100% Arabica beans from Columbia, hand-roasted in small batches at their California roastery to ensure freshness and quality. They select only the highest quality beans for their single origin coffees, which are roasted to bring out their best flavor.

Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee? You’ll find Peet’s Luminosa Breakfast Blend right here!

Peet’s Coffee, Luminosa Breakfast Blend - Light Roast Coffee - 60 K-Cup Pods for Keurig Brewers (6 Boxes of 10 K-Cup Pods)
  • Luminosa Breakfast Blend: Luminosa means “shining or bright,” and this enlightened blend brings coffees that are lively and lightly fruit-sweet together with coffees that are floral and aromatic
  • Flavor and Roast: Light, sweet suggestions of passionflower and stone fruit. Light roast. 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Signature Blends: Alfred Peet was renowned for achieving perfection through his blends, bringing together coffees so exceptional, each could stand on its own. For unparalleled complexity and nuance, look no further than our signature blends
  • For Keurig Brewers: Peet's recyclable K-Cup Pods are compatible with all Keurig K-Cup Brewers
  • Contents: 6 Boxes of 10 Peet's Luminosa Breakfast Blend Light Roast Coffee Keurig K-Cup Pods (60 K-Cup Pods Total)

Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend

best light roast coffee - caribou daybreak morning blend

what happy customers are saying:

  • “theeeee best coffee” I’ve ever tasted!
  • warm and light nutty flavor without bitterness
  • light, creamy, well-behaved coffee
  • the 20 oz bag is a good value
  • no bitter burnt coffee taste
  • smooth, light roast

Coffee is a part of the American experience. It’s not just a morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up. It’s a way of life. Daybreak Morning Blend combines fruity and caramel sweetness with a nutty finish for a taste of sunshine with every sip.

Handcrafted with 100% Arabica coffee, Rainforest Alliance Certified, this light roast coffee combines caffeinated flavor and aroma to help you start your day off right.

Caribou Coffee, Daybreak Morning Blend - Light Roast Ground Coffee - 20 Ounce Bag, Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • Caribou Daybreak provides a subtle fruit sweetness with cherry floral overtones and a sweet caramel and nut finish.
  • Daybreak is sunshine in your mouth to start your day on the right track or kick-starts your afternoon with its tangy citrus and floral notes.
  • This unpretentious coffee starts sweetly and quietly in the mouth and leaves you with fruity nutty hints after each sip.
  • Daybreak is a light roast coffee with a blend of coffees from the Americas and East Africa Daybreak is roasted to a lovely chocolate brown on the lighter end of our roasting spectrum.

Top Shelf Liquid Gold Light Roast Coffee

Top Shelf Liquid Gold light roast coffee

what happy customers are saying:

  • best we’ve had in a LONG time!
  • low acidity with hints of honey and a nutty flavor
  • smooth and delicious
  • absolutely loved this coffee!
  • flavor is smooth and not at all bitter
  • slightly sweet and tart; love the packaging, too

Top Shelf Liquid Gold Light Roast Coffee is a light roast coffee that is crafted to boost overall health and well-being. This coffee has been specifically designed with a high level of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the body.

Top Shelf Liquid Gold is made from Arabica coffee beans that are grown at an altitude above 6,500 feet. These beans are then shade grown for over 12 months to produce a smooth tasting cup of coffee with notes of chocolate, black tea and honey. Certified Organic, Clean espresso beans.

Organic Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee, The Best Espresso Beans from Peru - Fair Trade, Single Origin Mycotoxin & Mold Free Fresh Peruvian Purity | Super Healthy Arabica for Peak Performance - Low Acid
  • THE BEST FOR THE BEST – Because you don’t wake up in the morning & say you want to be average, do you? Choose greatness over average. This is elite coffee with a purpose, specialty grade gourmet quality meets unmistakable smoothness for unmatched peak performance
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC CLEAN ESPRESSO BEANS – Our Peruvian light roast is certified organic with the USDA and has to meet a number of strenuous quality requirements before the beans are actually roasted. The high altitudes are perfect for top shelf quality
  • ROASTED FOR HEALTH – Most people aren’t aware that quality coffee can actually act as one of the most potent, natural health aids in the world! Our coffee is super rich in antioxidants and can give you the ultimate lifeboost by keeping you cognitively sharp and physically fit.
  • ETHICAL SOURCING & FAIR TRADE – Ethically executed business is no laughing matter. We believe there should always be an equal exchange with our farming partners. We are committed to investing in the regions we work with by maintain responsible, sustainable sourcing
  • TOP SHELF RISK-FREE GUARANTEE - While our dark roast whole bean coffee comes unbelievably highly rated by thousands, we are here to let you decide. If for any reason you don’t love it, we’ll refund your entire order

Subtle Earth Organic Coffee – Light Roast

subtle earth light roast organic coffee

what happy customers are saying:

  • affordable organic roast; very consistent quality
  • this is the coffee that gets ‘wow’!
  • smooth with a bit of a fruity taste
  • best coffee ever!
  • unbelievably smooth with zero acidity
  • no after taste or lingering acid

Subtle Earth Organic Coffee is a 100% Arabica coffee. It is GMO-free, USDA Certified Organic, and Fair Trade certified. Subtle Earth offers organic coffee that has been lightly roasted to be smooth and sweet with hints of caramel and chocolate flavor.

This richly aromatic blend has a velvety body with low acidity, making it easy to drink. The notes of honey and cocoa are balanced by bright fruit sweetness for a full-flavored experience that will leave you wanting more.

5LB Subtle Earth Organic Coffee - Light Roast - Whole Bean - Organic Arabica Coffee - (5 lb) Bag
  • Certified Organic by CCOF - 100% Arabica Coffee - GMO Free
  • 5LB - Whole Bean - Light Roast
  • Rich and chocolatey with profound depth of flavor, velvety body, and low acidity.
  • Origin: Honduras, Sharing Certified Program
  • REFUNDABLE - Try Don Pablo Risk-Free: Buy now, and if you don't love our coffees, contact Burke Brands LLC directly through our Amazon Seller page, and we will happily refund your order.

Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend Light Roast

what happy customers are saying:

  • the smoothest blend I’ve ever tasted
  • fresh, light, and so full of good flavor
  • full of flavor, not acidic at all, love it
  • absolutely love this coffee
  • well balanced cup of coffee
  • fantastic and fresh!

Real Good Coffee Co. Breakfast Blend Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee is the perfect morning coffee to ease you into your day. The light roast whole bean coffee delivers a smooth flavor that brings together a brisk citrus taste with smooth aromatic notes of milk chocolate and cream, making it the perfect way to start your day.

Real Good Coffee Co is a family-owned company that roasts and packages whole bean coffee in Seattle, WA. They source their beans from the best growing regions to ensure you are getting the highest quality coffee available.

Real Good Coffee Company - Whole Bean Coffee - Breakfast Blend Light Roast Coffee Beans - 2 Pound Bag - 100% Whole Arabica Beans - Grind at Home, Brew How You Like
  • Light Roast Coffee: Our Breakfast Blend light roast whole bean coffee is the perfect morning coffee to ease you into your day
  • Sustainable Light Roast Coffee Beans: Our coffee is made with premium quality Arabica coffee beans from Central and South America. They are grown, sourced and packaged responsibly, after being roasted fresh in Seattle, USA
  • Tasting Notes: Our Breakfast Blend coffee delivers a smooth flavor that brings together a brisk citrus taste with smooth aromatic notes of milk chocolate and cream
  • Works With All Coffee Brewers: This classic whole bean light roast coffee is suitable for any good coffee machine: drip machines, espresso maker, French press, Aeropress, pour over and moka pot
  • Real Good Coffee Co: With over 30 years’ experience of coffee sourcing and craft roasting in Seattle, we make coffee, real good coffee, it’s that simple

What Types of Brewing Methods are Best for Light Roast Coffee?

pour over coffee brewing is perfect with light roast coffee

A light roast coffee can taste really wonderful when brewed using the pour-over method.

Why pour over? This method gives the beans a little more time in the water and helps to bring out the clean, subtle, light-bodied flavors. And, the pour over method is very versatile, creating a very tasty cup of joe with any type of roast.

Grinding your whole bean coffee to a medium-fine grind size just prior to brewing will give you the best result.

Remember, you can change the robust flavor level with any type of roast, including light roast coffee, by varying the ratio of coffee to water used.

What is the best way to store light roast coffee?

Be sure to keep your light roast coffee beans in an airtight and dark space, such as the pantry or even your freezer. Be sure not to grind them ahead of time because if you do, then they will lose some of their flavor.

How to Select Your Light Roast Coffee

how to select the best light roast coffee

So, what type of light roast will be best for you? Let’s take a look at some of the considerations before you make a purchase. Coffee beans are grown commercially as one of two types: Arabica and Robusta. For a light roast, you’ll want to select Arabica beans.


Light roast coffee beans typically originate from coffee growing countries like Central and South America.

Taste Profile

A light roast coffee typically tastes a smoother compared to a dark roast. As mentioned earlier, light roast beans are typically acidic when compared to the darker and more intense flavor of their dark roast counterparts. They also have fruity flavors, while being herbal or even nutty at times.


Your light roast coffee should be sealed so that you can store it for a longer period of time. Also, make sure that the coffee beans are not exposed to sunlight because they will become stale and lose their flavor.

Another thing that you might want to look at when purchasing your light roast beans is whether or not it has a vacuum seal on its packaging; these types of packages have one way valves which allow for minimal air to enter the coffee beans container.

Date of roasting

Always check for the roast date of your beans. The roast date can be found typically on the package or even on its label. You want to make sure that your beans are not too old because they will become stale and lose their flavor, which is what you’re really trying to avoid.

Whole bean or pre-ground

The advantage of whole bean coffee is that you get to choose how you would like your beans to be ground. You can have them ground before they are packaged or better yet, grind them when you’re ready to brew some coffee.

The freshness of grinding your own beans can’t be beat.

Sum It Up

So what did you decide? Which suggestion from our recommendations of the best light roast coffee will be your new go-to drink for the day ahead? We hope that our article has helped provide insight into how to find the perfect cup of morning joe.

Whatever your preference may be, enjoy your newly discovered best light roast coffee any time of the day


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