Best Light Roast Coffee for 2023: How to Choose Yours

Last Updated on January 4, 2024

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

best light roast coffee

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 select the products that make our ‘best of list’? Well, by researching carefully, reading the product reviews, purchasing the product and using it ourselves when applicable, and then providing you with our recommendations so you can make an informed decision.

You’ll notice that we don’t rate our recommendations, either. This is because we know that any one of our suggestions could be the perfect choice for you. We want you to know that any selection is a good choice.

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 2023

In a hurry? Here is the short list of our top 6 recommendations for light roasted coffee in 2023:

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 roasts, 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 light roasts contain higher acidity.

whiskey barrel coffee gift

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. Either way, a cup of fresh roasted coffee tastes great!

Best Light Roast Coffees to Choose for 2023

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, Light Roast K-Cup Pods for Keurig Brewers - Luminosa Breakfast Blend, 10 Count (Pack of 6)
  • Contains six (6) Boxes of 10 Peet's Luminosa Breakfast Blend Coffee Keurig K-Cup Pods (60 K-Cup Pods Total) - 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Flavor and Roast: Light Roast. Light, sweet, aromatic. Luminosa means “shining" or "bright,” and this blend enlightens the subtle sweetness of Colombia with just the right touch of Ethiopian floral aromatics
  • Brewing Methods: Peet's single serve, K-Cup Pods are compatible with all Keurig K-Cup Brewers
  • Recyclable: Peet’s K-Cup Pods are fully recyclable - peel, compost or dispose grounds & recycle. Check locally, not recycled in all communities.
  • Sourcing with Impact: The coffee you buy can impact the welfare of the people and planet. Peet’s is actively engaged in driving positive impact in communities where our coffees are grown.

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, Light Roast Ground Coffee - Daybreak Morning Blend 20 Ounce Bag
  • Contains one (1) 20 Ounce Bag of Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Light Roast Ground Coffee
  • Daybreak Blend: Light Roast with fruity and caramel sweetness with a nutty finish for a taste of sunshine with every sip
  • Quality Ingredients: Rainforest Alliance certified, 100% Arabica coffee, small batch roasted and hand-packed in Minneapolis
  • Brewing Methods: Our ground coffee is formulated to make drip or a pour over in your Chemex. For other brewing methods - espresso, cold brew, or French press - consider our whole bean coffee and griding at home
  • About Caribou: Coffee isn't just our business, it's our unrelenting passion. We love to roast it, brew it, smell it, and (DUH) drink it. But most of all, we love how it brings people together and inspires adventure, big and small

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.

Subtle Earth Organic Coffee - Light Roast - Whole Bean Coffee - 100% Arabica Beans - Low Acidity and Non-GMO - 5lb bag
  • New! Subtle Earth Organic Coffee Light Roast!
  • USDA Organic Coffee Certified by CCOF - 100% Arabica - Low Acidity - Non GMO
  • Rich and chocolaty with profound depth of flavor, velvety body, and low acidity. 100% organic.
  • Process: Fully washed and dried on patio. Varietal: Catuai - Altitude: 1160-1310 meters above sea level.
  • Origin: Honduras, Sharing Certified Program

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 Co - Whole Bean Coffee - 2 Pound Bag - Breakfast Blend Light Roast Coffee - Fresh Coffee Beans Roasted and Ground in Seattle, WA -100% Arabica Coffee Beans - Flavored Coffee Beans
  • Whole Bean Light Roast Coffee - Your day just got better, thanks to Real Good Coffee Co's Breakfast Blend! Our light roast whole bean coffee is sure to give you the caffeinated boost you need to ease your way into your morning routine
  • Quality Taste and Smell - Thanks to the smooth and satisfying flavor of our Breakfast Blend, our flavored whole bean coffee delivers a brisk citrus taste with a deliciously aromatic note of milk chocolate and cream that will make you want a second cup
  • Sustainably Sourced and Packaged - Our high quality coffee beans are made with 100% premium Arabica coffee beans from Central and South America, which are grown, sourced, and packaged responsibly before being roasted fresh right here in Seattle, Washington
  • Works With All Brewers - Our classic light roast coffee beans are compatible with just about any coffee machine, including standard coffee makers, drip machines, espresso makers, French press, AeroPress, pour-over, and Moka pot
  • Expertly Blended Coffee Shop Quality - As a roaster based in Seattle, the coffee city, Real Good Coffee Co is a small business run by people who love good coffee just as much as you do. We have over 30 years of experience sourcing coffee and crafting the best roasts

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 for beginners 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