Does strong coffee have more caffeine?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does strong coffee have more caffeine?”, what dark roast coffee is, and whether it is stronger or not.

Does strong coffee have more caffeine?

No, strong coffee does not necessarily have more caffeine. A strong coffee flavor is not entirely dependent on caffeine. You can make your coffee strong by 

  • Using a lighter roast
  • Manipulating your water-to-ground ratio: Amp up your coffee by adding more than 2 tablespoons of coffee ground for every 6 ounce water. Use a specific grind size for a specific brewing method 
Drip coffee makerCoarse 
French pressMedium/Coarse
Espresso makerFine 
  • Opting for a darker roast of arabica beans: A darker roast has a richer flavor profile.
  • Trying a different brewing method: Consider the brewing time and serving size. The longer you brew your coffee, the stronger it gets. The espresso machine yields a bolder brew. The difference in the intensity of french press brew and drip coffee is insignificant.

Is dark roast stronger?

What is dark roast coffee?

The length and intensity of the roasting process in coffee manufacturing determine the caffeine, content, color, and overall quality of the coffee beans. Depending on the temperature and duration of the roasting, coffee roasts are of the following types.

Light roast coffee: This roast is produced when the green coffee beans are heated to 350–400°F (177–204°C) to achieve an internal temperature of 356–401°F (180–205°C). The result is a light-colored bean with a fruity flavor profile.

Medium roast coffee: The coffee beans are heated to an internal temperature of 410–418°F (210–214°C). Roasting time and temperature lie in the middle of light and dark roasts.

Dark roast coffee: Coffee beans are heated at 400°F (204°C) to achieve an internal temperature of 465–480°F (240–249°C). The process lasts about 15 minutes.


Roasting gives rise to the chemical reactions that define the flavor and aroma of the roasted beans. Maillard reactions are the browning that results when amino acids and the sugars in the coffee beans react at high temperatures. The resulting flavor differs concerning the type of roast.

The flavor of darker roasts is reminiscent of chocolate, earth, spice, or wood. Some may describe it as smoky. Lighter roasts remind us of fruity, bright, crisp, citric, herbal, or floral flavors. Go for darker roasts if you like bold flavors.

Caffeine content 

Roasting has no impact on the caffeine content of the coffee beans. To your surprise, darker roasts have a lesser caffeine content than lighter roasts. The caffeine content is determined by the type of beans and the brewing process.

Weight vs volume 

Roasting results in the reduction of mass and weight of dark roast coffee beans. For weight, a lighter roast has a tad bit higher caffeine content than a dark roast. Because you will need more dark roast beans to match the weight of lighter roast beans.

When it comes to volume, a lighter roast has more caffeine than a dark roast. Because dark beans swell during roasting and occupy more volume. This means less number of dark coffee beans in a scoopful.

As healthful as the lighter roast 

When consumed in moderation which is no more than 5–6 cups (1.2–1.4 liters) per day, dark roast coffee yields the same health benefits as its light and medium counterparts.

No matter the type of roast, coffee uplifts your mood and is beneficial to your memory, and metabolism. It boosts your energy and may support digestive health.

Coffee for digestive health may be a new concept to you. Let us explain its science. When coffee beans are roasted above 356°F (180°C), antioxidants called melanoidins are produced as a result of the Maillard reaction.

These antioxidants have immense health benefits for your gut health but there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this claim. 

Potential side effects 

Let’s talk about the side effects of dark roasts first. Dark roast coffee beans are the most susceptible to the loss of chlorogenic acids during roasting. 

These acids are powerful antioxidants. However, the melanoidins formed during the Maillard reaction can somewhat compensate for the loss of chlorogenic acids.

Secondly, you are at the risk of overdosing on caffeine if you prefer dark roasts. Adults should not consume more than  400–600 mg of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to 4–6 standard 8-ounce (237-mL) cups of coffee.

However, it is better to err on the side of caution and stick to only 2 cups of coffee or 200 mg of caffeine per day. Be mindful that caffeine sensitivity varies with the individual. 

Pregnant women or those with migraine problems, high blood pressure, or heart disease should be extra careful about their caffeine intake.

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

Does sugary coffee interfere with my diet?

Does the industrialized coffee powder contain pieces of roaches?

How can moderate coffee consumption increase my focus?


In this article, we answered the question “Does strong coffee have more caffeine?”, what dark roast coffee is, and whether it is stronger or not.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.