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10 Best Light Roast Coffees of 2021 for a More Vibrant Brew

If you’ve finally narrowed down your choice when it comes to types of coffee roasts, it means that you’re already one step closer to upgrading your morning brew. Yay!

Now, the exciting part: finding the best light roast coffee for you.

To figure it out, read our easy buying guide and light roast coffee reviews: we’re confident that the perfect one for your palate is hiding among them.

Coffee Bros

Coffee Bros., Light Roast Whole Bean — 100% Arabica — 1 Bag (12oz) — Gourmet & Specialty — Great Holiday Gift
  • Incredibly fresh
  • Aromatic citrus notes
  • Supports coffee-growing regions

Lifeboost Coffee

  • The lowest-acidity light roast we’ve tried (even if you have stomach problems!)
  • Healthy and organic
  • Grown sustainably

Peet’s Costa Rica

  • Perfectly crafted blend
  • Balanced flavors
  • Available for all kinds of coffee makers
light roast coffee

Buying Guide: Finding the Best Light Roast Coffee for Your Taste Buds

Light roasts are the right option if you want to appreciate the individual characteristics of each type of bean, enjoy more nuanced flavors, and even make the most of a slightly stronger caffeine kick. However, they’re not all the same!

Here’s what you should keep in mind in order to find the best light roast coffee for you.

Types of light roast coffee flavors

Unlike their darkest counterparts, light roasts retain all the flavor characteristics of the beans, resulting in vibrant brews. However, if you don’t actually like that particular flavor... that coffee won’t be a particularly enjoyable experience, for you!

That’s why we always recommend checking the flavor notes of each light roast. In general, they’re brighter and tangier than dark roasts, but some single-origins or blends can enhance one of the two elements.

For example, you could look for honey or floral notes if you’d like a sweeter aftertaste or citrus and fruity profiles if you prefer a tangy kick.

Single-origin or blend?

Since single-origin beans come from the same country or region, you can really tell how their origin has influenced their profile. They can be a better choice for you if you enjoy appreciating this uniqueness and usually take your coffee black.

If you prefer more balanced results and usually add creamer and sugar, you’d probably prefer blends. 

However, we’ve also included a couple of options that, because they only consist of two types of single-origin beans, are a beautiful compromise between the two.

Beans or grounds?

Beans result in a fresher brew that retains deeper flavor nuances. They’re also the most versatile choice if you want to be able to make coffee using different brewing methods, from the finest espresso grounds to the coarsest ones for French press.

If you’re happy to sacrifice a tiny bit of freshness in favor of practicality, then grounds will help you speed up your morning routine while still enjoying a superior brew than K-Cups or store-bought coffee.

Best Light Roast Coffees of 2020 for Bright & Caffeinated Joe [Top 10 Reviews]

We’ve tried a lot of different light roast coffees, but these five stood out for various reasons:

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Lifeboost Coffee
  • Premium single-origin beans
  • Healthy, organic and sustainable
  • Easy on the stomach, even as a light roast
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Coffee Bros
  • Small-batch roasted to ensure freshness
  • Sweet and delicate flavors
  • Part of a tree-planting project
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Peet’s Costa Rica Aurora
  • Superior blend made of two single-origin beans
  • Practical subscription option
  • Lots of grind sizes available as well as beans
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Dune Zip Zinger
  • Vibrant and fruity
  • Balanced result
  • Three carefully selected origins
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Peet’s Colombia Luminosa
  • From renowned coffee regions
  • Bright and vibrant
  • Delightfully sweet
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Already spotted a couple of tasty options? Let’s make sure that they’re the right ones for you.


Type: single-origin Arabica, beans or medium-fine grounds

Origin: Nicaragua

Best for: those who’re after the healthiest coffee

Lifeboost Coffee is definitely one of our favorite brands and we can’t recommend it enough.

They use rare shade-grown beans (only 2% of all coffee!) (1) planted at high elevations, keep their supply chain sustainable and fair-trade, and guarantee organic coffee that’s free from added chemicals, heavy metals and common coffee mold.

Their light roast? Not only it didn’t disappoint, but it surprised us once more. 

As well as being bright and flavorful, it was incredibly easy on the stomach. Usually, because of the nature of these roasts, dark roast coffee is recommended to those who suffer from digestion and stomach problems. 

However, the Lifeboost light roast is a godsend if you prefer the vibrance of these roasts but can’t enjoy them for that reason.

Always freshly roasted, it can be purchased as single 12 oz bags… or you can save yourself 30% with a handy subscription!

Discover more about this unique brand in our Lifeboost Coffee review.

Bottom line: a premium, healthy and organic light roast coffee that’s also sustainable, fair-trade, and easy on the stomach.


2. Coffee Bros - Freshest

Coffee Bros., Light Roast Whole Bean — 100% Arabica — 1 Bag (12oz) — Gourmet & Specialty — Great Holiday Gift


Type: Arabica blend, beans

Origin: Colombia & Ethiopia

Best for: those who understand how freshness impacts flavor

Once it’s roasted and, especially, ground, coffee starts losing the volatile compounds that are responsible for enhanced flavor nuances. Can you imagine how stale supermarket coffee is?!

Coffee Bros do the complete opposite. They put freshness and, consequently, flavor first. Their beans are roasted in small batches and always packaged within minutes in airtight bags (12 oz).

This means that you can really taste the honey, citrus and floral notes of their light roast breakfast blend. Sweet, delicate and with a crisp but silky body, it’s great both as drip coffee and espresso.

Another reason to choose Coffee Bros is that they support coffee-growing regions: for every five bags of coffee sold, they plant a tree. Nice one!

If you’re ready to tap into the superior flavor of fresh beans, grab yourself a good burr grinder and stick to one of the best light roasts by Coffee Bros.

Bottom line: thanks to the freshness of their beans and efficient packaging, this light roast becomes a full sensorial experience.


3. Peet’s Costa Rica Aurora - Best light roast blend


Type: Arabica blend, beans or grounds (drip, percolator, espresso, commercial brewer)

Origin: Costa Rica & Kenya

Best for: those who love experimenting with blends

Blends offer countless possibilities, but there’s a difference between roasters that mix lower-quality beans hoping for the best and those who go out of their way to find the perfect origin to complement the other type.

Peet’s is part of the second bunch.

For their best light roast coffee, they’ve opted for citric Costa Rica beans and paired them with the aromatic floral and sugary notes of Kenyan ones. The result is a layered coffee that combines berry and citrus nuances.

Each of their 16 oz bags is roasted to order in small batches and shipped the same day to ensure maximum freshness. Why not turn it into the perfect subscription for your habits?

Discover more about this roaster with over 50 years of experience by reading our Peet’s Coffee review.

Bottom line: if you prefer blends, this carefully selected pairing is sure to delight you.


4. Dune Zip Zinger - Fruity Flavors


Type: blend, beans or grounds (automatic drip, French press, Chemex, pour over, espresso, AeroPress, percolator/cold brew)

Origin: Colombia, Ethiopia & Brazil

Best for: those who prefer vibrant fruity notes

If bitter coffee is your nemesis, Dune Zip Zinger is guaranteed to save your day.

Perfectly balanced and fruity, it combines ripe stone fruit, caramel and chocolate tones by relying on an invincible trio of single-origin beans.

PRO TIP: while it’s delicious when taken black, this coffee can shine even more if you add some milk.

Fun fact: the name of this blend is a homage to skateboarder Mark Gonzales.

You can either enjoy it as individual 12 oz bags or save some money with a subscription.

Bottom line: whether you take your coffee black or with cream, it doesn’t get any fruitier than this.


5. Peet’s Colombia Luminosa - Premium Origins


Type: Arabica blend, beans or grounds (drip, percolator, espresso, commercial brewer) 

Origin: Colombia & Ethiopia

Best for: those who love discovering how origins influence the flavor of the beans

Given their expertise with blends, we couldn’t help including another of Peet’s light roasts. This time, they handpicked high-elevation beans from a renowned area:

“There are few countries more famous for their coffee than Colombia. And within Colombia, no region produces more coffee than Huila.” Perfect Daily Grind (2)

Famous for their sweet and smooth profile, these Colombian beans are complemented by aromatic Ethiopian coffee to create a bright blend.

It’s not a coincidence that it’s exactly what ‘luminosa’ means!

Bottom line: One of the best light roast coffees we’ve tried, this blend reaches levels of superior and recognizable flavors usually attributed to single-origin options.


6. Tandem Sun Lamp - Best decaf light roast


Type: single-origin Arabica, beans

Origin: Colombia

Best for: those who don’t cope well with caffeine but are tired of compromising on flavor

The quirky name of this decaf light roast is a big giveaway of what you can expect. Just like sun lamps during the coldest months, it was created to make you feel like you’re enjoying the real thing.

With hints of berries, ripe grapes and sweet vanilla, this decaf doesn’t disappoint when it comes to flavor.

Plus, this company is a member of 1% for the Planet. (3)

Enjoy it as 12 oz bags or a customizable subscription.

Bottom line: If you were hoping for a decaf alternative that tastes just like the real thing, this light roast was clearly made for you.


7. Verve Kenya Karimikui - Best single-origin light roast


Type: single-origin Arabica, beans or grounds (automatic drip, French press, Chemex, pour over, espresso, AeroPress, percolator/cold brew)

Origin: Kenya, Kirinyaga region

Best for: those who prefer the uniqueness of single-origin beans

The beans’ origin tells you a lot about what the coffee will taste like.

“Coffee from the Kirinyaga region of Kenya flourishes in rich, volcanic soil and after selective picking, is processed in fresh water from the Kii River.” Crema.co (4)

That’s why this light roast can rely on a rich body, bright acidity, and the sweetest notes. Or, as this roaster describes it,carrot cake-like sweetness’. Just thinking about it makes our mouth water!

This coffee is also grown ethically by a cooperative society that involves three family-run factories.

Grab yourself your first 12 oz bag and taste the difference from your usual store-bought blend!

Bottom line: thanks to its volcanic soil and unique climate, it’s no wonder that this light roast tastes like nothing else we’ve tried before.


8. Lion Coffee Coconut Flavor - Best Flavored


Type: single-origin Arabica, beans or grounds (drip)

Origin: Hawaii

Best for: those who like their coffee with a twist

Adding syrup to your coffee isn’t the best solution if you want to make the most of the beans’ uniqueness. So what can you do if you were hoping for a flavored experience?

You opt for premium flavored beans. Or, better: flavored beans that happen to be the best Hawaiian coffee! (5)

If you’re fed up with the usual vanilla and hazelnut alternatives, the exotic flavors of Hawaii might be what’s lacking in your caffeinated routine. This coffee complements the vibrance of light roast with the nutty taste of coconut.

Pick a 10 or 24 oz bag, or do yourself a favor by choosing the right subscription model for you.

Bottom line: Vibrant light roast, exotic coconut flavor, best coffee in Hawaii. If this isn’t the recipe for a delightful start to the day, we don’t know what is.


9. Cameron's Coffee - Best Grounds

Cameron's Coffee Roasted Ground Coffee Bag, Breakfast Blend, 12 Ounce


Type: Arabica blend, medium grounds

Origin: Central & South America

Best for: those who prefer the practicality of ground

We can’t deny that grounds are extremely quick and handy to use. However, instead of settling for stale store-bought bags, upgrade your morning brew by choosing some that are made with the top 10% of all the world’s beans.

Bright, fruity and delightfully smooth, Cameron’s coffee is grown sustainably and small-batch roasted. 

Luckily, it’s also available in bags of different sizes and ground to a versatile medium size that can work with several coffee makers.

Bottom line: ground coffee doesn’t have to taste bland. Premium beans and a superior roasting process can really make the difference.


10. Real Good Coffee - Best for breakfast

Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee, Breakfast Blend Light Roast Coffee Beans, 2 Pound Bag


Type: Arabica blend, beans

Origin: Central & South America

Best for: the best light roast coffee to pair up with a tasty breakfast

Real Good Coffee. Well, the name says it all, so we’re just going to add a couple of points.

While you can enjoy it at any time of the day, its aromatic milk chocolate and cream notes make this light roast perfect for breakfast.

It’s also grown, sourced and packaged with an eye for sustainability.

As long as you have a good grinder, one of these 2 lbs bags will be the answer to your breakfast prayers.

Bottom line: a well-balanced blend to start the day right.


FAQs

1. Is light roast coffee the strongest?

Light roast coffee isn’t automatically the strongest as caffeine levels stay consistent during the roasting process. However, when the coffee is measured by scoops, they contain more than darker roasts simply because of their higher density. This means that a brew made with two scoops of light roast coffee will be slightly stronger than one made with the exact same amount of darker grounds.

2. Is light roast coffee healthier?

Light roast coffee can be considered healthier because it contains higher levels of antioxidants which add more nutritional value to your brew. However, every roast allows you to unlock the popular health benefits of coffee.

3. What is the best light roast coffee?

The best light roast coffee is Lifeboost because it’s organic, free from additives and mold, and, despite the typical characteristics of light roasts, easier on the stomach.

References

1. Tory, S. (2014, March 26). Sunburnt Beans: Where Has All the Shade-Grown Coffee Gone?. Retrieved from https://civileats.com/2014/05/26/sunburnt-beans-where-has-all-the-shade-grown-coffee-gone/
2. Hernandez, A. M.. (2018, March 6). Coffee Buyer’s Guide to Huila, Colombia. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/03/a-coffee-buyers-guide-to-huila-colombia/
3. (n.d.). Tandem Coffee Roasters. Retrieved from https://directories.onepercentfortheplanet.org
4. (n.d.). Kenya Kirinyaga Coffee. Retrieved from https://crema.co/countries/kenya/kenya-kirinyaga
5. (n.d.). Lion Coffee Voted as Hawaii’s Best Coffee 2020. Retrieved from https://www.lioncoffee.com/lion-coffee-voted-as-hawaiis-best-coffee-2020/

Avatar for Giada Nizzoli

Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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