What Is Extra Dark Roast Coffee?

Ah, cuppa. I remember those bad days when my coffee still tasted like heaven no matter how it was prepared. For the coffee aficionados like me, I’m sure you can relate.

But I have my own favorite roast that many of you would agree with. For me, the extra dark roast coffee is the best. It may not be too popular to some coffee drinkers, but to others, it’s their go-to drink. What’s in it, and how is it processed?

Extra dark roast coffee, if you look at all the spectrum of the coffee beans roasting process, you’ll find it next to the dark roast. It’s called extra because it’s roasted longer than the light, medium, and dark roast. The beans look burnt and extremely black, and they’re also more oily than the light or medium roasts with the taste that’s often described as a brown spice and dark cocoa.

So, if you’re a coffee drinker and are looking for a coffee adventure, why not try the extra dark roast coffee? But first, let’s find out more about this favorite cuppa of mine.

Extra Dark Roast Coffee, What’s In It?

Apparently, it’s the color that you’ll notice first with extra dark roast coffee. The dark roast is mostly dark brown, but the extra dark is almost black in appearance. Because of the time that it’s roasted, it gives less acidic flavor compared to the lighter ones. Many coffee-lovers also love the deep and robust flavor with a smokey aftertaste of the extra dark roast.

Extra dark roast coffee typically goes beyond 430 to 450 Fahrenheit or at least a little longer after the second crack. This is when a rapid formation of gasses such as carbon dioxide builds up causing the beans to snap or pop when the moisture from the beans is freed due to extreme temperature. So, if you’re interested in what a snap or pop means in coffee beans, it’s almost the same as popcorn popping, or when you add milk to your breakfast cereal.

Depending on the roaster used, the second crack happens for at least up to 18 minutes. This is the longest time after the first crack. Other roasters can make it happen after 30 seconds to four minutes after the first crack.

It really depends, but in general, second cracks create the dark roast, and extra dark past it. Its nutty, earthy, or dark chocolatey taste is due to the Maillard reaction during the long roasting process. It’s a little technical, but that’s what it is in a nutshell.

While both dark roast and extra dark roast appear glossy and oily, they do differ in taste. Extra dark roast coffee tastes like dark cocoa with hints of bold, smokey aftertaste. For those who love its deep, heavy taste, extra dark is often used as a base for some coffee beverages such as macchiato, latte, cortado, or even an alternative to your favorite espresso.

Is Extra Dark Roast Coffee Stronger?

Some people think that the darker their coffee is, the stronger it can be. But that’s not really what it is. Coffee beans, when roasted longer tends to lose some of their caffeine levels because of the gasses being built up during the process.

The only that makes it stronger is its deep, bold taste compared to the lighter roasted beans. But what makes it a favorite coffee base for some drinkers is how it gives the flavor similar to an espresso. Of course, these two aren’t the same, but as a base, the extra dark roast will likely copy the espresso. It’s just the brewing method that makes it different.

For instance, the light roast brewed coffee contains around 60 mg of caffeine while the extra dark roast gives around 50 mg. However, on average, a cup of joe, which is around 237 ml, contains 100 mg of caffeine although the roasting process, the brewing method, or the type of beans can change the levels. This can also happen to extra dark roast coffee.

Best Extra Dark Roast Coffee Brands

For the coffee aficionados, I understand that we all have our own choice of coffee roast. Some may want the light, medium, or dark roast taste, but others would want the smokey and bolder taste of the extra dark roast. Depending on extra dark coffee preferences, there are a few types of beans that you can choose from.

The coffee varieties from Sumatra that give a rich flavor, and Ethiopia with a more chocolatey and caramelized taste are also popular. These are available in supermarkets, coffee shops, or any groceries that sell these coffee varieties.

Here are our personally-picked extra dark roast coffee brands that you can also buy from Amazon.

  • San Francisco Bay Extra Dark Italian Blend
    • This is 100% made from Arabica. It’s Kosher and is sourced from South and Central America. With its strong dark cocoa taste, you can really tell the difference. It’s perfect for espresso and is also Climate Pledge Friendly. Check it out on Amazon.
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters French Roast
    • This is best for automatic coffee machines or drip coffee makers. It gives a flavorful clove and bittersweet chocolatey taste and is 100% made from Arabica coffee. The beans are also sourced from South and Central America. The blend is free from pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides. You can also order this from Amazon.
  • Cameron’s French Roast
    • This is great for French Press or Pour-Over. It’s hand-crafted with a uniques aroma and taste that you can enjoy. It’s also made from 100% special grade Arabica, and the beans are sourced from South and Central America. Most of all, it’s Climate Pledge Friendly, organic, and gluten-free. You can buy it on Amazon.
  • Napalm Extra Dark Roast Ground Coffee
    • Here’s another 100% made from Arabica coffee, and is roasted in the U.S. It’s great for all types of coffee makers such as French Press, espresso machines, drip systems, plunger pots, Aeropress, Keurig, Chemex, among others. Get it from Amazon.
  • Real Good Coffee Co Extra Dark French Roast Whole Bean Coffee
    • This is Kosher certified, made from 100% Arabica coffee, and is free from preservatives and additives. The beans are also sourced from Central and South America with packaging that is 100% recyclable. It’s best for Pour-Over brewing, but you can also have it on Espresso machines, Drip machines, French Press, Moka Pot, and Aeropress. Check it out on Amazon.

Best Types Of Dark Beans For Extra Dark Roast Coffee

While there are too many dark beans these days that are used for dark roast and extra dark roast coffee, some may not be able to achieve the taste and brewing preferences of the coffee connoisseurs. Shall I include myself? Maybe yes? It depends. But here’s a list of our favorite and personally-picked types of dark beans.

  • Colombian Supremo. For the veteran coffee aficionados, the Supremo is mostly their go-to blend with its exquisite hints of milk chocolate, juicy lemons, and brown sugar taste. It’s hard to find the authentic Supremo these days, and if you come across some brands in the market that says 100% Colombian blend, we can’t be sure about that.
  • Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. This is also one of the favorite French Roasts sourced from Ethiopia, the fifth largest coffee producer in the world next to Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia. It’s worthy to note that the best Arabica coffee beans also come from Ethiopia. The Yirgacheffe gets a lot of nutrients due to Ethiopia’s high growing altitude causing the coffee plants to grow slow. This gives the Yirgacheffe exquisite fruity notes with a robust flavor.
  • Tanzania Peaberry. The peaberry that grows on Mt. Meru, or on Mt. Kilimanjaro, unlike any other coffee beans, grows in single fertilization, which gives the unique, chocolatey aroma taste with a hint of oat flavor. It also offers a floral aroma with some coconut, pineapple, or citrus undertones.
  • Sumatra Mandheling. Here’s an Indonesian pride that’s French roasted with maple syrup, toasted almonds, and chocolatey aroma. It’s one of the most common and popular blends that any coffee shops use.
  • Guatemala Antigua. Hailing from Central America, this Guatemalan coffee gives a rich, spicy taste with lemon and chocolate undertones. This is a famous coffee in Guatemala, which is a staple to most coffee shops in the country.

Is Extra Dark Roast Coffee Healthy?

I would say, coffee is always healthy when consumed in moderation. Health experts suggest that dark or extra dark roast coffees are a great source of caffeine if you need to get yourself ready for the day. It also helps lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, among others.

As long as you don’t go past the recommended daily caffeine intake, which is 400 mg, you’re safe.


Extra dark roast coffee, in general, is healthy and doesn’t pose any danger to coffee drinkers. While it’s a personal favorite, it’s still best to test your taste preferences, especially when you’re just starting to fill your body with coffee.

The comprehensive list above will guide you to your coffee adventure. Enjoy your cuppa!