French Roast Vs Italian Roast: The Differences And Which Is Stronger?

french roast compared with Italian roast

There are many different types of coffee beans grown all over the world. Each one has its unique flavour and aroma.

Some of these flavours and aromas are very pleasing to the human palate, while others are not. 

One of the most common questions people ask when they visit a coffee shop is, "Do you have French Roast or Italian Roast?" Coffee shops in America usually have both French Roast and Italian roast, but they have a mixture of both.

The most significant difference between Italian roast and French roast is the coffee’s temperature. In this article, I will give you a simple explanation of why the difference in roasting makes such a big difference. We will also compare italian roast vs french roast and discuss is french roast or italian roast stronger!

Is French Roast Or Italian Roast Stronger?

Most people think that the stronger the coffee, the better. But this is not always so. Some dark roasts can be much more robust than others, and some dark roasts can even be weaker than a lighter roast. 

french roast compared with Italian roast

The difference between a dark roast and a light roast’s strength is more about how it is roasted than what kind of bean is used.

The darker the roasted coffee beans, the longer the water has to dissolve into them before you get a good flavour from them.

If you burn the beans too much, they will break down at too high a temperature and become weak and watery.

A French Roast is often produced by roasting the beans to a dark brown. But to maintain the bean’s quality, they are kept in low ovens for an extended period.

Meanwhile, darker roasts are roasted in higher temperatures for shorter periods, giving them a more exhilarating taste.

Italian roast is semi-light roasts, usually produced between medium to light brown. The beans are roasted at lower temperatures for a more extended period.

It allows the bean to retain its flavour and aroma more effectively, making it better for drinking plain or even with cream.

French vs Italian roast: The difference between Italian roast and french roast tastes

There are lots of good things that happen to coffee beans when they are roasted. Roasting coaxes out the beans’ natural sugars, which is why darker roasts usually taste sweeter and more flavorful than lighter roasts. 

The reason for this is that at a lower temperature, the roast doesn't change the bean's natural sugars; they remain in the bean and roast with it.

The longer you roast a bean at a lower temperature, the more natural sugars become infused within the bean. 

But the thing to remember is that the darker the roast, the smaller the bean becomes. It makes it easier for your body to dissolve these sugars during digestion. 

If you are drinking a light-roasted coffee, you may notice that you have to drink more of it before feeling satisfied. Darker roasted coffee doesn’t have this problem because it is not watery like light roasts are.

The roast flavour is also determined by how long the beans are exposed to heat and how hot they get. Caffeine molecules are fat-soluble, and as they break down, they release fats found within the bean. 

The darker the roast, the more of these fats become processed and released into the beverage. The beans undergo a lot of changes as they go through this process:

  • They lose some water and become flattered.
  • There is a decrease in their softness.
  • There is a breakdown in their aroma.
  • The flavour of the bean becomes concentrated so that it can give you a more satisfying taste.

French vs Italian roast: Which is Better?

Roasting Coffee On Popcorn Popper

However, there are a few drawbacks to darker roasts:

  • The hotter the roast is cooked at a lower temperature, the caffeine releases into the beverage. Those darker roasts have a relatively strong aroma that can be very unpleasant for some people.
  • Dark roasts can have fewer antioxidants than lighter roasts. The darker the roast, the less of these antioxidants are released by it.
  • Dark roasts are often more acidic, which means they can cause acid indigestion for some people.
French roast is the more common kind of roast in American coffee shops and restaurants, and it makes up about 80% to 85% of all roasts. It is the kind of roast your local coffee shop will probably offer. 

It has a medium brown shade and a lightly roasted taste, with no bitter aftertaste. The beans powder easily and tend to become oily as they cool down without losing too much aroma. However, it brews quickly so that the beans remain semi-oily.

Italian Roast or Dark Italian Roast is also called French-style roast. You may see this kind of roast at a restaurant or coffee shop with a more full-bodied taste and less bitterness and oiliness. 

It usually has a dark brown shade, but the beans are still semi-oily when cooled down. Therefore, this roast brews lower for more flavour and aroma.

An Americano roast is a lighter roast obtained by roasting the beans for a shorter time at a lower temperature. 

The beans keep their natural sugars and release them slowly to be too bitter or too oily. Although the taste does not have a robust roasted flavour, it has a medium brown shade and a lightly roasted taste, so it’s mainly sweet with no bitterness to speak of.

This roast is pretty quick to brew, and there is not much odour from the beans after brewing. 

Drinks For Dark Roast Coffees?

Here are some popular coffee drinks that are often served or sometimes made with dark roast coffees.


An espresso drink is long and rich and robust and dark, and it is made by brewing coffee with a minimal amount of water, which extracts more caffeine from the beans.

What is in an espresso?
It is why espresso coffee has a more pungent taste than regular coffee. Also, when made with dark roasts, this drink can be solid.


The latte is a trendy drink made by brewing white or milk coffee with milk and then steaming it in a milk steamer. It has a light brown shade and a rich taste.

The coffee tends to have less aroma than ordinary espresso drinks, which makes the latte less powerful.


The cappuccino is a variation on the latte in which the coffee is blended with either foamed dairy or hot water and steamed in a milking compartment to make foam.

What exactly is a cappuccino?
It has a brown shade with a rich taste. The cappuccino is prepared with dark roast coffee, which makes it more potent than the latter.


Americano is often made by blending dark roast coffee with hot water and steaming it in a milk steamer. It has a brown shade, and it tastes similar to the latte.

The term "Americano" originated because the drink was originally invented in Italy by American soldiers after World War II at an Italian bar called "Americano Bar.


An Affogato is a warm drink made by pouring melted ice cream over a shot of espresso. Mostly you get it in cafes, but you can also get it at home with a shot of dark roast coffee and a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a glass.

You can also add a topping with a drizzle of hot or cold sauce. The Affogato also has a brown shade and a rich taste.

Drip Coffee:

Drip coffees are made by grinding or filtering beans with hot water then letting the steam drip through the grinds to heat the liquids.

Drip coffee can have a brown shade and tastes similar to drip teas. However, dark roast coffee is not recommended for drip brewing because it will change the taste of the brewed coffee, so you might want to use lighter roasted beans instead. 


Melts are coffee drinks that are made by adding milk to coffee. The drink has a light brown shade and a sweet taste. Milk is often added to dark roast coffee to be brewed quickly and still have a rich flavour.

Caffe macchiato

A Caffe macchiato is a drink made by mixing espresso with hot water and steaming it in a milk steamer. This beverage has a light brown shade, and it tastes similar to a cappuccino.

However, as with other coffee drinks, dark roast coffee can change the taste of this drink, so it is best to use lighter roasted beans instead.

Caffe mocha

A Caffe mocha or mocha coffee is made by adding chocolate to café lattes. It has an espresso shot mixed with hot chocolate and steamed in a milking compartment using milk.

What is in a caffe mocha?
The drink has a mocha colour and tastes similar to the cappuccino macchiato. Again, the dark roast can change the taste of this drink, so it is best to use lighter roasted beans instead.

French vs Italian Roast: How are the Coffees Made?

The beans are usually roasted using special apparatus called “roasting machines” by placing them on top of the machine, where they will be heated up.

Then the machine will rotate until the beans are roasted. You can also roast them in a drum roaster, which helps to spread the heat evenly. A French-style roast has more oil than an Italian-style roast.

You can adjust the colour of the beans by adding various ingredients to the mix. Different kinds of beans will cause the beans to have different shades, so this is another factor that determines what kind of roast you will get.

Once the beans are roasted, they are ground into a coffee powder with a grinder. The dust from grinding is then used as a fertilizer for other plants.

The coffee powder is usually transported in bags for sale. In addition, the coffee powder is stored in a freezer to help maintain the quality of the beans.

The beans are usually kept in warehouses or warehouses or warehouses or warehouses, where they can be stored at room temperature to limit bacterial growth. The beans then get transported to outlets where they are open for sale.

Making French Or Italian Roast At Home

Follow the simple instructions below to make your own French or Italian roast coffees at home.

Preparing an Italian-style roast is simple. All you need are the following ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. roasted coffee beans
  • A pan
  • A plastic bag

First, grind the coffee beans using a coffee maker or a grinder. Then transfer the powder to a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for 15 – 30 minutes to cool it. 

Then place the powder in a pan and roast it on low heat for five minutes with a small amount of water added to prevent it from burning. 

Next, add the mixture to the main espresso machine and steam it between 20 and 30 minutes. After steaming, strain the coffee into a cup and add hot milk to taste. Take a sip and enjoy it!

Preparing a French-style roast is simple as well.

  • 3 tbsp. roasted coffee beans
  • A pan
  • A plastic bag

First, grind the beans using a coffee maker or a grinder, and then transfer the powder to a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for 15 – 30 minutes to cool it. 

Then place the powder in a pan and roast it on low heat for five minutes with a small amount of water added to prevent it from burning. 

Next, add the mixture to the main espresso machine and steam it between 20 and 30 minutes. After boiling, strain the coffee into a cup and add hot milk to taste. Take a sip and enjoy it!

Are There Differences In Nutritional Value?

There are a few differences between a dark roast and a black or medium roast coffee. For example, a dark roast has a lower amount of caffeine than other roasts. It also tends to provide more antioxidants. 

Medium roasts are roasted longer than black roasts because the beans tend to become bitter sooner, containing fewer antioxidants. 

Dark roasts tend to have an acidity that black or medium roasts do not have; however, this acidity is still very minimal (less than .02 on the pH scale). Thus, dark roast coffees are safe to drink.


Is Italian Roast Coffee Bitter?

No. Italian roast coffee is roasted in a delicate process, which results in an espresso-like beverage. Because of this, there is not much change in bitterness in Italian roast coffee, but its flavour is much more rich and smooth than the dark roasted coffee (and all other kinds).

Is French Roast Coffee Bitter?

Yes, roasted for between 10 and 20 minutes, French roast coffees are roasted longer, which significantly intensifies the bitterness of the beans. This process makes the coffee produce a bitter flavour.

How Do You Know Which Type Of Roast To Use When Making Your Favorite Drink?

If you are a dark-roast coffee lover, you should use beans that are not too old. Dark roast coffee is usually darker in colour than medium or light roasts so that it won’t have the same creamy texture with milk as dark roast beans. 

If you're looking for something milder with milk, then try medium roast coffee with milk. To make either drink lighter with milk, simply steep for less time or use weaker espresso shots at the same time to dilute the difference. 

Is French Roast The Same As Turkish Coffee?

No. Turkish coffee is not roasted but instead brewed in an entirely different way. Because of the lack of roasting, there is no bitterness in the beans. 

Furthermore, the Turkish method of brewing is different from the Italian and French methods. In the Turkish method, coffee is brewed for 10 minutes, no more, no less. It is then poured into a cup and garnished with sugar.

Is French Roast Coffee Strong?

Yes. French roast coffee is more intense in flavour than dark roast coffee, so it is so much more acidic in taste.

Because of this, we recommend that you try to use milk to cut down on the acid. Dark roast coffee is usually not as strong in taste because of the roasting process.

What Is “First Crack” In Coffee Roasting?

The first crack occurs at around 190 degrees Celsius when the beans start to break open. It is when the oxidation begins, making the coffee taste bitter. Steaming immediately after the first crack helps prevent this bitterness in three different ways. 

First, when the coffee boils, its temperature rises quickly. However, when you steam it, it is heated more slowly, so it has less of a chance to become bitter. 

Second, steam has a much lower boiling point than boiling water. Because of this, moisture is less likely to cause the coffee to become bitter. Third, steaming also tends to preserve the essential oils in the coffee. 

Why Does The Roast Matter?

As mentioned above, the darker the coffee roasted, the more bitter it becomes. It is due to burning or oxidizing that occurs when you roast the beans. 

What Do I Need To Know About Espresso Roasting?

If the coffee beans are not slightly charred on the outside, some will taste too strong and bitter in flavour. It is therefore essential to roast the Italian Espresso beans wisely. 

You can also store the roasted beans in a freezer at a temperature of -18C for approximately three weeks, but the quality will decrease over time.

How Dark Is Italian Roast?

It is very dark! The Italian roast is the darkest one, and we recommend that you use milk to help cut down on bitterness and acidity. Moreover, there are many benefits of drinking Italian roast coffee. 

It is very nutritious, containing amino acids, chlorogenic acid, procyanidins, phytosterols, and flavonoids. Low cost but high nutritional value are the main reasons to drink Italian roast coffee!

Conclusion: French roast vs italian roast 

The main difference between italian roast and french roast is in the roasting process. The italian roast is the first type of roast that gets it started, then you have the french roast where you are more traditional with a even amount of moisture in the bean, however they both have a very different roasting process.

The french roast is a more traditional method of roasting and uses more heat. One of the other main differences between them is that French Roast has less caffeine than Italian Roast. 

Also, to know is french roast or italian roast stronger is simple to analyze, you want to look at the amount of caffeine in an Italian roast and the amount of caffeine in a french roast. 

So, French or Italian? You be the judge.

From Italian to French roast, it is all up to you! Just make sure you don’t drink too much coffee; remember that moderation is key!

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