It’s a common misconception that the roast of coffee beans determines how strong it is. The type of bean and origin of where they were grown will be what determines how strong a cup of coffee is. Italian Roast and French Roast are different in terms of their flavor profile, but this doesn’t mean that one is stronger than the other. This blog post will tell you about the difference between Italian roast and French roast
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What Is French Roast?
French roast coffee is a double roasted, dark roasted coffee that has an intense,
smoky-sweet flavor. French roasts are very dark (nearly burnt) with intense and bold flavors that overpower other coffee beans’ features like origin or varietal. French roast coffees have less acidity than lighter roasts which makes them taste more watery in texture and
French roasts are less acidic than lighter roasts (e.g., cinnamon light roast), and have a more roasted flavor profile. It often has a charred and charcoal-like note. French coffee often has a burnt, charcoal-like flavor.
French roasts, dark roasts in general, overpower the other flavors and aromas of coffee beans. The extraction process for the drink does not allow drinkers to detect certain features of beans such as origin and varietal.
To Summarize, The Profile Of French Roast Coffee Consists Of
- Intense and bold
- Very dark (nearly burnt, often smoky)
- Somewhat sweet
- Much less acidic than lighter roasts
- Thin in body, with a more watery mouthfeel than some coffees
Why Is It Called French Roast Coffee?
It’s a little confusing, but don’t worry. Even though these coffees might seem like they were named for the country of origin or for what type of bean was used, you can think of the “country” name as a description to tell you which roast preferences are involved.
International exploitation from the 19th century led to a change in coffee preference. There is now a distinction between Spanish, Italian and French roasts (French roast just refers to how light or dark you want your coffee roasted.)
What Is Italian Roast Coffee
Italian Roast Coffee is a darker roast. It is much less acidic than lighter roasts and has a more watery mouthfeel, which means that it’s easier to drink black because this coffee won’t sting your throat or taste as intense compared with other types of dark roasted beans.
The popular belief is that Italian Roast coffee originated from Italy around the late 19th century.
Italian roast coffee is often served as a dark, bitter-tasting beverage with milk and sugar to cut the acidity of the beans. It can also be used at home in place of water for preparing tea or cocoa because it does not produce tannins as darker roasts do.
Italian roasters use beans that are very dark and oily when they roast their coffee. At this roast level, beans have roasted past the second crack and become dark. The oils and flavors are brought to the surface with a sweet-but-charred flavor.
Why Do Italian Roasts Have Such A Dark Roast?
Roasting dark beans burns out all the flavor and you won’t notice if they are old or low quality.
The coffee may have been roasted half a year ago, which you will not notice.
In Italy, most coffee is made as espresso. Super-dark roasts will yield the generic “espresso” taste.
Primitive espresso machines had one setting and didn’t extract many nuances from coffee. This meant less incentive to roast to the flavor potential of the coffee, so they roasted heavily with little variety.
Is An Italian Roast, The Same As An Espresso?
Espresso describes how the coffee beverage was made, not the roast level! So, you can use Italian or French roasts to make espresso.
Espresso is made to be thick and intense in flavor, so both Italian and French coffee beans are perfect for the brewing process. The difference between espresso and regular coffee is that espresso beans are much smaller in size.
Taste Of Italian Roast Starbucks
Italian roast has a more citrusy and sharp taste that contrasts the dark bittersweet chocolate found in french roast coffees. The bitter tastes are stronger in the finish, but never fully overpower the sweet flavors which always remain pleasantly present throughout the aftertaste.
This coffee has a dark-roast bitterness with an exceptionally fresh citrusy sharpness. It is not the darkest roast, but it tastes like a darker version of everyone’s French roast.
Difference Between Italian Roast And French Roast
There is not much difference between the two types of roasts. Experienced roasters can produce a French roast with green coffee beans from Ethiopia, and produce Italian roast using Columbia beans- they will both taste similar because, at this level, all beans are roasted to the darkest of their spectrum so that they retain their natural flavor profile.
Both Italian and French roasts are what we call “dark” roasts. They undergo the same process of being roasted for a prolonged period, but due to where they originate from, their dark color and flavor differ slightly.
The different levels of roasting impact how the coffee will taste. The dark roast flavor you experience is not just from the boiling but the actual roasting process. It was also important to note that a large amount of caffeine is lost as roasting occurs.
French roasts are dark but not intense. Though they can have a burnt taste, it also features a sweet flavoring underneath.
Italian roast is roasted for longer than other dark roasts which gives it a stronger flavor and the potential to taste burnt or bitter. Italian roast is sometimes even referred to as “Dark French.”
Even though you might not be able to pick out the difference between the two roasts, there certainly is a difference. Italian roast is much stronger than French roast.
That’s the difference between Italian roast vs French roast. Both are full-bodied and intense, but they work differently with food. The richer flavor of a French Roast complements sweets better than an Italian roast which is used more in savory dishes like sauces or dips for meats and vegetables served as appetizers
One of the most distinctive things about coffee is how different roasts taste and feel in your mouth as you drink it. French roast is just one type of coffee, but a lot of people don’t know what sets French roast apart from other types. French roast was made up because that’s where it tastes best. Traditional Italian roasts are heavy
Both French and Italian roasts take the coffee beans to their blackest point, making them two of the darkest roasts available.
French roast is roasted at high temperatures for a longer period than other roasts, giving it light to dark brown color while not going past the traditional dark coffee. The result is a more delicate tasting cup of coffee that isn’t overly bitter. French roast doesn’t involve the highest temperature so this won’t ruin the taste of your coffee by over-roasting the beans.
Italian roasts are roasted at a lower temperature for a shorter time than other types, making them one of the darkest roasts available. They have an intense, robust flavor with more caffeine and less acidity than traditional Italian roast because it is over-roasted.
Italian roasted coffee beans undergo a longer roasting duration than French roast. The result is a more bitter and burnt taste, along with the traditionally heavier body weights for which Italian brews are known.
The Coffee Culture In Italy And France
In Italy, people enjoy coffee right there at the bar instead of to-go. Coffee drinkers in Italy enjoy it when it’s hot and freshly brewed.
Reusable coffee cups that retain heat sound perfect, but there are a few things to consider before you buy one.
Italians drink espresso quickly while standing at the local coffee shop, in contrast to how most people on the other side of the pond lounge around in cafes sipping their coffee.
In Italy, a coffee break is known as “una pausa”. This means to take a pause because your morning has been busy already and it’s time for someone else to get up too. Italians have an unspoken tradition where they’ll buy an espresso or a shot of espresso with biscotti before continuing their day of work
Most coffee shops in Italy have countered with limited seating. Italians do not typically linger at cafés or hang out as they are used to engaging in a fast-paced life, which makes sitting and waiting for a coffee unusual.
French people don’t just stop for a quick coffee as they pass through; it is enjoyed at leisure.
In stark contrast, the French may while away a whole afternoon in cafés. They do not power-walk as they chug their to-go coffee cups. Instead, they sit and enjoy the coffee before being on their way because people-watching is considered a national sport in France (or so I have heard).
The cafés in France are built with the comfort of their customers in mind. If you want to relax for a while, order your coffee from a bar and chat away as you watch passers-by go by on the street (which is why terrasse chairs are facing outside). Or, if you want to stay seated for a few hours, find a cozy corner to curl up and read your book.
If it’s quick, get in, grab-a drink/eat something on the go then move along the type of coffee you are looking for, France is not where you will find it. But if you want some good quality French roast with or without cream that will help you stay awake while exploring the country, or in an air-conditioned café with a beautiful view of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral across the street for people watching on your terrasse chair as you sip iced watermelon lemonade and enjoy a croissant at noon that is just what France has to offer.
Note: Your waiter will eventually come by and present your bill, but you don’t need to rush. Feel free to stay for as long or as short a time as suits you without disturbing anyone else being seated.
Important to the French, not just the coffee they drink, is the pâtisserie that goes with it. The French coffee culture is all about the experience—the pleasure of taking a moment out of your busy day, with a cup of coffee and delicious French pastry in hand.
How Are French And Italian Roast Coffees Made?
The roasting process of coffee beans is what gives flavor to it. The length of time these beans are roasted will be the deciding factor in how dark the roast turns out, which means both Italian and French roasts are considered dark roasts.
Which Roast Is Darker?
Italian roast coffee beans are typically darker than French roasted coffee beans and espresso blends.
The difference between an Italian roast and a French roast is akin to the difference of strength in coffee. Darker roasts like the French style give you less sharp flavors, but more subdued ones. Italian roasts are much stronger and full of flavor albeit strong enough that they might overpower any dish it accompanies.
Is Italian roast darker than French?
Italian Roast is much darker and oilier than a French Roast and often preferred in Italy.
What makes French Roast different?
French roast coffee is far less acidic and roasted in flavor. It often has a charred, charcoal-like note. Dark roasts like French roast completely overpower the flavor and aroma nuances of the coffee beans themselves
Is French Roast stronger than a dark roast?
French roast coffee is strong in flavor, with a dark, smoky aroma and pungent taste. In terms of caffeine, French roast is no stronger than any other dark roast.
When we stop and honestly consider the difference between French and Italian roast coffee, the answer is not as cut-and-dry. The two types of roasts are an approximation of each other–they just roast differently. The difference in terms of roasting usually stems from the style of the roaster and their interpretation. Both the French and Italian roasts are a very dark caramelization done by smoky charring. They have a deep, robust flavor.
I am Ralph Mason and I am a passionate coffee drinker. I worked as a barista for a few years and since 2012 I have been trying to convince as many people as possible of good coffee.
I started writing on the barista blog on RepublikCoffeeBar in 2018. It was a pure hobby site and I tested coffee products like coffee machines, beans, mug, and other accessories. After the first year, my blog is becoming a well-known coffee site with about 100 thousand visits per month.
In 2019 I decided to focus on RepublikCoffeeBar only. I became a full-time coffee blogger and was declared crazy by many.