What is Extra Dark Roast Coffee?

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coffee bean rainbow

Since all coffee beans create a beautiful black drink, how come some beans are so much darker than others? On the far right of a coffee bean roast spectrum, you’ll find extra dark roast coffee.

Extra dark roast coffee gets its name from being roasted a little longer than the average dark roast. The beans are black and burnt in appearance with an oily surface. The common flavors of extra dark roast coffee are often described as dark cocoa and brown spice with a smokey aftertaste.

The extended roasting process leaves these beans with a few benefits for long-time coffee lovers, especially individuals who suffer from coffee-related discomforts. Let’s explore the flavor and roasting process of dark roast coffee in a little more detail.

Extra Dark Roast Coffee

So, you’re probably thinking, what makes extra dark roast so special? Or, how is extra dark roast any different than regular dark roast coffee?

Obviously, both roasts have more in common than what sets them apart. 

The two noticeable differences are their appearance and flavor.

Take a look at the comparison of dark roast and extra dark roast coffee bean’s unique colors.

Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Extra Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Extra Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Extra Dark Roast Coffee Beans

The first noticeable difference is the color. Dark roast coffee beans are usually dark brown, whereas extra dark roast coffee beans are darker, almost blackish.

Both will have an oily and glossy surface because of the roasting process.

As you’ve probably guessed, coffee beans don’t get any darker than the extra dark roast unless they’re burnt, of course.

The second major difference between the two beans is the flavor and aftertaste.

What Does Extra Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like?

The darkest coffee drinks are full-bodied with robust, bold tastes.

Extra dark roast coffee often tastes like bittersweet chocolate and brown spice. Those flavor notes are always accompanied by bold and smokey accents.

From the first sip, you can tell extra dark roast beans have a different quality than all other roasts. The additional time these beans spent being roasted is always apparent on your tongue.

This isn’t your average or hipster cuppa! Extra dark roast is something you need to grow into. More often than not, it’s the mature individuals that enjoy the smokey flavors of extra dark roast, and not new coffee clientele.

Is Extra Dark Roast The Same Thing as French Roast?

French roast and Italian roast are both examples of extra dark roast coffee beans.

As described before, they are darker and more oily than a regular dark roast.

To make things simple, French roast coffee is a little darker than your average dark roast, and Italian roast is a little darker than the French roast.

They are very similar in appearance and can be taught to tell apart. Their uniqueness is even harder to explain.

French roast coffee is dark and oily, Italian roast coffee is even darker(blacker) and oilier. The same goes for flavor. French roast is bittersweet and smoky, Italian roast is a tad bit more bitter and ashier.

To find out more about the difference between French and Italian roast coffee take a look at PrimaDonnaLife.

Health Benefits of Dark Roast Coffee

Tons of people are choosing dark roast coffee over the lighter options, and the flavor isn’t the only reason why. Here are a couple of the advantages of drinking dark roast coffee:

  • Less caffeine, ideal for people trying to cut down their caffeine consumption.
  • Less acidity, great for anyone suffering heartburn, acid reflux, or IBS.

If you’re looking for ways of avoiding certain coffee-related discomforts, take a look at these simple ways to make coffee less acidic.

Extra Dark Roast Coffee You Should Try

In case you’re ready to try this roast for yourself but don’t know where to start, take a look at my list of the best extra dark roast coffee beans!

After trying each batch, I’ve only good things to say. Personally, I choose espresso but I understand everyone makes coffee differently.

I divided them by brewing method to make it easier for you to choose!

Best Extra Dark Roast Coffee Beans For Automatic Coffee Machines (Drip Coffee Makers)

Stumptown Coffee Roasters French Roast

  • Beans sourced from Central and South America
  • Tasting Notes: Clove & Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 100% arabica coffee

Stumptown French roast is delightfully smoky and flavorful. These beans radiate notes of clove & bittersweet chocolate, ideal for anyone looking for something a little stronger than a normal dark roast.

They’ve done a fantastic job selecting denser coffee beans that can withstand a dark roast, so each brew has a full flavor. The choices end in a balanced and full-bodied cup of joe.

I also appreciate that this blend is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

If drip coffee is your thing, you may be interested in other coffee beans perfect for drip coffee machines.

Best Extra Dark Roast Coffee Beans For Espresso

SF Bay Extra Dark Italian Blend

  • Sourced from Central and South America
  • 100% arabica coffee
  • Kosher coffee beans

These beans have a strong dark cocoa flavor and are a must-try for anyone looking for that real smoky coffee taste.  Everyone can enjoy these beans, but I want you to be aware of the difference between a dark roast and an Italian extra dark roast.

You can expect the extra dark roast beans to have burnt notes, licorice-like flavors with an almost wet texture.

It has low acidity and can be the perfect addition for people who like to experiment with different flavors on occasion.

Espresso is my favorite type of coffee and if you enjoy it as well, take a look at my espresso coffee bean hit list to find the perfect shot!

Best Extra Dark Roast Coffee Beans For French Press and Pour-Over

Cameron’s French Roast

  • Beans sourced from Central and South America
  • 100% Special grade Arabica
  • Organic, gluten-free

Camerons pride themselves on their hand-crafted and small-batch roasted products, and if you like to brew coffee manually, you’ll love these beans. 

Since they only choose the top 10% of beans in the world for their coffee, expect your drink to be dark, rich, and smooth.

They’ve really done a fantastic job of not over roasting this batch and successfully brought out its unique flavor and aroma.

Want to see more coffee beans ideal for manual brewing techniques? Here you can find all my favorites for the French press.


Extra dark roast coffee tends to be more suitable for mature coffee drinkers. Simply put, individuals who’ve enjoyed dark coffee for years, or decades, develop a pallet that light roast coffee doesn’t satisfy.

The flavor, body, and aroma of extra dark roast allow these people to experience the real flavors of coffee beans while they continue to enjoy their favorite coffee drink.

That’s not to say you won’t enjoy it if you’ve never had coffee before.

You should know everything there is to know about extra dark roast coffee. So, the next time you have the choice of Italian or French roasts coffee beans, you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into.

Related Questions

Is Extra Dark Roast Coffee Stronger?

Extra dark roast coffee has a much stronger flavor but less caffeine than a normal coffee.

The stronger flavor is a result of the longer roasting process. The flavor is bolder and more pronounced in every sip.

Longer roasting also causes the coffee beans to lose some of their caffeine, therefore it doesn’t provide the same type of boost of energy as a normal cup of joe.

What Is the Best Type of Coffee Roast?

Normal, or medium coffee roast is the most popular roast and is a fantastic starting point for anyone new to the coffee community.

Each roast has unique qualities ideal for different individuals, situations, even times of the day.

To get more information about the best types of coffee beans and coffee roast, take a look at this article dedicated to the subject.

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