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10 Best K-Cup® Dark Roast Coffees to Try Right Now

starbuck french roast kcups on counter with keurig brewer

Like you, we were once intimidated by K-Cup® dark roast coffees. We clung to our breakfast blends and french vanilla’s because that dark stuff is only for millennial hipsters. Until we took our sip of a gourmet French roast or Italian blend. When we took time to explore dark roast pods, we fell in love, and think you will too. In this article, we will teach you all about dark roast coffee K-Cup® pods. By the end, you will know what dark roast means, the taste, health benefits, and more. Plus, we will share our ten favorites! 

What Does Dark Roast Coffee Mean

Coffee that has roasted deeply is labeled dark. Dark roast beans are exposed to more heat for a longer time than their light or medium cousins. The result is a blackish-brown, shiny appearance. This process causes different characteristics to emerge in terms of density, caffeine level, flavor, and body. You can thank Italy, France, and Spain for popularizing this method. If you visit one of these countries, you will likely drink a dark roast coffee. And this is why some of the best K-Cup® dark roast coffees share a name with these regions.

What Does Dark Roast Coffee Taste Like?

Syrupy, nutty, and chocolatey are three adjectives we use to describe the taste of dark roast. If we had to choose three nouns to compare it to, they are molasses, toast, and cocoa. Since the taste comes from the roasting process, some brands will use it to disguise a poor-quality bean. This is where dark roast gets a lousy rep since this will result in a coffee that tastes smoky, ashy, and bitter. Always choose coffee made from 100% Arabica beans to assure the best taste. Dark roast coffee will feel heavy in your mouth. The oil brought out by the longer roasting time gives the coffee a more substantial body. So, you will experience a thicker feeling on your tongue. 

holding a mug of starbucks french roast kcups

The 10 Best K-Cup® Dark Roast Coffees

This list is based on one year of sales data, customer ratings, and our tastebuds! Also, we only chose brands that are reputable and easy to find. 

  1. Starbucks Cafe Verona 
  2. Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkin’ Dark
  3. Diedrich Coffee French Roast
  4. Barista Prima Italian Roast
  5. Green Mountain Dark Magic
  6. Folgers Black Silk
  7. Barista Prima Colombia
  8. Green Mountain Double Diamond
  9. Green Mountain Sumatra Reserve
  10. Barista Prima French Roast

Does Dark Roast Have More Caffeine?

Most assume there is more caffeine in dark roast K-Cup® coffee because they “taste stronger.” And, we once thought light roast had more caffeine for some scientific reason. That has now gone by the wayside. Because in truth, the roasting process does not alter the caffeine content. It is more dependent on the preparation method and grinds size. So just how much caffeine is in dark roast coffee K-Cup® pods? There is about 120mg per 8-ounce cup. This varies slightly between brands and roasts. 

Does Dark Roast Coffee Have More Acid?

No. Light roast coffees have the most acid. In fact, it is believed that dark roast can help reduce existing acid in your stomach. The process releases a high amount of N-methyl pyridinium. This compound has been proven to block troublesome stomach acid.

Dark Roast Coffee Benefits

There are many health benefits associated with coffee in general but, even more so with a dark roast. This is thanks to antioxidants and other healthy compounds released in the process. Some of the positive health advantages include:

  • Phenylindanes boost brain health.
  • Full of antioxidants including vitamin E and glutathione.
  • It lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Reduces inflammation. 
  • Boosts mental health. 

Plus, there are no calories unless you add full-fat cream like some of us ; ) Which is the healthiest dark roast coffee K-Cup® pod? It is a fairly even playing field but some special features will appeal the health conscious. Mainly, organic status. Organic K-Cup® pods use coffee beans grown free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. 

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