Does Roasting Coffee Reduce Caffeine?

There are some weird myths circulating in coffee circles about roasting and caffeine. It is discussed whether or not the roasting process decreases the caffeine of the coffee. There is a camp that states that light roasts have more caffeine content than darker roasts, but is that the truth, we will see in a few moments. I have made a lot of research and have consulted specialists to verify whether or not light roast has more caffeine than dark roast and vice versa.

When I first started my coffee journey, I had an opinion that darker roasts have a higher level of caffeine thanks to their bitter and strong taste. However, when I was discussing this with my friends and local barista, I started hearing other opinions and more and more people started stating that lighter roasts have higher caffeine content compared to darker roasts, since caffeine is burnt off during the roasting process.

This might not be a very crucial factor for most but for home and small businesses this can be quite important to know, and while we’re at it, I would suggest you take a look at our article about the best coffee roaster machine for small business. I know that for a matter of fact that every roaster wants to know whether or not their caffeine percentage drops during roasting or not. Let’s try and provide some answers.

For example, take some beans from the same origin or very similar origin with the same caffeine content, then light roast one of them and dark roast the other, and measure the same amount from each of them, say 20 grams. If you start counting individual beans you will see that the dark roast has more individual beans than the light roast.

Does this mean that dark roasts deliver the most bang for your buck, no not quite. The longer the beans stay in the roaster the more water they lose meaning that it loses its mass as well, which translates to the loss of density logically. This roughly translates that dark roast is less dense than lighter roasts since they lose about 90% of their water content.

What conclusion can we take out of all this you may ask. Well, it is rather very simple. If you measure your coffee by volume or by scoops, say you put one scoop of coffee for one cup of coffee, lighter roasts have more caffeine content. However, if you weigh your coffee for your coffee, for example, if you measure exactly seven grams of coffee for your espresso, this means that you get more caffeine for darker roasts.

It may sound pretty complicated, and I can comfortably say that the difference is really low to be significant for drinking purposes, however, if you are master roaster you already know this better than us mere mortals, and we might want to learn a thing or two from you. Until the next time.

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