What is French Roast Coffee?

What is French Roast Coffee?

You won’t be surprised to know that your cherished coffee beans don’t grow in the country of France but along the bean belt, as discussed in our “Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?” article.

So if french roast coffee isn’t grown in France, what on earth is it?

An Overview


For your coffee to be drinkable, the raw beans are processed in various ways including through roasting. The degree to which a bean is roasted depends on whether you’re looking for a light, medium or dark roast bean and all the flavours that come with these gradations.

The french roasted coffee bean refers to a bean that has been roasted to a specific degree as per the historic norm and preferred flavour profiles in the country of origin, namely France. As the french roasted bean is roasted to a certain degree it adopts a specific colour and flavour unique amongst the copious coffee bean market.

What is The Flavour of French Roast Coffee?


The degree to which a coffee bean is roasted can actually be placed upon a quantifiable scale called the “Agtron Gourmet Scale”. This scale ranks beans anywhere between 25, the darkest roast, and 95, the lightest. French roasted coffee ranks anywhere between 28 and 35 making it a relatively dark roasted bean offering flavours that are most revered by the French public.

The quintessential culinary delights of France offer the same richness and mouthfeel provided by a heavily roasted coffee. Roasting the bean to such a heavy extent means that you invoke a smokiness and richness not often found in most dark roast beans. The intensity of roasting also means that most acidity and bitterness is removed from the resultant bean offering you a smooth, rich and slightly smoky flavour.

How Is French Roast Coffee Made?


How is such an intensity in flavour achieved by roasting? French roasted coffee is produced by roasting the beans until they significantly darken in colour and their internal temperature reaches 464F. Once this stage is reached you’ll notice that beans develop an oily appearance to them. This oily sheen is created because the beans go through what’s called a “second crack”: a literal cracking sound that you’ll hear in the presence of heavily roasted beans. The first crack you hear is the release of water vapour from inside the bean, the second is when the cell walls in the beans break down releasing the inner oils to the bean’s surface.

Most coffee is only roasted till the first crack making French roast coffee unique in this regard.


So there you have it, the deep and rich French roast coffee bean is not one that is reared in France but is merely roasted to the darkest shade of brown. If you’re looking for a heavy, rich and virtually acid-free bean then look no further than the classic and sophisticated French roast coffee.