When it comes to health benefits, dark and medium-dark roasts of coffee have something to offer. The researchers discovered that the lighter the roast, the higher the chlorogenic acid content and the better the coffee extract protects human cells against cellular damage. Dark roasted coffee beans are heated to a higher temperature for longer than light roasted coffee beans, resulting in a more consistent level of caffeine regardless of how the beans are measured. However, that extra roasting also eliminates much of the individual flavor and character of the coffee beans in question.
Roasting is a heat process that highlights the aroma and flavor contained in naturally green coffee beans. Light roasted coffee has a grainy, more acidic flavor, which is more like a raw green coffee bean. These variations in roasting explain the differences in the color, density and moisture content of the grains. The differences between light and dark roasted coffee are due to the time the beans roasted and to the temperatures they reached.
If you measure coffee beans by weight with a scale, the most caffeinated infusion will come from dark roasted beans. However, it is important to remember that many of the health benefits of coffee depend on the amount of cream and sugar added to the drink. If the coffee tastes strangely bitter or if you have stomach aches, mental confusion, or nervousness after drinking it, these may be telltale signs that the coffee contains mold or mycotoxins. Dark roasted coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the diet of most Americans. The deep, dark brown color of coffee is the result of these antioxidants, which can help combat free radicals that cause cellular damage and have been linked to cancer.
As long as coffee is measured by weight and not by volume, the caffeine content between the two roasts is very similar (3, 4, 5).