Everything You Wanted to Know About French Roast Coffee

Everything You Wanted to Know About French Roast Coffee



There are many, many kinds of coffee blends and brews in this world… but few have the same sort of reverential name-recognition as French roast coffee.  Walk into any coffee shop, anywhere, and they are always going to carry French roast.  Nor is it ever an inappropriate choice!  From Houston to Hindustan, everyone seems to love a good French roast.

Except, oddly, many don’t actually know that much about it.  People can probably recognize its distinctive savory taste, but not how it’s made or where it comes from.  (Hint: it’s not France!)

So, let’s investigate this ubiquitous, yet mysterious, popular roast.

What is French Roast Coffee, Anyway?

Maybe it will surprise you to learn that, much like French fries and French vanilla flavoring, “French roast coffee” actually has very little to do with France.

The name actually dates back to the 18th and 19th Centuries, when coffee-drinking was spreading across Europe and the Americas.  Coffee roasters were looking for ways to standardize production and a naming system evolved where different levels of darkness in the roasting were associated with different places.  Occasionally these lined up with a preferred national roast, but they were mostly arbitrary.

Some of the other roasts in this early naming scheme included New England roast, Spanish roast, Italian roast, and American roast.

Since then, coffee roasters have gotten more exact in their naming.  There’s now a specific device called an Agtron meter, which uses spectrographic analysis to rate the color profile of coffee beans on a scale of 0-100.  The lower the number, the darker the roast. Officially, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, “French roast” coffee has an Agtron rating between 28-35.

Also, French roast has nothing to do with the type of bean, either.  Just the darkness of the roast.  “French roast” only means that it’s a relatively dark roast.

Being a dark roast gives French roast a few interesting qualities as a coffee, which undoubtedly contribute to its ongoing popularity among coffee-drinkers.  For one thing, it’s a relatively low-acid coffee.  The darker the roast, the less acid remains.  So, it’s popular among those with stomach issues.

Also, being so heavily roasted gives the coffee a very distinctive smoked flavor.

In fact, one big reason that French roast coffees taste so similar from region to region is that the roasting process overpowers the natural flavor of the coffee bean.  So, people can order a French roast almost anywhere and get a cup of coffee that tastes just like they expect!

No wonder it’s become such a global favorite.

Cafe Don Pedro Has the Roasts You Crave

Whether you’re a lover of French roast or any other kind of coffee, we can provide it!  We have a multitude of beans, roasts, and flavors available, and can provide it in any form you like.  From beans to K-Cups, our coffee is a genuine Houston favorite.

Visit us online or call us today at (713) 827-1367 to experience Cafe Don Pedro for yourself!