French Roast vs Italian Roast | Two Epic Roasts Battle

Starbucks lovers, can you spend a day without coffee? Never! But which coffee do you prefer? Medium, dark, and light roasts are understandable, but what about the other divisions of dark roasts? Yes, people that are fond of dark roasts will love to try all of the dark roast beans!

And this takes us to the most common two coffee roasts-the Italian roast and the French roast. Today, we will check out the battle of French roast vs. Italian roast so that the next time you roast it at home, you get it perfect!

Get your eyes on the screen and start learning the differences!

French Roast vs. Italian Roast

About French and Italian Roast

Before you learn the basic differences between French Roast and Italian Roast, you have to know what these are. Let’s learn the details about both coffees.

What is French Roast?

Yes, we can easily understand the basics of dark roasts, medium roasts, and light roasts. Then what is a French roast? No friends, we are not talking about French toast, we are talking about French roast coffee. Whenever the topic is a darker roast, the name of French roast is taken with pride. The name of this coffee is given as a symbol of the tradition and taste of European coffee roasters of the 19th century.

We have already told you that French roasts are the darker roasts. But, if you measure in a scale, you will know that Italian roasts are almost equally dark as the Vienna or French roasts. Italian roasts are commonly known as Espresso roasts. But if you are going for one drip-brewed coffee with one espresso shot, you will know what is red-eye coffee!

However, French roast is lighter than the Italian roast. In this case, also remember that the coffee doesn’t need to be originated in a specific country or area to be the darkest. A lot of coffee beans can be roasted and turned into French roast.

You can go for African coffee beans, Central American Coffee beans, or Indonesian Coffee beans, turning them into French roast. No matter where your beans are grown, you can turn them into this one if you know the process!

What is Italian Roast?

Coffee lovers never forget Starbucks. And this company is the one that gave proper attention to Italian Roast. Mostly known as Espresso roast, Italian roast coffee is great for people that love flavored coffee. The name of the Italian roast is a little deceiving because this is not from Italy.

The beans of the Italian roast are from Asian countries along with the Latin American and African countries. Now, let’s again talk about the same thing, it doesn’t matter where the coffee beans are from because the only thing matters are how you roast the beans.

Both French and Italian roasts are known as dark roasts. Does coffee make you sexually active if you drink the dark ones? Yes, they definetely do! And that’s the reason you should settle for dark roasta like both of these. To knock it down with an easy conclusion, the darkest roast of all time is the French Roast. Along with this, these have an oilier appearance than the French roast.  

Difference Between French and Italian Roast Coffee


Whenever we talk about the darker roasts, French roast coffee will be on the upper end. However, if you are talking about the flavor, things might be different. The strongest roast in terms of flavor is not the French roast.

Yes, sometimes, you may see that French roast has a burnt flavor. But in terms of the flavor, it is mild. On the contrary, Italian roast is very strong in terms of flavor. In the process of roasting, the Italian roast stays a little longer than the other one. As a result, you get a stronger flavor than the other roasts.

As for this reason, some people call it Dark French too! In short, the Italian roast is stronger than the French one! If we summarize the whole thing, French roast is bitter or has a burnt flavor. But the Italian roast is bitterer or burn if you compare them.


The Making Process of French and Italian Roasts

As we have already told you, the making process is what makes the coffee roasts different. Let’s learn how both of these coffee roasts are made so that you can easily understand the difference between them.

1. French Roast in the Making

While roasting French roast the temperature of the coffee beans would reach 464 Fahrenheit. This is the internal temperature of the beans. As you need dark coffee beans, you have to wait for the beans to get darker. And as the color will get darken, more oil will appear there.

In this case, these will be dark brown. And the oil will be shimmering. This coffee roast is often called Second Crack. This refers that when you are cooking this roast; go for the intensity when you hear two cracks. When the steam is released, you will hear a crack. On the other end, when the cell wall of the beans will break, you will hear another crack.

At this particular time, it will release oils and it will cover the beans’ surface. This is known as the second crack because most of the beans we settle for the only crack once while cooking!

2. Italian Roast in the Making

As we said, Italian roast is dark; the cooking process takes a little longer in the case of Italian roast than of the French roast. It is roasted till the beans get a lot oily. The color of this roast is cooked into dark and rich color.

And for this, it is roasted at a temperature from 437 degrees Fahrenheit to 446 degrees Fahrenheit. In the whole process, as it is roasted more than the French roast, the caffeine along with the acidity is reduced.

Caffeine Level

No matter if you believe that the darker roasts have higher caffeine, you are wrong! In comparison to the lighter roasts, mostly, the darker roasts have less caffeine. If you keep the coffee bean in the roasting process for a long time, the caffeine molecules will be burned.

So, whenever you are settling for lower caffeine you can go for both of these darker roasts. However, as the French roast has a bitterer or more burnt flavor, the caffeine level of the Italian roasts less. And compared to this one, the caffeine level of this French roast is lower.


The surface of the French Roast coffee is oily. On the other hand, the Italian roast has an oilier appearance than the French roast. In short, French roast is dark and oily but Italian roast is darker and oiler.

Wrap Up

So, you know how that French roast and Italian roasts are not the same at all! Both of these roasts have differences and they vary from each other. You can taste both of them and have exploring which one you love the most!

Have a look at our blog; you’ll learn some amazing methods of making and roasting your favorite beans! Don’t wait for Starbucks; you can do it alone now!

Brian MacCarthy

About the author

This is Brian, your main author for Coffee Tasse. We Review & Guide through various Coffee Machine and Accessories for your batter morning.