If you’re in a hurry, and don’t have time to read the entire article, then we recommend getting Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend as the best dark roast K Cup.
Every dark roast fan has asked this question, and it’s a difficult question to answer. With hundreds of different brands on the market, it’s difficult to pin one as the best dark roast.
Fortunately, we scoured the market to bring you our top five best dark roast K Cups, so we can at least help you narrow down your choice.
Before we get into the reviews, we’ll quickly cover the differences between each roast, and a few tips to help you get a strong brew out of your K Cup.
Here are the dark roasts we’ll be look at:
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Dark Magic
- Victorian Allen Seattle Dark
- Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend
- Tim Hortons Dark Roast
- Barista Prima Coffeehouse
Dark, Medium and Light Roasts – The Difference?
So, maybe you already know what the differences are and you know you definitely want a dark roast. In that case, you can keep scrolling further down. But for our readers that don’t yet know the difference, hopefully this will help!
A light roast just means that the coffee beans haven’t been in the roaster for long, so they only take on this light brown colour. Compared next to a dark roast, which is much darker in colour, you can spot the difference straight away. But what does this do to the taste?
Well firstly, only certain coffee beans should be light roasted. Other beans are better if they are dark roasted. For example, a coffee bean that has a lot of beautiful berry, citrus, or floral flavours are going to be better light roasted. Simply because we want to keep all those flavours that already come with the bean. These fruity flavours are mostly dependent on where they’ve grown and what soil they were in, so they’re unique to different regions. Depending on where the beans were grown, processed and roasted, they can have a huge range of complex flavours.
Also, because they aren’t roasted for as long, they have a thinner body than that of a dark roast, which means it doesn’t have that thick texture in your mouth. It’s more watery. Nowhere near waters texture though. More like black tea.
A medium roast is in the roaster for a bit longer. Basically, you break down the roasting process into two stages. There’s “first crack” and “second crack”. First crack is where the moisture inside the beans starts to evaporate and create a pressure on the surface of the bean, which then cracks, and the moisture escapes. Second crack is where the same things happens, but for a second time. Medium roasts are typically roasted a little after first crack, but not till second. Light roasts are taken out at first crack.
So, because of this, they take on a darker colour. Their flavour is certainly a happy medium between the two. You can keep some of those complex flavours that you get with light roasts, while also creating those darker, deeper notes like chocolate and nuts.
You’re going to get a more full body with a medium roast. The oils that start to come out of the beans while roasting will begin to build up, but they won’t become super oily. People sometimes think this is a bad thing. If you’ve got an oily light roast, then this probably means they’ve been sitting around for a long time, and will taste stale and flat. If you have oily dark roast, then this is normal. As long as they’re fresh, they’re going to be super flavourful and aromatic.
A dark roast is normally roasted until the second crack, where the beans become drier and less dense due to the moisture evaporating. They tend to reveal all the deeper flavours that the bean has to offer. This happens because the sugars in the coffee beans start to caramelise, and so you get these sweet flavours.
With these deep sweet flavours also come the bitterness. A very dark roast can often have a bitter aftertaste that can put some people off. Personally I do love a dark roast. Those chocolatey, nutty and caramel flavours are so good when you have freshly ground coffee.
If you’re still undecided about what to get, try a light and dark roast coffee side by side, while sipping water in between each mouthful to cleanse your palette. You’ll understand the difference then, and you’re more likely to know which one you prefer.
Dark roasts can be perfect for espresso or for a Moka Pot brewing method.
If you want to learn more about the roasting process, check this video out!
How To Get A Strong Cuppa From Your K Cup
Alright, so because this is an article on the best dark roast K Cups, and you’re still reading it after learning the difference between the roasts, it’s clear we have a fan of dark coffee. So I’ll share with you a few tips on how to get the most out of your Keurig pods.
High Caffeine Content
If you’re wanting a strong brew in the sense that you want a big kick to get the day going, then get a K Cup with a high caffeine content. Some brands have a specialised blend of coffee that has an increased amount of caffeine inside it, which should do the trick.
But understand that only increase your caffeine content if your health permits it. Lots of caffeine can have a negative effect on your health. Plus, if you find yourself upping your caffeine content regularly to get that same ‘hit’, then try coming off it for a few weeks. Your tolerance will come back down. You’ll find when you go back to having one cup of regular coffee, you’ll feel the same effect as you did when you used to drink 3 cups.
Less Water, More Coffee
When you’re brewing your coffee from your K Cup brewer, you may notice that the first few seconds of the coffee being poured is darker than the last few seconds. Well stop that watery coffee from going into your cup and weakening it. If you want a strong, flavourful coffee, then use less water, with the same amount of coffee.
Reusable K Cups
If you get a reusable filter, then you can pack it as full with coffee as you’d like. Plus, your range of coffee opens up. So if you notice a super dark coffee bean on the supermarket shelf, that markets itself on being very strong, then you can use it even if it’s not in a K Cup.
Brewing coffee needs an optimum temperature from maximum coffee extraction. Anywhere between 195F and 205F is ideal. If you have a Keurig 2.0 or a coffee maker that lets you adjust the temperature, make sure it’s around this heat.
Best Dark Roast K Cups – The Reviews
So we know the differences between the roasts, and how to maximise your coffee strength from your K Cup. Let’s take a look at some dark roast K Cups.
- 100% Arabica coffee beans
- Very bold and full bodied
- Low bitterness for a dark roast
- No artificial colours
- Ethical brand
Green Mountain is one of our favourites. The brand is super ethical and promotes sustainability and fair working environments, as well as supporting those communities that survive from the coffee production. They help supply clean water to these communities, plant new coffee trees and pay their farmers well.
This dark roast has a great balance to it and is full of flavour. Some people have even reported buying a Keurig machine specifically because this coffee is not available as a grind or beans, so it must be good. The majority of people on amazon give this roast a five star review, which speaks for itself.
It’s a great choice of coffee if you’re wanting to start the day with a rich and robust brew with a full body. A lot of people certainly think so!
- 100% Arabica coffee beans
- Smokey flavours
- Deep richness
- Non GMO
- Low bitterness
If you like very dark coffee, then Seattle Dark is calling you if you haven’t tried it yet. If you’re someone that often drinks light coffee and is thinking of giving dark coffee a try, this probably isn’t the best dark coffee to try first.
It has a rich and strong coffee flavour, with no bitterness or any other unwanted flavours. Very well balanced. I’ve tried a lot of dark roast K Cup coffee lately, and I’d put this up there with one of the best so far.
Unlike a lot of dark roasts, you don’t get a lingering bitter aftertaste. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still enough time to savour all those flavours, but you’re not left with an unwanted bitterness that makes you want to have a drink of water.
Victorian Allen Coffee have been buying, roasting and packing their coffee since 1979. They know what they’re doing, and have had time to build up a good rapport with the farmers they buy their coffee from. I’d be surprised if they don’t get the pick of the crop each time.
- 100% Arabica coffee beans
- Very unique blend
- Rich and full-bodied
- Renowned for high quality coffee
Peet’s Coffee. The original coffee house. They started the coffee revolution that made coffee the drink we know it as today. Alfred Peet set up shop in California in 1966, when he migrated over from the Netherlands. His father owned and operated a coffee wholesale and coffee bean grindery, and so he took the business over to the US.
So, they have over 50 years of experience of roasting coffee, which means they know what they’re doing. This coffee is a beauty. Characterised by its complexity and boldness, you’ll taste more flavours as you continue to drink it.
Peet’s Coffee are on the ball when it comes to freshness too. They roast their coffee fresh every night, and put the roast date on the bag so you know how long it’s been sitting around. Normally you’ll have the coffee within a week of it being roasted. Anything within 3 weeks is going to be just fine.
- 100% Arabica coffee beans
- Easily recyclable
- Super rich flavours
- Full bodied and a smooth finish
- Same signature blend for over 50 years
Another brand that has been around for a very long time is Tim Hortons. They make a fantastic dark roast blend, that’s rich and smooth. If you’re after a coffee that’s got a full body and a smooth finish then this one could be for you.
People that aren’t often a fan of dark roasts tend to enjoy a cup of this coffee, and I can see why. It hasn’t got a strong, overpowering flavour, which allows you to slowly come to appreciate what all the fuss over dark coffee is about.
That being said, it can also work the other way. Some people don’t think this is good dark coffee because they say it’s too weak. I agree that it may be on the weaker side, but it’s certainly still a dark roast by any definition.
- Rich, heavy body
- Berry notes
- Nicely balanced
- Smokey flavours
Our final dark roast is the Barista Prima. Lots of people reporting a nicely balanced, bold brew and I’d have to agree with them. The aroma that fills the air when you start to brew this K Cup is distinct, and will make people ask you what you’re using.
It’s not for the fainthearted, I’d say you’d have to have tasted a few dark roasts in your time to enjoy this black. Italian roasts are renowned for being very dark and bold, and that’s exactly what you get with this blend.
Like a lot of dark roasts, this coffee comes with a distinct bitterness, which isn’t inherently a bad thing. I personally don’t like a strong bitterness to my coffee, but if that floats your boat then you’ll certainly enjoy this brew.
All of these dark roasts are of top quality. They’ve all been rated incredibly well on amazon, from thousands of buyers. It obviously depends on what your personal preference is when it comes to labelling one of these dark roasts the best. With that being said, I’d give my vote to Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend. I love the history of the brand, and it’s unique blend is something that all dark roast lovers need to try.
If a dark roast isn’t for you, you can check out our light roast reviews here.
Let us know which ones you went for in the comments!