Favorite Medium-Dark and Dark Roast Coffee Beans?


New member
Dec 17, 2013
Massachusetts, USA
I realize that light roasts and "third wave" coffees and coffee shops are all the rage, but I seem to prefer a medium-dark to dark roast. So what are your favorite medium-dark and dark roasts? Who are your most reliable roasters that do dark roasts well? I will use it mainly in a French press (very rarely as pourover or in a Chemex), and I do use a little sugar and a little regular milk (NOT cream or Half & Half) and I am fairly attached to the use of a little sugar and milk. I am very open to single origin coffees but would also welcome blends or regional coffees that can be obtained year round.

Just for calibration here are my current favorite roasts:

Barrington Coffee Roasters' Vienna Roast Panama Casa Ruiz. My current favorite roast. They label it as a medium roast which I think is accurate but they do include it in their "dark roast sampler".

Barrington Coffee Roasters' French Roast Costa Rica Doka Estate. Another fine roast from the same roasters. I would describe this as medium-dark rather than truly dark.

Peet's Major Dickason Blend. I do like it.

I used Starbucks' French Roast for years as my everyday coffee bean, but even I reluctantly agree that it is too charred to be considered truly good. The fact however that I used it for years should indicate for you that I have calibrated my taste buds to the dark side!

In the last few days I have tinkered with some lighter roasts from Blue Bottle, Counter Culture and Barrington Coffee, including some that got very high reviews on, but my reaction to them has been mostly negative.
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New member
Jul 19, 2013
Tempe, AZ
From what I have roasted, I prefer Sumatra for dark far as medium roasts, I really enjoy El Salvadorian beans. As a roaster, I think of it as origin.


New member
Mar 28, 2012
We use peruvian beans for our darkest offering. However, I don't take anything past a french roast.

I think very light roasts are a passing fad. There are few beans that really show well on the lightest end of the spectrum, imo.


New member
Jan 19, 2014
Yeah it kinda sucks that city+ and full city are considered too dark by a lot of roasters these days. IMHO coffee is ready when first crack finishes and not a second early. I have found that a lot of African varieties can be taken a bit darker and hold up very well to a full city or full city+.


New member
Jan 4, 2014
I just got Sumatra beans from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Very good!

I also got French Roast from Starbucks. Slightly more bitter tasting than the Sumatra beans but the aftertaste has a very nice creamy finish.

If I were to choose between the two I'd get the Sumatra.

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