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Roast Levels vs. Strength Levels - What's the Difference?
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Roast Levels vs. Strength Levels - What's the Difference?

Roast levels, strength levels, caffeine levels; it can all get a bit confusing. We’ve already got a blog (which you can read here) that of clears some of these things up, but as a coffee company that produces both Nespresso® compatible pods alongside wholebean and grounds, we run into an extra set of issues that do tend to make things a bit blurry.

Why do we have two different number scales?

Unfortunately, industry standards are standard, no matter how we’d like to change them - and the fact that we now have two different scales comes from the fact that we sell two different products.

The Pod Scale

On the one hand, you have the Nespresso-orientated strength scale. As explained in our blog, this can be a slightly problematic number for many members of the coffee industry but as it is now so widely used when describing coffee pods, it’s something we’ve come to adopt, and is now used across all our pod products.

The Bean & Ground Scale

The second scale (which is much more common amongst industry professionals) is what we’re bringing in now with our new bean and ground range - and that is linked to roast.

So, how does our new roast scale work?

It’s simple. The higher the number, the darker the roast. And from this, you’ll get a very good idea of exactly what type of coffee you’ll be getting. It might not tell you how much caffeine you’ll be getting in your cup of Honduran coffee, but it will give you a very good idea of what to expect, taste-wise, when you take that first sip.

Roast level matters less for coffee pods as you’re dealing with a very small amount of coffee brewed in a very specific way, but when it comes to bean and ground coffee, roast really is king.

Light Roast - 3 and below

With an emphasis on higher, floral notes, lightly roasted coffees are bright and full of flavour; perfect for those looking to explore the unique and  the unexpected.

Medium Roast - 4-5

Generally speaking, the most common level when it comes to roasting coffee. It preserves the more unusual, exciting elements of high quality coffees whilst keeping them grounded in chocolate-heavy bodies that are generally deeper and longer on the tongue.

Medium-Dark Roast - 6 and above

Roasted for longer, flavours of fruit, nut & citrus are transformed into smoky notes of ripe berries, dark chocolate and sticky-treacle. Especially good when looking for a good continental, espresso-style coffee.

Still not clear?

Hopefully this has made our strength scale nice and clear, but if you have any questions or issues (or just plain don’t agree with us!), please don’t hesitate to get in touch at



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