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Camp Coffee – Understanding the Difference in Coffee Roasts

Published on June 7th, 2022 by Contributor

Which Camp Coffee Roast Do You Prefer When RVing?

We’ve all had the “which coffee is best” argument. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming. What is a light roast? A dark roast? Which has more caffeine? What about low acid? This becomes even more important when deciding on your camp coffee when you’re traveling in an RV and space is limited to one coffee pot. It’s impossible to let everyone make their own choice…or is it? 

In this article, you’ll learn about the different roast types and one coffee-making method that allows everyone in your group to get the kind of camp coffee they want without forcing their opinion on others.

#1 Camp Coffee Myth – Which Roast Has the Most Caffeine?

Let’s get the most important question out of the way first: which roast has the most caffeine? If you thought that darker roasts have more caffeine, you thought wrong. The lighter the roast, the more caffeine it has. The longer the coffee is roasted, more of the caffeine is “roasted away.” 

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Light Roast Coffee

Light roast is the least popular consumer roast in America, with only about 15% of us drinking it regularly. That said, light roasts are gaining popularity because they bring out the unique characteristics of the bean and its origin, which is often floral, fruity or earthy. You are going to get few, if any, external flavors from the roasting process, so many consider light roasts to be the way camp coffee “should” taste. 

Light roasts also have no oil on their surface and often have a light body (you could also call it “thinner”) and will have high acidity. You achieve a light roast by heating the beans to 350-410 degrees. You might also see light roasts being called cinnamon roast, light city roast, or half city roast. Wildland Coffee’s lightest roast camp coffee is actually a medium roast, although it is very popular amongst those who prefer light roast. 

Medium Roast Coffee

Medium roast is what most Americans are comfortable drinking as they are a good mix between acidity, sweetness, and body. As the beans reach a medium roast you start to lose taste from the bean and start getting flavors from the roasting process itself. The experience is going to be more complex than a dark roast without the bittersweet aftertaste.

Medium roast coffees are roasted to 410-440 degrees and characterized by having little to no oil on the surface, having a fuller body (thicker mouthfeel) and are becoming less acidic compared to their light roast counterparts. You will also see medium roasts called breakfast blend, house roast, or American roast. Wildland Coffee’s medium roast is a great choice for anyone in this camp. 

“If you thought that darker roasts have more caffeine, you thought wrong. The lighter the roast, the more caffeine it has. The longer the coffee is roasted, more of the caffeine is “roasted away”

Zach Frantz –  CEO / Founder – Wildland Coffee
Wildland coffee single serving packs.

Dark Roast Camp Coffee

Dark roasts are where you typically get no flavor from the bean and all the flavor from the roasting process. Most people would describe this as a very bold and smoky taste. They will have the fullest body, will be the least acidic, and have the least caffeine. Dark roast and camp coffee are practically synonymous.

Dark roasts are noticeably oily on the surface and are roasted to 440 degrees and up. Anything over 465 degrees will start to be charred and burned. Other names for dark can be french, Italian, or espresso roast. While dark roasts are typically more bitter, the specialty grade and blend of Wildland Coffee’s dark or extra dark roast are great for people who prefer bolder coffee with no bitterness.


Whether you’re a full-time RVer or a weekend warrior, we know how important your camp coffee is and how varied everyone’s preferences are. Historically, if you had an RV coffee maker, you would make one batch of coffee for everyone. With Wildland Coffee, everyone can make their own cup according to their roast preference. Each single-serving pouch lets you enjoy your favorite cup of camp coffee, your way. Get Wildland today and use the code RVLIFE15 for 15% off your first order.

About Wildland Coffee

Camper steeps Wildland Coffee bag in cup over campfire.

Wildland Coffee’s vision is to be the #1 coffee brand for the outdoor enthusiast by creating amazing coffee products that help you get out and enjoy the outdoors. The best way to think about Wildland Coffee is french press quality, with the ease of tea! Because Wildland is a steeped coffee, all you need to do is heat up 8oz of water and steep the bag for 8 minutes to get a delicious cup of coffee with that french press taste.

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8 thoughts on “Camp Coffee – Understanding the Difference in Coffee Roasts”

  1. An advertisement for a brand of coffee.
    And we do take two coffee pots in our 5th wheel. Actually, three, a percolator for dry camping.
    My motto: Life is too short to drink weak coffee.

  2. Instant coffee. Heat the water, put the coffee in the cup, stir, and ready to drink as is, or add sugar and/or creamer or milk as desired. I pick the brand I like, and if anyone else wants a different brand they can bring it, except for the wife her I will add the coffee of her choice, everyone else is on their own. Makes life a whole lot simpler that way.

    • You certainly could bring a french press. I like the teabag style while boondocking because I get the french press quality without wasting water for cleanup. I get to heat up water in an electric kettle, brew and toss the bag. No loose coffee grounds to rinse out of the press. The electric kettle is nice for when I want tea, or I’m making ramen too. I’ll admit though, using my french press feels fancy when I use it, but the lazy no cleanup craving side of me still opts for teabag style. 🙂

      Thanks for being a Camper Smarts reader.

  3. Great article… I carry my roaster with me and 25# of green beans. Its an energy hog (1500w) so I may roast a couple days ahead if I’m going to be away from shore power.

  4. I just bring a K-Cup brewer and a variety of K-Cup brands. Yet I just get Medium roast brands and vary my cups amongst them.

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