What Makes A Blonde Espresso?

Blonde espresso is known by other names: blonde roast, light roast, and blonde espresso roast. The title refers to lightly roasted coffee, and the color of the beans is blonde in appearance.

Roasting coffee beans between 356 to 401 degrees Fahrenheit is what makes a blonde espresso. These coffee beans are pretty light and have a high acidity level. Light beans tend to have a dry surface, and the body is also light. The roaster removes the beans at the start of or just before the first crack.

Blonde roast and blonde espresso are used interchangeably, but let’s see if they are the same thing. Let’s also explore the caffeine content of a light roast and the differences between a regular espresso and a blonde espresso.

What is a Blonde Roast Coffee

There is no definitive definition for a Blonde roast; however, the term “blond roast” was popularised by Starbucks in the United States in January of 2018. It is marketed as “light-bodied and flavorful – our easiest-drinking coffee” and “a true light roast,” according to the company.

Are Blonde Espressos And Blonde Roasts The Same?

A blonde espresso and a blonde roast are the same. If you order a blonde espresso in Starbucks, you will get a beverage made with their blonde roast.

This lightly roasted coffee highlights the natural sweetness and boldness of the coffee; it also has a creamy and smooth body.

Blonde roast is so-called because it is lighter in color compared to darker roasts. The color of the coffee beans tells you how long they have been roasted.

Any espresso-based drink can be made with a blonde roast, such as an iced vanilla latte. This roast can be served as brewed coffee.

This coffee is a relatively new addition to the Starbucks drinks menu. It made its debut in 2018, and it was the first time in 40 years that the coffee chain introduced a new espresso to their list.

Blonde espresso beverages cost the same as any of their other espresso-based drinks.

Blonde roast/ blonde espresso is a perfect replacement for those who find espresso too bitter or intense but want the caffeine. You can request blonde roast espresso from the barista at your local Starbucks to make the switch for you.

Can You Use Blonde Roast To Make Espresso?

Blonde roast is an excellent choice for espresso, especially for coffee lovers who prefer a milder, citrus-flavored coffee.

This roast is best suited for espresso machines; while you can brew it in a Moka Pot or French Press, brewing in an espresso machine draws out the best characteristics from the grounds. Blonde pairs very well with milk due to its acidity, and it makes excellent lattes.

Does Blonde Roast Contain More Caffeine?

The caffeine content in a blonde roast is not much different than darker roasted coffee.

However, the beans in this lighter roast are denser than the darker ones, so you will require more darker beans for the same coffee weight, which cancels out the minor differences in the caffeine content.

Studies reveal that caffeine breaks down only a little during roasting. However, the caffeine differences from light to dark roast are only slight.

Blonde roast coffee beans are heavier but smaller in size than darkly roasted coffee beans. The fact that you require more if the dark roast balances out the difference in the caffeine content.

However, in Starbucks, their blonde roast has a noticeably higher caffeine content than their medium to darker roasts.

It contains 360 milligrams per 16 ounces, compared with Pike Place ( a medium roast), with 310 milligrams per 16 ounces. It also has more caffeine than the company’s dark roast coffees.

On the other hand, their blonde roast contains less caffeine than their clover brews, like the French roast clover and the espresso roast clover.

Does Blonde Roast Contain More Sugar?

Blonde roast coffee contains more sugar, making them less intense than medium to dark coffees, which means that they need a longer brew time to extract more of the flavors – this gives your drink a lighter taste with subtle caramel notes.

This lighter-bodied beverage has a mellow flavor, making it more tolerable for tea drinkers or those new to coffee.

Is Blonde Roast Espresso Stronger Than Regular Espresso?

One shot of Starbucks’ blonde roast espresso packs more of a punch than the regular espresso because more caffeine is present.

However, it is stronger because the beans are chosen for the roast rather than the process. Their original espresso comes from beans sourced in Latin America and the Asian Pacific.

The blonde espresso comes from beans grown in East Africa and Latin America, and it’s the different beans that result in a stronger brew rather than the roasting method.

Starbucks blonde espresso contains about 85 mg of caffeine, that’s about 10 mg more than their regular shot. Although 10 mg of caffeine doesn’t seem noticeable, it’s sufficient to make it the strongest shot on the Starbucks menu.

Is Blonde Espresso Bitter?

Blonde espresso isn’t bitter at all as it is a lighter roast. In fact, people who don’t find coffee appealing may find this roast more to their liking, as it has some pleasantly sweet flavors.

This roast was originally called cinnamon roast for its natural sweetness. Still, the name change was due to the confusion of customers expecting to taste cinnamon in their coffee only to be disappointed afterward.

To create an excellent blonde roast, the beans must be of the highest quality to prevent an undrinkable brew, and the lighter roasts tend to experience this risk.

Good light coffee should have high acidity levels, with fruity flavors and a complex aftertaste; it should have a delicious aroma. A lousy light roast can often taste like boiled peanuts.

Roasters produce light roasts by roasting green coffee beans between 356 to 401 degrees Fahrenheit. The “first crack” typically lasts from 90 seconds to two minutes, and those couple of minutes will determine the quality of the coffee.

Some roasters will stop right to the moment of the first crack, while others won’t wait for this stage to happen before removing the beans. An experienced roster will use the two minutes to achieve a balance of taste and acidity.

Underdevelopment of a light roast is something you want to prevent, but it happens when beans aren’t given enough heat to draw out their full potential.

This is why some people have an aversion to blonde roast coffee, as they haven’t experienced a good quality blonde made by a master roaster.

To determine a good blonde roast, you should carry out a finger test. Place a roasted coffee bean between your index finger and thumb, and squeeze it.

If you feel a crack, this indicates it was roasted correctly. However, if it has some resistance, this is a clear indication of underdevelopment.

Is Blonde Roast Coffee Good For Your Health?

Lighter roasts tend to contain higher antioxidant levels due to the shorter roasting time and lower temperature. Both factors create higher oxidation in blonde and lighter roasts.

In addition, as we now understand, coffee can help with weight management; drinking a cup of Joe can prevent food cravings, thus lowering your calorie intake, and it can be a great energy booster for your fitness regime.

Previous studies examining different roast profiles’ caffeine levels found hardly any difference between dark and light roast coffee.

However, lighter coffee beans had a higher chlorogenic acid content. CA is a phenolic compound that possesses a range of health benefits; it has anti-inflammatory properties.

It can reduce the risks of getting cancer and diabetes. It can also lower blood pressure, support weight loss, and improve your mood.

How To Make A Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte At Home

This is an easy copycat recipe for you to make at home in under ten minutes. This latte recipe calls for just three ingredients, and it can be served iced or hot.

This latte is famous for its frothy milk and sweet syrupy goodness.

Thankfully, you don’t need an espresso machine or any other special equipment, just ordinary brewed coffee, and vanilla syrup. If you love the Starbucks version, you are sure to enjoy this one you make yourself.

When looking for blonde roast coffee at your local store, be aware that it could be called “light roast,” “half-city toast,” or “cinnamon roast.”


  • One cup of blonde coffee (brewed, not espresso)
  • Half a cup of low fat, skim milk, or whole milk
  • One tablespoon of vanilla syrup


Brew your coffee, and begin frothing or steaming your milk

Add one tablespoon of syrup into your cup, pour in the hot coffee, and stir gently

Once you have steamed your milk, decant it into a pitcher and pour it into your coffee

Spoon the leftover milk over your coffee, and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

When you order a blonde espresso at Starbucks, the barista will make your drink using their blonde roast coffee. If you are becoming less tolerant of strong-tasting espresso, then this is the roast for you.

You will no doubt enjoy the mild, sweet flavor of your blonde brew, and if you crave a caffeine boost, it won’t disappoint.

When looking for a blonde roast, you should prioritize finding the best quality beans as this is an espresso that deserves to shine.

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