A few years ago, a new kind of light roast espresso began entering coffee shops across America. Named ‘Blonde Espresso’, this golden-colored roast promised rich bright flavors and caramel top-notes.
And soon, it became a popular choice at Starbucks. So what is Blonde Espresso? Exactly how strong is it, and can it kick off your mornings effectively?
Below, we will go over everything you need to know!
What is a Blonde Espresso?
As Blonde Espresso became popular in the mainstream, many were eager to try it. After all, most coffee lovers enjoy trying new and exciting java drinks. However, many were wondering what exactly Blonde Espresso was.
To put it simply, Blonde Espresso is pulled from more lightly roasted coffee beans than a regular one. The term ‘Blonde Espresso’ became a trendy way to market this lighter-colored espresso roast.
Interestingly enough, blonde roast espresso has gone by various other names in the past.
For instance, this light roast coffee profile was once commonly known as the Cinnamon Roast. However, this term did not resonate with coffee connoisseurs as expected.
Later, terms like half city roast, light roast, and New England roast were used. However, the best marketing language used to indicate this light-colored roast was undoubtedly the term ‘Blonde Roast.’
Indeed, Starbucks liked the term so much that they used it to market a range of their light roast espresso beverages. Since 2017, Blonde Roast Starbucks beverages have been marketed successfully. First, they were marketed in Canada, and later in the USA.
How Is it Made?
So exactly how is blonde roast espresso made?
Well, espresso is usually made with dark roasted coffee beans. A ‘Blonde Roast’ espresso is simply an espresso that has been prepared with light or medium roasted beans. As the name suggests, lightly roasted coffee beans are lighter in color.
You see, the roasting process starts with the evaporation of water from green coffee beans. Then, the dried green coffee is roasted to a specific level. As the coffee roasts, the color darkens and the beans begin to crack.
Blonde roast coffee is finished after the beans first crack, which will usually occur when they reach a light golden or beige color.
Starbucks Blonde Espresso roast can be considered a medium roast. But they call it Blonde Espresso because their regular espresso roast is very dark, so there is a big contrast.
How Does it Taste?
These coffee beans have a smooth and delicately sweet taste. With citrus notes, distinctive tones, and a rich brightness, lightly roasted espresso beans go well with a range of creamy flavors. As such, they are a great choice for lattes, braves, and iced coffee drinks.
The flavor profile of Blonde Espresso beans can vary. After all, Blonde roasts can be achieved using coffee beans from all over the world.
Most Blonde Espresso is made with coffee beans from East Africa and Latin America. No matter which beans you get, you can almost always expect a bright light roast taste with citrusy tones and toasted caramel nuances.
How is Blonde Espresso Served?
Blonde Espresso can be served in various ways. Indeed, at Starbucks, any beverage made with espresso can be made using Blonde Espresso.
Usually, Blonde Espresso is paired with some sort of a creamy flavor. This is because these lightly roasted espresso beans are bright and citrusy.
You can serve Blonde Espresso in a breve, latte, iced latte, iced coffee drink, or however else you like to enjoy your espresso. Although, most people prefer Blonde Espresso paired with a creamy flavor. Still, those who don’t mind the bite of those top notes will appreciate its acidic profile in Americano form.
Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Compared to Regular Espresso?
So is Blonde Espresso stronger than regular espresso?
This depends on what you mean by strong. If you are referring to that bold coffee taste, the answer is no. Blonde Espresso has a light acidity and a rich flavor but is not stronger in flavor than regular espresso. However, if you are referring to caffeine content, Blonde Espresso is stronger.
Does It Have More Caffeine?
In Starbucks coffee, Blonde Espresso is slightly stronger than regular espresso when it comes to caffeine content.
A single Blonde Espresso has 85 milligrams of caffeine while a regular one contains 75 milligrams of caffeine.
Why Is It Stronger?
First of all, it’s often thought that the lighter the color of the coffee bean, the more caffeine it will contain. However, the roast level of the coffee bean will not affect caffeine content as much as the type of coffee bean.
There can be some difference especially when the coffee beans are measured by volume because darker beans expand and lose moisture during the roasting process. But the difference is very small. When coffee beans are measured out by weight the caffeine content of different roasts is almost the same.
The main reason for the difference is that Starbucks uses different types of beans for their Blonde Espresso beverages with a higher concentration of caffeine. The Blonde Espresso blend is made with a combination of Latin American and East African beans.
Blonde Espresso vs Regular Espresso
So how does Blonde Espresso stack up next to regular espresso?
Well, that will depend on your personal preferences. Characteristics differ in terms of roast, taste, caffeine content, and beverage crafting suitability.
Two Different Roast Levels: Blonde Espresso is lightly (or medium) roasted while regular espresso beans are usually dark or medium-dark roasted. Dark roasted coffee beans have lower acidity and a smoother yet stronger taste.
A Big Difference in Taste: In flavor, Blonde Espresso is lighter with brighter top notes. In contrast, regular espresso has a naturally creamy flavor with robust undertones and a more Java-like profile.
Caffeine Content: Blonde Espresso is known for having a bit more caffeine than regular espresso. In Starbucks, a Blonde Espresso shot has 85 milligrams of caffeine, which is 10 milligrams more than in a regular espresso.
Blonde Espresso – Putting It All Together
So now you know! Blonde Espresso was popularized by Starbucks and first hit the markets of the United States in 2018.
Blonde Espresso can be used in various coffee beverages and is lighter in color than regular espresso. It also has a brighter flavor profile that pairs wonderfully with cream.
Additionally, Starbucks Blonde Espresso beverages contain more caffeine than regular or dark espresso beverages. However, the caffeine levels will also vary in different coffee shops, depending on the type of coffee being used in a blonde roast.
With that in mind, beverages at Starbucks made with Blonde Espresso do tend to have more caffeine than beverages made with regular espresso beans. Any Starbucks drink can be made using light and invigorating Blonde Roast Espresso.
So, if you want an extra caffeine kick and are ordering coffee at Starbucks, why not try a bold Blonde Roast!