Blonde Espresso vs Regular Espresso: The Showdown

Blonde Espresso vs Regular Espresso

Blonde espresso has been growing in popularity in recent years, especially since Starbucks introduced its own version of Starbucks Blonde Espresso to the core espresso option it offers in the US back in 2018 (1).

So, what’s so special about Blonde espresso shots, and how different are they from regular coffee to spark such an immense amount of interest among coffee lovers?

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast Blonde espresso vs regular espresso to help you decide whether the blondie is worth trying and determine which type is best for you.


What Is A Normal Espresso?

A typical shot of brewed coffee made with an espresso machine uses dark roast coffee.

The coffee grind is very fine, and the water is pressurized and passed through the coffee at high temperatures to extract a thick, concentrated shot.

CoffeeGeek with an normal espresso in Torch coffee Sevillia.

Espresso is typically served in small quantities because of its potency.

It forms the base for many other coffee drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, Americanos, etc.

Dark roast coffee

What Is Blonde Espresso Roast?

Blonde Espresso is a type of espresso that is made with a light roast called Blonde espresso roast.

The Blonde roast beans are lightly roasted to a lighter color than regular espresso, and this gives the coffee a different flavor profile and texture.

Brewing 2 cups of Blonde espresso

The brewing process for Blonde roast is similar to that of normal espresso.

Blonde espressos are growing in popularity because they have a milder and slightly sweeter flavor than regular espresso.

This makes it a good option for people who are new to espresso or who don’t like the strong flavor of normal espresso.

A shot of Blonde espresso and Blonde roast beans

How Is Blonde Roast Made?

Unlike the typical dark roast which is made with beans that have been roasted for a longer period, Blonde roast is made by roasting green coffee beans for a shorter period.

Blonde roast beans in the bean hopper of the espresso machine

Blonde espresso roast is only lightly roasted coffee. It’s removed from heat after the first crack, around 356 – 401 degrees Fahrenheit (180 – 205 degrees Celsius).

This is when the coffee beans start to emit carbon dioxide and the cell structure starts to break down.

Top left - unroasted coffee; top right - light roast beans; bottom left - medium roast coffee; bottom right - dark roast coffee

This shorter roasting time gives the Blonde roast coffee beans a lighter color, a milder flavor, and no oily surface.


What Does Blonde Espresso Taste Like?

The shorter and less intense coffee bean roasting process gives Blonde roast a lighter flavor that is less bitter and acidic.

It has a smooth, nutty taste with a citrusy, smooth, and subtly sweet flavor. Some people also describe this light roast coffee as having floral or fruity notes.

A cup of Blonde espresso

What Is The Difference Between Blonde And Regular Coffee?

Here’s the battle of the bean that you’ve all been waiting for.

Roast

As we mentioned earlier, Blonde espresso is made with a lighter roast while signature espresso is made with a dark roast.

Is Blonde Espresso Less Bitter?

Yes. As we’ve already established, the lighter coffee beans have a lighter and milder flavor than dark roast espresso.

This is because the beans are roasted for a shorter period of time, resulting in a less intense flavor.

2 shots of Blonde espresso

The light roast also preserves more of the coffee’s natural flavor compounds, which gives Blonde roast espresso a smooth and nutty flavor.

Blonde roast brewed coffee is also not as oily as dark roasted beans, which has long been the standard in European countries like Italy. The roast profile creates a good alternative for people who struggle with bitterness.

Body

Blonde espresso has a lighter body than the original espresso options because the lighter roasts have less cell structure broken down. This gives the brewed coffee a thinner, smoother, and less full-bodied consistency.

Does The Blonde Espresso Have Less Acid?

Blonde espresso is actually more acidic than regular espresso because the light roast preserves more of the coffee’s natural acids.

This means that Blonde espresso has a more complex, vibrant, and bright flavor profile than your typical Joe.

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Than Regular Espresso?

In terms of taste, no. This coffee made of light roasts is milder than regular espresso which promotes a smokier and more bitter taste.

But, in terms of caffeine, yes.

So, why does Blonde roast have more caffeine?

Different from many coffee drinkers’ belief, dark roast and a bold flavor doesn’t indicate higher caffeine levels.

The longer the roasting process is, the more caffeine compounds are broken down and lost.

A cup of regular espresso

Therefore, Blonde espresso packs more of a caffeine boost due to its shorter roasting time.

According to Caffeine Informer, a single shot of Starbucks Blonde espresso has 85 mg of caffeine, more caffeine than regular espresso which only has 75 mg.

Does Blonde Espresso Have More Sugar?

Yes, Blonde espresso has more sugar than regular espresso.

The light roasting process brings out the coffee’s natural sweetness, resulting in a Blonde espresso that is less bitter and more flavorful.

To get the most flavor out of your Blonde espresso, we recommend using quality coffee beans and grinding them fresh. This will give you the best tasting cup of coffee possible.

This also means you don’t need as much sugar and cream to enjoy the beverage to avoid overpowering the espresso taste.

Is Blonde Espresso Healthier?

To be fair, unless you drink a large amount of espresso, the little difference in caffeine levels between the Blonde and regular espresso shouldn’t matter.

But if you have a very sensitive stomach with GERD issues, going with darker roasts would be a better call.


Which One Should I Order?

If you’re looking for a mellower and less intense coffee experience, go for the Blonde espresso.

But, if you want that traditional dark and bold espresso flavor with chocolatey notes, regular espresso is the way to go.

Dolce Gusto Starbucks Coffee, Blonde Espresso Roast

FAQs

How Much Caffeine Is In A Shot Of Blonde Espresso?

A shot of Starbucks Blonde roast coffee contains 85 mg of caffeine.

What Does Blonde Mean In Starbucks?

The word “Blonde” refers to the lighter color and flavor of the coffee beans. But, Starbucks roasts coffee beans a lot more intensely. So the Starbucks Blonde roast is actually closer to a medium roast. They’re darker beans than what you’d find normally.

Does Starbucks Still Have Blonde Espresso?

Yes, you can still find it on your local Starbucks menu.

What Makes An Espresso Blonde?

It’s Blonde coffee if it’s made with a Blonde roast. Other than espresso machines, you can also use Blonde roasts for your drip machine, French Press, Moka Pot, or other brewing methods.

How To Drink Blonde Espresso

How to drink Blonde espresso

Here are a few tips for coffee enthusiasts:

  • Blonde espresso pairs well with milk and vanilla syrup. Try drinking it as milky espresso-based Blonde drinks like a latte (eg. Blonde Vanilla Latte) or cappuccino for a more indulgent treat.
  • Drink it straight up for a stronger flavor, or with a little bit of water to mellow it out (separately or as an Americano).
  • It also works well with ice so go all out with all sorts of iced coffee recipes (eg. Iced Americano).
  • For a stronger flavor, use more ground coffee.

Is Blonde Roast the Same as Cinnamon Roast?

Essentially, yes. That’s what Blonde roast used to be referred to as. However, the term “Cinnamon roast” misled many to think that the beans were infused with spices like cinnamon, which certainly wasn’t the case.

So, the switch to “Blonde” made it easier to market it.

What’s In Starbucks Blonde Espresso?

Starbucks Blonde Espresso is made with a light roast of coffee beans grown from Latin America and East Africa.

Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend

Is Starbucks Blonde Espresso Sweet?

Yes, this Starbucks coffee has a higher natural sweetness than normal with a silky smooth body and no burnt taste.

Is Blonde Roast The Strongest At Starbucks?

Caffeine-wise, the Starbucks Blonde espresso roast is stronger than the normal espresso made of dark roasts. But taste-wise, it’s definitely not as bold as the regular Joe.

Is Starbucks Blonde Espresso Better?

Whether this Starbucks coffee tastes better or not depends on each coffee drinker’s personal preference.

Blonde espresso has a milder and smoother flavor, higher acidity, and higher caffeine content. Make it what you will.

Starbucks Blonde Roast Ground Coffee - Veranda Blend

How Many Calories Are In A Blonde Roast From Starbucks?

You can expect around 5 oz in a Grande Blonde espresso drink (16 oz/473 ml).

Is Blonde Espresso White Coffee?

No, Blonde espresso is not white coffee. White coffee is under-roasted at around 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius), whereas Blonde coffee is fully roasted and removed from the heat at around 356 – 401 degrees Fahrenheit (180 – 205 degrees Celsius).

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Than Cold Brew?

If we’re looking at 1 oz of each drink, then yes, Blonde espresso is stronger than Cold Brew.

  • 1 shot (1 oz/30 ml) of Blonde coffee has 85 mg of caffeine.
  • A tall Cold Brew (12 oz/355 ml) has 155 mg, which is 13 mg/oz.

But depending on your intake throughout the day, you may consume more caffeine from drinking Cold Brew than Blonde espresso coffee.

Sources:

(1) https://stories.starbucks.com/press/2018/starbucks-blonde-espresso-launches-in-u-s-stores/

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