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What Is Blonde Espresso?

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

When we hear espresso, the first thing that comes to mind is a delicious cup of coffee made from dark-roasted beans.

That’s why when Starbucks launched its new Blonde Espresso back in 2018, a lot of coffee lovers found themselves asking “what is blonde espresso,” anyway?

To put it simply, blonde espresso is simply a light-roasted bean. However, there’s a lot more to it than that. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

What Is Blonde Espresso?

Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a blonde espresso, and what makes it blond?

Blonde espresso is basically a specific type of espresso roast coffee beans. They’ve been roasted for a much shorter period of time than your typical dark, oily espresso beans.

As a result, they’re much less intense than a regular espresso. This creates a smoother, “subtly sweet” flavor that translates well to many classic espresso-based beverages.

You can get anything from a blonde cappuccino, blonde cappuccino, blonde americano, and even blonde flat whites.

For some people, Starbucks coffee can be a bit too intense. The blonde espresso certainly has a high amount of caffeine but is also a smoother drink.

blonde espresso

The Origins of Blonde Espresso

Although Starbucks coined the name “Blonde Espresso,” blonde roasts have actually been around for a while!

‘Blond Roast’ coffee was once known as ‘Cinnamon Roast‘, but the name was changed because many coffee drinkers expected the coffee to taste like cinnamon.

As you can imagine, they were a bit disappointed when they found themselves sipping on an unflavored cup of coffee.

Any coffee can be roasted into a blonde roast. The only requirement to be classified this way is that they’re lightly roasted and have a bright, golden color.

In terms of Starbucks’ blonde roast, you’re looking at a blend of Arabica beans from Latin America and East Africa. This is important because coffee beans, like wine grapes, can vary in flavor depending on where they’re grown.

Starbucks’ blonde espresso is slightly citrusy, super smooth, and noticeably sweet thanks to the regions they’re grown in.

origins of blonde espresso

Features of Blonde Espresso

Now that you know the origins of a blonde espresso and how it relates to Starbucks, let’s talk about a few of the features of this type of espresso.

Here are a couple of key features to be aware of with this type of coffee.

Caffeine Content

In general, since blonde roasts have undergone less roasting time, they haven’t burned off as much caffeine.

In other words, they contain a bit more caffeine than your standard, dark-roasted espresso. If you’re someone who likes getting a big pick-me-up in the morning, this might be the brew for you.


The most important difference between a blonde roast and other espresso roasts is the flavor.

Light roasts, since they’re roasted at a lower temperature and for less time than a darker roast, have a much more acidic flavor.

This makes for a brighter flavor than a dark roast as well as a lighter body.  On top of that, a blond roast will often have more citrus and floral notes in its flavor profile.

features of blonde espresso


Light roasts are much more acidic than darker roasts. Blonde roasts have a higher acidity due to the temperature at which they’re roasted.

Now, don’t let that put you off. The higher acidity actually gives the roasts a much smoother, lighter flavor than a dark roast.

If you’re confused about how acidic a cup of coffee is, you’ll want to look at it in relation to the pH scale. The pH scale measures acidity. Dark roasts are high on the pH scale and have a similar pH to regular milk.

Blonde roasts are lower on the pH scale and have a higher rate of acidity. Just bear in mind that for some people, acidic coffee can upset their stomachs.

If you have sensitivity, a blonde roast might not be for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a couple of additional questions about blonde espresso? I’m not surprised.

Blonde espresso can be confusing if you’re new to the coffee game. Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you get an idea of what this type of bean is all about.

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Than Regular?

A shot of blond espresso is stronger than the original espresso because it contains more caffeine per serving. Starbucks Blonde Roast Espresso contains 85 mg of caffeine, which is 10 mg more than an original espresso shot (75 mg).

What’s The Difference Between Regular Espresso and Blonde Espresso?

Blonde espresso has more caffeine per serving than an original espresso roast. The beans are also roasted for less time, resulting in a lighter and smoother cup of coffee.

Is Blonde Espresso Less Bitter?

Blonde espresso is less bitter and a bit less acidic than regular espresso. If you’re looking for a universally tasty coffee, the blonde espresso bean is a good pick.

What Is Blonde Espresso – Conclusion

So, what is blond espresso? Well, in three words, your new obsession.

Blonde espresso is a sweeter, smoother, and more caffeinated version of your classic espresso roast. It’s a great addition to any latte or cappuccino for those who don’t love intense coffee.

Next time you swing by your local Starbucks, try ordering your drink with blonde espresso. Who knows? It may become your new go-to!

About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a blogger for over 5 years, before that enjoying a number of jobs to fund her passion for travel. She's taught English as a foreign language, a part-time Barista, a waitress, and a tour guide.

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