Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast [A Guide For Coffee Lovers]

Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast [A Guide For Coffee Lovers]

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:32

In the roasty toasty battle of Blonde roast Vs Medium roast we talk about all the important aspects of these two roast profiles to help you decide which is best. I get details and reveal which brewing methods produce the best cup of coffee for each roast.

Keep reading for the details.

Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast – What Is A Blonde Roast Coffee?

A blonde roast coffee is a coffee that has been roasted at a lower temperature and for a shorter period of time than a dark roast or medium roast coffee. A blonde roast coffee is roasted at 196C (385F) and to the first crack and have a light brown color hence why the original name of a blonde roast was cinnamon roast.

Coffee brewed with these beans is lighter and brighter with an underdeveloped sweetness and a citrusy flavor. This is one of the best roasts for enjoying the unique flavors of origin of the bean as more of the flavors come from the beans and not the roasting process.

Expect a coffee with a light body and as I like to say – light and bright.

There is much talk about the caffeine content of a blonde roast and if it does or does not have more caffeine than other coffee beans – I’ll get to that later in this article, hang on, for a moment.

Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast
Light, Medium And Dark Roast Beans

Read: What does blonde roast coffee mean?

Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast – What Is A Medium Roast Coffee?

A medium roast coffee is a slightly and notably darker brown color than a blonde roast and has a slightly oily surface. The acidity of a medium roast coffee is more muted and has a medium acidity. It’s not a low acidity coffee nor a high acidity.

This roast is a good middle ground between light and dark roast levels where you can enjoy the best of both worlds. The roasting process maintains a lot of the coffee beans flavors of origin and takes on some characteristics of the roasting process with some caramel sweetness coming through.

The end result is a coffee brewed with a bean of this roast level is a very balanced coffee that is well-rounded, a touch sweeter and a little darker than a blonde roast with the brighter notes having been roasted out.

Specialty coffee roasters use their skill and experience to make a great medium roast as they are roasted at 210C to 220C (410F – 426F) and beyond the first crack using their eyes and their nose to know when the color and aroma are right. Roasting stops before the second crack.

A medium roast is what the average coffee drinker loves, enjoys and is more familiar with. Yes, I enjoy a good medium roast too as they are less acidic and still show off a beans natural flavor.

Other names for a medium roast are light city roast, city roast and American roast. There are two distinctive roasts in this category: medium and medium-dark. Obviously a medium-dark is edging towards a dark roast coffee and is a darker roast due to being roasted a only a slightly higher temperature and a touch longer.

Other names include: regular roast, American roast, city roast.

Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast Taste And Flavor Profile

I’ve mentioned lightly how these two coffees taste. Generally speaking, a blonde roast is light and bright and has more of the unique flavors of the origin while a medium roast maintains some of the flavors of origin but loses the brighter notes due to the roasting process.

Let’s talk more about the taste that you can expect from each of the two roasts.

Blonde Roast Taste

A blonde roast is more fruity and floral with citrus notes, with a light and underdeveloped sweetness as the sugars from the coffee beans have not quite reached the point of caramelization. Regardless of the brewing process, this cup of coffee is higher in acidity with some very slight sour tones.

Depending on the particular beans you can expect a zesty lemon-like lingering aftertaste. A blonde roast, like other light roasts, are known for their ability to get more of the flavors of origin from the beans and into your cup of coffee and specialty coffee roasters work hard to make sure that happens with your single origin coffee beans.

Blonde Roast Taste
Blonde Roast Has More Taste From The Beans

Read: What is blonde roast coffee?

The Starbucks blonde espresso is a unique and rare roast profile for an espresso and is different from the other espresso roasts at Starbucks. It’s citrusy, smooth and with touches of caramel.

Medium Roast Taste

Medium roast coffee has a very rounded and balanced flavor and body. Words that you will often see to describe a medium roast are:

  • Mellow.
  • Sweet.
  • Chocolaty.
  • Nutty.
  • Smooth.

A medium roast is less acidic and less fruit and floral than light roast and is a well-rounded coffee with a good degree of the flavors of origin from the beans with nice natural rich taste of the sweetness from the coffee bean due to the roasting process.

Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast Caffeine Content

It is absolutely fair to say that a blonde roast coffee has more or less the same amount of caffeine as a medium roast coffee because there is very little difference between the two.


it is absolutely a solid and indisputable fact which is easily referenced by sourcing the Starbucks website and checking out the caffeine content for the coffee beverages made with their blonde roast and their signature Pike Place, which is a medium roast, and comparing the caffeine content.

I’ve done that for you and made the table below, collating the date regarding the amount of caffeine in a variety of coffee beverages brewed with a blonde roast and a medium roast and for all drink sizes.

Beverage Short 8 oz (240 ml) Caffeine Content Tall 12 oz (360 ml) Caffeine Content Grande 16 oz (480 ml) Caffeine Content Venti 20 oz (600 ml) Caffeine Content
Pike Place Brewed Coffee 155 mg 235 mg 310 mg 410 mg
Blonde Roast Brewed Coffee 180 mg 270 mg 360 mg 475 mg
Cappuccino (Pike Place) 75 mg 75 mg 150 mg 150 mg
Cappuccino (Blonde Roast) 85 mg 85 mg 170 mg 170 mg
Latte (Pike Place) 75 mg 75 mg 150 mg 150 mg
Latte (Blonde Roast) 85 mg 85 mg 170 mg 170 mg
Flat White (Pike Place) 130 mg 130 mg 195 mg 195 mg
Flat White (Blonde Roast) 150 mg 150 mg 225 mg 225 mg
Espresso Shot 1 Oz (Regular) 75 mg N/A N/A N/A
Espresso Shot 1 Oz (Blonde Roast) 85 mg N/A N/A N/A
Espresso Double Shot 2 Oz (Regular) 150 mg N/A N/A N/A
Espresso Shot 2 Oz (Blonde Roast) 170 mg N/A N/A N/A

Read: Blonde roast

Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast – What Is The Best Brewing Method?

To get the best out of your coffee beans and your hard-earned money buying them you need to use the best brewing technique for each roast.

With a blonde roast and light roasts in general you are limited…very limited. The best brewing method and technique is the pour over method.

Pour over coffee extracts more of the coffee solids out of your beans and into your cup of coffee. It’s an easy technique to learn and master. Some specialist equipment is needed to get it absolutely perfect.

  • Digital coffee scales to weigh coffee with timer.
  • Digital temperature controlled gooseneck kettle.

A medium roast is much more flexible and while a pour over can also be used to brew a great cup of coffee you can also use a French press, a siphon coffee maker and for the medium-dark roast you can use a moka pot or a home or professional espresso maker.

Frequently Asked Questions About Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast

No, a blonde roast is notably smoother and more mellow than a medium roast. Between these two roasts, a medium roast is the more bitter between the two coffees.

In terms of caffeine content yes, and this is easily proven by checking out Starbucks website and seeing that a blonde roast has slightly more caffeine than their signature Pike Place, a medium roast coffee.

When it comes to taste and flavor, no, a blonde roast is not the strongest as a dark roast beans have a significantly stronger taste and more robust flavor. A French and Italian roast has a notably more mature coffee flavor – these two roasts are the strongest tasting coffee.

A medium roast has a stronger and more dominant taste of coffee than a light roast. The darker the roast, the stronger and more dominant the coffee taste. Don’t confuse that with caffeine content though, as all things being equal, a lighter roast will have more of a caffeine kick.

The coffee with the most dominant and boldest taste at Starbucks is their Italian roast, a roast that coffee lovers enjoy for its deep, deep taste. It’s the darkest of the dark roast coffee roasts.

The strongest roast at Starbucks in terms of caffeine levels is the blonde roast. The Starbucks blonde espresso has 85 mg and 170 milligrams of caffeine for a single and double shot of espresso while a Pike Place has 75 mg and 150 mg of caffeine for a single shot and double shot of espresso.

For the other coffee beverages, this is the same, their blonde roast coffee drinks have more caffeine.

No, there is no oil on blonde roast coffee beans. The beans are dry and have a very matted look. This roast profile is roasted at a low temperature and for a short period of time, to the first crack which is not enough time for their coffee oil to mitigate to the exterior of the beans, which is very unlike darker roasts.

A blonde roast is light, citrusy, and only subtly sweet. There is no great level of sweetness or caramel taste. It’s light and bright and not really one that I would describe as sweet.

Final Thoughts – Blonde Roast Vs Medium Roast

When it comes to Blonde roast Vs Medium roast it is not for me to tell you straight up which one is best for you. Coffee is a very personal thing, and we all have our own tastes and preferences.

If you are anything like I am you change and switch from roast to roast, bean to bean and beverage to beverage.

Which do you prefer – a blonde roast or a medium roast?

Join our active online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and let us know which you prefer. Take part by sharing coffee morning selfies, funny coffee memes, coffee jokes and your amazing coffee creations.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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