Blonde Roast - A Guide To An Amazing Roast!

Blonde Roast – A Guide To An Amazing Roast!

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:34

Blonde roast coffee is enjoyable and there is, in my opinion, not a coffee lover anywhere that does not enjoy a good blonde roast coffee for their specialty grade single origin beans and to sit there, chilling out and enjoying the unique tastes of the origin.

If you are unsure and not familiar with this roast level, then keep reading for the full details and find out what the best brewing method is for extracting all those great and intricate notes and getting them into your cup of coffee.

What Is A Blonde Roast?

A blonde roast is a coffee roast that has enjoyed a revival in the third wave of coffee by outlets and popular brands like Starbucks, Plantagen, Folgers and Lifeboost having a blonde roast.

It is Starbucks that took the Blonde roast a degree further by being one of the first to come out with a blonde espresso roast.

A blonde roast has a longer history than you may think or realize as it was known as a cinnamon roast before confusion arose between what coffee drinkers were ordering:

A cinnamon coffee (the roast) or a coffee with cinnamon spice or flavoring added, something had to change, and thus a cinnamon roast became known as a blonde roast.

Fast -forward to today and a blonde roast describes the lightest of the light roast coffees (with the exception of the very rare white coffee, which is almost exclusive to China, Southern Thailand and Malaysia).

The modern blonde roast is a lot closer to a light medium roast than a true original blonde roast.

They are roasted at 196C (385F) and are light brown in color and are lighter and brighter than other coffee roasts and are also more acidic.

It is the roasting process that differentiates all coffee roasts as all roasting levels are roasted at different temperatures and for different periods of time.

But it is not like cooking as there is no set period of time. It is done by color, scent (aroma) and by ear, first crack, or second crack.

A blonde roast is roasted to the first crack and then roasting stops immediately.

What Is A Blonde Roast
A Blonde Roast Is Roasted To The First Crack

Read: How much caffeine in Starbucks blonde roast?

Different Light Roast Coffees

There are other light roast coffees alongside the blonde roast, let’s talk about those:

  • White Coffee: Roasted at 196C (385F), the same temperature as a blonde roast but is roasted for half the time and roasted before the first crack.
  • Blonde Roast: Also roasted at 196C (385F) but for twice as long as a white coffee and to just the first crack and absolutely no more and is more toasty than a white coffee.
  • New England: Roasted at 205C (400F), slightly higher temperature and roasted for a little longer to just before the second crack and has the complex acidity and unique flavors of origin from the beans.

The Roasting Process

All coffee beans go through a roasting process, be it a light roast, a medium roast or a dark roast. You can’t brew with an unroasted bean.

A blonde roast is roasted at the lowest temperature and for the shortest period of time and are pulled just after the first crack.

A master roaster knows when the coffee beans are ready by the sound of the crack, the aroma emitted, the color of the coffee beans and the amount of oil on the surface.

A dark roast, to show the difference, is roasted at 240C to 245C (464F to 473F) and beyond the second crack, and unlike lighter roasts, a dark roast takes on more of the flavor from the roasting process than from the beans themselves. A dark roast is less acidic.

The Body

A blonde roast coffee has light body due to the roasting process not getting to the point where the coffee oils start to mitigate and make their way to the exterior of the bean and thus is still deep inside the bean and does not make its way into your cup of coffee and has a light body.

(I hope you are starting to see just how large a role the roasting process and roast level plays on your final cup of coffee).

To put this into contrast with a dark roast, which is a full-bodied coffee, the reason being the more evident and greater presence of the oil on the surface of the beans.

Dark roasted coffee beans have that shiny oily coating on their surface due to the higher roasting temperature and longer duration. The fact that the surface is oily makes it much easier to get them into your cup of coffee and contribute to the body and produce a fuller body.

Blonde Roast
A Blonde Roast Has A Lighter Body

Blonde Roast Caffeine

One of the greatest myths and misconceptions with coffee drinkers is the more dominant and bolder the taste of the coffee, the more caffeine it has.

Which would basically mean that darker the roast, the more caffeine that it has.

This is not the case – it is simply not true at all.

In fact, (and facts matter a lot to us at Latte Love Brew)

The opposite is true!

With all other variables that affect the caffeine content of a coffee beverage being equal, a blonde roast will have more caffeine than a medium or dark roast.

Not a lot more, just a little more.

This is evident when you compare the same beverages and the same drink sizes and their caffeine content of different roasts.

Check out this table with the caffeine content of a variety of medium roast and blonde roast coffee beverages at Starbucks.

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
Featured Dark Roast Brewed Coffee 130 mg 195 mg 260 mg 340 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

Note: Starbucks signature roast, their Pike Place is a medium roast.

Not on the table is their espresso shots which are also available as a blonde espresso and as a dark roast. The caffeine content of their shots of espresso are as follows:

  • Single Shot Dark Roast Espresso: 75 mg Of Caffeine.
  • Single Shot Blonde Roast Espresso: 85 mg Of Caffeine.
  • Double Shot Dark Roast Espresso: 150 mg Of Caffeine.
  • Double Shot Blonde Espresso: 170 mg Of Caffeine.

It is clear there is more caffeine in a blonde roast.

Blonde Roast Taste

If you have never tried a blonde roast before, and you are just about to, you can expect it to be lighter and brighter than a regular cup of coffee.

It’s floral and fruity with zesty citrus notes and a touch of underdeveloped sweetness from the beans. It is also more acidic with hints, only hints of sour tones.

A blonde roast coffee may even have a lingering aftertaste that is lemony. This roast is known to have more of the unique flavor of origin than other roasts and is by definition a much better roast for specialty grade single origin coffee beans.

Getting The Flavor Into Your Cup Of Coffee

Without a doubt, the best brewing method for getting more of the intricate and delicate notes from a light roast, and particularly a blonde roast, is the pour over technique.

The pour over method of brewing coffee is classified as a full immersion method as the beans are immersed in hot water as they are extracting the flavors.

It’s better than the steeping methods of a French press and Cold brew (which are also full immersion brewing techniques) due to the constant flow of fresh hot water over the coffee grounds.

The result of this is you end up with more of the soluble coffee solids into your cup, and that means you get more of the intricate and delicate flavors of origin coaxed into your delicious cup of coffee.

To make a pour over perfectly, it is best that you use some specialist equipment. Here is what you will need:

  • A digital coffee scale.
  • A coffee filter holder like a Hario V60.
  • A digital temperature-controlled gooseneck kettle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Blonde Roast

What Is In A Blonde Roast?

There is nothing in a blonde roast, to say, there is nothing added to a blonde roast coffee to make it different from another roast. It is different because it has been roasted at a lower temperature and for a shorter period of time than medium roast and dark roast coffee beans.

The result of this is a lighter colored coffee bean with a lighter flavor and body.

Is Blonde The Strongest Espresso?

Yes, a blonde espresso has slightly more caffeine than a dark roast espresso. A dark roast espresso has a deeper and stronger taste than a blonde espresso.

How much caffeine is in a roast bares no direct relation to the strength of the flavor; if anything, it is inversely related.

Is Blonde or Regular Espresso Stronger?

A regular espresso, that is brewed with a dark roast coffee, has a more prominent and dominant traditional coffee flavor but in terms of caffeine content, a blonde roast espresso has slightly more caffeine.

Is Blonde Espresso Healthier?

Blonde espresso coffee beans due to their roast level have a greater amount of antioxidants and particularly chlorogenic acid, which is a potent antioxidant that is unique to coffee.

Unfortunately, higher roasting temperatures and times roast out some of the antioxidants found in coffee beans, which means a dark roast coffee bean will have less antioxidants than a light roast coffee like a blonde roast.

This would make a blonde espresso a healthier choice.

Is Blonde Espresso Just A Starbucks Thing?

Starbucks popularized the blonde espresso and was one of the first gourmet coffee shops to serve it, but it is not just a Starbucks thing – even though you will have a hard time finding a coffee shop that serves blonde espresso shots outside of Starbucks.

Lifeboost is another premium coffee brand that sells blonde espresso. There are many more.

Is Blonde Roast Stronger Or Weaker?

A blonde roast is lighter and brighter and weaker in flavor and stronger in caffeine content. It is higher in acidity also, something worth noting.

Which Starbucks Roast Has The Most Caffeine?

The roast that has the most caffeine is their Blonde roast. All over the board for various beverages and drink sizes, their blonde roast has more caffeine than a medium roast and dark roast equivalent. The single beverage that has the most caffeine is their Venti Blonde roast brewed coffee.

Final Thoughts – Blonde Roast

If you have read this far, thank you. You have read what I believe to be the most comprehensive and complete article about a blonde roast coffee. 

It is a coffee that I very suspect to enjoying, especially when I see some of my favorite Ethiopian beans available in a blonde roast. 

If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them. 

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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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