What Is The Difference Between Blond And Dark Roast

What Is The Difference Between Blond And Dark Roast?

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:24

Have you ever experimented with your coffee and wondered what is the difference between blond and dark roast?

While it is good to experiment with your coffee and try different flavors, tastes, brewing methods and of course, different beans and roasts. Coffee is complex, far more complex than wine. Sticking with just one is boring.

If you are in a rush and need the quick answer to the question, here it is:

A blonde roast has more subtle mellow flavors, a lighter body and a much shorter roast time. Dark-roasted coffees are bolder, darker and more robust in flavor with a fuller body.

For more details about the difference between blonde and dark roast coffee, keep reading!

What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Taste Like?

I have to confess, I love waking up to a tall, beautiful, vibrant blonde! It just seriously kick starts my day! I am, of course, talking about my morning coffee – a blonde roast.

If you are thinking about trying a blonde roasted coffee for the first time, you will find it to have a floral, citrus-like and mildly sweet taste. This, of course, varies with the individual beans that you are brewing with.

Dark roast coffee, on the other hand, has a more bold, earthy flavor with nutty and chocolaty hints. Generally speaking, they are more bitter than a blond roast.

Blond-roast coffee is great for single origin beans and specialty coffee beans. It is certainly a roast that I recommend that you try for yourself.

What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Taste Like
A Blonde Roast Is Rather Tasty.

Read: How much caffeine in blonde roast?

Blonde Roast Vs Dark Roast

A blonde roast is roasted slowly until the first crack. When the damp beans start to steam, shortly after they begin to crack. This first crack starts at 356F to 400F (180C to 205C). They are bittersweet and higher in caffeine.

Dark roasts are a deeper brown color and almost black with the deeper dark coffee roasts. They also have a shiny oil coating from the coffee oils coming to the surface of the coffee beans during the roasting process.

A darker roast coffee is roasted for a longer period of time and is stronger, has a fuller body and is sweeter than lighter roasts. They are roasted beyond the second crack.

Blonde Roast Vs Dark Roast
A Dark Roasted Coffee

Read: How to make light and sweet coffee

What Is Coffee Roasting?

Coffee roasting is the process that turns the coffee beans into something that we can then brew. The beans, technically speaking, are seeds and are often referred to as cherries.

The roasting process literally cooks the coffee beans, bringing out the inner flavor and notes to be brought out and make it into your cup of coffee.

The different roast levels bring out different flavors from the beans. An expert coffee roaster knows how to bring out the best in each bean.

What Is A Blonde Roast?

A blonde roast is exactly what the name suggests it is. It is roasted beans that belong to the light roast coffee beans classification. Unlike the medium roast, medium-dark roast or dark roasted beans, they are not brown in color as they are light, almost blonde in color, hence the name.

What Is A Dark Roast?

There are many different dark roast levels in the classification of a dark roast coffee. French roast, Italian roast, Spanish roast, Full city roast, city roast, espresso roast are just some common coffee roasts in this category.

They have a characteristic of a shiny oily surface, dark brown color and a bold, smoky, full-bodied flavor.

Unfortunately, their flavors of origin have been roasted out, meaning you should not roast your specialty coffee beans beyond a medium roast. A dark roast is roasted at a temperature of 440F to 465F (225C to 240C). Dark roasts have less caffeine than their lighter roasted counterparts.

What Is Coffee Roasting
Dark Roasted Beans Getting Roasted.

What Is The Difference Between A Blonde Roast And A Dark Roast?

The difference between a blonde roast and a dark roast I will now fully and comprehensively detail in the following subsections and talk about the body and complexity, caffeine content, acidity and flavor.

Complexity And Body

The complexity and body is one of the more important aspects and qualities of a coffee. The term “body” is in reference to the physical properties of the coffee. The physical properties include the texture, (silky, gritty, smooth, watery, etc). How heavy and how the coffee feels in your mouth is covered in the context of the “body”.

Light roasts like blonde roasts are lighter in body and brighter in color. The short period of roasting means the sugars in the light roast beans have not yet caramelized.

Dark roast beans are very different, the polar opposite. They are darker in both taste and color and have a thicker body. The deep, smoky, full-bodied taste makes dark roasts easy and ideal as a sipping coffee.

A dark roast coffee is roasted at a hotter temperature for a greater amount of time due to this, the fuller bodied flavor and texture is because of the caramelized sugars.

Blonde Roast Vs Dark Roast Caffeine Content

The coffee roasting process also has an effect on the caffeine content of coffee beans. However, it is not the key factor to having highly caffeinated coffee.

The blonde coffee roast has more caffeine than the dark roasts, but not by much. This is mostly due to not having the caffeine roasted out. The difference, for example, between a blonde espresso Vs a regular dark espresso roast is only 10 mg.

Unless you are using highly caffeinated coffee beans like death wish coffee, there is not going to be a notable difference in your daily cup of coffee.


A blonde roast and a lighter roast in general are more acidic than their darker roasted counterparts. The greater acidity is a direct result of the shorter roast times and the compounds in the beans not breaking down. The plus point is the flavor compounds are left intact, and you get a more delicious, lighter tasting amazing coffee.

If you have a sensitive stomach, a light roast coffee might be best avoided.

Darker roasts are less acidic and easier on your stomach. Research indicates that the roasting process not only reduces the acidity by aiding in the production of a compound in the roasted coffee beans that stimulates the production of stomach acid.


The longer that a coffee bean has been roasted, the greater the amount of the sugars in the beans get caramelized and produce that familiar coffee flavor.

Due to the reduced amount of time while being roasted, and for some beans and roasts, the reduced temperature, lighter roast profiles maintain their original and unique flavors.

The result of this means that lighter roasts like blonde roasts give the best reflection of the unique taste of each origin climate and characteristics of each coffee bean.

In terms of flavor, light roasts are more complex and have a greater range of flavors from floral notes to sweet, slightly nutty and citrus tangs.

The different coffee roast levels make a big difference in how a coffee will taste.

Dark roast brews up a flavor that can be ashy, smoky, and almost burnt tasting with hints of chocolate, and a nutty deep taste.

The intense roasting time results in the flavors unique to the region of the coffee beans being lost. Very dark roast levels tend to taste a little burnt.

Benefits Of Blonde Roasts

Studies point to the powerful antioxidant effects of coffee being a huge plus point. The fine silverskin on roasted coffee beans has health-benefiting properties that are similar to Vitamin C and up to 400x the efficiency on a per-weight basis.

Currently, scientists are looking for ways to cultivate this substance and assist people to enjoy the health benefits of coffee silverskin via supplementation and creation of coffee silverskin extracts.

The beneficial activity of coffee silverskin is not lost in the heat of brewing coffee. The lower and lighter the roast level, the greater the amount of this substance and many of the other health benefiting properties.

The coffee beans must be heated to at least 170F (76C) for the chemical reaction to occur that activates the potent antioxidants.

Also, of note that unroasted green coffee beans must be boiled for a minimum of 12 minutes at least for the health benefiting compounds to be released.

Blonde roast coffee has a lot more antioxidants and other health-benefiting properties than dark roasts.

Benefits Of Blonde Roasts
A Blonde Roast Is A Healthy Choice

Blonde Roast Vs Dark Roast: The Brewing Methods

You can brew any roast of beans using any coffee brewing technique. You can also brew any beans and any roast at a wide range of brewing temperatures.


there are certain techniques that are better for lighter roasts that will help you to get the full flavor from the beans.

This is where the ingenious and trusted French press coffee brewing technique comes in handy. With the French press, you have full control over all the variables, meaning you have control over the end result.

Also, I suggest trying out an espresso with blonde roasted beans for a different and perhaps unexpected coffee experience. I’ll also add that cold brewing with blonde roast and light roasts results in a very nice, very cool crisp tasting coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About Difference Between Blond And Dark Roast

Is Blonde Or Dark Roast Stronger?

Blonde espresso has much lighter body than a medium roast coffee but is stronger in terms of caffeine than a dark roast coffee. Blonde roast coffees have a notable citrusy flavor and is weaker in terms of strength of flavor as it is lighter and brighter.

Even though the caffeine content is slightly higher, it is not an amount that you will notice. It’s minimal, with only 10 mg of a difference per cup. While some coffee lovers will claim that there is no relationship between roasting time or temperature and the amount of caffeine.

This is simply not true. With all things and all variables properly controlled to be the same, a cup of coffee brewed with lighter roasts have a tiny amount of extra caffeine when compared to medium roast coffee and dark roast coffee.

Does Blonde Roast Taste Different?

Yes, there is an evident and notable difference in taste between a blonde roast and a dark roast. A blonde roast is higher in acidity and lighter and brighter with citrus taste. With light roasts, you get more of the flavors from the beans and their origins than the roasting process.

The longer a coffee is roasted for, the more it takes on the flavors of the origin than the beans. That deep, dark flavor of a dark roast that you love is from the roasting process.

Which Roast Is Stronger Light Or Dark?

When you are referring to the caffeine content, light roasts have more caffeine and can be said to be stronger. In terms of flavor a light roast coffee has the lightest flavor as they are more floral by nature. The stronger flavors come from a medium-dark roast and higher

Which Coffee Roast Is The Strongest Taste?

Dark roast coffee beans have the strongest taste and stronger flavors. The strongest of the dark roasts is an Italian roast. The dark roasting process of using an elevated roasting temperature and roasting for longer ensures that more of the flavors, literally all of the flavor comes from the coffee roasting process.

Coffee drinkers love it for the smoky, deep, dark tastes.

Which Coffee Roast Is Most Popular?

Based on sales volume, medium roast coffee is the most popular coffee in the world. It stands to reason as a medium roast coffee is a middle of the road and very balanced coffee that enjoys the tastes from the roasting process and from the beans.

This is the roast that average run-of-the-mill coffee shops and restaurants use as it is a good one size fits all where the roast can be used in many different coffee drinks.

People love it for its balanced flavor and aroma.

Does Blonde Roast Stain Teeth?


despite being a lighter roast a blonde roast will still stain your teeth, just less than what other darker roasts will.

Frappé-ing It All Up – Difference Between Blond And Dark Roast

The difference between blond and dark roast coffee is vast in many different areas that we can consider. One thing that we can all agree that they have in common is that both produce great tasting coffee. Surprising to many is that blonde roasts are healthier due to greater amounts of antioxidants.

Just be careful of the acidity level being greater and counteract it with bicarbonate of soda.

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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 Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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