I seen a question asked on our active online community, “What does Blonde roast coffee mean?” This article is an expanded and more detailed answer to the reply I gave.
Here is a simplified and quick answer for those of you that are in a rush. Where and when you see the term blonde roast coffee it is reference to the roasting process and roast level that the coffee was taken too.
It’s the lightest of the light roasts, a type of coffee that is tasty and has more of the flavors of origin than the roasting process.
For more details and detailed answer to what a blonde roast coffee is, keep reading!
What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Mean? What Is A Blonde Roast Coffee?
A blonde roast coffee is simply a coffee bean that has been roasted at a lower temperature and for a slightly less period of time than other roast profiles. A Blonde roast was formerly known as a cinnamon roast due to the color being very similar to the spice.
The change of name from cinnamon roast to blonde roast occurred slowly and progressively when cinnamon started getting added to coffee and became popular amongst coffee drinkers and unfortunately confusion arose regarding which beverage they wanted – a cinnamon roast or a coffee with cinnamon spice added.
Thus, the name had to be changed.
A blonde coffee has a very light taste, a sharp acidity, underdeveloped sweetness and a lot more of the delicate and intricate flavors of the beans and the origins than other roasted coffee beans.
This roast and other light roasts are perfect for your specialty grade single origin coffee beans. The perfect brewing technique is a pour over as you can extract more of the intricate and delicate flavors into your cup of coffee.
Read: What is Starbucks blonde roast?
What Is A Blonde Espresso?
A Blonde espresso is a shot of espresso brewed with a blonde espresso roast. The beverage is popularized at Starbucks and has a touch more caffeine than their regular espresso shot, not a lot more, it’s 75 mg vs 85 mg.
With the exception of Starbucks, blonding espresso shots have never been seen as a good thing.
Blonding espresso involves the barista watching their shot flow and keeping an eye on the color to fade from the golden color to a blonde color. When this happens, the barista stops pulling his shot.
When a shot starts blonding all the coffee solubles have been extracted and the maximum flavor and caffeine has been extracted.
The Roasting Of A Blonde Roast Coffee
Roasted at 196C (385F) and is the second lightest of all coffee roasts behind a white coffee – which is something that you will either have to order online or be incredibly lucky to find in your local coffee shop, unless you live in certain parts of Asia where it is easily found.
The beans are roasted to the first crack and then roasting stopped. Some roasters even stop just before the first crack. Due to the very light roasting process, a blonde roast coffee bean is a lot denser than other coffee beans, which makes them a little more difficult to grind than a medium roast coffee and a dark roast coffee bean.
It is a little harder on your grinder, but it will not be a problem for a good quality grinder with a solid conical ceramic burr.
Read: Blonde roast Vs Medium roast
Grinding Light Roast Coffee Beans
There are various types of coffee grinders and different grinder types (blade Vs burr, flat burr Vs conical burr) and the material stainless steel vs ceramic. Grinders are a complexity within themselves.
I highly recommend the use of a conical ceramic burr grinder as they produce a better quality grind that is more even in size and the heat dissipation is insulated by the ceramic material.
The ceramic material is strong enough to last a very long time, years of use with the grinding of blonde roast beans and other softer medium and dark roast coffee beans. If your conical burr becomes worn down it can easily be fixed or inexpensively replaced.
Blonde Roast Taste
A blonde roast is higher in acidity and has a slightly sour taste with touches and hints of citrus notes. You can notice a slight lingering lemon like aftertaste.
Very little of the flavor comes from the roasting process with only a light toasty hint being noted. It’s light bodied with no coffee oils making their way into your cup of coffee. The flavor comes from the beans and their location rather than the roasting process.
A blonde is light, bright and, if you are a coffee fan or coffee lover you will likely enjoy this roast profile as you will start to notice and be able to tell the difference between coffees grown in different locations.
Blonde Roast Caffeine
Factually speaking, and facts matter a blonde roast has a greater caffeine content than other roasts but don’t go around expecting a serious caffeine boost, or a notably greater caffeine boost because the difference is minimal and is not at all something that you will notice.
The caffeine content of a blonde roast when compared to Starbucks Pike Place is show in the table below.
|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|
Clearly there is more caffeine in a blonde roast. This is not debatable.
Read: Blonde roast
Blonde Roast Vs Light Roast
This is not a comparison to make as the term “light roast” is a category of roast that contains two main coffee roasts, the blonde roast and the New England roast. There is a third roast, a white coffee, which is also known as a half roast as it is roasted for half the time that a blonde roast is roasted for.
Most coffee beans that are labelled as a light roast are a New England roast, unless specifically stated (i.e they are called a blonde roast or white roast).
Light Roasted Coffees
Let’s talk about the differences between the three coffees that make up the light roast category:
- White Coffee: Roasted at 196C (385F) and are even lighter than a blonde roast and a roasted before the first crack.
- Blonde Roast: The roasting temperature is the same as a white coffee but is roasted for longer, typically twice as long as a white coffee and just beyond the first crack.
- New England Roast: This is roasted at a slightly higher temperature and for a few minutes longer and is slightly darker than a blonde roast and still a very mellow, light and muted coffee that highlights the characteristics of the origin. It is a roast that is preferred by many top coffee roasters.
All three have a lighter body and greater acidity when compared to other roasts.
Is Blonde Coffee The Same As Light Roast?
A blonde roast, also referred to as a Half City roast or a Light City roast and occasionally (very rarely) a cinnamon roast is a light roast. There are one and the same.
One of the problems in the coffee industry is there is no specific organization or body that sets the names of coffee roasts hence the various names for what is the one same thing.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Mean?
Is Blonde Coffee Better?
Blonde coffee may be better for your health due to having significantly greater levels of antioxidants than darker roasts. Due to the antioxidant potential there is a greater health benefit to drinking a blonde coffee than another roast, with the exception of a white coffee.
A white coffee has been roasted for half the time that a blonde coffee roast and thus has slightly more antioxidants. A white coffee is rare, and very difficult to find.
Does Blonde Roast Stain Teeth?
Blonde coffee will stain your teeth just as any other coffee roast would. The rule of thumb is that darker roasts will stain your teeth more than a light roast. Due to a blonde roast coffee being more acidic, it will be more damaging for your teeth.
Does Blonde Coffee Taste Different?
Yes, the taste of a blonde coffee is very evident from your first sip. The difference in taste is very obvious and easily noticeable, particularly when compared to a dark roast.
A blonde coffee is notably lighter, more mild and mellow tasting with more of the unique flavors from the beans and the location. Some can taste more floral and citrus notes with, at times and depending on the beans, a lemon-like aftertaste. The greater acidity means the taste is slightly sour.
You will not get the typical and expected traditional coffee taste that you perhaps associate with medium-dark or dark roasts.
Is Blonde Roast The Strongest Coffee At Starbucks?
The strongest and most caffeinated beverage at Starbucks is the Venti 20 oz, (600 ml) blonde roast with 475 mg of caffeine.
as a matter of accuracy, the clover brewed coffee for all other drink sizes has more caffeine than the same drink size as a blonde roast. Even their blonde espresso has more caffeine than their regular espresso shot.
Which Roast Of Coffee Is Least Bitter?
The coffee roast that is the least bitter is a light roast. The lighter the coffee roast, the less bitter it will be. This means that a blonde roast, the lightest of the light roast coffees, is the least bitter.
An Asian rarity, which I have not included in this since it is very hard to find, white coffee, also known as a half roast is even less bitter than a blonde roast.
A dark roast coffee is the most bitter, with an Italian roast being the most bitter of the dark roasted coffees.
What Coffee Has No Bitter Taste?
The variety of coffee beans that have the least bitter taste are arabica coffee beans. The roast that is the least bitter is a blonde roast and thus a blonde roasted Arabica coffee will be the least bitter.
Also, as a coffee beverage – regardless of the roast, that has little to no taste of bitterness is a cold brew coffee.
Final Thoughts – What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Mean?
Reading this far you no longer need to scratch your head and curiously wonder what does blonde roast coffee mean as you know exactly what it means and what a blonde roast is.
You know that it is a great tasting light roasted coffee that has been roasted to the first crack and no more.
If you want a nice little tip or piece of advice from me – master, truly master the pour over coffee brewing technique as this is by far the best coffee brewing method that will get more of the light, lovely and delicate flavors from your blonde roasted coffee beans into your cup of coffee.