Blonde Roast Coffee Essential Guide 2024

By Brooke Davis •  Updated: 02/16/22 •  10 min read

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The coffee beans smell like sweet grains and fresh vegetables before roasting. Roasting coffee beans is a healthy process that offers many shades and tastes to green coffee beans.

We now also have blonde roast coffee with light roasts, medium roasts, and dark roasts.

Blonde Roast Coffee
Blonde Roast Coffee

You may think that you know everything about what’s in your cup of coffee that’s made with blonde roast coffee beans. However, there are many misconceptions about the blonde roast.

Let’s discuss this along with all the other information you need to know about it.

What Is Blonde Roast Coffee?

What is Blonde Roast Coffee

Blonde roast is a type of coffee that offers a reasonably acidic flavor with traces of toasted grain and sweetness. It remains in the roaster for a long time, which gives the coffee bean a shine and a light brown color. This roasted coffee also has less fullness or weight than medium or dark coffee.

The Starbucks blonde roast popularized the term “blonde roast,” but actually, it has been around much longer than that. Previously, this coffee roast style was known as cinnamon roast because of its shiny light brown color. Most brands categorize blonde roast coffee as a “light roast.”

What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Mean?

What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Mean

Coffee made from blonde roast coffee beans is called blonde roast coffee. These beans are roasted for a more extended time than the lighter roasts, at (more or less) 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and they remain in the roaster just after/before the first crack.

It allows blonde coffee to offer less intense flavor and a much lighter color, and it’s also less bitter than your regular cup of coffee. The coffee beans that brands, including Starbucks, used to make blonde roast coffee are closer to the medium roast. Instead of a buttery and dark flavor, blonde roast coffee offers a slight citrus taste.

Is Blonde Roast Coffee Stronger?

Is Blonde Roast Coffee Stronger

The term strong is subjective because what one person feels as weak, another may perceive as strong. However, the blonde roasts are more mellow than darker roasts in flavor. So, the dark roast will feel more robust than the blonde roast in flavor.

But when it comes to acidity, the blond roast coffee feels a lot stronger than a dark roast. The acidity of darker coffee beans is broken down because they’re roasted for a longer time than the blonde roast. So, the blond roast has more acidity than a dark roast.

Blonde Roast vs Medium Roast

Blonde roast coffee falls somewhere between the medium and light roasts. That’s why it feels more acidic than the medium roast. The medium roast is roasted at a higher temperature than the blonde roast, and unlike the blonde roast, the coffee beans remain in the roaster after the first crack but not in the second one.

The medium roast coffee beans, as the name suggests, offer medium-level acidity. They also feel buttery as they retain more classic cup of coffee features. If you like caramel scents, you’ll love the medium roast coffee.

Blonde Roast vs Medium Roast
Blonde Roast vs Medium Roast

The Starbucks blond roast coffee offers more mellow flavors and a lighter body, and its roasting time is also shorter. The level of caffeine in blonde roasts is also higher than the medium roasts.

Note: It depends upon the beans used to make the blonde coffee. If we talk about Starbucks, the amount of caffeine that both blonde and medium coffee offer will be somewhat similar because Starbucks uses medium-level coffee beans for the blonde coffee.

The medium roasted coffees have a slightly darker brown color balanced with rich and smooth flavors. The terms breakfast roast, city roast, American roast, and regular roasts are used for medium roast coffees.

Medium roasts have fuller bodies, lower acidity, and a drier surface than blonde roasts and light roasts. Most coffee drinkers love medium roasts, and that’s why specialty coffee roasters make this type of coffee more than light roasts.

Blonde Espresso vs Regular Espresso

The regular espresso coffee is made with dark roast, whereas the blonde espresso is lighter. Blond espresso is usually made with Latin American and East American coffee beans, and it offers a sweet, mellow, creamy, and smooth flavor.

The dark roast coffee beans, sourced from the Pacific regions and Latin America, are used to make the original regular espresso. It offers a much stronger flavor, but you still feel the traces of caramel.

The regular espresso roast is very different from the blonde espresso as they have different tastes, colors, flavors, coffee beans origin, and blends. The blonde espresso offers a lighter color than the darker regular espresso.

The dark roast coffee beans used to make regular espresso also offer an oily layer, making traditional espresso shinier than blonde espresso. The caffeine in blonde espresso is higher than the regular espresso as it uses coffee beans with a lighter color.

Blonde Espresso vs Regular Espresso
Blonde Espresso vs Regular Espresso – Which Do You Prefer?

For example, the grand blonde espresso of Starbucks contains 360 milligrams of caffeine, and the regular espresso offers 260 milligrams of caffeine.

Both regular espresso and blonde espresso use different blends. The blond espresso uses coffee beans to offer a balanced and smooth sweetness with traces of citrus notes. On the other hand, regular espresso uses coffee beans that provide sweet and bold flavors.

The blonde espresso is made by roasting the ground for a short time at a low temperature, and the regular espresso is made with dark roasts that create a solid and intense profile and smooth and creamy body. A key factor behind the popularity of the blond roast is its mouthwatering taste. It’s slightly sweeter, more mellow, and softer than the regular espresso.

Lastly, the blonde espresso is weaker than the regular espresso. If you don’t like coffee’s bitter and dark taste, you’ll prefer blonde espresso over the regular one. That’s because the regular espresso has a relatively smooth and intense flavor.

Blonde Roast vs Light Roast

Like the light roast coffee, a blonde roast offers higher acidity and a more lightweight body than the darker roasts. There are also multiple light roasts, such as white and gold roasts.

Some people also consider blonde roasts a light roast coffee, but it offers a slightly darker color than the lightest roasts and feels a little more bitter.

In addition, the blonde roast is roasted at a slightly higher temperature than the light roasts and for a longer time. Cinnamon roast, half city, and light city are known as light roasts. It also means these coffee beans are roasted between 356 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Blonde Roast vs Light Roast
Blonde Roast vs Light Roast

The light roast is removed from the roaster at the start or before the first crack, whereas the blonde roast is usually removed just after the first crack.

So, there is minimal difference between the two types.

It’s important to note that the definition of the blonde roast varies significantly. Some people believe that the blonde roast beans are closer to the medium roast and others, including Starbucks, say they are a light roast.

Although some people consider the blonde roast a light one, it’s not the lightest roast beans out there. It offers less caffeine than the gold roast (light roast), but you can customize your brew to change that.


Is Blonde Roast a Strong Coffee?

It depends upon your definition of strong. What you feel strong might be weak for another person. If you know what a dark roast tastes like, the blonde roast is less intense than that. On the other hand, if you usually drink light coffee, the blond roast will feel more substantial.

However, light brews such as golden roasts are stronger than blonde roasts in terms of acidity. Additionally, the blonde roast will feel more acidic than the dark roast. That’s because the blonde roast is roasted for a more extended period than light roasts, and it remains on the roster for a shorter time than the dark roasts.

What is the Difference Between Blonde and Regular Coffee?

The definition of regular coffee varies from place to place and from café to café. Usually, it means a coffee with two sugars and milk. If that’s your definition of coffee, then unsurprisingly, the significant difference between blonde and regular coffee is the taste. The blonde coffee feels slightly smoother, sweeter, and more mellow than the regular one.

If your regular coffee is lighter than the blonde, then you’ll find blonde coffee more bitter than that. However, the blonde coffee will offer less caffeine than your regular one in this case.

Does Blonde Roast Coffee Have More Caffeine?

The blonde roast coffee offers more caffeine than any coffee made with darker roasts than the blonde roasts. The amount of caffeine decreases as the roasting time of the coffee beans increases. The higher the roasting time of a coffee bean, the less caffeine it’ll offer.

The blonde coffee will offer less caffeine if you compare it with lighter roasts such as gold roast. That’s because the gold roast remains in the roaster for a shorter time than the blonde roast.

Is Blonde Roast Hot?

The coffee beans used to make blonde roasts are roasted hotter and longer than light roasts. If you compare dark roasts with blonde roasts, the dark roasts are roasted hotter and more prolonged. The roasting time also affects the acidity of the coffee bean. The higher the roasting time, the less acidic the coffee bean.

The blond coffee is traditionally made hot, and you can enjoy blonde roast espresso, blonde caffe latte, blonde cappuccino, and blonde flat white. These coffees offer different flavors, and you can choose the one you like the most. You can also enjoy blonde roast by making an iced coffee such as the blonde iced americano. It’s a refreshing and tasteful beverage that offers a little citrusy flavor, which makes it perfect for a hot day.

Is Blonde Roast the Strongest at Starbucks?

No, the blonde roast is not the strongest one at Starbucks. According to the official Starbucks website, their blonde roast is less bitter and intense than Starbucks’ regular one, and it offers a sweeter, smoother, and more mallow taste, making it one of the best coffees of Starbucks.

Starbucks offers multiple types of blonde coffees such as blonde americanos, blonde cappuccinos, blonde flat whites, and blonde lattes. The blonde espresso is lighter and sweeter than Starbucks’s other espressos. It also offers hints of orange and lemon, which makes Starbucks blonde a unique coffee. If you’re looking for a brew with a more mellowed taste, you’ll love Starbucks blondes.

Is Blonde Roast Stronger than Pike?

The darker the bean, the less caffeine it’ll offer. The pike roast is one of the specialty roasts of Starbucks, made from a blended mixture of cark beans that have a bold flavor and rich taste. So, the blonde is lighter than the pike and thus, offers more caffeine than the pike.

Sixteen ounces of the blonde roast of Starbucks offer about 360 milligrams of caffeine, and the same amount of the pike place roast provides 330 milligrams of caffeine. When it comes to taste, the flavor of the pike place roast is more bitter than the blonde because it’s made with dark roasts. On the other hand, the blonde roast feels lighter, sweeter, and smoother.

The Bottom Line

Don’t get too hung up on the term “blonde roast” because it doesn’t have any strict definition. Choosing the proper roast means finding the coffee flavor you enjoy the most. The blonde roast may serve you well if you like a smooth, sweet and bright coffee that comes with complex floral and fruity flavors.

However, this light roast coffee is more acidic than medium and dark roasts, and its cell structure also remains more intact than the dark and medium roasts during the roasting process.

Brooke Davis

Hi everyone, my name is Brooke and I’m a Barista and freelance writer. I love brewing coffee and my favorite coffee drink is without doubt an Americano (espresso with added hot water). When I’m not busy making or writing about coffee you’ll find me hanging out at the beach with friends in California where I am currently residing. Follow me on: Linkedin

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