Is Blonde Espresso Stronger? 5 Surprising Light Roast Truths

By Mark •  Updated: 04/28/23 •  12 min read

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Have you ever wondered if that blonde espresso packs more punch than its medium or dark roast buddies? 

You’re not alone!

This question has been brewing in the minds of caffeine aficionados everywhere. 

So, let’s jump into the steamy world of blonde espresso and get to the bottom of this mystery!

When sizing up the strength of coffee, what comes to mind?

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Debunking the Myth
Is Blonde Espresso Stronger? Debunking the Myth

Flavor? Intensity? Caffeine levels?

Well, buckle up, my caffeinated friend, because you might be surprised to learn that a lighter roast like blonde espresso can hold its own against the big, bold flavors of darker roasts.

But before you go switching up your coffee order, some critical differences in taste and caffeine content could make or break your love affair with blonde espresso.

As I spill the beans on the truth behind blonde espresso, you’ll find out why people can’t get enough of it, how it stands up to medium and dark roasts in the strength department, and what this all means for your next cup of joe.

You’ll be a bonafide blonde coffee connoisseur, ready to impress your friends and baristas with your newfound brewing wisdom!

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger?

So, you’re weighing the pros and cons of blonde espresso vs. regular espresso, huh? 

By examining caffeine content and flavor profiles, let’s dive headfirst into what makes a coffee strong.

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger
Is Blonde Espresso Stronger?

Here’s a fun fact: due to its shorter roasting time, blonde espresso contains more caffeine than regular espresso! A single shot of Starbucks Blonde espresso boasts 85 mg of caffeine, while a regular espresso shot sits at 75 mg. 

So, if you’re hunting for an eye-opening boost, blonde espresso might be your new best friend.

But what about flavor, you ask?

Regular espresso tends to bring a more robust and bolder taste to the table, but don’t be fooled by the lighter flavor of blonde roast – it still packs a punch! 

With higher acidity levels and a citrusy kick, blonde espresso offers a unique and refreshing flavor experience.

How I Compared Blonde Espresso Strength, Caffeine Level, pH Level, and Flavor

I compared blonde espresso’s strength, caffeine levels, pH levels, and flavor to help you understand the differences between blonde espresso and other coffee contenders. 

Here’s a taste of my method:

  1. Caffeine Level: To measure the buzz factor in each type of coffee, I compared the average caffeine content per shot or serving size. This info sheds light on differences in caffeine content, like how blonde espresso boasts around 85mg per shot, while regular espresso comes in at about 75mg.
  2. pH Level: To spot acidity differences, I analyzed the pH levels of each coffee type. Since acidity is crucial in flavor profiles, this comparison highlights the distinct taste contrasts between coffee varieties. For example, blonde espresso rocks a pH level close to 4.5, while regular espresso leans toward a 5.5 or 6 pH level.
  3. Strength and Flavor: When it came to strength and flavor, I brewed up a storm by considering factors like roasting level, bean density, and brewing methods. This comparison uncovers how blonde espresso is lighter in roast and flavor than regular espresso, medium and dark roasts, and even cold brew.

And here’s my summary of what I discovered:

Coffee TypeCaffeine Content (mg/8 oz)pH LevelFlavor Profile
Blonde Espresso170 (85 mg per shot)~5.0Lighter roast, higher acidity, citrusy notes
Regular Espresso130-150 (65-75 mg per shot)~4.8Bold, intense, smoky, sweet, caramelized, nutty
Medium Roast90-120~5.1Balanced acidity, fruity, chocolatey, slightly sweet
Dark Roast60-100~4.6Robust, smoky, low acidity, bittersweet, earthy
Cold Brew150-2004.85 to 5.13Smooth, less acidic, sweet, fruity, chocolatey

Blonde Espresso vs. Regular Espresso

You’ll instantly spot the difference when you see blonde espresso next to a regular espresso. Blonde espresso’s got that lighter brown vibe, while traditional espresso goes darker.

Pretty cool, huh?

So, how about that caffeine kick? Blonde espresso carries around 85mg of caffeine per shot, while regular espresso gives you about 75mg. Not a massive gap, but hey, every little bit counts when you need that extra boost!

Blonde Espresso vs. Regular Espresso
Blonde Espresso vs. Regular Espresso

Ever tried blonde espresso? 

It’s all about that creamy, smooth body that brings out the coffee’s natural sweetness. Conversely, regular espresso hits you with a more intense, robust flavor and a finish that sticks around.

If you’re into less bitter, more nuanced tastes, give blonde espresso a go. And here’s a pro tip from Coffee Geek: use quality beans and grind ’em fresh to fully appreciate that flavor.

One more thing – the lighter roast of blonde espresso gives it a slightly higher acidity compared to a regular espresso. You’ll find a pH level close to 4.5 for blonde, while traditional espresso leans toward a 5.5 or 6 pH level.

Who knew coffee could be so fascinating, right?

Blonde Espresso vs. Dark Roast

Let’s start by sizing up blonde espresso and dark roast! 

One glance will tell you there’s a difference in appearance and color. 

Blonde espresso, a lighter roast, sports a golden hue, while the dark roast lives up to its name with a darker, brownish color.

Blonde Espresso vs. Dark Roast
Blonde Espresso vs. Dark Roast

Darker roast = more caffeine, right? 

Think again! 

Blonde roasts can hold their own in the caffeine department, matching dark roasts mg for mg. So, if you’re craving an energy boost, either roast has your back!

When it comes to tantalizing your (coffee) taste buds, these two roasts bring unique flavors to the table:

  • Blonde Roast: Milder taste, smoother mouthfeel – perfect for those not keen on punchy flavors.
  • Dark Roast: Stronger, more robust flavor with a sharp and intense kick – a win for fans of bold taste!

Acidity (pH) also sets blonde espresso and dark roast apart. Generally, blonde roasts are more acidic, giving them a brighter, more nuanced flavor. 

To make things simple, here’s a breakdown:

  • Blonde Roast: Higher acidity, brighter flavor, more nuanced.
  • Dark Roast: Lower acidity, bolder flavor, less subtle.

Blonde Espresso vs. Cold Brew

Blonde espresso, true to its name, sports a lighter color thanks to its lighter roast. 

Cold brew, though, goes deep and dark since it’s brewed with cold water over a long time, extracting more coffee goodness.

Now, let’s talk about caffeine

A 1-ounce shot of blonde espresso carries 85mg, while a 12-ounce tall cold brew boasts 155mg—that’s 13mg per ounce. 

Blonde Espresso vs. Cold Brew
Blonde Espresso vs. Cold Brew

So, although blonde espresso has a higher caffeine concentration, your daily caffeine intake depends on how much you drink.

Food for thought, right?

Acidity in coffee affects its flavor and how your stomach feels. 

Generally, cold brew is less acidic than espresso, all thanks to its brewing process. 

But hey, the exact acidity depends on several factors, like the beans and roast profile.

Is a Blonde Roast Stronger Than a Cold Brew? 

Comparing blonde roast coffee and cold brew is tricky since they’re different brewing methods. While blonde roast refers to the roast level of coffee beans, cold brew is a brewing method that usually yields a smoother, less acidic taste. The strength depends on the beans and brewing techniques you use.

Strength in Coffee: Roasting Process & Beans 

Coffee strength is all about the roasting process and the beans you choose. Let’s dive into the different roast types and how they influence taste and strength, featuring blonde, dark, and medium roasts.

Blonde Espresso Roast: Light & Lively 

Blonde espresso roast beans enjoy a shorter roast time at lower temperatures

What does that mean? 

A lighter color, denser beans, and—get this—higher caffeine content. So if you need a kick, go blonde!

Dark Roast Coffee: Bold & Beautiful

Dark Roast Beans
Dark Roast Beans

Dark roast beans get roasted longer at higher temps, which means a darker color and a robust, bolder flavor. But here’s the twist: they often have less caffeine due to the roasting process.

Medium Roast: The Perfect Balance

Medium Roast The Perfect Balance
Medium Roast The Perfect Balance

Medium roast is like the Goldilocks of coffee—just right. It bridges the gap between light and dark, balancing origin characteristics and roasting profiles for a delicious, moderate caffeine experience.

Roasting Time: The Magic Ingredient 

Roasting time is crucial for taste and caffeine content. Keep these factors in mind:

  • Lighter color: Shorter roast time and lower temps give blonde espresso roasts a more golden color and higher caffeine.
  • First crack: Coffee beans “crack” during roasting, triggering the Maillard reaction. Blonde espresso roasts exit the heat soon after (around 350°F to 400°F).

Brewing Methods & Grinds: Unlocking the Perfect Blonde Espresso

Let’s discuss how brewing methods and grinds can make or break your blonde espresso experience. 

Ready to dive in?

Espresso Machines: Under Pressure 

Espresso machines can crank up the strength of your blonde espresso thanks to the pressure during extraction. A fine grind is your best bet here. 

Tweak grind size and pressure until correct – because who doesn’t love experimenting with coffee?

French Press: Coarse & Time-Steeped 

Ever tried brewing blonde espresso with a French press? Go for a coarser grind, and remember: more steeping time equals more robust coffee

Adjust steeping time and grind to match your personal coffee power level.

Drip Coffee: The Middle Way

Drip coffee brewing and blonde espresso are a match made in heaven. 

Use a medium grind and experiment with espresso extraction times for a more robust or milder brew.

As you test out different brewing methods and grinds, remember there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the perfect blonde espresso strength. 

Your taste buds will be your guide.

Taste & Strength Showdown: Blonde Espresso vs. Traditional Espresso

Curious about the taste and strength differences between blonde espresso and traditional espresso? Let’s compare these two coffee contenders.

Blonde espresso’s lighter roast gives it a unique flavor profile – more acidic and slightly sweet, with floral and citrus notes. Plus, it can pack around 10 mg more caffeine per shot than regular espresso. 

Taste & Strength Showdown Blonde Espresso vs. Traditional Espresso
Taste & Strength Showdown: Blonde Espresso vs. Traditional Espresso

Talk about a wake-up call!

Traditional espresso, on the other hand, uses a darker roast for a smoky, sweet, caramelized taste with nutty hints. 

Though it may have slightly less caffeine, its intense flavor and full-bodied character make it feel stronger to some coffee enthusiasts.

Health Aspects & Antioxidants: A Little Extra Goodness

You might be wondering if blonde espresso is healthier than regular espresso. While there’s no definitive proof, lighter roasts like blonde espresso have some health benefits, like higher antioxidant and chlorogenic acid content

These compounds help protect your cells from damage and inflammation.

Here’s the lowdown on antioxidants in blonde espresso:

  • Higher antioxidant content compared to dark roast espresso
  • It contains chlorogenic acid, which helps protect cells from damage and inflammation
  • Fights free radicals, contributing to overall health

So, next time you indulge in a blonde roast coffee, savor its unique, light, citrusy flavor and the added health benefits of this lighter roast. 

Blonde Roast Coffee Strength FAQs

This section will tackle common questions and personal preferences surrounding blonde espresso and other coffee roasts. 

Remember that taste is personal, and what’s perfect for you might not be for someone else.

Is Blonde Roast Coffee Stronger? 

Is Blonde Roast Coffee Stronger 

Blonde roast coffee sports a lighter flavor and higher acidity than a dark roast, and it’s less oily, flaunting a citrusy flavor instead of a bold, intense one. Whether you find it more potent or not depends on your taste buds.

Is Blonde or Dark Roast Coffee Stronger?

Is Blonde or Dark Roast Coffee Stronger

Dark roast coffee generally has a more intense flavor and lower acidity, while blonde roast is mellower, more acidic, and lighter in taste. Dark roast is often seen as more robust in flavor, but your perception of strength ultimately hinges on your preferences.

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Than Signature?

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Than Signature

Regarding flavor, blonde espresso isn’t considered stronger than a signature (often dark) roast. It has a smoother, slightly more acidic taste than the signature espresso’s boldness.

Is Blonde Roast Coffee Stronger Than a Medium Roast?

Is Blonde Roast Coffee Stronger Than a Medium Roast

Deciding whether blonde roast coffee is stronger than a medium roast is subjective and depends on your taste. While blonde roast coffee is known for its higher acidity and citrusy flavor, a medium roast offers a balanced taste between blonde roast’s light acidity and dark roast’s intensity.

Blonde Espresso Strength Recap

So, we’ve chatted about Blonde Espresso and discovered that it’s a powerful coffee choice, but its strength comes from different aspects than regular espresso:

  1. Blonde espresso has a lighter roast and flavor than its dark roast espresso buddy.
  2. It’s like a caffeine superhero, with higher caffeine content—typically about 85 mg per shot—while regular espresso musters up around 65-75 mg of caffeine.
  3. Ever tried lemonade with a twist? Blonde Espresso has a higher acidity level and more citrusy notes in its flavor profile, thanks to its lighter roast.

Are you curious if you’ll enjoy a stronger caffeine kick without the intense flavor of a traditional dark roast espresso? 

Then it’s worth giving Blonde Espresso a go. 

Just remember, like with any food or drink, everyone’s taste preferences are unique, so the best way to know if it’s right for you is to try it yourself.

If you would love to learn more then please check out my Blonde Espresso Roast Coffee Guide!


G'day from Australia! I'm Mark, the Chief Editor of Portafilter. I'm super passionate about everything coffee-related and love to spend endless hours mastering pulling the perfect shot on my Breville Barista Express. Follow on: Linkedin and Facebook.

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