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What Is Blonde Espresso?

Starbucks cappuccino

Espresso is a rich, complex coffee drink that’s typically made with dark roast coffee beans. So when Starbucks announced that blonde espresso would be one of its newest products, coffee lovers everywhere were understandably confused.

What exactly is blonde espresso, and is it worth ordering? Is it possibly better than regular espresso? That’s what we’re investigating today! Scroll down to find the answers to all of your burning questions:

The Short Answer
Starbucks Blonde Espresso is a medium-light roast Latin American coffee blend. It’s designed to be balanced, easy to drink, and good with milk.

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What is the Starbucks Blonde Roast?

Starbucks introduced the Blonde Roast back in 2012, and it quickly gained a loyal following — and a fervent crowd of haters. The Blonde Roast is marketed as a “softer, more mellow” version of Starbucks coffee. You can currently buy the Veranda Blend, a lightly roasted Latin American variety with tasting notes of toasted malt and baking chocolate.

Starbucks Veranda Blend

Blonde Roast fans will usually be less excited about bold, dark, and bitter flavors — which is why this variety is often called coffee for coffee haters. You can expect less classic coffee flavor but plenty of caffeine.


How much caffeine?

Too much caffeine coffee with cream

Starbucks Blonde Roast has a much lighter flavor than many coffee types, but it still has plenty of caffeine. Surprisingly, a cup of brewed Blonde Roast has much more caffeine than Starbucks’ other popular blends! You’ll find an impressive 360 milligrams in the Blonde Roast, compared to 260 in a Starbucks dark roast and 310 in a Starbucks medium roast. Read our guide to the caffeine in your favorite Starbucks drinks!


What roast level is Blonde?

Starbucks calls their Blonde Roast a light roast, but keep in mind that Starbucks is famous for roasting its beans very heavily. A light roast from Starbucks typically aligns with a medium roast from other coffee companies.

Light roast coffee beans

There are many roast levels and just as many names for roasts! Light roasts are often called Cinnamon, New England, or Half-City. Light roast coffee beans are typically taken off the heat right around the first crack, at a temperature of 356°F – 401°F. Because they aren’t roasted to the second crack, these beans don’t have oils and look lighter in color. You can read our full guide to coffee roast levels here.


So what is Starbucks Blonde Espresso?

As you might guess, the light roast espresso is a continuation of the Blonde Roast line. Starbucks Blonde Espresso is a lightly roasted blend of Latin American and East African coffee beans. Starbucks markets it as a “softer, more balanced” espresso blend that goes especially well with milk.

Starbucks Blonde Espresso

Don’t forget that just because it’s called espresso doesn’t mean you have to make espresso with it. Espresso beans are the same as coffee beans — it’s all in the preparation method! So you can think of Starbucks Blonde Espresso as a simple light roast that will work in a drip machine, French press, or any other brewer.

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The Bottom Line

Blonde espresso might sound like an oxymoron, but if you want your caffeine kick without that robust espresso flavor, you might enjoy it! Starbucks sells Blonde Roast beans in multiple varieties, and Blonde Espresso is just the latest version. Pick up a bag at your local Starbucks and see what you think.

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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