Once in a while, I’m asked if Starbucks blonde roast coffee is stronger than a mug of dark roast java? I figured I’d settle the debate once and for all.
When it comes to caffeine content, Starbucks blonde roast is stronger than their medium or dark roasts. Although, the classic and dark roasts have bolder and more vivid coffee flavors.
So, if you’re looking at it specifically from a caffeine point of view, then blonde roast is stronger than almost any other regular coffee you can order from Starbucks.
On the other hand, if you’re asking about flavor, then you’ll find their dark roast to be more pronounced with familiar coffee notes and tones.
Does Blonde Roast Have More Caffeine?
Let’s compare the caffeine levels of the most common 8oz drinks at Starbucks to get a better idea of which is the strongest.
Pike Place Brewed coffee, which is usually a medium roast has 155mg of caffeine per 8oz serving.
The same size mug of Starbucks featured dark roast has only 130mg of caffeine.
While Starbucks blonde roast tops the list at 180mg per serving.
All these statistics are provided by caffeine informer.
As you can see, on average blonde roast coffee has the most caffeine out of all regular coffee drinks you can order from Starbucks.
What Makes Blonde Roast Stronger?
The reason it has more caffeine is due to the unique blend of beans used for the coffee. A new blend requires new beans, right? The original roast at Starbucks was made from dark roast beans originating from Latin America and the Asian Pacific.
Blonde roast is made from beans grown in Latin America and East Africa. It’s the different beans that make this coffee stronger and not the roasting technique.
Whoever was responsible for choosing the beans for this roast wasn’t going to pick weaker java, right? Did anyone ask for weaker coffee?
What Does ‘Blonde Roast’ Mean?
Now that you know where the blonde roast comes from you might be wondering where the name “blonde” originated. It’s just really good marketing more than anything else.
When talking about coffee, the word ‘blonde’ obviously implies light roast coffee. In the case of blonde roast, it’s really not as light as you may be thinking.
Starbucks likes to advertise their blonde roast as ‘light roast’. In reality, it’s more like a medium roast when you compare it to other coffee. The reason it makes sense for Starbucks to call their medium-roast “light” is that most of their coffee beans area true dark roast.
The term “Blonde Roast” started being used by Starbucks around 2012 to identify their lighter coffee beans.
Up until then, the coffee industry referred to these beans as cinnamon roast due to the color of the beans. That confused a few people who believed cinnamon roast referred to taste instead of color.
I find that completely understandable since normal people don’t geek out about coffee as we do.
So, introducing the term ‘blonde roast’ was not only an easy way to clear up the confusion, but also a fantastic marketing strategy for Starbucks to separate themselves from the competition.
What Does Blonde Roast Coffee Taste Like?
Everyone will have a different experience drinking blonde roast coffee, especially if you’re having it for the first time.
I personally found it to be mildly sweet with a lingering citrusy after-taste.
By comparison, the original dark roast coffee has more of an earthy and bolder flavor. It tends to be more bitter than blonde roast.
I believe this coffee roast works in more ways than one. The unique flavor originating from the beans is a success and the brew provides the energetic kick expected.
I could go on and on about my experience with the drink but to get a true idea for the flavor you’ll need to try it yourself.
Is Blonde Roast Less Acidic?
Blonde roast coffee will always be more acidic than medium or dark roast coffee.
As beans are roasted they release certain juices and acids. The longer the coffee is roasted the more of these acids escape from the coffee bean.
Since blonde roast coffee is a light/medium roast it will always be more acidic than the darker roasts at Starbucks.
Acidic levels of a coffee drink matter because they will impact the flavor and pleasantness of your drink.
When it comes to coffee, this flavor can be described as citrusy.
The extra acidity can lead to discomfort for people with heartburn or IBS. If you’re interested in trying blonde roast but want to avoid any of the discomforts, take a look at this article on how to make coffee less acidic.
Is Blonde Roast and Blonde Espresso Roast the Same Thing?
In simple terms, yes, blonde roast and blonde espresso roast are the same types of coffee. They are just ground and packaged differently.
Veranda Blend Blonde Roast coffee is the bright creamy package that sticks out on a shelf of Starbucks coffee products.
Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast is the same coffee but packaged specifically for single-serve coffee makers.
5 Drinks at Starbucks that Use Blonde Roast
If you’re at the famous coffee shop and want to try the blonde roast for yourself, there are 4 different drinks you can order.
Blonde Roast Espresso
A little sweeter and smoother than the regular shot of espresso at Starbucks. If you want to know more, check out my article about Blonde Roast Espresso.
Blonde Caffè Latte
Your latte can take on a little extra flavor and caffeine when made with a blonde roast. I suggest trying the latte with vanilla syrup. The citrusy notes of blonde roast coffee pair fantastically with vanilla flavors.
Try this delightful coffee the next time you’re are Starbucks. Especially if you enjoy a cappuccino daily. When brewed with blonde roast, this coffee takes on a little extra personality.
Blonde Flat White
With a little extra caffeine and a lot of extra flavors, you may be surprised at how well blonde roast works with a flat white. If you want to know more about the flat white, or other types of coffee drinks, you can find them here.
Blonde Iced Americano
Tasteful and refreshing. When made with blonde roast, the iced americano takes on a little citrusy flavor, perfect for a hot day.
Blonde Roast Coffee at Home
Great, now that you’ve learned everything about blonde roast coffee it’s time for you to try it.
You’ll still need to purchase the beans from their official website or the next time you’re at the store. Although, I like it when pro-baristas make my coffee for me.
People who like to use a Keurig or a Nespresso machine will be happy to know I’ve also seen blonde roast come packaged in pods.
I haven’t tried one from a pod before so I can’t speak to the quality of the brew, but if you’ve had a chance to sip it please let me know what you thought of it.
Is Blonde Roast the Same as Cinnamon Roast?
Blonde roast used to be referred to as cinnamon roast for many years, mainly because of the color of the beans. Starbucks introduced the term blonde roast because they realized customers were confused by the name. They realized coffee drinkers thought cinnamon roast referred to the taste of the bean instead of the color.
What’s the Best Way to Make Blonde Roast Coffee?
Starbucks blonde roast is best suited for brewing in an automatic coffee machine or a pour-over. I find its optimal flavor requires a paper filter. You can make the coffee using a French press but expect the flavor to be bold and a little sharp.
Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast: https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122186/whole-bean?parent=%2Fat-home-coffee%2Fwhole-bean%2Fblonde-roast
Dark Vs. Light Roast: https://www.kickinghorsecoffee.com/en/blog/caffeine-myths-dark-vs-light
I’ve always seen coffee as a way of bringing people together. Everywhere I go people seem to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and that’s what drives my passion. There’s always a new brew to master, and there’s always a new face to enjoy it with. Hitch a ride with me on a coffee-fueled adventure to find a perfect cup.