Is Blonde Roast Stronger? The Science Behind Roasting

Coffee geeks are always curious to know the complexity behind coffee roasts. After all, you can’t enjoy the drink to the fullest without knowing the basics. However, a geek will go deeper. Why? Because we don’t order by seeing the menu, but by knowing how it may taste. 

Coffee roasting has always been a trending discussion- especially in the regions where coffee replaces tea. There are dark roasts and medium roasts. We also know about white roast coffee. But, what is a blonde roast? Is blonde roast stronger? There are a lot of questions that might come to your mind at this moment. 

And, if you are genuinely looking for an answer, it is NO! Blonde roast is not stronger. Come, let’s read ahead and find out what it means. 

What is Blonde Roast?

blonde roast coffee

Roasting is exciting stuff. Whenever you buy coffee, you go through the information about its roast type. After all, ‘how it is roasted’ has a lot to do with ‘how it tastes.’ Meanwhile, most of us know about dark roasts and medium roasts. Most of Starbucks’ coffee comes from dark roast beans. 

Then you find organic coffee brands and commercial ones selling medium roast coffee. 

Now, if you visit Starbucks, you will find blonde espresso being one of their permanent drinks on its menu. 

So, what is blonde espresso?

Blonde means lighter. So, roasting is light. Blonde roast is lightly roasted coffee beans that you can serve espresso-style or milk, sugar, and cream. 

Blonde roast is nothing new. It has always been on the roasting list ever since fancy coffee roastings have been used. It is just marketed in this way under the hood of “blonde roast” by Starbucks. 

So, Starbucks has brought the beans into the mass with a new name and identity- which is an excellent example of efficient marketing. 

How Does Blonde Roast Coffee Taste?

As said earlier, the roasting process has a lot to do with the taste. You already know dark-roast coffee tastes more bitter than medium-roast. In that way, blonde roasts are lightly roasted coffee beans that should taste “less bitter.” 

Do you want to know the science behind it?

So, how does roasting affect the taste? During the roasting process, the beans are roasted at a specific temperature where the chemicals start giving up their qualities. Different chemicals present in beans have different dilution rates. 

For example, 

sweetness and acidity are revealed before bitterness.

Blonde roasting does not reach the point for the beans to give up their bitterness, making it “less bitter” overall. Again, the acidity of the bean also remains in them, providing it a lemony taste. You will also find it smooth and mellow. 

Starbucks says their blonde espresso has a “Lighter body and mellow spectrum.”

You will find blonde espresso impressive, tasty, smooth, and lemony if you don’t enjoy bitter coffee. The drink is quite popular at the Starbucks chain. You can also buy Starbucks blonde roast beans from their website. 

Is Blonde Espresso Strong? 

In simple words, NO! Instead, it is a lighter roast, having “less bitterness” and a more “smooth and lemony” flavor in it. 

But, it needs more discussion. First of all, “strong” is very subjective regarding coffee. What do you mean by strong? Do you mean its bitterness, or do you simply consider the amount of caffeine as the parameter? 

Many people prefer “strong” espresso to kick off their day in the morning. At this point, they mean a bitter coffee which kicks their mood and motivates them to a new day. If you want a “strong” bitter coffee, blonde espresso is not for you. 

But, if you consider the caffeine content the deciding factor, blonde espresso has more caffeine than dark roasts. 

Why so? 

The science is pretty simple: the longer your roasts, the more caffeine it loses. Dark roasted coffee beans are roasted for a long time, decreasing the caffeine content. 

On the other hand, blonde rosts go through a lighter roasting process. Hence, it has more caffeine count than dark roasts. If we look at numbers, Starbucks blonde espresso contains 85 mg caffeine, whereas regular espresso has 75mg of it.

Hence, if you consider the caffeine content as a parameter for strength, blonde roasts are stronger (since they have more caffeine per serving). But, if you pick the taste, darker roasts will be better. 

So, where does it take us? If you consider caffeine content a strength parameter, blonde espresso is indeed stronger. But, if it is the taste, you would better burst with darker roasts.

Is Blonde Roast Healthy?

There is nothing healthier or unhealthier in blonde roasts than other roasts (i.e., dark, medium, or white roasts). However, if you look closely, the one advantage that the blonde roast has over the others is that it has more antioxidants due to less roasting. 

Yet, it won’t matter if the processing is unhealthy. The calorie count and other “health” related stuff depend significantly on your recipe. So, if you are brewing healthy, they are as healthy as coffee can be. 


Blonde roast is not a new invention. Despite all the recent hype and posts, it has always been on the brewing list- probably in some other name. Previously, it used to be known as a cinnamon roast, primarily because of its color. 

If you don’t prefer the bitterness of dark roasts, blonde roasts are a better choice. They have a citrusy after-taste with a smooth and mellow flavor. You can prepare this at your home using the same pour-over method or an espresso machine, or walk-in at a Starbucks store and enjoy their blonde espresso. 

Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy the drink and feel the taste buds dancing. 

Till then, stay safe! 


Is Starbucks Blonde Espresso Stronger than Starbucks Signature Espresso?

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