Coffee aficionados have been wondering what blond coffee is all about ever since Starbucks added a tempting new item on their menu. Is it simply a trendy marketing name… or is it a different roast profile? What is blonde coffee?
Blonde coffee is a coffee featuring a unique light roast profile that has a bitter-free and bright taste with slightly floral/citrus notes.
Thanks to its subtly sweet and less intense taste and flavor, blonde coffee is the go-to option for those who aren’t very keen on the more robust, dark roasts.
So does this mean that blondes DO have more fun? Find out below!
What is the Origin of Blonde Coffee?
Blonde roast coffee has its origins in South American and Africa, due to the fact that it blends Latin American and East African Arabica beans.
Years ago, roasters looking for new methods came to a brilliant idea – remove the beans after the first crack during the roasting process.
As a result, these beans had little to no signs of roasting.
Thus, bright and oil-free, light-roasted beans were very dry, acidic, and bigger than more typical roasts.
Did you know that blonde roast’s original name was Cinnamon roast? Well – now you do!
Yet, this name eventually disappeared, mostly due to the fact that people associated cinnamon with a different color and taste.
- Also read: What is cold brew coffee?
Additionally, you could also find it under the name of New England Roast and Light/Half City.
What about Starbuck’s Drink that Helped Blond Coffee’s Popularity Skyrocket?
Starbucks initially launched their then brand new“Blonde Espresso” drink in Canada back in February 2017.
The Seattle-born chain’s undoubted creativity helped them come up with a new fancy name for a specific drink that we currently associated with blonde coffee.
Nowadays, when we hear of Starbucks’ “Blondy” we immediately think of coffee that’s mellow and sweet.
In fact, it’s pretty far away from the realm of robustness and bitterness, although it’s still stronger than the original Light/Half city roast profile.
Is Blonde Roast The Same as Light Roast?
They are quite similar but they’re not the same.
How light a blonde roast is, depends on the particular brand since most blonde roasts are lighter than a typical light roast java.
Still, the Starbucks roast is more of a medium-blonde kind, yet still different than your run-of-the-mill light roast.
Anyway – no matter the color of the roast, blonde coffee features the same caffeine amount as light and dark roasts.
However, it is important to take into account the fact that color can have an effect on the taste of the coffee.
Original blonde roast boasts a higher level of acidity and it is brighter than a light roast.
Other important factors that determine the lightness of a roast are the number of times you crack the bean’s outer shell, roasting temperature and bean color.
How Does Blonde Coffee Taste?
Acidic, with a dash of floral and citrus notes while also not being overly sweet, although you can still feel some sweetness on your palate.
Since it is roasted at relatively low temperatures (i.e. the Malliard Reaction) in comparison to a dark roast, the blonde roast is much brighter and doesn’t carry that bold and robust taste.
You need high roasting temperatures to properly caramelize the sugars if you want your coffee to be sweeter and more buttery.
This makes blonde coffee taste bland in comparison to the more caramelized and sugary dark profile roast.
When roasting blonde beans, you can’t expect the same level of sweetness but there are no burnt undertones either.
- Also read: All types of coffee explained
Yet, this is exactly what makes blonde coffee an ideal candidate for milk-based coffee drinks.
So if you prefer mellow and smooth notes in your coffee, while still craving some caffeine, then blonde coffee will most likely be right up your street.
What is Blonde Espresso?
Blonde Espresso is Starbuck’s authentic blond roast coffee that’s smoother, sweeter and less intense than regular espresso.
And you can easily recognize this specific coffee drink thanks to its lemon and orange hints that no other lighter roast provides.
Overall, blonde espresso is a great choice for those who find Starbucks coffee too strong due to its unique, subtle and mellow flavor profile.
Is Blonde Coffee Healthy?
Generally speaking, yes – blond coffee can be considered healthy.
However, drinking any kind of coffee comes with a set of both pros and cons.
When it comes to the health benefits of blonde coffee, it contains a lot of antioxidants that can protect your cells from oxidative damage.
Cracking blonde roast at lower temperatures doesn’t damage the silverskin of the bean the way roasting at high temperatures does.
This way, the bean retains its original health properties.
Interestingly, the compounds of the silverskin of the coffee bean are quite similar to Vitamin C.
Thus, if you are suffering from a lack of anti-oxidants or Vitamin C, sipping blonde coffee might be beneficial to your health.
Blonde Coffee is Acidic Meanings its pH is Lower
Since blonde coffee is acidic, its pH value is lower than other types of roast.
This can make you feel tired, cause digestion issues, or trigger a migraine if you are drinking too much of it.
But you’re most likely NOT consuming too much blond coffee to experience any of these issues, so don’t worry.
Beware of the green, unroasted beans though!
Since they’re not roasted at temperatures of 170°(or more), there is no chemical reaction that can activate and release the coffee’s natural antioxidants.
Green-bean blonde coffee can potentially make you feel nauseous.
But if you still want to give it a try, boil these unroasted beans for about 12 minutes prior to brewing them.
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How to Make Starbucks Blonde Coffee?
Here’s what you’ll need and how to actually prepare your very own DIY Starbucks blonde coffee!
- Starbucks Veranda Blend (Blonde Roast Coffee Grounds)
How to prepare it:
- Pour a cup/glass of water (~ 6 oz) to your coffee maker’s water reservoir
- Add 2 tablespoons of the Starbucks Veranda Blend into the filter
- Choose the lowest water setting possible (depending on your coffee machine)
- Start brewing
- Enjoy your blonde coffee
You can also throw some ice into the reservoir if you want to make a mouth-watering iced blonde coffee.
- Also read: Vanilla iced coffee Starbucks DIY recipe
In this case, pour slightly less water and make sure it is cold.
Another option is to add milk instead of water for an even lighter and mellower blonde coffee.
How to Brew Blonde Coffee?
- Grind the blonde beans until you achieve a medium grind
- Add hot water
- Stir the whole thing
- Wait for a couple of minutes
- Filter the grounds from the coffee
Note that tap water and even simple filter machines won’t do much.
Soft water and a high-quality burr grinder are what you need for the best results.
Cheap grinders would break down quickly if you frequently use them for grinding light and blonde roasts.
It takes more to dissolve blonde roast properly and tap water is already hard in and of itself so always try to use soft water.
Also, we highly recommend using a pour-over cone if you want to extract those chocolaty and fruity notes from the blonde roast.
Additionally, you can try different brewing methods and you’ll discover some amazing citrus, floral, and chocolatey notes along the way.
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Should You Go Blonde?
You should definitely go blonde if you are a fan of more subtle coffee drinks like the blonde coffee and its various forms and variations.
For example, a blonde vanilla latte might be the best choice if you prefer strong aromas that are blended with a pinch of sweetness.
- Also read: What is Nespresso?
On the other hand, the flat white blonde espresso is quite similar to traditional espresso but way easier to swallow and less robust.
There’s also the airy and fluffy blonde espresso macchiato with its hint of caramel as another great option for all coffee aficionados that have a sweet tooth.
You finally have the definite answer to the mind-boggling question – “what is blonde coffee?“.
So if you prefer a lighter body with a bright flavor, some citrusy hints and a lack of bitterness, then blonde coffee will become your next favorite drink.
Although you will find authentic blonde coffee at Starbucks, don’t hesitate to also experiment with light and green blonde beans at home.
Now – have you ever tried blonde espresso before?
What was your experience like?
Leave your answer in the comments below!
Did somebody say coffee? Two shots of espresso for me, thanks. Oh, nevermind – I’m Simon, nice to e-meet you, dear CoffeeLifior! I like to write, drink coffee and I believe in Jesus. Highly-caffeinated drinks are my thing, but you can occasionally see me sip on decaf (my wife never finishes her coffee). Speaking of which, I’m off to grab another cup of caffeinated goodness now, laters!
Last update on 2023-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API