What is Blonde Roast Coffee, Exactly?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 13th, 2022

There seems always to be something new to learn about coffee. And today, we will talk about blonde roast coffee. As the term implies, this one is for light roast lovers!


What is a Blonde roast?

A blonde roast is an extra-light roast, and you’d be surprised to learn that it has been around the corner for quite some time.

blonde roast coffee

Origins

Originally, this is called a cinnamon roast, a brew produced with beans taken out of the roaster at the 1st crack. This roast also went by many other names such as light city, new England roast, and half city.

It was Starbucks® that called this brew a “blonde roast” or “blonde espresso” in January 2018. Essentially, it is a cup with a lighter body without sacrificing flavor.

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Unlike medium and dark roasts, blonde roast emphasizes the bean quality. In that regard, we should find out how to scout a great light roast coffee.

But first, let’s go through some frequently asked questions about Starbucks blonde roast.

The truth about Starbucks blonde roast

I’m sorry to break it to you, but Starbucks blonde roast is not a blonde roast. It resembles their medium roast with some high and low lights in the mix. Then again, Starbucks got us trapped in their marketing schemes! But, many people adore their blonde roast because of its smooth and creamy body. We do too!

Why is it called Blonde Roast?

Though Starbucks® promotes the word Blonde Roast, they describe it in their ads as “light-bodied and flavorful – our easiest-drinking coffee” and “a real light roast,” rather than color.

Is Starbucks Blonde a light roast?

No, it comes close to a medium roast versus a light roast

Does Starbucks Blonde Roast have more caffeine?

Their blonde roast has 360 milligrams per 16 ounces (a grande) compared to their regular Pike roast, which has 310 mg. And their dark roast coffee has only 260 mg of caffeine. That shows you that the lighter the roast, the more caffeine it has.

Blonde roast facts

coffee roasting

Quality of beans

Since the flavor of the coffee bean shines more in lighter roasts, having good quality and specialty beans is crucial. Do not get stingy on this one!

Roasting process

The key to roasting a blonde roast is dropping the beans from the roast rights after the very first crack! This contrasts with its darker counterparts which are dropped a little later. Some roasters even drop the beans during the first crack making them denser than other roasts.

Extraction 

Note that roasted blonde coffee is less porous, so it needs more steeping for better flavor extraction. In our honest opinion, we believe that the best brew for this is by using the pour-over method. But don’t worry, using any coffee machine should work just fine!

Grinding

Lighter roasts result in harder beans, and a good grinder is a must! If you especially love blonde roasts, invest in high-quality burr grinders because the toughness of the beans may increase the wear and tear of cheaper models. Make sure that your grinder can grind fine as well!

Water quality

For light roasts, we deem soft water to be the better option not only because hard water may affect the taste negatively but also because soft water allows the natural bean flavors to rise during the steeping process.

Light roast blends

blonde roast coffee

Single-origin light roasts

Single-origin coffee, as the name implies, is when the roasted beans all came from the same region or country instead of mixing variously sourced beans. Some coffee connoisseurs and roasters swear by drinking single-origin coffee, while some prefer having different mixes.

Light roast coffee blend

Now on the next one: blends with beans from different countries or regions. With this coffee, you can enjoy the delicacy of carefully selected beans from around the world. Some argue that this method may mask the characteristics of each bean type, but not unless you have an expert roaster produce it for you!

Taste

Until today, there’s no standardization regarding blonde roasts, which is why some companies actually market their typical light to medium roasts as “blonde.” Regardless, you may like this one if you enjoy bright coffee with a lighter body.

It typically houses floral and citrus notes, so it’s perfect for those chasing some hyper-acidity sesh. As a rule of thumb, the darker the roast, the less acidity it retains! Keep in mind that blonde roasts usually lack the sweetness and caramel notes coffee typically has. 

Potential benefits

As per research, the roasting process of light roasts tends to activate antioxidants. Some reports say silverskin in coffee is highest in lighter roasts. But, there’s still lacking evidence regarding the difference between a blonde and a light roast.

Strength

To no surprise, people immediately assume that darker roasts are stronger. This remains to be a myth. All coffee houses have the same level of strength. To measure strength, Total Dissolved Solids (DTS) should be determined by looking into how much coffee is in the cup post-extraction. So, the more coffee you use, the stronger your cup is. 

When we want to associate the amount of caffeine with strength, blonde and light roasts house more strength in this case. But darker roasts are more bitter if it’s the bitterness you’re talking about.

Is it healthy?

Just like the benefits you can get from other roasts, blonde roasts also hold these goodies. As discussed, it is packed with antioxidants activated during the roasting process, which are known to help our body fight off diseases. But of course, it is only healthy if you do so in moderation and with not a lot of additives!

Blonde roast vs. white coffee

It’s as simple as this: blonde coffee is fully roasted while white coffee is not. 

Last thoughts

Here’s another type of coffee we can try or even help our friends learn about! If you want a classic and textbook blonde roast, you better not opt to get one from Starbucks. As we’ve pointed out, theirs is a medium roast.

But that doesn’t make it any less desirable. We’re just saying that if you want to try the taste of a blonde roast, you’re better off searching elsewhere!

crazy

Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.