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Coffee lovers, like me and you, who enjoy going to Starbucks for their daily fix have most likely come across a blonde espresso. Obviously, it differs from the traditional ways of doing things, which raises many questions. For instance, is blonde espresso stronger? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out.
Is Blonde Espresso Stronger? For Readers In a Rush
Yes, a blonde espresso is stronger than a regular espresso because it has a higher amount of caffeine. The reason it’s stronger is down to the coffee beans used rather than the way it’s roasted.
When we put this into numbers, a blonde roast espresso has 85mg of caffeine compared to 75mg in a standard one by Starbucks.
This means that, as it currently stands, a blonde espresso is the most powerful shot of 1-ounce coffee that Starbucks has to offer.
Describing the Taste of a Blonde Espresso
The overall taste can vary depending on a couple of things, such as if you decide to make your cup of joe at home or decide to get it from Starbucks.
Many describe the taste as slightly sweet with an after-taste of citrus. When you compare this to a traditional shot of espresso that has been dark roasted, the flavor widely differs as you’ll experience more earthy notes and bitterness.
This is interesting to think about as coffee enthusiasts usually believe the higher the bitterness in the taste, the stronger it is. However, as we’ve just answered: is blonde espresso stronger? This is simply untrue.
To find out if the blonde espresso has what it takes to satisfy your taste buds while getting that all-important caffeine boost, the best option is to go ahead and try it for yourself!
What Type of Beans are Used For a Blonde Espresso?
When sipping on a tasty cup of java with blonde espresso, you’ll be experiencing a unique blend of beans from different locations. They’re grown in Latin America and East Africa, two areas that are well-known for growing some of the best coffee beans in the world.
Now, if we look at a standard espresso at Starbucks, we can start to see the differences. This type uses beans that have been dark roasted and imported from the Asian Pacific and Latin America.
Does the Roast Type Play Any Role in the Strength?
A common misconception by many who drink coffee is that the lighter the roast, the stronger it will be. Well, we’re here to burst that bubble, as that statement is simply untrue.
The overall caffeine amount that’s present in your cup of joe has nothing to do with the roast.
Instead, it has everything to do with the coffee beans used. So then, you’re probably wondering: why roast them at different temperatures in the first place?
The answer is pretty straightforward; the different roasts bring out a range of flavors.
Digging Deeper into a Blonde Espresso Roast
As the name suggests, “blonde” is often referred to as a light roast. However, that would be too simple, wouldn’t it? The roast that’s actually used for a blonde espresso would be classed as a medium roast.
If you look at the rest of the coffee beans at Starbucks, it becomes evidently clear why they’ve done this. The majority of other beans are dark roasted.
So, even though the rest of the world would view the word “blonde” to mean a light roast, it makes sense that Starbucks uses it to describe beans that have been roasted lighter than their other ones.
To add some more confusion into the mix, have you ever heard of a cinnamon roast? This is another name for a very light roast. Until the term “blonde” came along (before 2012), this is what many coffee experts called their lightly roasted coffee bean selection.
Obviously, if you’re not up with the lingo, you may think that a cinnamon roast means that the flavor tastes like cinnamon. However, all that’s being talked about is the color.
Overall, a blonde roast is now commonly used in the coffee world, so it looks like Starbucks’ efforts to remove confusion and become a leading authority in the industry paid off with this clever tactic.
Which is Healthier, Blonde or Original?
Although they have noticeable differences, there’s no concrete evidence saying a Blonde espresso is the healthier option. However, light roasts are known to contain chlorogenic acid alongside antioxidants.
Antioxidants help defend cells in your body from being damaged. Chlorogenic acid is also great for reducing systolic blood pressure and is often used in various other ways, such as helping people lose weight!
An original espresso has many health benefits as well. So if you’re in the mood for this version, you won’t be losing out.
What Are All the Other Names For the Blonde Espresso?
We’ve covered that a cinnamon roast is a similar version of the Blonde espresso, but it doesn’t stop there. Here are some other names it is known by:
- Light City
- New England Roast
- Half City
It’s likely that you haven’t heard of these names, and there is a reason for that. Apart from the term “blonde”, the rest are typically used by those who roast the coffee rather than those of us that drink it.
What Are the Color Differences Between Original and Blonde Beans When Roasted?
The beans that make a blonde espresso have a light brown or sometimes beige color. On the other hand, a normal espresso will use beans that are dark brown or medium brown in color.
Alongside the color differences between the two types, their texture widely contrasts too. Blonde espresso beans are very dry, whereas traditional espresso beans are oily because of the longer roast time.
When both have been transformed into an espresso, you can expect the blonde to look much lighter than the original. It’s typically referred to as a honey brown color compared to the regular espresso, which is chocolate brown when looked at.
Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Than Other Types of Coffee?
Below we’ve listed the three main types and their respective caffeine amount. Before we start, you must keep in mind that a single shot of espresso comes in 1oz servings.
So when it’s compared to the likes of coffee which can be drunk in various sizes, the level of caffeine differs dramatically between them when more is added.
|Standard Espresso (Other brands)||64mg||512mg|
|Standard Espresso (Starbucks)||75mg||600mg|
As you can see from the table we’ve used a range for the caffeine amount in black coffee. This is because it comes in a variety of types which vary in strengths.
Say you buy one from Starbucks; you can expect the caffeine amount to be 155mg in an 8oz cup. However, this isn’t the case when visiting other coffee shops.
The same goes for instant coffee, with many brands offering it. However, most instant coffees have less caffeine than black coffee and other types.
Which Drinks Go Well With a Blonde Espresso?
A former Starbucks employee gave their opinion on what a blonde espresso should be paired with.
Cappuccino – The high levels of milk in a cappuccino blend nicely with the sweet, citrusy flavor from the blonde espresso. This is definitely worth checking out, according to the former Starbucks barista!
Vanilla Latte – Known for being sweet, the lighter roast compliments the drink massively, leaving you wanting more and more.
Is Blonde Espresso Stronger When Making Your Own?
Do you feel the urge to make a blonde espresso without leaving your home? Well, you’re in luck. You don’t even need an espresso machine!
A french press or Moka pot is all you need to start. And you’ll be happy to know that the caffeine contents will be pretty much the same at home compared to getting one at a coffee shop, so you won’t need to worry about that.
Now, you will need the right beans to make the magic happen. Either pick some up next time you’re at a Starbucks or just order them online from the comfort of your own home.
Below is our favorite blonde roast that Starbucks offers through Amazon.
If you’re lucky enough to own an espresso machine, then pods are available as well. Considering the amount of happy customers who have tried them, it’s safe to say that the pod version seems to be widely popular.
Calories in a Blonde Espresso
You’ll be pleased to know that there are only 5 calories in this type of espresso. And there’s absolutely no sugar in it either. It’s pretty common for coffee shops to offer 2 shots of blonde espresso, which means you’re looking at 10 calories in your cup of java.
Still, this is nothing when you look at how high calories are for some other ingredients.
The number of calories will likely increase if you decide to order a cappuccino, latte, or something else, but at least the shot on its own doesn’t contain many.
There You Have It
Next time you have the urge for a strong coffee you will no longer be left asking: “is blonde espresso stronger?” Instead, you can walk up to the counter with confidence as you order your cup of joe.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard. More caffeine in your drink can be a good thing, but having too much can make you nauseous, among other things you don’t want happening.
As we always say, everything in moderation!