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Blonde Roast Coffee: The Perfect Mellow Drink for Everyone

Dave Carter

October 22, 2020

Ever since the introduction of the Starbucks blonde roast, many coffee aficionados have wondered what the famous blonde coffee is all about. It has taken the coffee industry by storm with several popular coffee establishments reintroducing the light roast to even the most hardcore coffee drinkers. However, with its sudden surge in popularity, you may wonder, is it a trendy marketing name, or is it a different coffee roast profile? What is blonde roast coffee?

Blonde coffee is a type of coffee drink that features a unique light roast coffee profile with bright and bitter-free taste with subtle citrus and floral flavor notes. Because of its subtle sweetness and less intense flavor, blonde coffee is the perfect go-to option for individuals that aren't too keen on a robust medium roast or a full-bodied dark roast.

To help you understand the art behind this light roast, here's everything you need to know about blonde roast coffee.


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What is Blonde Roast Coffee​

Blonde roasts coffee is a type of lightly roasted coffee that's mellow, soft, and flavorful. Its coffee beans have undergone a shorter roasting process, providing a subtle cup of coffee that even the most casual drinkers would love. Although it seems that blonde coffee roasts appeared out of nowhere, the concept it follows, the extra-light roast has been around for a while. You can order this popular drink in most coffee chains, or make the roasted coffee at home by grinding light roast coffee beans using the best commercial coffee grinder for a more sweet and fun drink.

The original term for a brew made with coffee beans immediately removed from the roaster at the beginning of the first crack was called the cinnamon roast because of the lighter color of the resulting brew. Other names for the classic cinnamon roast include light city, half city, or New England roasts of coffee. Blonde roast coffee is the newest and most popular name for this light roast.

Taste of Blonde Roast Coffee​

In its roasting process, each coffee bean produced is typically lighter than in a light brew or roasted for less time compared to a darker roasted coffee bean. The lighter roast emits an array of flavors, providing a more natural taste with subtle fruity and floral notes, opposite to the bitterness you typically find on darker brews. Lighter roasts like the popular blonde roasts are generally preferred by individuals who love the taste of acidic coffee, and lighter bodies.

These roasted beans tend to retain more citrus, fruity, or floral notes. However, you should note that several elements of the natural flavors of coffee are missing from these kinds of roasts. The usual taste of the typical coffee flavor profile such as the buttery, caramel notes, and sweeter aromatics are absent because these notings only emerge after high-heat interacts with the sugars inside a coffee bean.


Acidity, also known as the 'brightness' of a light roast or blonde roasts are more prominent than other roasts. However, most don't like the strong notings of acidic brews, many people like the brighter flavor it gives, but it can present potential health concerns. The acidic levels of coffee drinks directly correlate to the roasts' darkness, lighter variations typically have a higher acidity, with blonde roast and half city at the highest levels. As the beans undergo a more extended period of roasting, the less acidic your brew becomes because the beans tend to lose their acidity, the longer you roast them.

Health Benefits of Blonde Roast​

Recent studies have highlighted the excellent anti-oxidation health benefits of coffee, no matter the roasting profile. That's because the presence of 'silverskin' of the bean provides the same health properties you can find in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), but it's 400 times more efficient. The lower the roast levels, the higher amount of health benefits you can get from coffee. A blonde coffee roast provides a significantly higher amount of antioxidants than darker roasts.

Because of the high antioxidant properties, studies recommend drinking lighter roasts to help individuals to potentially protect themselves against cell damage and inflammation than its dark roast counterpart. Its prominent anti-inflammation features can also protect you against chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart-related diseases, and many major neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Making Blonde Roast​

A blonde roast coffee bean is typically roasted at a scorching temperature of 356°F to 401°F. When it reaches 400°F or over, the water that resides inside the bean starts to expand and burst naturally, allowing the beans to crack. Once the coffee beans undergo the first crack, the roasting ends, giving you the popular blonde roast.

The popularization of this drink is thanks to Starbucks releasing their signature Starbucks blonde espresso a few years back, and it has now become a universal favorite among avid coffee drinkers and casual drinkers.

Is Blonde Coffee the same as Light Roast?​

Blonde roasts have similarities with light roasts, but it depends on the roast variation since most manufacturers make blonde roasts lighter than typical light roasts while others place it on the medium roasts scale. If you're still confused about the different roast profiles of coffee, before you learn how to make the best french press coffee, it's best to familiarize yourself with the various roasts for the best results.

Although there's no standardized coffee roast chart in the coffee industry, the most basic way to separate the different coffee roast profiles is through categories including light roasts, medium, medium-dark, and dark. You can determine the different roasts of coffee beans by several factors, including the roasting temperature, time of crack, and the beans' color.

Light Roasts​

Although it varies, a blonde roast coffee is mostly considered as a light roast. If you see the terms half city, cinnamon roasts, New England roast, or light city, these are light roasts. That means the beans under this category were roasted between 356°F and 401°F and exhibit high to very high acidity. The surface of the coffee beans is dry, and their body is usually light or thin. The beans get removed from the roaster before or at the beginning of the first crack.

Medium Roasts​

A medium roast is also known as city roasts, regular roasts, breakfast roasts, and American roasts. The beans under this category get roasted until the ballpark temperature of 410°F to 428°F. Medium roasts also exhibit a dry surface but have a bolder taste, milder acidity, and fuller bodies than light roasts. Roasters will remove medium roast beans from the roaster around the middle or end of the first crack but before the second crack.

Medium-Dark Roasts​

Other names for medium-dark roasts include After Dinner roasts, full city plus roasts, full city roasts, and Vienna roasts. Roasters tend to heat medium-dark roasts between 437°F to 446°F. This temperature range is where the roast flavor begins to mingle more prominently with beans, providing spicier taste and a more substantial body.

Dark Roasts​

Dark roasts are also known as Spanish roasts, espresso roasts, Italian roasts, New Orleans roasts, French roasts, and continental roasts. It's the most diverse roast category and the most popular among coffee connoisseurs. The primary standard for dark roasts is that they should be roasted at 482°F or lower, but most roasters bring them to over 464°F for bolder brews.

These beans exhibit oily surfaces and low acidity, but the taste, amount of sweetness, and body they provide vary widely. Roasters typically remove the dark roasted beans during the second crack.

A blonde roast's specific coffee roast profile will depend on the manufacturers, but they typically fall under the category of light roast and sometimes reach the medium roast scale.

What is the Difference Between Blonde Roast and Dark Roast?​

To make the perfect blonde espresso or coffee at home, aside from knowing how much coffee to water ratio is the ideal range in making the brew, you need to know its difference between darker roasts.

Your favorite coffee beans come from the coffee plant's seeds known as coffee cherries, a small, cherry-like fruit that typically contains two distinct seeds. These seeds undergo a roasting process that involves several methods, combined with various flavors and aroma, and this is how roasters create light and dark roasted coffees. So what's the difference between the two?

Roasting Time and Temperature​

All beans undergo different roasting times and temperatures, here is the difference between blonde lighter roasts and dark roasts.

  • Light Coffee Roast

This category is where blonde coffees usually sit in, but it can also be medium roasted, depending on the manufacturer. Lightly roasted coffees consist of light brown colored beans that have been roasted for a short period at lower temperatures between 356 to 401 degrees Fahrenheit. While cooking, each bean will make a cracking noise once they reach a specific temperature. Roasters typically remove light roasted beans after hearing the first crack.

  • Dark Coffee Roast

On the opposite end, dark roasted beans are typically colored dark brown to black and are cooked for more extended periods at higher temperatures, between 464 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit. Roasters remove them during the second crack because if they exceed the 482-mark, you'll get burnt and ash-like flavors.

Body and Complexity​

One of the most distinctive properties of coffee drinks is the body, which refers to the physical properties of the caffeinated beverage, including the heaviness, texture, and the general mouthfeel of the brew. Blonde or lighter roasts are typically brightly colored and lighter in the body because of their short roasting time. While darker roasts are the exact opposite, exhibiting deeper colors and providing bold and robust tastes.

Caffeine Content​

The caffeine levels of a blonde coffee roast depend on the variation, but lighter ones tend to have more caffeine because of its shorter roasting process. That's because the short period helps the caffeine remain intact in each bean, giving people more caffeine buzz with each sip. In contrast, darker roasted exhibits fewer caffeine levels because the substance has mostly been cooked out because of the more prolonged roasting procedure.


The essential and most notable difference for most brews is the flavor, and if you want to enjoy coffee for it is, it's best to opt for lighter roasts. These roasts are often the most significant reflection of the various origins where the beans are cultivated and the quality of the coffee itself, making it the ideal drink to enjoy the natural flavors of the caffeinated beverage. They exhibit more complex flavors, ranging from fruity, tangy, citrusy, to floral notes. Darker roasts tend to provide chocolatey and smokier blends, giving you more bitter brews.

A blonde coffee roast is the ideal go-to drink if you like indulging in a cup of joe that packs a punch while providing sweeter notings. However, if you want a milder beverage, it's best to choose darker roasts.

Is Blonde Coffee Stronger than Regular Coffee?​

After getting your Cuisinart drip coffee maker, you may want to try new brews, and blonde espresso is the one that comes to mind first. However, if you're watching your caffeine intake, you may wonder if the lighter roast has more caffeine than regular coffee.

Although blonde coffee may seem to have fewer caffeine levels because it's lighter than your typical dark one, it has the same caffeine levels as any other roast would. The amount of caffeine you get on one serving of blonde coffee depends on how you measure your coffee by scoop weight or scoop size. Each blonde coffee bean has been roasted for less time, making it denser and has more mass, meaning it loses less water than other roasts.

If you measure your coffee by weight, this light roast will provide less caffeine than dark roasts because of its larger mass, leaving you to use fewer beans. However, if you measure by the size of a spoon, you'll have more caffeine in the blonde roast because it's denser, and you get more coffee per scoop.

The Best Way to Drink Blond Roast Coffee​

When you finally receive the best whole coffee beans in your mail, you may want to try and whip yourself up a blonde coffee roast at home, but what's the best way to drink it? The most common and popular style of drinking a blonde roast is in an espresso. This lighter option provides more room for flavor inside the cup than the robust taste typical espressos offer. An espresso drink made with blonde coffee roast can give you the sake kick as a standard espresso but with lighter and subtle flavors.

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Conclusion: Enjoy your Blonde Roast Coffee​

When you finally settle between Keurig vs. regular coffee maker to add to your coffee-making arsenal at home, why not try whipping up a fresh cup of blonde coffee? These lighter drinks provide you with a bigger punch, giving you that much-needed buzz to start the days right. We hope this guide helped you appreciate and understand more about the effort and intricate process that blonde roast coffee undergoes, try it for yourself, and enjoy the perfect balance of strength and taste.


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