Blonde Espresso Vs. Regular (The 8 Differences)

Last Updated on October 1, 2021 by John Moretti

Coffee lovers worldwide are going crazy over the new espresso roast introduced by Starbucks, the blonde espresso. The blonde espresso roast is it’s first in over 40 years, and it’s gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It’s now possible for me to have a flat white or a vanilla latte blonde espresso rather than regular espresso.

Blonde Espresso is a lighter roast and the regular espresso is a dark roast. Blonde Espresso is made from East African and Latin American coffee beans, and it delivers a smooth, creamy, mellow, and sweet flavor. The original regular espresso is made using dark roast beans from Latin America and the Pacific region, and it has a much stronger flavor with hints of caramel notes.

Instead of getting my regular coffee order, sometimes I like to try out new things. The blonde espresso has become my favorite since its addition to the Starbucks permanent coffee menu.

What is Blonde Espresso?

If you are a coffee enthusiast like me, you must be thrilled with the introduction of Starbucks Blonde Espresso at the coffee chains. Not everyone is a fan of coffee, but you can forget about rejected sips and bad coffee with the blonde espresso.

Blonde espresso roast is lightly roasted coffee that gets its name from its light hue. According to Starbucks, the brew doesn’t compromise on caffeine levels or taste, and it’s as good as regular espresso. It has a shorter brewing time, which gives it a slightly sweet, smooth, and mellow coffee taste. You can make any drink with blonde espresso, as long as it’s used for making regular espresso. Blonde espresso mixes perfectly with other flavors when used to make a latte, as the espresso isn’t battling other flavors in the latte.

How To Make Blonde Espresso At Home

Blonde Espresso is a signature blend of Starbucks. While it’s possible to emulate it using a mix of similar coffee beans, it will never taste the same as the original.

Luckily, Starbucks is selling its Blonde Espresso blend in all forms. You can buy whole beans, ground coffee, or even Blonde Espresso coffee pods.

So, pick the format you are looking for, and brew Blonde Espresso at home.

Differences Between Regular Espresso And Blonde Espresso

Blonde Espresso is different from regular espresso in the roast, the blend, the origin of the coffee beans, the flavors and color, and taste, among other things, as explained below.


The first distinction between these two types of brews is seen in the color. Blonde roasted beans have a light color, while dark roast beans are some shades darker. The dark roasted beans are likely to have an oily layer around them, so they appear shiny, unlike the blonde roasts, which have a matte appearance. The fact that it’s a lighter roast makes blonde espresso less bitter than the regular one, thus a preferred option among most people who don’t like bitter coffee.

Level of caffeine

It’s easy to tell how high or low caffeine levels are in your espresso by looking at the coffee bean used for extraction. Coffee beans with a lighter color tend to have higher caffeine levels. Hence the blonde espresso will likely have higher caffeine levels. In Starbucks, the grand blonde espresso contains 360mg of caffeine, while the regular dark roast has 260mg of caffeine. Some people mistake light roasts to mean low levels of caffeine, which is not the case for Blonde Espressos. These brews have a natural sweetness, but they have just as much caffeine as the dark roasts. 

The blend

One difference between the blonde espresso and the regular espresso is the blend used for either. The regular espresso is brewed using coffee beans for a bold and sweet flavor, while blonde espresso is made from coffee beans that produce a smooth and balanced sweetness and hints of citrus notes in the flavor.


The beans used to make Blonde espressos are light brown or beige, while those making regular espressos range from medium to dark brown. While Blonde espresso beans are dry due to a shorter roast, regular espresso beans are oily due to a long roast.

Level of roast

Before roasting, coffee is green in color; it substantially changes to brown when heat is applied to the roaster. All blends of espresso have unique and different roast profiles. The perfect way to make blonde espresso is to roast the grounds at low temperatures and for a shorter period, while regular espresso is made with dark roasts roasted for longer. Regular espresso is darker, and it creates an intense, strong profile with a lasting finish. Blonde espresso has a creamy and smooth body and a lighter profile to highlight its natural sweetness. 


Blonde espresso is gaining a lot of popularity today for its taste and mouthwatering delight. It tastes softer, mellower, and is slightly sweeter than regular espresso. Regular espresso is made with dark roasts, which have a rather bold and roast flavor. Blonde espresso is ideal for coffee lovers who find an espresso bitter or strong but still want to maintain their caffeine intake. The Blonde espresso isn’t harsh to taste, which makes it more flavorful and citrusy. It has a delicious orange and lemon taste with caramel notes, and it will give you that caffeine buzz in cold and hot latte brews.


Both blonde espresso and regular espresso have unique roast profiles, which equates to unique flavors. The blonde espresso is subtly sweet, smooth. It has a lighter roast and citrus hints, while regular espresso is rich, has a darker roast, its caramel sweet, and has hints of chocolate and nut notes. 

The blonde espresso is perfect for people who don’t just want to add to their caffeine levels but those who truly love and enjoy the taste of coffee. It comes with a light aroma and flavor with hints of florals and citrus, while regular espresso has a richer, bolder caramel flavor. If you don’t enjoy the full espresso flavor of espresso and would rather have some cream and sugar in your coffee, blonde espresso is just what you need.


Blonde espresso has a light body, making it ideal for mixing up with simple beverages to make iced coffees and Americanos. Unlike Blonde espresso, regular espresso has more character, making it suitable for mochas, Frappuccino, and flavored lattes. It blends well with string flavored drinks because its intense flavor can combat other profiles.

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger?

When it comes to its flavor, the blonde roast is weaker than the dark roast. It is acidic, thus suitable for someone who doesn’t like the bitter taste of coffee because it’s less bitter and smoky. It has a rather intense and smooth taste, and when compared by shot, the blonde espresso has more caffeine than regular espresso.

What Affects The Strength Of The Blonde Espresso?

Many factors affect how strong a blonde espresso is, including the roasting duration, brewing method used, volume and size of the coffee grind, and the source of the caffeine. During the extraction process, factors like the brewing water’s temperature affect how much caffeine is extracted and how to string the brew. Blonde espresso is lighter even compared to light coffee roasts, so it is less bitter than darker roasts. The best way to make blonde espresso is using medium or light roast, but note that the caffeine levels don’t change even with color variation. 

Why Is Blonde Espresso Popular?

Not all people love coffee, especially if it’s brewed from the dark and bitter coffee roasts. If you are not familiar with the new espresso roast from Starbucks, you may be wondering why people prefer it over the signature espresso. People who are just starting or experimenting on coffee might prefer the blonde espresso better as it has a smooth, light look with citrus notes. 

Blonde espresso has an acidic sweetness which makes it blend better with some drinks and not with others. Blonde espressos are bright and dark, so they are ideal for making iced drinks such as the iced Americano. As such, it’s suitable for people who can’t spend a day without having a cup of iced coffee.

The Final Word

If you are bored and tired of drinking plain, regular espresso every day, playing with diverse coffee roasts is a good way to enthuse your palate and have a new coffee experience. Different coffee roasts have unique and different tastes, so you choose one that’s good for your needs and preferences.