What Is Blonde Espresso? And How Do You Make It?

Shot of espresso

You’ve walked into a Starbucks, exhausted and in desperate need of caffeine. You look straight at the espresso options. Decaf won’t do, but there are still two left. Regular and… blonde?

What does that even mean? Fear not, it’s actually incredibly simple.

What is blonde espresso?

Blonde espresso is made from blonde espresso beans. Blonde roast coffee is, essentially, a light roast bean. The coffee community tried calling it a cinnamon roast (because of the color), but it never stuck. Blonde did.

If you were wondering if blonde roasts are a Starbucks thing, they are not. Although, the Starbucks blonde espresso roast popularized the revolutionary new name.

If you are experienced with coffee, you already know how to make a light roast. To achieve a light roast, you roast the coffee beans at a lower temperature for a shorter amount of time. This ensures that the beans retain more of their natural flavor and caffeine level.

Darker roasts are characterized by their almost burnt taste. Blonde roasts, on the other hand, have a much lighter flavor. Depending on the type of bean used, you can often even taste citrus or chocolate notes.

Is blonde espresso stronger? It depends on what you mean by stronger. Does it have more caffeine? Definitely. Is the flavor stronger? No.

To some people, blonde roasts seem to have a weak flavor. It’s certainly true that they don’t have the aggressive “coffee” flavor of dark roasts. Instead, the lighter roasting process allows for more of the natural bean flavor to shine through. This flavor can be increased with longer brewing times.

These roasts also pair well with creamers, as the popular Starbucks blonde vanilla latte shows.

Top tips for making blonde espresso at home

Roasted coffee beans

The big question here is where do you want to start? It’s entirely possible to roast your own blonde beans. When roasting, simply wait for the first crack and call them done. After roasting, make sure to rest your espresso beans in order to achieve the best flavor.

The next step in the process is grinding. This will depend on what type of brewing method you'll use for your home made espresso. In general, for an espresso machine, you'll want the grind size to have a very fine texture.

Now, you have the ground blonde beans, and you get to make a fantastic cup of coffee. This is the fun part. It depends largely on personal preference. We have a simple guide on how to make espresso at home that can help, but the best thing you can really do is experiment.

Discover how you like to make your blonde espresso. Maybe you’re looking for a stronger flavor, so you want to load it into a French Press. Maybe you’re just looking for that classic espresso vibe, so you want to brew it in a designated espresso machine. Maybe you don't have space for an espresso machine, so you want to try out the Moka pot.

You’re bound to find something you love. Once you've brewed an espresso shot, you can make your favorite espresso drink - for much cheaper and more fun than a coffee shop! From flat whites to lattes to cappuccinos, the coffee world is your oyster.

Good luck, friends! And enjoy that blonde espresso.