What Is Blonde Espresso?

When most people think of espresso, they think of a strong, dark coffee that is full of caffeine. However, espresso can actually be quite light in color without losing its caffeine content. This is commonly known as the blonde espresso. So, what exactly is blonde espresso?

What Is Blonde Espresso?

Blonde espresso is a type of coffee that is made using a lighter roast of coffee beans. This results in a coffee that is lighter in color and has a more mellow flavor profile. While it has more caffeine than traditional espresso, its flavor is less intense and more subtle.

Blonde espresso was originally known as cinnamon roast. The name was later changed and popularized by the renowned coffee chain Starbucks. This was after they discovered that customers mostly associated this name with the taste of the coffee and not its color. The blonde roast profile has also been described as Half City, Light City, and England Roast.

Cup of blonde espresso

How Is Blonde Espresso Made? 

As mentioned earlier, blonde espresso is made using a lighter roast of coffee beans. This means that the beans are roasted for a shorter period of time than those used for dark roasts. This results in a coffee that is high in acidity and has more mellow flavors.

  • Heat is applied to raw green coffee beans over time to develop different roast profiles and tastes 
  • At around 302-392°F, the coffee begins to turn brown and create 800 aromatic compounds and flavors 
  • When the heat reaches around 401°C, the coffee begins to lose water 
  • This causes the coffee beans to crack (the first crack) 
  • The first crack creates a light roast profile that is used to make Blonde Espresso 

Now, if you wanted to make a darker roast, you would have to wait until the second crack. However, for blonde espresso, the process is stopped after the first crack to allow the coffee to retain a lighter profile. 

Differences Between a Blonde Espresso and a Normal Espresso 

Ideally, you would think that a blonde espresso and a darker roast only differ in terms of roast. However, the roast also leads to other differences such as caffeine content and acidity

The two types of espresso mostly differ in terms of:

  • Caffeine content
  • Color
  • Roast level
  • Taste

Caffeine Content

When it comes to coffee, the lighter the roast, the higher the caffeine content. This is because the roasting process breaks down the coffee bean’s cell walls and releases its caffeine. Since Blonde espresso is made using a light roast, it has more caffeine than traditional espresso.

In particular, a Starbucks blonde espresso has about 360 milligrams of caffeine. This is pretty high compared to 310 mg in a medium roast and 260 mg in a dark roast


As the name suggests, blonde espresso is lighter in color than traditional espresso. This is because it is made using a light roast of coffee beans. On the other hand, traditional espresso is made using 54 dark roast beans, which results in a darker color.

Blonde roast coffee beans

Roast Level

The roast level is determined by how long the coffee beans are roasted. The longer the beans are roasted, the darker they become. As such, blonde espresso is made using a light roast of beans while traditional espresso is made using a dark roast.


The taste of coffee is also determined by its roast level. The longer the beans are roasted, the more intense the flavor becomes. As such, blonde espresso has a more mellow flavor than traditional espresso.  Its flavor is also more subtle and has notes of citrus, chocolate, and caramel.

Related Questions

Is Blonde Espresso Sweet?

Yes, blonde espresso is slightly sweeter than regular espresso. It is also softer, mellower,  and less intense. Although it is not as intense as the dark roast, it still packs plenty of flavors making it a great choice for new coffee drinkers.

Is Blonde Espresso Stronger Than a Dark Roast?

Yes, blonde espresso is stronger than a dark roast. This is because a blonde espresso has more caffeine content. On the other hand, a dark roast comes with a more intense flavor giving it a maturer taste compared to the Blonde Espresso.

Is Blonde Espresso Healthy?

A blonde espresso is about as healthy as any type of coffee. It packs more antioxidants compared to darker roasts. It also has more caffeine, which can have positive effects on mental alertness and physical performance, a great option to keep you awake when needed. However, too much caffeine can lead to side effects such as anxiety and jitters.


Blonde espresso is a type of coffee made using a light roast of beans. It has more caffeine than traditional espresso and a less intense flavor. It is often described as having notes of chocolate, citrus, and caramel. Blonde espresso is also slightly sweeter than regular espresso and is softer and mellower.