What Is the Difference Between Blonde Espresso and Regular Espresso?

No one wants to be stuck in the middle at Starbucks and unsure which coffee flavor to choose. However, understanding the differences between blonde espresso (also called light-roasted espresso) and regular espresso can sometimes be a little confusing. So what is the difference between blonde espresso and regular espresso?

What Is the Difference Between Blonde Espresso and Regular Espresso?

The difference between blonde and regular espresso boils down to their roast levels. Starbucks’ regular darker roasted espresso has a rich, chocolate flavor profile and a lingering bitter aftertaste. With Starbucks Blonde Espresso, you get a completely new roast profile. Its lightly roasted profile brings out the coffee’s natural sweetness and smooth, citrusy, creamy body.

A white ceramic mug filled with espresso was placed on a white saucer

Starbucks Blonde brew uses a roasting process called Signature Roast to create its signature taste profile. This process uses advanced technology to roast coffee beans at different temperatures until they reach their optimal flavor point. It’s similar to traditional roasting techniques, although the process is much more precise.

Other Differences Between Blonde and Regular Espresso

Besides flavor and color, there are other differences between blonde and regular espresso. Here are some of them:

Roast Level

The major difference between blonde and regular coffee lies in the roast level. Blonde Roast coffee beans are roasted to a lighter color and shorter roast level than regular espresso beans.


Light-roasted espresso works well for drinks with a light body, such as:

  • Lattes
  • Cappuccinos
  • Frappes
  • Macchiatos

Furthermore, the blonde variety is excellent for non-pressure coffee-making. Dark roast is a good foundation for strong drinks like:

  • Ristrettos
  • Lungos
  • Americanos
  • Cortados

Bean Origin

Blonde beans mainly come from Latin America and East Africa, while dark roast beans are from Latin America and the Asian-Pacific.

The different regions have different climate conditions and soil, affecting the bean’s taste. East African beans deliver a consistent sweet flavor and “smooth, mouthfeel.” Coffee beans from Latin American and Asian-Pacific countries have a nutty and chocolatey flavor. These flavor notes are less acidic.

Caffeine Level

Blonde coffee espresso is stronger because it contains higher caffeine levels 85 mg (0.002 oz) per espresso shot). The caffeine content of dark roast is 75 mg (0.002 oz) per espresso shot.

The roasting method directly affects caffeine levels. Blonde beans are somewhat lighter roasted, resulting in more caffeine.

Which Espresso Variety Is Best for Newbies?

If you are just starting with espresso, I recommend choosing a blonde one. This is because it has a milder taste, making it perfect for beginners or those who prefer a smooth coffee-drinking experience.

Once you get used to the milder taste of blonde java, you can now advance to dark espresso, which has a more robust flavor and is usually more bitter. In fact, if you are looking for an intense taste, then dark espresso is the right choice!

What Kind of Espresso Is Best for Weight Loss?

Regular and blonde coffee espresso contain a few calories without adding additives such as cream, sugar, or coffee syrup.

Those who prefer blonde roast’s sweet flavor may need to use less cream and sugar than those who prefer regular roast.

Since blonde roast contains no net carbs and no fat, it is an excellent choice for those who want to limit their carb intake. Light-roasted espresso contains 10 calories per serving.

A close-up of an espresso placed on a shot glass being extracted from a coffee machine

Is Blonde Espresso Healthier?

Blonde coffee is the way to go if you want to be healthy. Here are a few reasons why:

  • It has less impact on your stomach
  • It contains more antioxidants

Less Impact on Stomach

One of the healthiest benefits of lightly roasted beans has low acid levels compared to other types of coffee. Low acidity means you don’t have to worry about indigestion or heartburn when drinking your favorite blonde coffee blend.

More Antioxidants

The darker the roast, the fewer anti-oxidants it contains because the heat destroys some of the anti-oxidants. A blonde roast gives you more antioxidants than darker roasts because it’s less roasted than dark roasts.

Related Questions

Is Blonde Espresso Strong?

A blonde espresso is strong. Because it’s concentrated coffee, it will be stronger than most drips or cold brews. Nevertheless, blonde roasts may seem lighter and less robust than darker roasts. Even so, it will still have a higher acidity level than a darker roast.

What Are the Differences in Price Between Blonde and Dark Espresso?

There is not much difference in price between blonde and dark espresso, regardless of whether you buy them as grounds or drinks in a coffee shop. As a result, the taste can be the deciding factor between the two.

Do All Coffee Shops in the US Have Blonde Espresso?

Most coffee shops in the US only offer dark roast espresso. If you’re looking for a light roast espresso, your best bet is to ask if they have any available when you order.


Starbucks’ regular espresso is darkly roasted, which gives it a rich chocolate flavor and a lingering bitter aftertaste. The company’s blonde espresso has a lighter roast profile with a natural subtle sweetness. Other differences between the two roasts persist in their usage, bean origin, and caffeine level.