Blonde Espresso Vs Regular Espresso (All You Wanna Know!)

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Johny Morrisson

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♡ Written by Humans for Humans

Blonde Espresso is becoming more and more popular since Starbucks introduced this drink to the menu.

Don’t get lost while ordering a blonde espresso at Starbucks. I’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide to Starbucks’ masterpiece, “the Blonde Espresso“, and how it’s different from the regular Espresso.

Blonde espresso is prepared using light-roasted coffee beans, while regular espresso uses dark or medium-dark roast. The light roast makes the drink thinner in body and smoother in taste compared to regular espresso, which has a richer texture and more complex flavors.

Wanna know more about Blonde Espresso vs Regular? Hook up till the end to find the interesting differences between them and to find out which drink suits you the best.

Blonde Espresso vs regular

What is Blonde Espresso?

Blonde espresso is a subtle invention of Starbucks coffee drink that comes from light-medium roasted coffee beans priorly known as Half City, New England, or Cinnamon.

It is a lighter, milder, and slightly sweeter version of the traditional espresso you are used to.

The lighter body and acidity make blonde espresso shots ideal for milk-based drinks like lattes and flat white.

Starbucks specifically introduced this new blend of Espresso, for the ones who don’t like the bitter and bold taste of signature espresso.  

Starbucks defines Blonde Espresso as:

Made up of select Latin American and East African beans, this blend is carefully roasted to coax out sweet, vibrant notes of candied apple and bittersweet chocolate. The result is smooth, well-rounded and versatile, delicious served hot or over ice.


Is Blonde Espresso Stronger?

In taste and body, blonde espresso is not stronger than Espresso. It has a milder and sweeter taste with citrus notes.

“Strength of an Espresso drink” is a subjective term and can mean different things to different people. For some, it is the amount of caffeine in the drink, while for others, it is the body and robustness of the beverage.

The Caffeine content of blonde Espresso is a little higher than regular Espresso drinks (Not a significant difference though!)

Differences between Blonde and Regular Espresso

Blonde espresso differs greatly from a signature espresso in many ways, such as the roast and origin of the coffee beans, the caffeine and calorie content, as well as the overall taste and texture of the shot.

Let’s discuss these differences in detail.

1) Roast of Coffee beans

The first and most obvious difference is the roast of coffee beans.

Coffee beans for blonde espresso are roasted at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time. The blonde roast is somewhere between a light roast and a medium roast.

The blonde roast is also known as a Cinnamon roast.

For traditional Espresso shots, medium-dark or dark roasted coffee beans are preferred. These coffee beans have a very dark and oily appearance.

Blonde roast and dark roast coffee beans

Read a Guide on Light (Blonde) vs Dark roast Coffee

2) The Origin of Coffee

The origin of coffee beans has a profound effect on the taste and quality of the coffee drink.

The term “blonde roast” was introduced by Starbucks in 2012. And Starbucks mainly sources the coffee beans for the blonde roast from East African and Latin American regions.

These coffee beans have a light body and a mild and fruity taste with citrus notes.

3) The difference in taste and flavors

A regular espresso shot has a bitter, intense, and smoky flavor because of dark roasted beans. The flavor reminds most people of a classic cup of coffee but also has notes of nuts and chocolate. It also has a rich aroma because of oily beans. 

On the other hand, Blonde espresso typically has a sour and sweeter taste with citrus notes.

I personally never prefer the taste of Blonde Espresso over regular espresso as it lacks the traditional crema and bold taste. However, you may like it if you are a softcore coffee lover.

4) Body and the Crema Layer

In coffee, “body” refers to the mouthfeel or thickness of the coffee and blonde Espresso has a lighter body than regular Espresso.

Similarly, dark roasted beans produce a very thick crema layer, whereas light roasted beans used in Blonde Espresso produce a thin layer of crema.

That’s the main reason why traditional Espresso lovers don’t like Blonde Espresso.

Espresso Crema

5) Does Blonde espresso have more caffeine than regular espresso?

Although Blonde Espresso is milder in taste but the caffeine content in it is higher than regular Espresso.

At Starbucks, a solo Blonde Espresso shot has a caffeine content of 85 mg which is slightly higher than the regular Espresso (75 mg).

Because of the prolonged roasting process, the dark roasted beans used in regular espresso are lighter and expanded. So a regular shot can be pulled with fewer coffee grounds (only a small difference) compared to blonde Espresso.

6) Calories in Blonde espresso and Regular espresso  

There is not any major difference in the calories of both espressos. The usual amount of calories is 2-5 kcals in each shot of 30ml.

If you are on a weight loss diet both Blonde and Regular Espresso shots are perfect. As they can boost your energy levels with minimum calories.

However, it depends on the add-ups like milk, creamer, or sugar that will increase the level of your calorie intake.

7) What types of drinks they are suitable for

Blonde espresso is mainly used in milk-based espresso drinks. Starbucks has different categories for blonde coffee drinks including blonde roast coffee, blonde cappuccino, blonde caffe latte, Blonde Vanilla latte, etc.

Blonde shots pair very well with nondairy milk such as almond or soy milk.

While regular espresso is taken as a straight shot or can be used in Milky Lattes or Cappuccinos.

For milk-based drinks, regular Espresso shots are the best choice as the milk cuts through the bitterness of the espresso shot and turns it into the perfect beverage.

Blonde Espresso Drinks


8) Is there a difference in price

At Starbucks, there is no such difference in the pricing of blonde espresso as compared to the regular one.

However, if you buy the beans for making coffee at home there will be a slight difference in prices.

Can you Make Blonde Espresso at Home?

The brewing process for both Blonde Espresso and Regular Espresso is exactly the same. You’ll need an Espresso machine and light-roasted beans to pull the shot.

Here are some general steps to follow

1- Choose the right coffee beans: To make Blonde Espresso you’ll need light or blonde roasted coffee beans.

2- Measure and Grind the Beans: Weigh 7-9 grams of coffee grounds for a solo shot and grind them to fine settings.

A little more blonde coffee grounds (1-2 grams per shot) are needed than dark roasted grounds with a more finer texture.

3- Tamp the grounds: Fill the coffee grounds in the portafilter, level off the surface properly and apply some pressure with a tamper to achieve an even extraction.

4- Pull the shot: Insert the portafilter into the machine and start the machine.

Enjoy your Freshly brewed Blonde Espresso shot.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to use an Espresso Machine

Blonde vs Regular Espresso | What’s the Best for you?

Well! The easy answer is It depends on personal taste and preferences.

The blonde Espresso has a lighter body, a thin layer of Crema, and a milder taste with Citrus notes.

You might enjoy it if you like sour flavors and don’t like bitterness.

On the other hand, Regular Espresso is a robust drink with a very rich and thick mouthfeel. It also typically has a more substantial body and a thicker crema layer.

And Traditional Coffee lovers like it rough and Strong!

In short, there is no good or bad drink! Some people prefer bold flavors, while others enjoy the subtle taste of blonde espresso.

Regular espresso shots are always my preference over blonde espresso shots but sometimes we just want something different, and that’s where this blonde shot from Starbucks comes in.

Also Read Other Espresso Comparisons


Is Blonde Roast Only Suitable For Espresso Drinks?

You can use Blonde Roast coffee beans for any coffee brewing method. In Fact, the Blonde beans work best with longer brewing techniques like pour-over methods.
So, while blonde roast coffee can certainly be used to make a delicious and approachable cup of espresso, it is not limited to this method of brewing.

Is Blonde Espresso Healthier than Regular Espresso?

From a Nutritional point of view, both regular and blonde Espresso have almost the same amount of calories and caffeine content.
Both Espresso drinks can be a perfect option if you are on a weight loss diet.
It’s important, however, to keep in mind that any health benefits of espresso can be outweighed by sugar, creamers, Milk, or other flavorings, which can contribute to calorie and fat intake.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About, bringing passion and expertise to the world of coffee.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.