What Is Blonde Roast Coffee? Everything You Need to Know

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
What Is Blonde Roast Coffee?

What Is Blonde Roast Coffee? Coffee roast terms can be confusing—French, Italian, City, Cinnamon, New England, Vienna, and more. Just when you think you’ve mastered them, a new term appears.

Enter Blonde roast or blonde espresso. What’s behind its sudden popularity? What exactly is it, and is it worth trying? Let’s explore and find out if Blonde roast coffee should be your next favorite brew.

Blonde roast coffee is a lighter roast compared to traditional darker roasts. It is roasted for a shorter time, which results in a lighter color and a milder, more delicate flavor profile. Often, it has subtle, nuanced flavors and higher acidity. This roast highlights the beans’ natural flavors, making it an interesting choice for those who enjoy a lighter, more vibrant coffee experience. Whether you prefer it black or with milk, Blonde roast coffee offers a unique taste that’s worth exploring.

Understanding Blonde Roast: What Is It?

Blonde roast might seem like a new trend, but it’s essentially a rebranding of what was once called Cinnamon roast due to its light brown hue. The term “Cinnamon roast” often misled consumers into expecting a cinnamon flavor. To clarify, Starbucks rebranded their light roast as Blonde roast a few years ago. It’s also known as Half City or New England roast.

Despite the rebranding, confusion persists since there’s no standardized definition of Blonde roast. The term typically implies an ultra-light roast, even lighter than standard light roasts, though interpretations vary. Interestingly, Starbucks’ popular Blonde espresso roast is actually closer to a medium roast.

How Is It Made?

To create a Blonde espresso roast, coffee beans are roasted slowly and at a lower temperature until they reach the first crack. This stage occurs between 356°F and 401°F, when the moisture inside the beans turns to steam and escapes with an audible crack.

At this point, the beans are still hard and dense, exhibiting a pale brown color without the oily surface seen in darker roasts. The lower roasting temperature and shorter roasting time are crucial to achieving the delicate and nuanced flavors associated with a Blonde roast.

The first crack is a pivotal moment in the roasting process. As the beans expand and release steam, they develop a unique flavor profile distinct from darker roasts. The lighter roast level preserves more of the beans’ original characteristics, providing a more authentic taste experience.

How Does Blonde Roast Taste?

Blonde roasts are distinguished by their high acidity, which, when expertly roasted, translates to bright flavors reminiscent of lemon, orange, or green apple. If the acidity tastes sour or acrid, it may indicate the beans were roasted too quickly or the coffee was under-extracted.

Light roasts offer subtle and complex flavors, often featuring fruity and floral notes. This profile highlights the natural characteristics of the coffee bean itself, unlike darker roasts which develop caramelized, toasted, or chocolate flavors through extended roasting.

Casey Lalonde, Head of Coffee at Girls Who Grind Coffee, explains: “Lightly roasted coffee can be clean, bright, and full of delicate floral and fruit notes with great acidity. It’s in light roasts that the natural characteristics of the coffee can be tasted.”

Blonde roasts excel at showcasing single-origin coffees, particularly from regions like East Africa and Latin America. Typically, Blonde roast coffee has a light body, making it well-suited for pour-over methods such as the Hario V60 or Kalita Wave. Light roast espresso is less common due to its tendency to under-extract, resulting in a sour and flat taste.

What Is Blonde Roast Coffee? Concluding Remarks

A Blonde roast doesn’t have a strict definition, so don’t get too hung up on the name. Choosing a coffee is about finding flavor profiles you enjoy. If you like a bright coffee with complex fruity and floral flavors and a light body, a Blonde roast may well be for you.

Blonde roasts offer a unique coffee experience, highlighting the intrinsic qualities of the beans rather than the flavors imparted by the roasting process. This makes them an excellent choice for coffee enthusiasts looking to explore the diverse and nuanced world of coffee flavors.

When selecting a Blonde roast, consider experimenting with different origins and brewing methods to fully appreciate the variety of flavors available. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee aficionado or new to the world of light roasts, Blonde roast coffee provides a refreshing and vibrant alternative to traditional dark roasts. Enjoy the journey of discovering the delicate and intricate tastes that Blonde roast coffee has to offer.