Back in January of 2012, we were all excited to see what seemed to be a new blend of coffee in our local Starbucks: the Blonde Roast. However, this type of coffee has been around for a long time – yet, somehow, many coffee lovers weren’t aware of it until recently.
So, what is blonde coffee? Blonde coffee is the lightest drinkable roast of coffee. It is usually made from coffee beans harvested in East Africa and Latin America. Many coffee drinkers describe the taste as sweet, smooth, and creamy.
The rest of this article will answer some vital questions about blonde coffee:
- What is Blonde coffee?
- How acidic is a Blonde roast?
- Does it have more caffeine than a medium or a dark roast?
- How can you find the best Blonde coffee beans?
- Do you usually drink it black, or is it best mixed with something else?
What is Blonde Roast coffee?
Much of what makes Blonde coffee unique is the roasting process. All coffee beans start green in color. When you roast them, they slowly change in color. The color that the beans come out of the roaster with is what dictates their roast type.
To make Blonde coffee, you need to roast your beans at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit until you hear the first cracking noise. If you are roasting at home, you will be able to hear and see this crack. This roasting process makes Blonde coffee bright and acidic, not bitter or harsh.
Here’s what’s happening: while the beans are roasting, the water inside starts to vaporize, which cracks the skin. The noise sounds similar to a popcorn kernel exploding. Blonde roasted beans are light in color when taken out of the oven and are high in acidity, also known as brightness.
The length of time in the oven is what gives dark roast its body and sweetness. Other roasts, such as medium and dark roast, spend more time in the oven. They are also roasted at a higher temperature. Dark roast is taken out of the oven at the second crack.
Each roasting process showcases a different inherent flavor of the bean. Italian roast is the darkest blend of coffee. Any beans that stay in the oven longer than Italian would soon burst into flames.
As mentioned before, the color of the beans dictates the roast type. The “Blonde Roast” from Starbucks, is actually more of a light-medium roast, based on the color of the beans. For some coffee sticklers, this means Starbucks’ coffee technically is not a blonde roast.
Because this type of coffee bean is not as mainstream, the characteristics that define it are malleable. It isn’t uncommon to find light-medium roasts labeled as Blonde.
You can find Blonde Roast in coffee form or espresso form. In espresso form, the Blonde Roast has a creamy flavor that is slightly sweet and not bitter. If you have ever sipped espresso and been turned off by the harshness, a Blonde espresso would be an excellent option for you to try.
Note: The beans are still quite hard after the roasting process. Because they are taken out of the coffee roasting appliance early on, they can be very tough on a coffee grinder. You can still grind them at home, but they will most likely wear down your machine quicker than you expected. Additionally, the hard texture means that they are not ideal for coffee desserts or chocolate covered beans.
How acidic is a Blonde Roast?
On the pH scale of zero to fourteen, a Blonde roast has an acidity as low as 4.5, making it the most acidic type of coffee available. A medium roast has an acidity of around 5.4, while a dark roast has an acidity of around 5.9.
Any food or drink with an acidity under 5.0 can have adverse effects on the stomach, such as stomach aches and heartburn. Coffee can be particularly harsh, as many people drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
While not everyone is affected the same way, it is not a good idea to drink a Blonde Roast on an empty stomach. However, for someone who is looking to lower the pH of their body, a Blonde Roast is a great option.
Does a Blonde Roast have more caffeine than a medium or a dark roast?
The answer to this question depends on the grind size and whether you scoop or weigh out your coffee.
Ground Blonde coffee is denser, so there is more caffeine per scoop. However, if you were to weigh out the grounds, you will find more caffeine with less weight in dark coffee.
Frankly, there is a lot of controversy about which coffee roast has the most caffeine. For the most part, each blend has a similar amount of caffeine in it. Don’t worry too much about the minimal differences in caffeine content between the roasts and enjoy the coffee you like best.
How can I find the best Blonde Coffee beans?
You can make a Blonde Roast using any coffee beans; the factors that matter are the temperature and time in the oven. However, some beans make better Blonde coffee than others. Beans from East Africa and Latin America are both excellent choices for top-notch Blonde roasts.
Here are a few brands that have become known for their Blonde coffee:
- Cafe 1820 from Costa Rica (available on Amazon)
- Wink Coffee from Colombia (available on Amazon)
- Starbucks, which uses beans from many different countries. (available on Amazon)
If you already have a favorite brand or region that you get your coffee from, you may be able to find a Blonde offered by them.
Is it usually drank black or mixed with something else?
Because the flavor of a Blonde is so light and delicate, it can be easily lost when mixed with coffee additives like milk, cream, syrup, or sugars.
Even people who do not typically enjoy the flavor of coffee can savor the unique taste of this roast without adding anything extra. However, many people prefer to drink it with the additives mentioned above.
Due to the high acidity levels, if you are brewing a cup at home, you need to be careful with what you mix it with. Milk is less stable than cream and can curdle if added to an overly acidic drink. If your cup of joe has an acidity of less than 5.0, you should opt for heavy creamer instead. On the other hand, if you are ordering a blonde roast from a cafe, the barista will know how to handle your drink, and you don’t need to worry.
To recap, here are the key points you should take away from this post:
- Blonde coffee is an extremely light roast that tastes sweet, smooth, and creamy. Starbucks popularized it, but Blonde coffee has existed for much longer than their 2012 Blonde Roast release.
- With an average PH of about 4.5, Blonde coffee is the most acidic type of coffee. It beats out medium roast (PH of 5.4) and dark roast (PH of 5.9)
- It has about the same amount of caffeine as medium and dark roasts. When choosing a roast, don’t worry about caffeine content and simply focus on the taste.
- Some of the most popular brands selling Blonde coffee include Cafe 1820, Wink Coffee, and Starbucks. You can find their products on Amazon.
While many people enjoy drinking Blonde coffee black, it goes great with additives like milk, sugar, and creamer, too. Add whatever you think tastes best.
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