What Is a Blonde Espresso?

What Is a Blonde Espresso?

Blonde espresso. Yes, it's a thing. Not exactly sure what it is? You're not alone! Spoiler alert: it's not just regular espresso with milk added in... Actually, it has nothing to do with milk (but you can still add some, of course). Read on to find out everything about this mysterious concoction. 

What Is an Espresso?

You probably know that espresso is one of the strongest coffee drinks. It is also known for its strong, delicious taste and high caffeine level. There are a few other types of coffee with similar characteristics, though. So what makes coffee a real espresso?

To make a caffeine-rich shot of espresso with all the flavors you love, you will need a fine coffee grind. You then put the coffee in the espresso machine's portafilter, and the brewing process can start. How you end up with a shot of espresso is through the magic of pressurized steam. First, the espresso machine heats the water to its boiling point, and then it finds its way through the coffee grind in the filter. Then your brew pours down into your cup.

The Italian Angelo Moriondo patented the first steam-driven coffee machine in the 1880s. Nearly 20 years, at the beginning of the 20th century in Milan, another Italian named Luigi Bezzera made several improvements to end up similar to the espresso machines we use nowadays. One of these improvements was to call it an espresso machine, as espresso is the Italian word for "pressed out."

What Is a Blonde Espresso?

Blonde espresso started gaining popularity a few years ago when Starbucks' Blonde Espresso drink blew up. Nowadays, most coffee enthusiasts have heard about it, but what is blonde espresso?

Blonde espresso is standard espresso made with a blonde espresso roast. It’s lighter in color as the beans are roasted for a shorter time. Additionally, the temperature for a blonde roast is significantly lower, so it doesn't change the color of the beans as much, which is why it stays lighter than your usual dark roast.

The blonde espresso beans can be either Light City or Full City, with the difference being that the former has a more acidic taste and a lighter body. The Full City blonde espresso has more of an edge and a darker, richer flavor.

This difference in flavors comes from how long and under what temperature you roast the beans. You will probably want to try both to know which one you like best.

How Is Coffee Roasted for Blonde Espresso?

When roasting coffee, the beans go from green to brown, and the process takes around ten minutes. There are a few stages in the beans roasting that you should keep in mind.

The first one is called the first crack. Like making popcorn, you will hear a crack coming out at some point. The crack means that your coffee beans have started reaching 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 Celsius).

The second stage comes when the cracking stops. During that stage, it seems like nothing is happening. Not true, as your beans will keep roasting, and you will have a dark instead of a light roast.

The third stage is when smoke starts coming out. Even if you want a dark roast, you don't want to get there as this means that your coffee will burn. 

You will need to stop roasting for the perfect blonde roast coffee. This moment is when you have roasted the beans enough to make good coffee and "blonde" enough for a blonde espresso.

How Much Caffeine Is There in Blonde Espresso?

It sounds reasonable that dark beans will have more coffee than a light roast, but that is not true. The roasting process gets rid of a significant part of caffeine. Furthermore, the lighter your coffee beans are, the more caffeine you will have in your drinks.

As espresso, be it blonde or regular, is served in smaller cups than regular coffee, you won't raise your caffeine intake that much if you consume responsibly. A one-ounce cup of blonde espresso has around 85 mg of caffeine, while regular espresso has about 75 mg. The exact amount of black coffee only contains between 7.5 and 25 mg of caffeine. This amount depends on the beans, the type of brew, and the brewing temperature.

This higher level of caffeine also affects the taste of your coffee, though. It gives a more acidic flavor, which comes from the shorter exposure to heat. Additionally, this is what gives darker roasts their characteristic bitter tastes.

Due to the shorter roasting time of the coffee beans, they keep their fruitier, more flowery taste. So if you're looking for the smokey, bitter taste of regular espresso, then blonde will probably not be your cup of... coffee.

Is The Starbucks Blonde Espresso the Original?

Yes, the Starbucks blonde espresso is the original one. It has been around for a while, and you can easily buy it at most places. If you still want to make your own blonde espresso, here's one of our favorite recipes:

  1. You will need to buy a blonde espresso roast and check the roast date to make sure your coffee is fresh. It shouldn't be more than a month prior.
  2. It's best to buy whole beans and grind them yourself.
  3. Once you have your grounded coffee beans, put them in your espresso machine's portafilter. Make sure you weigh them.
  4. Don't forget to tamp them. This way, you will achieve an even extraction of your brew.
  5. You can start to make your blonde espresso when you finish with that.
  6. Once the coffee is ready, you can simply enjoy it. If you don't like the acidic taste, feel free to add cream or sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes An Espresso Blonde?

Blonde espresso is known for the lighter color of coffee beans due to their light roast and for containing more caffeine than regular espresso, as a result. 

Is Starbucks Blonde Roast Easy to Brew?

Yes, the Starbucks blonde roast is just as easy to make coffee with as any other type of coffee. A key difference here is that you will need to make sure the roast wasn't made more than a month ago.

Is Blonde Espresso Sweet?

No, blonde espresso isn't sweet. It's actually more acidic than the coffee you'd make with a regular roast but has a more flowery taste. It also has more caffeine per shot, so you need to be careful.

Do You Need Milk for Blonde Espresso?

No, blonde espresso doesn't necessarily need to be served with milk to be blonde. Suppose you like your coffee that way; you can, though. However, you should know that it won't be blonde if you add milk to standard espresso. For that, you will need a blonde roast.

Final Thoughts

Blonde espresso is one of the latest trends among coffee enthusiasts. That is because it's stronger and has a less bitter taste. However, while it's just as easy to make as regular espresso, you should make sure that it's freshly roasted and tamp it in well.

Head over to our store to get your high-quality espresso tamper now. This way, you will be able to get the same delicious coffee with each brew.
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