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What Is Blonde Roast Coffee? Everything You Need to Know

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.

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.

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: duysoranguyen