Starbucks Coffee’s espresso-based beverages typically contain a single or double shot of the company’s signature espresso blend. However, the dark roast coffee isn’t the only espresso on the menu. The Seattle-born coffee giant also offers blonde espresso, and baristas can use it to make many delicious drinks. We’ll introduce you to 13 of them below.
What Is Blonde Espresso?
Blonde espresso comes from running blonde-roasted coffee beans through your espresso machine. And that leads to what is no doubt your next question: what are blonde roast coffee beans?
No, these aren’t beans that just returned from a bleach and tone appointment at the salon. They’ve merely heated in the coffee roaster for a shorter time and at a lower temperature than beans at other roast levels.
Post-roasting, these beans boast a pale hue, small size, and less oily surface than the darker ones usually used to make espresso. They also have a higher caffeine content and a subtler flavor profile than medium or dark roasts.
Roasty Roundup: 13 Blonde Espresso Starbucks Drinks To Sip and Savor
Now that you have a clearer picture of what blonde espresso is, it’s time to learn the next lesson: how to order it from Starbucks Coffee.
Blonde Espresso Shot
First up is what’s perhaps the most uncomplicated blonde espresso menu item Starbucks offers: the Blonde Espresso Shot. This tiny but mighty serving of joe is perfect for people who want their morning coffee without frills, sweeteners, or milk.
Blonde Espresso Con Panna
The Blonde Espresso Con Panna gives the plain Jane blonde espresso shot a sweet twist by blending it with whipped cream. Typically, the whipped cream’s purpose is to bring out a darker roast’s caramel-y flavors. However, you’ll find that it also complements the super-light type of coffee beans well.
Blonde Doubleshot on Ice
A Starbucks Blonde Doubleshot on Ice is one of the best ways to enjoy light roast beans on a hot day. Or a cold one, if you’re among the many who insist on having iced coffee even in below-freezing temps.
Baristas shake two blonde espresso coffee shots and a few pumps of classic syrup with ice cubes before pouring the mixture into a cup. Then, they top the coffee with milk. You can enjoy the light coffee beverage as it is or play around with different flavored syrups, subbing the classic flavor for brown sugar, caramel, or vanilla.
Blonde Caffè Latte
It’s safe to say the good old latte is the king of the coffee scene, which is why we included the Starbucks Blonde Caffè Latte in this list. This drink, available hot or iced, blends cold or steamed milk and espresso. The recipe is simple yet beloved by many, and the latte satisfies caffeine cravings just as well as its medium- or dark-roasted counterparts.
Blonde Vanilla Latte
The Blonde Vanilla Latte is a permanent menu fixture at Starbucks, perfect for customers fond of mellow-tasting coffee and sweet vanilla. The beverage has few ingredients — milk of your choice, a few pumps of vanilla-flavored syrup, and a single or double espresso shot — but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s delicious and a permanent menu item for a reason. Try it hot or over ice.
Blonde Flat White
Contrary to popular belief, the Flat White and Caffé Latte are not the same. Sure, you need an espresso coffee maker to make either of the creamy beverages, and they both contain just two ingredients.
But there are a few differences between them. However, we’re not here to share what sets the drinks apart — we did that in our detailed comparison. Instead, we’re talking about one of their similarities: you can make both with blonde espresso. Like the coffeehouse’s blonde latte, the Starbucks Blonde Flat White gives you all the smooth creaminess of your favorite drink with a less intense flavor profile and higher caffeine levels.
A Starbucks Blonde Cappuccino is as foamy and delightful as the version made with the franchise’s signature espresso roast. The only difference is the flavor profile the super-light beans lend the beverage. Signature espresso is bold with caramel notes, while Starbucks’s blonde-roasted espresso has bright, citrus notes.
Blonde Hazelnut Latte
Many latte lovers are fond of hazelnut coffee syrup. And at Starbucks, you can add it to the blonde espresso version of the drink, too. Whether sipping the iced or hot version, a Starbucks Blonde Hazelnut Latte is a treat. And who knows? The mellow-tasting beverage enhanced with a few pumps of hazelnut syrup might become your new favorite latte.
Be careful not to have too many of them in one day! A grande (16-ounce) serving has around 170 milligrams of caffeine, so just two of them bring you close to the daily recommended adult dose of the stimulant. Sip this blonde drink hot or iced.
Next on our roundup of blonde espresso Starbucks drinks is the Americano, a beverage you can have hot or iced. Since it’s made by adding water to espresso, sipping an Americano is akin to drinking a strong cup of drip coffee. So, naturally, having one brewed with blonde coffee beans is like drinking lightly roasted drip.
Blonde Americano Misto
Many prefer their Americanos black — that means sans add-ins. But others want theirs enhanced with a splash of milk. That’s where the Americano Misto comes in.
The Starbucks Blonde Americano Misto comes hot or iced, and it’s a blend of blonde-roasted espresso, water, and milk of your choice. Two-percent milk is part of the default recipe. However, Starbucks also offers dairy-free alternatives — including soy, oat, and almond milk. Each milk gives the drink a slightly different taste and consistency, so do some experimenting to see what yields your ideal beverage.
Blonde Caramel Macchiato
Caramel Macchiatos are the favorites of Starbucks Coffee lovers everywhere, as they do the job when you want your morning joe on the sweeter side of the spectrum. The recipe typically calls for the chain’s signature espresso, milk, vanilla syrup, milk foam, and caramel drizzle. But when the barista substitutes the regular coffee with blonde espresso, you still get the sweet pick-me-up you crave, only with a lighter and brighter flavor.
FYI, caramel macchiato lovers, you can easily create the drink from the comfort of your home, so long as you follow a good recipe. Save yourself a trip to the drive-through; get a bag of high-quality blonde roast beans and start brewing!
Blonde Caffè Mocha
Everything is better with chocolate, including coffee! That’s why java drinkers everywhere make the Caffé Mocha their Starbucks go-to. Available hot or iced, the blend of blonde espresso, mocha sauce, milk, and optional whipped cream topping brings chocolate and coffee together beautifully.
Blonde White Chocolate Mocha
The Starbucks Blonde White Chocolate Mocha is another blonde coffee drink perfect for anyone who prefers the contents of their cup to have a sweeter taste. Its recipe is identical to the regular mocha’s — blonde espresso, milk, and chocolate sauce — but instead of plain mocha sauce, there is white chocolate sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Blonde Espresso the Strongest?
This question’s answer depends on what you mean when you say strong.
If you’re talking about levels of caffeine, then yes, blonde espresso is the strongest. The roasting process burns off the beans’ caffeine. The longer they heat, the more caffeine they lose. Since blonde roasts spend the least time roasting, they lose the least caffeine and pack the biggest punch of energy.
However, if you’re using the word strong to reference the flavor profile, then blonde espresso is the weakest. Blonde beans have a sweet and mellow taste, making them more palatable for new coffee drinkers or people who don’t love super-intense cups of coffee.
Is Starbucks Blonde Espresso Healthy?
Standard espresso is a healthy choice, courtesy of its low-calorie count and list of health benefits. So is the blonde-roasted version! But, contrary to what you might have heard, blonde espresso isn’t significantly healthier. When we compared Starbucks’s signature and blonde roasts, the two were similar nutritionally.
For context, a doppio, or double, shot of Starbucks signature espresso has 10 calories. So does a same-size serving of Starbucks blonde roast.
Caffeine content is the only notable nutritional difference between Starbucks blonde and signature espressos. We noticed this when comparing the blonde caffè latte to the standard one. According to the coffeehouse’s menu, 16 ounces of the blonde beverage has 170 milligrams of caffeine. However, a latte of the same size made with signature roast espresso has 150 milligrams.
Is Blonde Espresso Less Bitter?
Compared to the signature espresso Starbucks Coffee typically uses, the franchise’s blonde-roasted spro is less bitter. Generally, blonde espresso is slightly sweet. That’s probably why new coffee drinkers and those partial to less intense-tasting beverages don’t mind it.
Order a Cup of Blonde Brilliance
Even diehard dark roast coffee fans must admit blonde beans are something special. Their sweet, mellow taste offers a refreshing change from the sometimes bitter intensity coffee often bears. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. The next time you’re at Starbucks, order one of the coffeehouse’s blonde espresso drinks and sample these beans yourself.
We’d recommend starting with something like an Iced Blonde Americano or Blonde Espresso Shot so you can experience the coffee’s flavor uninterrupted. But if you’d rather have something with add-ins, go for a Caffé Latte. Even with milk and/or flavored syrup, blonde beans shine.