Is blonde espresso stronger?

Photo of blond espresso being poured. Is blonde espresso stronger?

Curious how a blonde espresso will stack up compared to a classic darker roast? Here are the essential must-know details.

Comparing blonde espresso directly to the more popular dark roast espresso will have some noticeable differences. The biggest one is that a blonde espresso will be stronger regarding caffeine content. This is the trend with all lighter roasted beans, actually. However, a blonde espresso won’t be as strong as a dark roast espresso when referring to flavor!

There’s much to know and appreciate about a blonde espresso roast, so look below for more information on this fun variation!

What is blonde espresso?

Firstly, let’s take a moment to look at a blonde espresso. Even though it’s been around for a while, many people still don’t get how it differentiates from a classic espresso. 

A blonde espresso is just extracted/brewed from a lighter bean roast. You can get light roast espresso beans like a light roast coffee (such as a breakfast blend). Classic espresso is just a darker roast (like a Colombian or French roast coffee bean would be). A blonde roast espresso bean isn’t quite as popular as light roast coffee, but it is growing in popularity now!

Fun Fact:

The blonde roast espresso used to be known as a cinnamon roast, according to Forbes, but was renamed since people associated cinnamon with a flavor rather than a color.

Differences between blonde espresso and regular espresso

Now that you’re a bit more familiar with blonde espresso let’s compare it to the classic espresso and see what’s really different. The main points are:

  • The color
  • The caffeine level
  • The taste
  • The roast
  • The brewing methods

The color

As you can probably guess, a blonde espresso will be lighter than a classic dark roast espresso. The color will be lighter and whiter than the amber and darker color of the classic espresso. This fools many people into thinking it’s inferior, under-extracted, or made wrong. In reality, it’s just different.

The caffeine level

Like with a lighter roast coffee, as I mentioned earlier, a blonde espresso will be stronger in caffeine than a classic darker roast. I’ll talk about the numbers a little later on for you! 

The taste

The taste of this lighter roast will be a bit different, though it will still taste very strongly of an espresso. It is often described as being a bit sweeter and lighter regarding how hard it hits your stomach. It’s an excellent choice for those who need and want a good caffeine kick without the bitterness or heavy feeling of classic espresso!

The roast

Lightly roasted espresso beans are pulled out of the rooster before classic espresso beans are, of course. These tend to come from Eastern countries and are sold in smaller batches. While it is a great cup of espresso, it just doesn’t compare to the classic popularity of the darker roast. As it grows more in popularity in our Western world, many coffee shops are starting to stock it!

The brewing methods

The brewing method is the same way for the two types of espresso and uses the same equipment. It’s just the difference in which beans to use! Since espresso machines are often used in coffee shops, some will opt to have an espresso designated just for blonde roast espresso and one for dark roast espresso. This just helps keep everything separate to get the proper brew each time.

Fun Fact:

WikiHow explains that when making a dark roast espresso, you’re supposed to stop extracting when the shot turns blond. So, what do you look for when extracting a blonde espresso roast??

Is blonde espresso stronger than regular espresso?

As you likely remember, a blonde espresso will be stronger in caffeine than a dark roast espresso but weaker in flavor. The answer to which is more robust will depend primarily on how you define strong!

Caffeine content in blonde espresso vs. regular espresso

So, how does the actual caffeine difference compare? It’s pretty shocking, actually. A blonde roast espresso has 85 mg of caffeine per serving, whereas a dark roast espresso shot has 64 mg per serving!

If you want that jolt, it makes sense why you’d automatically go for the blonde roast, right? It’ll be a great way to give yourself a little jumpstart.

Calories in blonde espresso vs. regular espresso

The calorie count between these two drinks is very similar. A blonde espresso will have two calories, and a regular espresso will be between two and three calories. It’s not clear why a dark roast has the potential for half or one more calorie. If calorie counting is your main reason for distinguishing the two, you’ll find that they do even out.

It’s more about determining which taste you prefer and what caffeine level you’re searching for.

Which is sweeter: blonde espresso or regular espresso?

Both types of espresso will be noticeably bitter compared to other types of coffee drinks, of course. This is part of what is such a big hit about espresso in the first place. But what about when you compare espresso to espresso? This is where your more creative side can really come out and play.

Experienced drinkers will tell you that a blonde espresso will be slightly sweeter than a classic roast espresso. This is, of course, because the beans are lightly roasted. It draws out more of that sugary and lightweight taste.

However, part of that sweetness will depend on where you source your espresso. If you are importing it from certain countries, it might be bitter. It mainly depends on the taste profile of the coffee beans you are ordering from. Blonde roasts tend to have more differentiation between the overall taste.

Which is better: blonde espresso or regular espresso?

It’s always so hard to answer this kind of question, isn’t it? It mostly depends on what you’re going for regarding the overall effect. A blonde espresso is great if you want a caffeine kick with subtle sweetness and a lightweight vibe. If you are instead going for a classic espresso, you’ll find that a dark roast will still win out.

If you’re adventurous in your coffee experimenting, I recommend trying a blonde espresso roast. Go to a shop that brews them and order a classic one (rather than a double-shot espresso). Comparing it directly with a dark roast will give you that clear difference in flavor and overall enjoyment. 

That’s always going to be the best way to determine which type of espresso is better for you, personally! Plus, it’s really fun to compare them side by side and see how the color changes, too.

Is blonde espresso stronger than a dark roast?

A blonde espresso will always be stronger than a dark roast espresso because caffeine is “burnt” out of a dark roast bean but is preserved in a lighter roast bean. Unless you find yourself a decaffeinated blonde espresso bean, you won’t be able to avoid the higher caffeine level! If you are sensitive to caffeine, this is something to consider seriously.

While it’s not as popular as a classic dark roast espresso, it’s intriguing to understand that there is so much richness to a blonde espresso roast! The most significant difference between these two will be the caffeine level and the strength of the flavor. While one is not better, the differences between them will probably give you a stronger winner for your taste profile and overall enjoyment of caffeine, too!

If you know someone who lives and dies for espresso, share this post with them and see what they think!

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Robert Knowlton is an expert barista with more than 15 years of experience. Robert's main goal is to make sure everyone can enjoy the perfect cup of coffee regardless of their skill level.