The coffee world is no short of wonders. New terms cropping every day and extensively being used by coffee lovers worldwide. Needless to say, it’s rather difficult to keep up with the latest trends, phrases, and terms.
But if there’s one of the latest popular phrases that seems to be divided in its meaning across coffee aficionados, it would be blonde coffee. So, what is blonde coffee exactly?
What is Blonde Coffee?
Blonde coffee, or blonde roast coffee, refers to lightly roasted coffee or coffee that is roasted at the lowest possible temperature. It’s also named according to flavors, which depending on the origin of coffee beans would be Half-city, Light-city, Cinnamon, and New England roasts. The name blonde has its origin from Starbucks who popularized the roast as their Blonde “Espresso” or “Roast” in 2018.
Coffee goes from green to brown as it undergoes roasting. Unlike a darker roast that is roasted for a longer period, a light roast will be roasted for a shorter time at lower temperatures. The shorter roast time comes with the advantage of a sweeter, smoother, and fuller coffee taste. Unlike the medium and dark roasted roasts, blonde brings out the authentic deep taste of the coffee bean.
Very dark-roasted coffee is very oily which gives it a shiny appearance. This is different for blonde roasts which carry a matte look. The lighter roasts have more caffeine than the dark roasts, making them more acidic than their dark and medium roast counterparts. Hence, they are tastier for coffee lovers.
Types of Blonde Coffee
The blonde coffee comes in different names, but it’s the same type of coffee with the same preparation method. The taste could vary slightly with different companies depending on the type and origin of the coffee beans used. Starbuck, for example, uses a blend of coffee beans from Latin America and East Africa to make their blonde coffee.
The taste, thus, may differ from other companies that have used coffee beans from other places of origin. Different kinds of soils contribute to the different flavors of coffee when sourced from different places of origin.
How to Make Blonde Coffee
The trick lies in the choice of coffee beans. To make the best blonde coffee, high-quality beans, referred to as specialty beans, are preferred. They contribute to the final shine of the roasts.
The process involves three stages; roasting, extraction, and grinding.
The roasting process involves 2 phases, the first crack and the second crack, and then the actual roasting. The medium-roasted beans undergo the first crack and are dropped a little after before getting to the second crack phase for roasting. The dark roasted beans undergo the first crack phase, wait a long while and then proceed to the second crack and finally the roaster for roasting.
Now, the light-roasted coffee is different in that after going through the first crack, it’s immediately dropped into the roaster for roasting. Some producers even drop it into the roaster right before the first crack. Due to the minimal time in the roaster, the light-roast beans are denser than the medium and dark-roasted beans.
Extracting Light-Roast Coffee
We have mentioned above that the light roasts are denser than their counterparts—the medium and dark roasts. This aspect makes them less porous, and therefore, they require more steeping time to develop properly and produce the best flavors.
Grinding Light-Roast Coffee
The next step is grinding where a grinder is used to produce finer grounds of the coffee beans. It is imperative to have a proper grinder for this work as the light-roast beans are harder than the medium or dark-roast beans. This causes them to wear down fast. As such, high-quality grinders (or ones that can be easily replaced) are recommended.
To produce finely ground light-roast coffee, the grinder size should be adjustable. The finely ground coffee allows water to move through the coffee more slowly, thus giving it ample time to brew and extract all the flavors from the blonde coffee.
There are also commercial machines that come fitted with the grinder like the espresso from Starbuck thus making work easier. You know you can make your espresso blonde coffee as well. Some coffee machines in the market today allow you to prepare your espresso blonde coffee from home, and they come fitted with a grinder as well.
During extraction, the water you use is also a consideration. Hard water is crucial in extraction as it aids in pulling more caffeine from the coffee grounds. Soft water, on the other hand, is best when brewing. To steep gently through the finer coffee grounds and extract all the goodness from the coffee beans.
Benefits of the Blonde Coffee
As you may know, all coffee has health benefits in terms of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances produced in the body or found in certain foods. They protect your body by preventing or delaying some types of cell damage, which could lead to disease or inflammation. Research shows the blonde coffee could potentially have more of these than the other roasts.
The high acidity in the blonde roasts can, however, pose health concerns for some people as it can contribute to adverse effects in the body associated with high metabolic acidity. These include fatigue, muscle, and joint pains. Thus, the blonde roast lovers shouldn’t make it their everyday brew.
How to Drink a Cup of Blonde Coffee
You can consume the blonde coffee just as it is or add some milk to taste. Due to the high acidity level in the blonde coffee, once it’s mixed with milk, the milk starts to curdle. For best results, when adding dairy to the cup of coffee, allow it to cool first.
Alternatively, you can add the cream to the cup first and continue to enjoy your sweet white blonde coffee in your preferred style. Other ways of adding more flavors include blending it with honey or vanilla mixed with some milk.
Is Blonde Coffee Stronger?
This is a great question, but one that’s very tricky to answer. While you may assume that a lighter roast is stronger than other coffee roasts, it proves otherwise. If by the strength you mean the amount of coffee in your cup after extraction, then no. The more coffee beans and the less water you use, the stronger your blonde coffee will be, the same as any other roasts. Other factors play into the final strength such as the grind size, amount of coffee by weight, and your brewing method. But if strength means acidity and a strong flavor, then blonde roast coffee can be overpoweringly strong.
However, if strength to you means caffeine content, then this would depend on two factors; let’s uncover that below.
What is the Caffeine Content of Blonde Coffee?
Measured by weight, the dark roast would have more caffeine than the light roast. However, measured by volume, a cup of light beans would have more caffeine than a cup of dark beans because the beans would be more; light roast beans are smaller than dark roast. Light roasts have higher caffeine content than dark roasts.
In a nutshell, blonde coffee, also known as light roast coffee, is made from coffee beans that have been roasted at a shorter time and under lower temperatures. It yields a sweeter, smoother, and mellower type of coffee.
Now, you know how blonde coffee is produced, its benefits in terms of antioxidant content, and its variant serving suggestions depending on your taste. With this knowledge, instead of going for the regular coffee on your next visit to the coffee shop, why not try out this flavor of blonde coffee? Or even better, make yourself a cup of the flavorsome blonde coffee from the comfort of your home.