Man holding roasted coffee beans in his palm

Blonde Roast Coffee - Explained

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

How delightful it is to be engulfed in the strong aroma of coffee, even if it's for a few seconds. This striking whiff is achieved only through roasting coffee beans the right way.

Green coffee beans do not smell like coffee at all. Roasting coffee produces a huge range of different aroma compounds and the flavour of coffee is created by these compounds.

It is possible to influence the presence of these aroma compounds in coffee through roast profiling as well as determine the taste of the coffee.

So, to get the beautiful brown beans that we all know as coffee, it is put through roasting. In this post, we are going to discuss the types of coffee roasts and have a closer look at a much sought-after type - blonde roast coffee.

Roasts are broadly divided into 4 types based on the darkness of the roasted beans. Different coffee preparations use different types of roasts as they all have their specific characteristics. 


Light Roast

As the beans are roasted for the least amount of time here, they are high in caffeine and acidity. The original flavors of the bean are the most noticeable in a light roast since the roasting process often obscures those flavors.

Medium Roast

While for a light roast, coffee beans are roasted till the first crack, for a medium roast, they’re roasted beyond that. Despite its low caffeine content, a beverage made from medium roast coffee will have a lot of body and depth of flavor. 

Medium Dark Roast

Best for brewing espressos, this roast is obtained by roasting until the popping sound is heard for the second time. Enhanced roasting removes almost all acidity and a faint bitterness is developed.

Dark Roast

Almost black, dark roasted beans have an oily surface and a rich and intense flavor. It contains low amounts of caffeine and no acidity. These beans are quite popular among Europeans.

You might be wondering, where does blonde roast coffee fall in these types of roasts?  Well, it is a variant of (and almost synonymous with) light roast coffee.

Blonde Roast Coffee: A light roast coffee deep dive for coffee lovers

What is a blonde roast?

As the name suggests, blonde roast coffee refers to lightly roasted coffee beans. As we saw above, these roasts have more caffeine content and they retain the natural flavors, often citrusy, of the bean more than their darker counterparts.

So, if you’re looking for a strong morning jolt, you should go for this roast. 

Blonde roast coffee beans are also known as light city or half city, and are just a bit lighter in color than a medium roast. As this coffee brings brighter flavors to a brew, it is in high demand in the specialty coffee industry.

Get Starbucks blonde roast coffee from HERE.

Roasting blonde roast coffee

Roasted at temperatures around 355°F - 400°F,  blonde roast coffee is dropped from the roaster as soon as the first crack occurs.

In some cases, expert roasters drop the batch just before, or during the first crack. Due to the brief roasting time, blonde roasted beans are relatively dense and have a mellow body.‍

Details in blonde roast


If you have a palette for zesty, sour flavors, then you would want to befriend blonde roast coffee. Blonde roasts have a higher acidity than darker roasts, which leads to their citrus accents. Being acidic, the coffee sometimes leaves a refreshing lemony aftertaste.‍

Roasting level

A temperature between 355°F and 400°F is maintained in the roster to produce the best blonde roast coffee. The beans are pulled out just before or right after the first crack has developed.

The crack is the result of the vapors inside the beans breaking through the outer wall. A nice cinnamon color is seen on the beans at this stage.



Carrying subtle fruity nuances from the bean, blonde roast coffee often tastes different than the generally perceived taste of coffee. It is believed that if perfectly brewed, traditional blonde roast iced coffee is rich with tangy flavors and not very bitter.‍


While the health quotient remains more or less similar in all types of roast, blonde roast does get some extra points as it is likely to contain a higher concentration of antioxidants, which are broken down during roasting in darker roasts.

Also, it acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps keep inflammation in control.


Alright, coffee drinkers! This part will certainly excite you - brewing coffee with lighter roasts. Blonde roast coffee can be prepared in a pour-over machine or brewed in an espresso machine and tastes great when kept black.

If you prefer adding milk, cream, or sugar, go ahead and make a cup of coffee that you like because blonde roasts go well with these ingredients.


Caffeine content

While it may sound convincing that darker roasts contain more caffeine than lighter ones, that’s not true. The caffeine content in a coffee cup depends a lot on the way of brewed.

When blonde roast coffee is brewed using finer grounds, likely for an espresso, the caffeine content is greater compared to a dark roast. Higher amounts of caffeine are retained in blonde light roast coffee as it is roasted for a lesser time.


Undoubtedly, blonde roast coffee beans have a weaker build. They are not as strong or full-bodied as darker roasts as for the latter, longer exposure to heat expands and strengthens the beans. Lighter roasts are less hard and crunchy and possess more flavor. ‍

Blonde Roast Coffee - The Last Sip

Those were some interesting beans of info that we roasted there, and we hope it could answer ‘What does blonde roast coffee mean?’, and enhance your understanding of this roast. Every type of roast has its peculiarities and for blonde roast, the crowd puller is its unbeatable flavor. What more do you want to know about this light-roast coffee? Let us know via DM us @theappbarista!


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
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I am a coffee aficionado based in Seattle. I have devoted my passion and expertise to perfecting the art of home coffee brewing. I became known for my exquisite pour-over and espresso creations. I source coffee beans from local roasters and explores ...