Coffee beans are being roasted to light and medium roast

Blonde Roast vs Medium Roast: Know The Exact Difference

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

Whether you’ve been drinking coffee for years or are a newcomer to the coffee scene, you’re likely aware that Blonde Roast and Medium Roast are popular roasts. But you may not know the differences between both. 

If that’s you and you’re curious to know more specifics about Blonde Roast vs. Medium Roast, you’re in for a treat.

I will reveal the differences between Blonde Roast and Medium Roast, and who knows, you may even find yourself excitedly talking about roasts with fellow coffee lovers with confidence.

Blonde roast overview

What is a blonde roast?

A Blonde Roast is one of the lightest roast levels for coffee beans. This roast is characterized by its light brown color, almost resembling the shade of cinnamon. Blonde Roast coffee beans are lightly roasted, preserving the bean's natural flavors and characteristics.

They are known for their mild, bright, and slightly acidic taste, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer a more delicate coffee experience.

Get the right blonde roast coffee beans from HERE.

The roasting process of blonde roast coffee

Blonde roast coffee is known for its mild and bright flavors, and the roasting process plays a crucial role in bringing out these qualities.

Here's how to roast blonde coffee:

  • Begin with quality green coffee beans from Ethiopia or Latin America, known for their vibrant flavors.
  • Preheat your roaster to 355-400f°F (179-204°C) for a gentle roast that retains bean uniqueness.
  • Add beans to the roaster, observe the color change from green to pale yellow, and listen for the first crack, marking the start of a blonde roast; continue roasting to desired lightness.
  • Cool the beans quickly to preserve the delicate flavors, then store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
  • Grind the beans just before brewing to savor their bright, nuanced flavors.

Medium roast overview

What is medium roast coffee?

As its name suggests, the Medium Roast coffee is roasted to a medium level. It falls between Blonde Roast's lightness and Darker Roast's darkness.

The beans exhibit a medium brown color and are known for their balanced flavor profile, which combines the nuanced flavors of the bean with the roasted notes. This roast is popular among coffee lovers because it provides a harmonious blend of acidity and body.

Get the right medium-roasted coffee beans from HERE.

Roasting process of medium roast coffee

Roasting coffee beans to create the perfect medium roast is a beautiful journey that balances flavor and aroma. Here’s the medium roast coffee roasting process:

  • Start with high-quality green coffee beans from diverse regions, each boasting unique flavor profiles.
  • Preheat your roaster to 410-428°F (210-220°C) for a medium roast.
  • Pour the beans into the preheated roaster and closely monitor the temperature.
  • Observe the color shift from green to yellow, then golden brown, with the First Crack indicating the medium roast's start.
  • Adjust roasting to your taste.
  • Swiftly cool the beans to halt the roasting, using a cooling tray or colander.
  • Let the beans rest for a day or two to enhance flavor. Grind just before brewing for the freshest medium-roast coffee.

Factors that influence the flavor in each roast type

The flavor of coffee is affected by a number of factors. When it comes to blonde roast and medium roast coffee, here are the key factors that influence their flavor profiles:

1) Bean Origin

The geographical origin of the coffee beans is a fundamental factor. Beans grown in different regions worldwide carry unique flavor notes due to variations in soil, climate, and altitude.

2) Roasting Time and Temperature

The time and temperature during the roasting process can be adjusted to bring out specific flavors in the coffee beans. Longer roasting times and higher temperatures can lead to caramelization and the development of richer, darker flavors, while shorter roasting times can preserve the bean's natural acidity and fruitiness.

3) Roast Level

The roast level is one of the most critical factors. A blonde roast is roasted for a shorter time at a lower temperature, while a medium roast is roasted slightly longer.

4) Bean Quality

Specialty-grade beans, free from defects, provide a clean canvas for flavor development. Poor-quality beans can introduce undesirable flavors or compromise the potential complexity of the coffee.

5) Brewing Method

How you brew your coffee also influences flavor. The water temperature, brewing time, grind size, and brewing equipment all impact the final taste. For example, using a French press may produce a different flavor profile compared to an espresso machine.

Blonde roast vs medium roast: Quick comparison

1) Flavor Profile

Blonde roast coffee is celebrated for its subtle and delicate flavor profile. This roast allows the natural characteristics of the coffee bean to shine through. The result is a milder taste, bright acidity, and nuanced, often fruity or floral notes. The flavors are more subtle than darker roasts, making blonde roast an excellent choice for those who appreciate a gentler, cleaner, and less bitter coffee experience.

Medium roast coffee strikes a balance between acidity and body. It offers a broader range of flavors that are more pronounced than those of a blonde roast. You can expect a complex flavor profile with toasted nuts, chocolate, and caramel notes. The taste is well-rounded and often has a slight sweetness, making it a versatile option for coffee with a more robust and pronounced flavor.

Winner: It's a matter of personal preference. If you prefer a milder and cleaner taste with bright acidity and subtle notes, the winner is the Blonde Roast.

2) Coffee Color

As the name suggests, blonde roast beans are a light, pale brown. They retain more of the bean's natural hue and have minimal surface oils. This light color indicates the shorter roasting time and lower temperatures used in the process.

Medium roast beans are a medium to medium-dark brown color. They exhibit a richer color than blonde roast beans and may have some surface oils, contributing to their fuller body and slightly darker appearance.

Winner: Blonde Roast. It maintains a lighter, pale brown color that retains the coffee bean's natural hue, which appeals to those who prefer a lighter roast.

3) Roasting Time

Blonde roast undergoes a relatively short roasting time at lower temperatures. This approach aims to preserve the bean's inherent qualities and maintain its unique flavor notes.

Medium roast involves a slightly longer roasting duration. This extended roasting time allows for the development of more complex flavors while preserving the coffee bean's character.

Winner: Medium Roast. A slightly longer roasting time allows for the development of more complex flavors without compromising the bean's original characteristics.

4) Aroma Profile

The aroma of blonde roast coffee is often characterized by bright and fruity notes, contributing to a lighter and more delicate scent. These aromatic qualities reflect the coffee's mild and crisp flavor profile.

Medium roast coffees carry a more decadent aroma, with hints of toasted nuts, chocolate, and a more robust fragrance. This aroma profile aligns with the coffee's more pronounced and diverse flavor profile.

Winner: Medium Roast. It offers a richer and more robust aroma, often preferred by those who enjoy a fuller coffee experience.

5) Ideal Brewing Methods

Ideal for brewing methods that preserve delicate flavors, such as pour-over, drip brewing, or a simple French press. These methods allow the coffee's subtle nuances to shine.

Medium-roasted coffee is versatile and can be used in various brewing ways, such as drip, espresso, and Aeropress. Its adaptable nature means you can enjoy it in various ways to suit your preferences.

Winner: Medium Roast. Its versatility makes it suitable for various brewing methods, offering a broader range of options.

6) Caffeine Content

Contrary to popular belief, lighter roasts, including blonde roasts, typically contain slightly more caffeine than darker roasts. The shorter roasting time helps retain more of the bean's original caffeine content.

While medium roast still offers a moderate caffeine content, it might be marginally lower compared to a blonde roast due to the longer roasting duration. However, this difference is minimal and usually not a significant factor in caffeine intake.

Winner: Blonde Roast. Despite the common misconception, lighter roasts like blonde roast typically contain slightly more caffeine due to their shorter roasting time.

7) Taste

The taste of a blonde roast coffee is characterized by its subtlety, brighter acidity and a focus on the coffee bean's original flavor notes. You can expect a milder, crisper, and slightly tangy cup of coffee. The emphasis is on the purity of the bean's natural flavors.

Medium roast coffee provides a well-balanced, more robust flavor. It combines sweetness, nuttiness, and a fuller body. This roast type offers a broader spectrum of flavors, making it an ideal choice for those who seek a flavorful, adaptable, and well-rounded coffee experience.

Winner: It depends on personal preference. If you enjoy a milder, crisper, and slightly tangy taste emphasizing the bean's natural flavors, the Blonde Roast is the winner.

Wrapping up

The choice between a blonde roast and a medium roast coffee ultimately comes down to your personal taste preferences and the coffee experience you seek.

Remember that there is no right or wrong choice regarding coffee roasts. Your preference depends on your taste buds and what you desire in your daily cup of joe. Whether it's the bright, sunny disposition of a blonde roast or the well-rounded character of a medium roast, both offer delightful coffee experiences.

So, next time you find yourself at the coffee aisle or cafe menu, you'll better understand the distinctions between blonde and medium roast coffee. With this comparison, you can confidently choose the roast that suits your coffee journey and enjoy every sip to the fullest.


1) Is blonde roast stronger?

No, Blonde Roast coffee is not stronger regarding caffeine content or flavor intensity. It is generally milder and more delicate in flavor compared to darker roasts. The term "strong" can refer to a coffee's caffeine content or flavor profile; in both cases, Blonde Roast is on the lighter side.

2) Do blonde roasts contain more caffeine?

Contrary to common belief, the caffeine content in coffee is relatively consistent across different roast levels. While roasting does affect the beans' chemical composition, it doesn't significantly alter the caffeine content. Therefore, both Blonde Roast and Medium Roast coffee can have similar caffeine levels.

3) Can you use blonde espresso roast for iced coffee?

Yes, you can undoubtedly use Blonde Roast espresso for iced coffee. The mild and bright flavors of Blonde Roast coffee can be a delightful choice for iced coffee, especially on hot days. A Blonde Roast's lighter and more delicate taste pairs well with ice and can provide a refreshing and flavorful iced coffee experience. Brew the espresso or coffee, let it cool, and pour it over ice with your choice of milk or sweeteners.


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
View Profileright-arrow

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 ...