What is Blonde Espresso?

From plant variety and soil chemistry to weather and altitude, there are a multitude of factors that can affect the taste of coffee. Even a single coffee bean plantation can have variation in quality and taste once the harvest is done and the roasters get to work.

So, when it comes to certain types of espresso drinks and coffee drinks—particularly blonde espresso—how are they differentiated?

As a milder espresso, blonde espresso takes advantage of a lighter roast profile. That said, there is no one definition of a blonde espresso. In fact, it’s more of a marketing term than an actual drink.

To explain what is blonde espresso and explore how it fits within the world of coffee, read on.

Breaking Down the Terms: Espresso & Blonde 

For the caffeine beginners, espresso and coffee are not two distinct drinks. Espresso refers to a specific brewing method discovered in the late 19th century, which Luigi Bezzerra and Desiderio Pavoni later refined.

So what is espresso, exactly? In short all espressos are coffee, but not all coffees are espresso.

That clears up the term espresso. So where does blonde fit into the picture?

Blonde refers to the specific roast profile of the beans. Although, it’s important to note that “blonde” isn’t the actual name of a roasting category. 

Categories of Coffee Roasts

Typically, there are four categories you’ll see indicating the roast of your coffee beans: light, medium, medium-dark, and dark roast coffee beans. Yet there’s little industry standardization concerning these classifications.

The roasting process influences three major characteristics: color, acidity, and flavor. According to the National Coffee Association, here’s how they break down:

● Light roast – This roast color is golden brown and has a milder flavor and a higher acidity level. The beans typically have not been roasted long enough for the oils to break through the surface, retaining more of their original flavors.

● Medium roast – This roast color is medium brown and slightly stronger but has a well-balanced flavor, aroma, and acidity. It’s often referred to as” America’s favorite roast”—the reason why, however, isn’t as clear.  

● Medium-dark roast – This roast color is dark brown, and the bitterness outweighs the acidity in this profile. It has a heavier body with some oil left on the bean. 

● Dark roast – This roast color is slick and shiny black and is associated with French and Italian-style coffees. All acidity and origin flavor are gone, and it contains high levels of bitterness. If you’ve ever had espresso straight from the cup (no sugar or milk added), you’ll recognize this flavor profile immediately.

Traditionally, espresso is made from darker roasts. Still, the reality is that you can make espresso from whatever roast profile you desire. 

Herein lies the distinction of the blonde espresso: a lighter roast profile turned espresso.

So, What is a Blonde Espresso?

A blonde espresso is a marketing term for the light to medium-light roasted coffee beans that created the espresso.

See related: Is Espresso Stronger Than Drip Coffee?

How to Create a Blonde Espresso

To make a blonde espresso at home, first, you need an espresso machine. Unlike drip-style coffee, which commonly uses a medium grind and filter-gravity system, espresso uses a fine to very fine grind and a pressurized brewing system. 

Add lightly roasted coffee beans to the grinder and set it to espresso’s fine texture. Tamp the grinds and place this into your espresso machine. Wait 20 to 30 seconds—and voila! 

The end result–a thick, concentrated bold-bodied beverage with a thin layer of cream that will have you buzzin’ with joy.

What’s the Difference between Blonde Espresso and Traditional Espresso?

The difference between a blonde espresso roast and traditional espresso should now be quite clear. While traditional espresso is known for using a dark roast which gives it its signature bold flavor, the newly popularized blonde espresso is made from a light roast.

But don’t let its name fool you. Many consumers assume that the robust and rich flavor of darker roasts indicates a higher level of caffeine, but the truth is that light roast has a slightly higher concentration.

Breville: Meeting All of Your Home Brewing Desires

Now that you know all about blonde espresso, why stop there? 

Here at Breville, we’re leading the way for coffee aficionados everywhere. We offer a variety of espresso machines to meet your home brewing desires. With features like flexible shot control and manual textured milk, you’ll turn your morning cup of joe into a work of art in no time. 

Let Breville guide you to the perfect morning sip.  

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What is Blonde Espresso?