The launch of Starbucks’ Blonde Espresso—even after initial skepticism—is sort of a big deal. It’s a new year-round offering that can take the place of Signature Espresso Roast in any espresso-based drink order from lattes to americanos to dirty chais. Signature Roast has been around for 40 years and was, prior to this, your only option for espresso-based drinks.
Like its Veranda Blonde Roast coffee that debuted in 2012, the new Blonde Espresso is designed to fall on the sweet and subtle side of the coffee scale, compared to the bolder, more deeply roasty Signature Espresso. (Personally, I think the deeply roasted aspect of the classic espresso is the only flavor keeping some Starbucks lattes from tasting unbearably saccharine.)
The beans are sourced from East Africa and Latin America, which are of course geographically and agriculturally varied, but tend to produce beans that are generally moderate to high in acidity, with bright fruit tones and good balance. Andrew Linnemann, vice president of Global Coffee for Starbucks, describes the Blonde espresso blend as “bright, with sweet citrus notes and a smooth body,” in a release.
But there’s a catch to this smoother, less-burnt Starbucks debut: Your drink order—already a time-consuming morning invocation—is about to get even lengthier, as you’ll now want to specify Blonde or Signature in your latte order. Our thoughts and prayers are with those caught behind “Tall almond milk sugar-free Blonde Cinnamon Dolce Latte, no whip, extra hot, leave some space...”