Starbucks Blonde Roast vs. Medium Roast: which one should you choose?

If you want to feel mentally focused and awake, you should drink some coffee. Fortunately, if you are a Starbucks fan, you have a wide variety of caffeinated beverages to choose from. However, the list of options can be a little confusing. I was in that situation the other day and couldn’t decide between a blonde roast and a medium roast coffee.

So, I did a little research and will share my findings in this post so that you can make an informed decision the next time you need a cup of coffee. Enjoy!

 What are the differences between Starbucks Blonde Roast vs. Medium Roast

 FeaturesStarbucks Blonde Roast Starbucks Medium Roast
Ingredients100 percent ground Arabica coffee beans.100 percent ground Arabica coffee beans.
Taste profile Has sweet, smooth, and mellow citrusy tastes.Has creamy, bold, nutty, and roasty tastes.
Caffeine content/ Nutritional value A grande cup has 360 mg of caffeine, 5 calories, 1 gram of protein, 0 grams of fat, 10 milligrams of sodium, 116 milligrams of potassium, 0 grams of carbs, and 0 grams of sugar. A grande cup has 310 mg of caffeine, 5 calories, 1 gram of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, 4.7 milligrams of sodium, 116 milligrams of potassium, 0 grams of carbs, and 0 grams of sugar.
Availability/ Accessibility Blonde roast espressos option available at all Starbucks stores all year round. Brewed coffee is only available in the morning in some locations. At-home options s easily available on the Starbucks store, Starbucks website, or leading retail stores for at-home brewing.

Medium roasts espressos are available at all Starbucks stores all year round. Brewed coffee only available in the morning. At-home options are easily available on the Starbucks store, Starbucks website, or leading retail stores for at-home brewing.

Roast levelLight roastMedium roast

Starbucks Blonde Roast vs. Medium Roast: How do they compare

Starbucks Blonde Roast

What it’s made of (ingredients)

Starbucks’ blonde roast is made from 100% arabica coffee beans sourced from East Africa and Latin America. This roast was introduced in 2012 and is stronger than the company’s medium roasts not because of the roast level or technique, but because of the unique blend of beans used.

The medium roasts are also made from 100 percent arabica beans, but these beans are sourced specifically for Latin America. The medium roast has been a staple at Starbucks since the coffee shop opened in 1971.

 When it comes to ingredients, it is a draw. Both roasts are made using 100 % arabica coffee blends.

 Taste profile

blonde roast has a lighter, sweeter, smoother, and more mellow flavor. I found it to have more acidity, a taste that coffee lovers describe as citrusy. For its lack of bitterness, some call the blonde roast a coffee hater’s coffee.

The Starbucks medium roast, on the other hand, is medium-bodied and the company likes to describe it as having a well-rounded and balanced taste. We found it to be creamy, with a bolder taste, and with roasted flavors that coffee lovers like to describe as chocolatey or nutty.

As far as taste is concerned, the Starbucks medium roast is the winner for its creamy, bold taste, which is more popular with Starbucks customers.

Caffeine content/nutritional value

Don’t let the light look of the blonde roast fool you. A grande cup of Blonde Roast filter coffee contains 360 mg of caffeine, and a venti cup contains 475 mg of caffeine, making it the most caffeinated hot drink available at Starbucks. Bearing in mind that the FDA cites 400 mg as the maximum daily caffeine for a healthy adult, we stuck at the grande cup and called it a day.

If it is keeping you awake and a boost of energy you need, this drink will deliver without fail. It has 5 calories from a gram of protein and contains no sugar or fat when taken plain, so it is a healthy drink.

A grande cup of medium roast with 310 mg of caffeine will also give you a good caffeine kick. It also has 5 calories when taken without additions, which dilutes to 205 mg of caffeine in a grande when used to make a cold brew.

Starbucks blonde roast is the clear winner in this category due to the higher amount of caffeine.

Availability/ Accessibility

When it comes to espresso, at Starbucks, you can have your drink made using the signature blend (medium roast), decaf, or blonde espresso. All three options are available all year round.

For brewed coffee, both medium and blonde roasts are available only in the mornings, and in our experience, if you order a blonde roast, there is a chance you may not get it. This is because once the coffee sits for 30 minutes, it must be thrown out. Medium roasts are more popular and so have better availability.

Making brewed coffee seems so much easier at home. You can get coffee beans or ground coffee, and most Starbucks stores will grind your Starbucks coffee beans, even when you get them from other stores, for free. For blonde roasts, the Veranda blend, Sunrise blend, Blonde espresso roast, Blonde roast instant, and the Blonde roast with 2X caffeine are all easily available at the Starbucks store, on the Starbucks website, or at leading retail stores. If you have a Keirug or a Nespresso pod coffee machine, get blonde roast pods or capsules and enjoy excellent coffee in a couple of minutes.

For medium roasts, the Pike Place blend, Colombia, or House blend coffee beans and ground, or Starbucks VIA instant Pike Place roast, Medium roast instant, and Medium roast pods are all available at the Starbucks store, Starbucks website, or leading retail stores for medium roasts at home. You can now also get Starbucks Cold Brew concentrates, in single or multiple-use packs.

The Starbucks medium roast wins this category as it is available in most stores in the morning.

Roast level

To blonde roast coffee, the beans are roasted to just before or after the first crack, at temperatures of about 355–400°F. Because of the short roast time and lower temperature, the result is beans that have a lighter brown color and are less bitter. Blonde roasted beans are not roasted long enough to lose their acidity or to release their oils, so they end up looking less shiny. If you prefer a coffee that is light in body and mellow, then the blonde roast is a good choice for you.

We found the Starbucks medium roast to be quite dark, almost the same color as dark roasts from other companies. Medium roasts are done at 400-430°F just before or after the second crack. The result of this longer roast is a more shiny, darker bean, which I found to be a bolder, thicker cup compared to the blonde roast.

Starbucks Medium Roast is the winner in this category. The medium roasting makes a bold coffee, with more body that is not overly bitter.

 Starbucks Blonde Roast vs. Medium Roast: A Comparison Review

 Starbucks Blonde Roast Overview

Starbucks Medium Roast

We got the Starbucks Veranda blend blonde roasted coffee beans and had them ground to medium for our at-home use. We brewed it and enjoyed a pleasant light body and mellow flavor without the bitterness that I am so accustomed to when it comes to coffee.

It is a good thing I have let you know it is high in caffeine before you mistake the softness for weakness.

I tried it out with almond milk and it turned out very well, and I found that it pairs well with butter croissants and homemade cookies.

 What I liked

  • Soft taste
  • Strong coffee

What I didn’t like

  • The acidity

Who it’s best suited for

  • Best for people who enjoy caffeine but dislike the bitterness that comes with coffee.

Starbucks Medium Roast Overview

Starbucks Blonde Roast vs. Medium Roast

If you want to experience the true taste of Starbucks at home, then try this roast. We got a pack of Starbucks Pike Place ground coffee from a retail store and brewed our coffee in different ways, including pour-over and coffee press, and even tried it cold.

I love the smooth mouthfeel. It has a cocoa-like bitter taste that is not overbearing and a nice spiciness that complimented the drink.

 What I liked

  • Balanced-neither too light nor too strong
  • Familiar taste

What I didn’t like

  • The bag cannot be resealed.

Whom it’s best suited for

  • It’s best for anyone who needs a strong coffee that is not overly bitter.

Final Verdict: So, which is Better? Starbucks Blonde Roast vs. Medium Roast

Starbucks’ medium roast is the winner. It has a sufficiently high level of caffeine to give you a boost that will last you a whole morning, but with no acidity, which is a major drawback for the blonde roast. Its boldness, body, and well-balanced features are quite appealing, and it is no wonder that it is popular with many Starbucks customers.


Is Starbucks medium roast stronger than blonde roast?

No, the Starbucks medium roast is not stronger than the blonde roast. The medium roast contains 310mg of caffeine in a grande cup, compared to 360 mg of caffeine for the blonde roast in a similar-sized cup.

Which one tastes better between a medium roast and a blonde roast?

This depends on your taste preferences. Most people favor the medium roast, as it has a familiar boldness and does not have an overly bitter coffee taste. However, the blonde roast was made for people who could not stand coffee bitterness and is now popular enough for the company to continue offering it.

What is the difference between blonde roast and medium roast?

The difference is in the level of roast and the kind of coffee beans used. Blonde roast is roasted more lightly, giving it a light brown color. It is made using beans that have more caffeine than the medium roast. The medium roast is exposed to more heat for a longer period, making it a dark roast. It uses beans that don’t have as much caffeine as the blonde roasted beans.

 Which one has a more balanced flavor between blonde roast and medium roast?

The medium roast has a more balanced flavor compared to the blonde roast.

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