5 Starbucks Espresso Roast Alternatives(Starbucks Coffee Roasts That Aren’t Just Espresso)

For the past five years, I have enjoyed a Starbucks espresso drink on my way to work. The drink always tastes the same and it got me thinking, is there an alternative to my espresso? I did a little research and came up with this post for someone who would like to explore other kinds of roasts apart from the espresso roast. Here, you will learn how to use other roasts and get a great espresso drink.

5 Starbucks Roast Alternatives

An espresso machine requires finely ground beans to give you your desired drink. If you are looking for alternatives, you can try out Dark roasts like the Verona roast, French roast, Italian roast, and the medium roasts like the Starbucks house blend, Starbucks Verona blend, and the breakfast roast.

If you would like to try out any of these roasts for your espresso, here is the guide and all you need to know. Keep reading to find out all about these roasts.

French Roast

Starbucks Coffee Roasts

This roast is darker and smokier than your usual espresso roast. This roast will add a citrus taste to your drink. This is a great choice for someone looking for a stronger flavor than ordinary espresso. This one is intense and the smoky taste makes it even better for any morning. Note that just because it is intense and dark doesn’t mean it is high in caffeine. This roast has lower caffeine levels than all light blends. If you are interested in doing a home experiment, you need to roast your coffee beans till you accomplish the second crack. This stage shows that the internal structure of the beans is breaking down.

The second crack stage is achieved at 240 degrees Celsius or 463 degrees Fahrenheit. The name French in these types of beans means that the roasting style originated in France. The high temperatures used in roasting bring the essential oils to the surface of the bean. The smoky roasted flavor is translated into your espresso. The Starbucks version is your number one choice as it is less acidic and you can be guaranteed that it is made of the best beans in the world.

Italian Roasts

Italian Roasts

The Italian roast is in the dark roasts category. This roast is also darker and more intense than the espresso. It is less smoky than the French roast mentioned above. The flavor in this roast can be more intense than even the French roast, making it ideal for someone who just can’t get enough intensity in other roasts. Why is the Italian roast more intense? This is because it takes a longer duration to roast than the French, giving it a more burnt flavor.

These are the darkest roast you will ever come across as it is completely black. The beans are roasted beyond the second crack stage. This roast is what you should be looking for if you want the strongest espresso flavor there is. You might also want to know that the caffeine levels of this roast are the lowest. As we said, the longer the roasting process is, the lesser the caffeine. Ensure that you get the Starbucks Italian roast for quality purposes.

Breakfast Blend

Starbucks Coffee Roasts That Aren’t Just Espresso

The Starbucks breakfast roasts are purely Arabica, the best bean in the world. This roast is in the category of medium blends. Mediums are lighter and slightly less intense than dark roasts. However, the caffeine level is more in these roasts as compared to the dark roasts. If you want an espresso that is still great but with less intensity, this is your roast. The beans here are not too oily. This blend will give you less intensity but will maintain the character of a good quality espresso. The breakfast blends are citrus and floral in flavor. If overly strong roasts just don’t cut it for you, try out these lighter roasts for your morning espresso.

Starbucks House Blend

Starbucks House Blend

The Starbucks house blend is aromatic with rich toffee notes for your espresso. Many baristas recommend medium roasts for espressos for those who are looking for less intensity. This is the most popular blend at Starbucks. With the house blend, you are guaranteed a lively and lighter flavor for your espresso. These drinks can be homemade or ordered at Starbucks.

I know that most people have never thought about using the Starbucks house blend for espresso, but you might be pleasantly surprised. I once ran out of my usual beans one morning and I thought, what can this house blend do? To my surprise, I had the best espresso ever. I used the rest of the house blend for espresso and bought some more.

Starbucks Caffe Verona Dark roast

Starbucks Caffe Verona Dark roast

The rich and aromatic smell of this dark roast is smelled when you first open the bag. It is also exciting to note that this dark roast is 20% Italian roast, so you will be getting a great intense espresso. The Starbucks dark roast is characterized by hints of dark cocoa and caramelized sugar. This roast has been described as full-bodied and perfectly balanced for a great espresso. The Starbucks Verona espresso comes in pods r capsules to make it all easy for you at home.


Starbucks has alternatives for almost everything. This store tries to accommodate as many people as possible with their variations in tastes. It is up to you to decide on the intensity of your espresso. If you want the strongest taste, the Italian roast is available. If you are inclined to a lighter flavor, the house blend is your ideal roast. All these roasts can be used for various espresso variations to change from the daily routine. If you want to try out some of these roasts at home or any Starbucks store, you have all the information that you need at this point. Enjoy!

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