Does Starbucks Blonde Roast Have More Caffeine?

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does starbucks blonde roast have more caffeine

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So I’m in line at Starbucks after my weekly trip to the grocery store with the kids. I mean, what kind of dad am I to refuse them their fix of cake pops? Anyway, I’m inside waiting while a customer asks for a blonde roast coffee, and the barista at the counter is explaining her options very patiently.

Since they’re not serving blonde roast in the store, she could opt for a blonde americano or blonde espresso. But the visibly frustrated patron wants an extremely light roast coffee. She’s adamant that she gets “too jittery with all that extra caffeine.”

It got me thinking. Is there a big difference in the amount of caffeine in a Starbucks blonde roast coffee versus their other in-store options?

is there a difference between starbucks blonde roast options
Is there a difference? You bet!

There may be slightly more caffeine in a Starbucks blonde roast, but barely enough to tell the difference.

How Much Caffeine Is in Starbucks Blonde Roast?

Thanks to the Starbucks app, it’s easy to tell how much caffeine is in their drinks.

Ordering a venti blonde roast at Starbucks would give me a drink with 475 mg of caffeine in 20 fluid ounces of coffee.

how much caffeine is in starbucks blonde roast
Straight from the Starbucks app, the caffeine content you’re looking for.

When ordering a blonde specialty drink at Starbucks, your bump in caffeine content goes up by 10 mg per espresso shot over the standard signature roast, or 85 mg compared to an espresso-less coffee.

The difference varies even more when comparing darker roasts to the Starbucks blonde examples seen above.

RoastShortTallGrandeVenti
Blonde (Veranda Blend)180 mg270 mg360 mg475 mg
Medium (Pike Place)155 mg235 mg310 mg410 mg
Dark (Featured Starbucks)130 mg195 mg260 mg340 mg
Decaf (Pike Place)15 mg20 mg25 mg30 mg

** Caffeine content for each Starbucks roast and cup size sold in-store.

The chart makes it pretty straightforward regarding caffeine content in the different roasts at Starbucks. But how did I get that fancy (not so fancy) calculation with the specialty drinks? And why the big jump from 10 mg to 85 mg?

Simple.

Say you’re this customer in front of me. You want a lightly roasted coffee. The jitters, remember?

The Veranda Blend is your go-to on the spectrum of light roasts that Starbucks currently sells in its locations. You could ask for the Veranda with a shot of blonde espresso. Or how about a Starbucks blonde vanilla latte?

Whichever you choose, these Starbucks specialties come with a shot of blonde espresso blended into your order. And depending on your cup size, the number of shots will typically increase.

I’ll cover espresso shots in more detail separately, but let’s get you the essential facts.

A single shot of Starbucks blonde espresso has a caffeine content of 85 mg. The signature espresso, a darker roast, has 75 mg of caffeine per shot.

espresso table blonde
Between espresso roasts, the answer is clear.

So each espresso, side by side, has a 10 mg difference of caffeine per shot. Fancy, huh?

And look at this, Starbucks agrees!

blonde espresso twitter image
From the mouth of Starbuck’s Twitter account.

Does Blonde Roast Have More Caffeine?

Alright, forget about Starbucks for a second. Is this a hard and fast rule, or can blonde roasts occasionally have less caffeine?

Your best bet is to read my article on how much caffeine dark roasts have. I’ll tell you how this all works there. But here’s the summarized version.

Blonde roasts traditionally have the same amount of caffeine as darker roasts. Or at least the difference is negligible.

However, this changes based on how the roast is packaged or prepped for brewing. In other words, are you using a scoop or scale to prepare your coffee?

scoop or scale for blonde roast from starbucks
The method will change the amount of caffeine in your brew by scoop or scale.

Because blonde roasts spend less time roasting, the beans contain more of their natural moisture, which makes them heavier but more petite. So when coffee is prepared, darker roasts have more caffeine than blonde roasts if using a scale to measure their weight. 

If measured by the scoop, blonde roast coffee will carry a higher caffeine content by volume over darker varieties.

But again, read my other post if you get a chance. I give a much better example to wrap your head around the changes that longer roasting makes.

Is Blonde Roast Stronger?

I won’t say that blonde roasts are stronger than darker roasts. Yes, there is more caffeine in Starbucks’ blonde roast coffee. But more caffeine doesn’t mean it’s stronger.

is blonde roast stronger
Stronger? It depends on what sort of drink you’ve ordered.

Darker roasts are the strongest taste, in most opinions, because the longer roasting time enhances the bean’s natural flavor.

However, because of its higher caffeine content, a blonde roast might take the cake when talking about Starbucks espresso shots. The difference is that espresso is a potent extract of coffee gathered in a high-pressure environment.

In The End

In the end, you won’t taste the difference. Or maybe that’s just me. 

Yeah, there’s more caffeine in a Starbucks blonde roast. You’ve seen the comparisons above and maybe even checked them out on your own Starbucks app. 

But I wonder if that customer ever figured out that switching from coffee to a blonde caffè americano makes the jitters even less likely? 

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