By: Lillie Wright
Espresso forms the basis of Coffee Culture worldwide, and baristas and coffee lovers alike have started exploring ways to cater to different pallets and taste preferences. Two main types of espresso have emerged from this experimentation: Blonde Espresso and Regular Espresso. While they both share the fundamental characteristics of espresso, they differ significantly in terms of taste, appearance, and caffeine levels.
As the name suggests, Blonde Espresso comes from light roast coffee. These beans roast for a shorter time than the typical medium or dark roasts, thus preserving more of their original flavor. Blonde Espresso provides a lighter, more nuanced flavor than traditional espresso. It’s lighter, less acidic, showcasing the beans’ natural sweetness. Floral and fruity notes come forward more through Blonde Espresso, resulting in a more pleasant experience. When it comes to first-time espresso drinkers, many people opt for blonde espresso vs. regular espresso since the more bitter and acidic notes are significantly toned down.
When brewing Blonde Espresso, many baristas use a coarser grind than regular espresso and adjust the extraction time to bring out the more nuanced flavor without risking over-extraction, which leads to bitterness. Blonde Espresso shots are known for their bright, tangy flavor, making them perfect for iced lattes, Americanos, and other espresso-based beverages. Blonde Espresso also has more caffeine than regular espresso, making it ideal for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.
Tradition is king in the espresso realm. People have enjoyed dark espresso for thousands of years and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. In countries like Italy, patrons enjoy their beverages in “Coffee Bars,” where espressos come in tiny shot glasses and are consumed quickly, boosting energy. These creamy and rich espressos come from dark roasted coffee beans ground into a fine powder. Dark roast espresso creates a velvety mouthfeel that pairs beautifully with milk to create such iconic drinks as macchiatos, cappuccinos, and lattes. It also holds up well to flavors since it rarely gets overpowered due to its increased bitter notes and natural nuttiness. Traditional Espresso is rich and warm, comforting both body and soul.
Many people enjoy sipping regular espresso independently, preferring to savor the flavors from the extraction process. Since these beans roast longer, the smokey and rich caramel notes have time to come out. A well-pulled traditional espresso shot showcases a beautiful crema on top. Crema is a caramel-colored foam that sits on top of an espresso shot, indicating its quality and freshness. Blonde Espresso also has crema, but it’s much less pronounced than a traditional espresso shot. Regular Espresso also has less caffeine than blonde espresso because of the extended roasting time. The longer the beans cook, the more caffeine they lose. If your biggest concern is caffeine intake, choose the Blonde Espresso. If taste is your priority, then Regular Espresso is your best bet.
Which Is Better?
There are many considerations when choosing between Blonde Espresso vs. Regular Espresso. The difference in roasting time dramatically impacts the flavors produced. The light roasting process preserves the nuance of the climate in which the beans grow. Tastes from the soil, atmosphere, and climate come forward in Blonde Espresso because the roasting process doesn’t cook them out. This is especially important for single-origin beans, which all come from the same place. These beans were kept together for a reason, and Blonde Espresso allows their unique characteristics to shine. Bitty & Beau’s Coffee uses beans from the Mapache Estate in El Salvador for our specialty roasts. These light-roasted beans are creamy and fragrant, capturing the essence of this beautiful Central American country. They would be perfect for a Blonde Espresso.
On the other hand, Regular Espresso often loses these flavors due to the extended roasting time. Thus it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint precisely where medium and dark-roasted beans originated, as they tend to taste like dark-roasted coffee. Rather than focusing on the cultural aspects of the espresso beans, traditional espresso focuses on the drink’s history. Crafting espresso using centuries-old techniques and processes preserves the integrity of the beloved drink, ensuring the next generation gets to enjoy it, too. We wouldn’t be enjoying our lavender lattes today without those who experimented in the past.
There is also an availability difference when discussing Blonde Espresso vs. Regular Espresso. People have enjoyed traditional dark espresso for many years, making it a staple of Coffee Culture. Everyone knows how they enjoy it, how it’s made, and why it’s essential to the coffee world. Blonde Espresso is new to the scene, and some places haven’t picked up on it yet. Most large coffee chains and specialty coffee houses have it, but many smaller shops do not. But the more people ask for it and rave about it; the more local shops will get on board. We use our dark roast coffee to create espresso at Bitty & Beau’s Coffee and pride ourselves on the high quality of our drinks. Our Team Members utilize our automatic equipment to create perfect espresso-based drinks that always wow guests. People rave about our lattes, cappuccinos, and Americanos. When they ask what makes them unique and what keeps them returning for more, we point them to our beans and tell them how they’re roasted in-house with the finest equipment and care. Many people love buying our coffee beans or grounds to experience the magic of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee daily. Check out our online store or find a location near you. If you want to have your own Blonde Espresso vs. Regular Espresso contest at home, we suggest purchasing a subscription to our Coffee Club and grabbing one of each blend. Brew up some Bitty & Beau’s Coffee magic and discover why It’s More Than A Cup of Coffee.