THE BLONDE CAFFÈ AMERICANO IS HERE, and if you’re looking for a lighter espresso experience, this is it. However, to describe this simply as a “lighter espresso”, would be doing it a disservice. It’s more than that.
Let’s start with Starbucks’ description of the Blonde Caffè Americano:
“Espresso shots are topped with hot water to produce a light layer of crema. This version is made with our Blonde Espresso for a cup that is extra smooth, subtly sweet and nuanced.”
In my experience, a standard Starbucks Americano (one made with Signature Espresso) is best consumed with the same additions you’d normally put in your regular coffee. For the new Blonde version, though, I’d recommend you try it black your first time, with no additions. Get acquainted with the new flavor profile before you start going crazy with it. It’s really that different from what you’re used to.
About adding shots: Being lighter in flavor, you can naturally go a little further with additional Blonde Espresso shots than you can with Signature Espresso. Be careful though, Blonde Espresso tastes lighter, but contains the same amount of caffeine as the Signature Espresso you’re used to. Don’t overdose on caffeine in your excitement.
I followed my own advice and tried the new Blonde Espresso Roast in basic Americano form before trying it with any additions of syrup or milk.
The first sip of this drink is surprising. It’s a strong flavor, acidic without too much bite, floral, and creamy in a way that makes it almost sweet all by itself. It could be described as citrusy, and, as with the standard Signature Espresso Roast, gave me a strong taste of caramel. The overwhelming flavor of the standard Signature Starbucks Espresso Roast has always been caramel, but the Blonde caramel is different. It isn’t bitter. It’s pleasant, and much less extreme, but just as flavorful.
In Americano form, this espresso is much more drinkable without any additions than the Signature Espresso Americano we’re all used to. Normally, I’d get my Americano with a syrup, but the Blonde Caffè Americano is great all by itself, and is very drinkable.
That being said, I will be trying it with syrups, because I’m very curious to see how it pairs with different flavors. The floral notes of this espresso are hiding in the back of its profile, and I want to try bringing that to the forefront.
This is an easy one: Blonde Espresso is really good, so it makes a really good Americano. Starbucks’ introduction of Blonde Espresso was a fantastic move, and should result in an increase of interest in their espresso beverages to an even broader range of customers.
Since the first store opened decades ago, Starbucks in the US has only ever offered one espresso option: their Signature Espresso. Blonde Espresso changes all that with a lighter, easier-to-drink flavor profile that should be of interest to all their existing coffee-drinking customers. In addition to existing customers, this will likely bring in some who may have avoided Starbucks beverages in the past due to their reputation for leaning towards very dark roasts.
So, if you’re a fan of Starbucks’ drip coffee or their standard Signature Espresso Americano, try this drink. It could end up replacing your regular drink, or just provide you with some variety when your taste buds are bored. If more bitter Starbucks coffee has driven you from their doors in the past, it’s time to give them another chance.
Nutritional Information (Courtesy of Starbucks.com) For the Standard-Recipe Grande Blonde Caffè Americano:
|Calories 15||Calories from Fat 0|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrate 3g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.|
|**Each caffeine value is an approximate value.|