Firstly, a blonde roast, also known as a light roast, typically refers to coffee beans roasted just to the point of the first crack. This roast level produces a coffee with high acidity, a light body, and often bright, fruity, or floral flavor notes. There’s no oil on the surface of the beans since they’re not roasted long enough for the oil to break through. Starbucks often markets their blonde roast as milder in flavor, more nuanced, and lighter in color compared to their darker roasts.
A light-medium roast, sometimes called a city roast, is slightly darker and richer in flavor than a blonde roast. The beans are roasted past the first crack but stopped before the onset of the second crack. This results in a balanced flavor profile that brings out more of the beans’ inherent flavors and a slight reduction in acidity compared to a blonde roast. The coffee still has no oil on the surface and maintains some of the brighter tones of a light roast while introducing some of the fuller-bodied characteristics of a medium roast.
Regarding Starbucks’ Green Apron Blend, despite its marketing as a blonde roast, the flavor profile aligns more closely with a light-medium roast. The blend avoids the high acidity often associated with a blonde roast and doesn’t present a strong bitter edge. Instead, it offers a more balanced drinking experience with subtle hints of chocolate-orange flavor and clean acidity. These characteristics make it a pleasant choice for everyday coffee, fitting nicely as an alternative to a typical light blend or breakfast blend.
Whether served hot or cold, the Green Apron Blend has unique offerings. When hot, it tends to bring out more chocolate-oriented flavors. However, served cold or iced, it accentuates citrus notes, offering a refreshing twist to the usual coffee profile. Thus, despite its categorization, Starbucks’ Green Apron Blend provides a delightful exploration of light-medium roast characteristics.