Starbucks to Sell a New Coffee That Doesn't Taste Burnt


starbucks blonde roastAsk any serious coffee drinker to describe what Starbucks coffee tastes like and likely they'll use one of the following adjectives: bitter, bold, harsh, ashy, burnt.

But that'll supposedly change early next year when Starbucks rolls out its new light roast Blonde coffee. The coffee company promises that the new coffee will be milder in body and less acidic than either Breakfast Blend or Pike Place (its two lightest roasts to date). Do you know what this means? You can have a tall Blonde first thing in the morning! (Sorry! It's late in the day and I couldn't resist.)

Seriously, what it really means is that there may actually be coffee offered at Starbucks that doesn't taste like it's been burnt to a crisp. Here's coffee expert Andrew Hetzel explaining why he thinks introducing a lighter roast at Starbucks could work:

A lighter roast allows consumers to taste the actual coffee and less of the carbons that can occur with darker roasts ... Coffee purists tend to prefer a lighter roast.

Starbucks has never tried to hide the fact that it purchases coffee beans at a variety of price points (i.e., sometimes very cheaply), which means it relies on dark roasting to hide the many defects -- thus the harsh, ashy flavor. And it gets away with it because so many of the drinks at Starbucks incorporate milk, whipped cream, and flavorings, all of which help to mask the overpowering taste.

But now Starbucks wants in on the brewed coffee market, currently dominated by companies like McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts. To be a bigger player in this field, it has to give the customers what they want. And what the customers want is: lighter, milder roasts. Thus, Blonde (offered in two blends, Veranda and Willow) was born.

I've got to hand it to Starbucks, introducing a lighter roast is one of their best ideas yet: As someone who loves coffee but can hardly stand the taste of Starbucks, I welcome any idea to improve the coffee experience -- particularly one that doesn't involve piling more fat and sugar on top just so it can go down that much easier.


Image via Starbucks

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ashjo85 ashjo85

Thank GOD! I cannot stand their coffee in anything but a frappaccino at the moment. I'm a McDonald's McCafe girl all the way, lol.

Kritika Kritika

I'll take Dunkin ANY DAY over Starbucks in regards to regular ole drip brewed coffee. Extra cream and sugar and it's Heaven. McDonalds McCafe has awsome and cheap froo-froo drinks.

nonmember avatar Coffeemom

Our coffee may have a bolder flavor than some are used to, bit please get the facts right. The coffee we use and serve as our drip coffees is not the same product we use for the drinks that have the "milk, whipped cream and other flavorings" to "help mask the overpowering taste". We use Espresso Roast for the espresso shots in the lattes and the Pikes for the drip coffee. We do nothing to mask the flavor of our excellent, rich drip coffees. We do not sell flavored drip coffee. The blonde roast is for our customers who want a lighter roast without sacrificing flavor. if you are going to insult our product at least get it right.

Melis... Melissa042807

I had just a straight-up cup of coffee at Starbucks once. ONCE. It did things to my digestive system that I shall not detail here. 

I've never been a fan of their coffee. Way too acidic. I like their girly drinks, but the coffee by itself? No thanks. 

nonmember avatar KD

I have sampled Starbucks all over the country and only in the Northwest where it all started is it not burnt. I like my coffee very strong, but I stopped ordering it everywhere but in the Northwest, where I am back to living now, because it just doesn't taste the same. I am happy to see some new products coming out though. My favorite is the Africa to Africa blend, its spicy, bold, and just heavenly smelling.

Opal_... Opal_skye86

I'll buy the bagged Starbucks coffee to make for myself, which tastes fantastic. I rarely get plain coffee anywhere, however, because ALL coffee tastes like it's been burned to a crisp after sitting on the warming plate too long (which in the coffee world, isn't very long...), even mine. Their others products taste better because, as coffeeMom posted above, they use an expresso, which they make on the spot, i.e. it's fresh. Quit hating on things you obviously haven't taken the time to fully comprehend...

Total... Totallysmitten

I always wondered what all the hype about burnt coffee was. Macdonald's is currently the best.

nonmember avatar H

What Cofeemom said. Also, it's Pike's Place, not Peak. Thanks.

nonmember avatar Kristi

I will say that I'm not a coffee drinker at all, but in the last year or so I can't even order a white mocha from starbucks without it having a burnt aftertaste. Now all I'll order is a caramel apple cider. I'd love to try some drinks after these come out and see if they're mild enough for me to have.

frysh... fryshannon34

I have never had Starbucks so I would not klnow

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