The day is finally here: Starbucks has released their Blonde roast in stores. Available in two blends, Willow and Veranda, I felt light and airy just looking at the golden colored coffee bags in my local store this morning.
Generally, I'm a Starbucks Pike Place gal. I usually take my coffee with just a flavor shot (I just can't get enough of their toffee nut, lately!) and a splash of skim milk, that's it. I'm a fan of the bitter kick that Starbucks has to offer, which means I was very skeptical when it comes to the new offering. Could a lighter brew coffee actually satisfy my java craving?
Here's how 'Bucks describes it:
"Lighter-bodied and mellow ... Subtle and soft with mellow acidity."
Here's my take:
In order to get the full effect of new Starbucks Blonde, I decided to sip it alongside their Pike Place. Visually, the two coffees looked the same, and there was no difference in color. The aroma of the Blonde was sweeter than that of the Pike.
Next up: the taste test. Right off the bat, I tasted faint hints of vanilla. The coffee goes down a lot smoother than my usual morning cup, and I literally paused to double-check I was drinking out of a Starbucks cup. I could see it tasting even better with an extra flavor shot of vanilla or, mmmm, caramel! Those hip baristas are totally right, it's most definitely a more mellow flavor than classic Starbucks coffee. In fact, in a blind taste test, I could probably be convinced that this came from Dunkin' Donuts or even my local deli.
However, just because the taste is weaker than my usual grande bold doesn't mean I didn't like it. If you ask me, Starbucks has done a great job with the Blonde. This coffee is going to enable them to compete with the other "less intense" standard offerings from, say, McDonald's, Panera, or Dunkin'.
It may take a little while to catch on. Once it does, though, I have a feeling the newest 'Bucks brew will be here to stay.
Have you tried the new Starbucks Blonde? Are you a Starbucks fan?
Image via Emily Abbate