Starbucks Has 3 Types Of Espresso For Even More Drink Customization

It's no secret that coffee lovers take their cup of joe very seriously, and some have taken years to formulate their particular drink specifications. Starbucks employees have been trained to keep up with this attention to detail and are happy to oblige even the most idiosyncratic of coffee orders. As coffee chains go, many believe Starbucks reigns supreme when it comes to customization. What you may not know is that in addition to size, type of milk, syrup options, etc., Starbucks also offers three different types of espresso, adding ever more possibilities for even the most ardent java fans to get their brew tailor-made.

While Starbucks offers a blonde roast as well as a decaf option, the chain's dark roast is its bread and butter, being the beans they use by default for its espresso drinks (of course, unless you specify otherwise). Newly introduced in 2012, the blonde roast (its lighter counterpart) and decaf espresso roast (which, incidentally, is also a dark roast) have their own unique flavor profiles. Knowing what distinguishes each one can inform and elevate your next order. You may even find surprising, the differences between them.

How to choose the Starbucks espresso type that's right for you

Espresso choices come down to how the beans are processed; signature beans undergo a longer roast at higher temperatures, resulting in richer, bolder, full-coffee robustness with notes of chocolate and caramel. It's perfect if you want deep flavor, where that dash of bitterness helps balance what, to some, could be a cloying sweetness in heavily flavored favorites like the Caramel Macchiato or the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino.

The blonde's beans are roasted at a lower temperature for less time, lending it a lighter, smoother body with a slight nuttiness and hints of citrus, making it less bitter and acidic than the dark roast. And though you might assume that translates to less caffeine, the opposite is true. Due to the blonde's shorter roasting times, the beans retain more oil and, in turn, more caffeine. It's best suited to straightforward drinks such as the Caffé Americano or lattes, allowing you to savor the uniqueness of this roast.

Lastly, there's the decaf, which is similar to the dark roast in its full-coffee flavor, but because of the decaffeination process, it ends up being sweeter and has toasted notes reminiscent of the blonde. The signature decaf works in most any drink Starbucks offers and is the obvious choice for anyone who wants rich coffee flavor sans the caffeine load. Mix and match them with your favorite Starbucks drink or combine them with secret menu items to really switch things up.