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Starbucks Blonde Roast – Review (And Confession)

Starbucks Blonde Roast

I apologize in advance if what I am going to say will blow your mind. But try to keep your shouts of profanity to a minimum and continue reading. The truth of the matter is: coffee isn’t actually one of my favorite things in the world.

You see, I began to drink coffee as a necessity while working at a customer center as a freshman in college. Between working full-time, going to school full-time, eventually getting involved in a band full-time and trying to have some modicum of social life (I was a different person then), I needed the extra boost to get me through the day. And night. And next day.

[ad#longpost]Granted, when I began drinking coffee, I was the embodiment of the Beastie Boys line: “I like my sugar with coffee and cream.” By the time I got done prepping my coffee to drink it, it looked like milk that had gone to the beach and gotten a slight tan. Ridiculous.

I have since–for health reasons mostly–weaned myself back to where I drink coffee black. I hardly ever have crazy frou-frou with-syrup coffee drinks anymore, even. But I still see coffee as a necessary tool. It is an effective caffeine delivery tool. And there is something to be said for putting on one’s alchemist pointed hat and trying to make a pot of coffee that brings tears to the eyes while it tries to stamp out your spleen.

So while coffee isn’t necessarily one of my favorite things in the world, do understand that we have a healthy respect for one another. (Indeed, like wine, it appears that I only start to really get going on coffee for the taste when you get up the really expensive kinds. Blue Mountain, anyone? Freaking delicious.)

All of this as preamble to this: while sometimes I like playing coffee alchemy, sometimes I just want to get out of the house, get out from in front of this keyboard, clear my head and drink some coffee I didn’t have to make. It’s helpful. So that, coupled with my desire to drink coffee, means I’ve never had an issue with Starbucks. I would go to a local coffee shop, but there just isn’t one close enough (as I’ve mentioned before)…and driving further than usual would get me given out to by the same people who would give out to me for going for “Corporate Coffee.” So sometimes you can’t win.

Anyway, I’m still preambling mostly. Sorry about that. I wanted to say that the number one bit of bitching I hear about Starbucks coffee is that it “tastes burnt.” Well, I suppose if you are trying to enjoy your coffee instead of looking to it for stimulation first and taste second (like me), that might be an issue. But I’ve frankly never cared one way or the other.

If you have been among those bitching about Starbucks and their supposedly burnt taste, then they’ve created Blonde Roast for you. When I wandered into a local Starbucks, bleary eyed (or at least moreso than usual), they offered it as something new. I not only got it, but they sent me home with a trial package. And yes, it’s a lighter roast that is sure to appeal to those of you who don’t attempt to create pots of coffee so strong that Liam Neeson comes around to fight them. It’s not the sort of thing that I would necessarily make at home, since I’m a “which bag is open, I’ll use that one” kind of guy, when I’m not snagging a bag of my own stuff (plug!) or even something like Shock Coffee when the situation calls for it. Since I don’t go for mellow on purpose and instead try to pack as much grounds into the coffee maker as possible, this isn’t for my home use. But when I need something different I wouldn’t begrudge it.

If you’ve previously been turned off by their type of roast, then give this a shot. If you’ve previously been turned off by their music selections, then this will not fix that. If you were one of these “burnt” types, I’d be fascinated to hear your response in the comments…did you try this? Did it make a difference? Or what?


  • I learned to drink coffee as a requirement for working with actual Vietnam chopper pilots. Taste was only considered after the second pot had simmered for more than three hours. These days, I’m single serve K-Cup home-body or half-pot at work crack-pot. Blonde roast, I’ll bite.
    Now that I’ve ambled past 50, I can’t drink (anything) like I used to. That being said, I am fortunate to have a home-grown coffee drive-through-box within 10 blocks of the house. Starbucks is the place I go to when my wife hears that I would like a Joe for the road as SB has hot chocolate & cookies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, ah, ahem.

  • Well – even though I support your site, I drink tea. Is it sacrilege to drink Earl Grey Tea out of a Need Coffee mug?