Given the ever-expanding and ever-changing menu options at Starbucks, it’s a bit surprising to find out that the coffee purveyor has not changed their espresso options in the United States in more than 40 years. That changes as of Tuesday with the announcement that the chain will begin serving “Starbucks Blonde” espressos.

The blonde espresso is going to provide a sweeter and subtler coffee experience, compared to the bolder, more robust Signature Espresso. So when you step to the counter to order that drink, you’ll now have to say if you want “Starbucks Signature” or “Starbucks Blonde” espresso whether you’re ordering Caffe Latte, Cappuccino, Flat White, Macchiato, or Americano drinks.

Blonde espresso beans will be sourced from East Africa and Latin America, where it’s more likely to produce beans that are moderate to high in acidity, offer bright fruit tones and a balanced cup of coffee. Per their release, Starbucks describes the blonde as “bright, with sweet citrus notes and a smooth body.” It’s also an opportunity for the shop to entice people who don’t like espresso to consider this “light espresso” option instead.

The reason behind the big change, according to Starbucks, is that the demand for espresso beverages are on the rise. Per the National Coffee Association, almost 25 percent of past-day daily coffee drinkers choose espresso in 2017. A rise in demand means there’s a market for more choices and if there’s anything Starbucks knows how to do, it is to provide customers with many, many, many choices, all of which means you can add a few more seconds (or minutes) to that line wait as people figure out how to rename their orders. Good luck if you find yourself behind someone ordering a “Quad Grande, Non-Fat, Extra Hot Caramel Macchiato” or “Triple, Venti, Soy, No Foam Latte” cause it’s gonna take some time to work out the kinks.

Also, get ready for a lot of dads to make the uncomfortable “I’d like a tall blonde” joke because that’s coming. Oh God is it ever. Apologies in advance, baristas.


About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed,, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.