Roast Spectrum


About Starbucks Roast Spectrum

4 min


Which roast profile do you prefer? Starbucks® Blonde Roast, Medium Roast or Dark Roast? These three make up the Starbucks® roast spectrum.


Coffee arrives at Starbucks as a green bean that smells like fresh vegetables and sweet grains. Before it can be brewed, it must be roasted.

Many variables affect the flavour of coffee: where the coffee is grown, what type of coffee is grown, how the coffee is grown, how the fruit is removed from the bean, how coffee is blended and roasted, and how coffee is brewed.


It’s through our roasting process that a coffee’s unique aroma, acidity, body – and, of course, flavour – are cultivated.



Roasting coffee is part art, part science. The art of roasting allows our mater roasters to create flavour, while science helps to ensure consistency. Starbucks master roasters transform green coffee beans into flavourful, aromatic coffee. Starbucks has been roasting coffee for almost 50 years, and we constantly strive to learn and innovate.


Years of focus and expertise have led to the Starbucks® roast spectrum. Each coffee bean requires a unique balance of temperature and time to reach its individual peak of aroma, acidity, body and flavour. Our coffees are classified by three roast profiles – Starbucks® Blonde Roast, Medium Roast and Dark Roast – so you can easily find the flavour and intensity that’s perfect for you.

“Roasting is like a language – you can only memorise so much. In order to become fluent, you have to have experience.”
Brad Anderson Master Roaster Starbucks®

First up, let’s look at Starbucks® Blonde Roast, at the lighter end of the Starbucks® roast spectrum. Lighter-bodied and mellow, these coffees awaken the senses gently and deliver an approachable and flavourful cup with slight hints of roast. 


As an example, Starbucks® Veranda BlendTM is a Starbucks® Blonde roast coffee – it’s on the light end of the spectrum – and showcases a mellow and soft taste with notes of soft cocoa and lightly toasted nuts.



Medium Roast is, as you might have guessed, in the middle of the Starbucks® roast spectrum. Smooth and balanced, these coffees are perfect for every coffee break. They have rich, approachable flavours.


An example of a Medium Roast coffee? Starbucks® Pike PlaceTM Roast, with hints of cocoa and toasted nuts.



Lastly, let’s look at the darker end of the Starbucks® roast spectrum – the Dark Roast. Fuller-bodied and bold, these coffees feature robust flavours and the characteristic essence of an intense roast.


Starbucks® Italian Roast is a Dark Roast coffee, with a deep flavour and notes of caramelized sugar.


Do you know your favourite roast? People have very different tastes, so Starbucks® master roasters work hard behind the scenes to create unique coffees for every taste.


Whether it’s Starbucks® Blonde Roast, Medium Roast, or Dark Roast, it’s worth exploring the Starbucks® roast spectrum to discover what best suits and excites your tastebuds.


Even within a given roast, coffees can taste very different: each coffee will have its own character, determined by its roast, its origin, processing method and how it was brewed and served. So the best way to find what you love might very well be to taste them all.


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