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Three coffee beans with different roasts


How to Find the Right Coffee Roast for You

2 Minutes


If you haven’t yet tasted your way from the light-bodied and mild flavors of a Starbucks® Blonde roast to the deep intensity of a Starbucks® dark roast, you might not realize there is a vast and rewarding world of coffees out there to enjoy. With this guide we’ll help you understand the differences between roast categories and help you find your favorite.

What is Coffee Roasting?
Before coffee is roasted, the green coffee beans smell like fresh vegetables and sweet grains. Coffee roasting is a heating process that turns these green coffee beans into the fragrant, dark brown beans that we enjoy each morning. It’s through roasting that a coffee’s unique aroma, acidity, body—and, of course, flavor—are cultivated. At Starbucks, we’ve spent 50 years refining our roasting process so coffee drinkers can expect consistent quality in every cup, with every coffee we roast.
Coffee product pairings with different coffee bean roast levels
WHAT IS A COFFEE ROAST CATEGORY? Light Roast Versus Dark Roast Coffee

The Starbucks® roast is not a time, temperature or color: it’s a philosophy.

We organize our coffees in three different levels throughout a spectrum—Starbucks® Blonde roast, medium roast and dark roast. These roast profiles exist to indicate flavor and help you find a coffee you like.


Starbucks® Blonde roast coffees have a shorter roast time, lighter body and more mellow flavors. Medium-roasted coffees are balanced with smooth and rich flavors. Dark-roasted coffees feature a fuller body and robust, bold flavors.


Each coffee requires a unique roast profile to create a cup that is at its peak of aroma, acidity, body and flavor. Through a delicate balance of heat, time and artistry, our master roasters bring these unique characteristics to life.

How to Taste the Difference in Our Coffee Roast Spectrum

Curious to taste the difference throughout the roast spectrum for yourself? Grab a bag of coffee and get brewing.

Starbucks® Veranda Blend® is a Starbucks® Blonde roast coffee. It’s on the lightest end of our roast spectrum and showcases a mellow and soft taste with notes of toasted malt and milk chocolate. Starbucks® Pike Place® Roast is a medium-roast coffee with hints of cocoa and rich praline. Finally, Starbucks® Italian Roast is a dark-roast coffee with notes of dark cocoa and toasted marshmallow.


Even within a given roast level, coffees can taste very different; each coffee will have its own character, determined by its roast, 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. You could also try taking our coffee quiz to see which blend lines up best with your preferences.


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