Introducing Starbucks® Blonde Roast, the Newest Addition to our Coffee Family

Introducing Starbucks<sup>®</sup> Blonde Roast

I always look forward to my morning coffee, whether I’m sluggishly heading out the door on a Monday morning or cozily settling in after a weekend stroll in my Seattle neighborhood. While I love to explore our different coffees, I tend to stick to a balanced cup, like Pike® Place Roast. My husband, on the other hand, loves the darkest of dark roasts – the bolder the better. And then there’s my dad, who, while he treasures his morning coffee, typically finds some of our coffees a little too dark for his tastes.

Like many of you, we on the coffee team here at Starbucks know that there are coffee drinkers out there like my dad and prefer a lighter roast. I’m excited to announce that starting January 10, three new Starbucks® Blonde Roast coffees – Starbucks® Veranda Blend™, Starbucks® Willow Blend™ and Starbucks® Decaf Willow Blend™ – will be available in our stores, online and in supermarkets, not only in whole bean and ground form, but in K-Cup Packs and Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew as well. The Starbucks® Blonde Roast is the lighter roast perfected. It is subtle, mellow, lighter-bodied, full of flavor, and delicious. Not only do I think people like my dad are going to love it, but Starbucks® Blonde Roast has opened my eyes to new, wonderful tastes in coffee. Stop by one of our participating stores January 12-14 for a special tasting event where you can try a coffee from each of our roasts and discover the one you love most.

I am so proud that Starbucks now has the perfect taste for every member of my family. Hopefully you’ll be able to find something for everyone in yours.

Pike Place is a trademark or registered trademark of The Pike Place Market PDA, used under license.

comments (62)

Comment FAQ

    • glasscatp
    • 1/11/2012 10:07 AM

    I personally liked the breakfast blend, it was lighter than the rest. Now my husband likes the boldest stuff they have ! LOL.Is the new blonde stuff like the breakfast blend?

      • jeffperrygiles
      • 1/28/2012 9:40 PM

      In reply to: glasscatp

      Actually, the blonde roast is light than the breakfast blend is... and the breakfast blend is not part of the MEDIUM roast category. Regardless, the blonde roast is excellent and many of the DARK/BOLD coffee drinkers I know actually like the new blonde. It may not be their favorite, but they like the notes in it.

      • jeffperrygiles
      • 1/28/2012 9:45 PM

      In reply to: glasscatp

      I find it a little funny because I was thinking quite the opposite. While I may not mark the blonde as my favorite, along with many lighter roast coffees, I actually really enjoyed the blonde roast. I find it nothing at all like a 7-Eleven coffee or anything else I've really tried. Not my favorite, but I think it's great for what it is.

    • jdshirkey
    • 1/11/2012 10:54 AM

    I recognize I am not the target market for this new "blonde" roast, but it is atrocious. I thought Pike Place was bad, this is a whole new level of pandering to the non-discerning masses. Please Starbucks, don't stop brewing dark roasts in store, I don't want to have to find a new place for my morning coffee.

      • jspielberger1
      • 1/11/2012 11:40 AM

      In reply to: jdshirkey

      My store said they are now going to have three varieties brewed (blonde, Pike's and bold) now, plus decaf. I'm glad because I mostly drink the "mild" coffees, but they no longer brew breakfast or house...and I'm sick of Pike's. So I'm glad there will be a choice for people who don't like stronger coffee. Just because I don't like all of the bold versions doesn't mean I'm "non-discerning." Variety is the spice of life...we don't all have to like the same things!

        • jdshirkey
        • 1/12/2012 8:53 AM

        In reply to: jspielberger1

        I agree on variety, Starbucks used to brew many great lighter roasts until the killed them with Pike Place.
        By non-discerning I simply meant you can get a cup of coffee that tastes like this Blond roast for 79 cents at your local corner gas station, and this is a shameless attempt by Starbucks to grab market share from the Dunkin Donuts of the world. There are so few places to get a good cup of bold rich coffee, and I am concerned Starbucks will soon no longer be one of them

        • jeffperrygiles
        • 1/28/2012 9:45 PM

        In reply to: jdshirkey

        I find it a little funny because I was thinking quite the opposite. While I may not mark the blonde as my favorite, along with many lighter roast coffees, I actually really enjoyed the blonde roast. I find it nothing at all like a 7-Eleven coffee or anything else I've really tried. Not my favorite, but I think it's great for what it is.

        • jdshirkey
        • 1/12/2012 8:53 AM

        In reply to: jspielberger1

        I agree on variety, Starbucks used to brew many great lighter roasts until the killed them with Pike Place.
        By non-discerning I simply meant you can get a cup of coffee that tastes like this Blond roast for 79 cents at your local corner gas station, and this is a shameless attempt by Starbucks to grab market share from the Dunkin Donuts of the world. There are so few places to get a good cup of bold rich coffee, and I am concerned Starbucks will soon no longer be one of them

        • jonomills
        • 1/19/2012 11:48 AM

        In reply to: jdshirkey

        Dude they still offer italian, what the heck are you on about?

        • jdshirkey
        • 1/12/2012 8:54 AM

        In reply to: jspielberger1

        I agree on variety, Starbucks used to brew many great lighter roasts until the killed them with Pike Place. By non-discerning I simply meant you can get a cup of coffee that tastes like this Blond roast for 79 cents at your local corner gas station, and this is a shameless attempt by Starbucks to grab market share from the Dunkin Donuts of the world. There are so few places to get a good cup of bold rich coffee, and I am concerned Starbucks will soon no longer be one of them

        • jeffperrygiles
        • 1/28/2012 9:46 PM

        In reply to: jdshirkey

        I find it a little funny because I was thinking quite the opposite. While I may not mark the blonde as my favorite, along with many lighter roast coffees, I actually really enjoyed the blonde roast. I find it nothing at all like a 7-Eleven coffee or anything else I've really tried. Not my favorite, but I think it's great for what it is.

      • ravnwyng
      • 1/12/2012 7:00 AM

      In reply to: jdshirkey

      Wow, I agree with your comments, 100%. I liked the Breakfast Blend and some of the other medium roast coffees, but for the past three years all I get is whatever the Bold pick is. the Blonde is awful and Pike Place just is not pleasant tasting.

        • jonomills
        • 1/19/2012 11:47 AM

        In reply to: ravnwyng

        Blonde is light and delicious, PIKE is like sucking on an exhaust pipe with oil running out that hasn't been changed in 4 years

        • fleaqueen
        • 1/25/2012 8:33 PM

        In reply to: jonomills

        I have the Pike k-cups, and that stuff is so strong I have to hit the 10 oz water button on my Keurig first, remove the k-cup, then hit the 6 oz water button to water down and make Pike pallateable.

      • kaelacat
      • 1/23/2012 4:16 PM

      In reply to: jdshirkey

      I agree with you! It is lousy. I wanted a lighter roast but this isn't what I was expecting. Granted I have only tried the Viranda in the instant coffee so maybe I will try the brewed form and see. I don't like the dark harsh roasts, maybe the Willow one will be better.

    • charlieplus2
    • 1/11/2012 12:25 PM

    I'm not a big Pike's fan either, but am a MAJOR coffee drinker. The bold rich coffee taste is my prefered choice ~ I love the dark Christmas blend. I always hate to ask the store to brew something else when all they have is Pike's ready, but... as much as we ALL pay for our single cup of 'joe' each day (and prices going up), then I want choices. I'm offered a "pour over" but enjoy the brewed. I am eager to try the Blonde brew though. Here's to us coffee lovers :-) :-$ !!

    • waggypup
    • 1/11/2012 7:26 PM

    I tried the blonde roast and was disappointed. It lacked flavor when I expected it to be more like a breakfast coffee. I think I will switch to Allegro. Starbucks is good for Lattes one day a week.

    • ravnwyng
    • 1/12/2012 7:01 AM

    The Blonde roast just does not taste like coffee.

    • nfbonner@gmail.com
    • 1/12/2012 12:39 PM

    I always sensed that two kinds of people go to Starbucks -- non-coffee lovers who go for the "milk shakes" i.e. lattes, frappacinos -- and hard core drinkers who go for the flavor, which has been the bold since Starbucks starting pushing Pike's Place. I am always astonished when someone orders it -- they could go someplace cheaper to drink bad coffee.

    Good to see so many folks agree with me. Wonder why Starbucks doesn't take the hint.

    • Lk4family
    • 1/12/2012 1:57 PM

    I got a text saying that if I got my favorite coffee between now and 1/14 I could get a free sample of the blonde roast. I went right to my Starbucks and was told the samples were only given in the morning. Disappointing.

      • starbucks starbucks
      • 1/12/2012 3:09 PM

      In reply to: Lk4family

      So sorry to hear that, Lk4family. I have some Blonde samples here at my desk. If you send us your mailing address at info@mystarbucksidea.com, I'll send you one! Remind us in the email that you missed out on the Blonde sample event.

      • debrabf
      • 1/14/2012 8:45 PM

      In reply to: Lk4family

      Not sure how they handled the launch. I tried 2 different locations only to be told the sampling was the 14th @ 2pm only. Never mind, both locations had the event listed on their board as Jan 12th-14th. I even called corporate to complain yet they did not take my info. I really feel they dropped the ball. I am a targeted customers as I have never liked Starbucks' coffee. Relucently a location gave me a package of Veranda. While I didn't blow me away, I at least now have a choice.

    • amieeds
    • 1/13/2012 7:45 AM

    I stopped by the Starbucks in a local Target yesterday morning as well as this morning to sample some of the new flavors but was told that they didn't know anything about the tasting event. I am very new to coffee (I'm trying to make the switch from soda) so I was thrilled at the chance to try a "real" coffee without having to buy large cups and waste them. This was very disappointing.

    • Starbucks Starbucks
    • 1/13/2012 11:35 AM

    Thank you for all your feedback on Blonde! Blonde is not for everyone, we admit, but neither is bold. We’re proud that our customers care so deeply about the depth of their coffee’s roast and are excited to now be offering a roast profile for everyone. Please continue to enjoy your favorites, whether they be Blonde, Medium or Bold.

      • jonomills
      • 1/19/2012 11:45 AM

      In reply to: Starbucks

      Listen your blonde and bold are wonderful. No worries. It's the pike that ***** big

      • Maggie626
      • 2/4/2012 8:07 AM

      In reply to: Starbucks

      Blonde is great! We go to Starbucks several times a week. If Pikes is the only brewed available, I will skip. It's just too bitter for my taste. I discovered Blonde on vacation and since then have bought several pounds. I used to get my day to day beans at Central Market, but now I just pick up Blonde when I am in for my Starbucks drinks. YAY Starbucks!

    • Elaryn
    • 1/13/2012 9:43 PM

    I had the chance to taste the new roast today. I liked it so well that I bought a pound. I'm looking forward to a nice, hot pot tomorrow morning. The aroma from the bag is mouthwatering. Thank you so much for offering a lighter roast.

    • blueeyes87
    • 1/14/2012 8:12 AM

    I was really bummed when I went to my local starbucks and the samples are only available in the morning. That's kind of hard to do I sleep when my 1year old son sleeps and at that time he is just waking up but only for an hour or so =(

    • kat321123
    • 1/14/2012 10:30 AM

    I also got a text and email about the free sample, went a bit out of the way to get to Starbucks, and then found out they were only doing samples in the morning. The email and text were a little dishonest if that was the case. Bummer! I appreciate little perks and events like this, but don't like how this was marketed.

    • tatudfrog
    • 1/15/2012 1:09 PM

    I have tried Blonde Veranda and Willow. The Willow is awesome!! It is a "sit and enjoy" kind of coffee. Like a good wine. There is no bitterness or after taste. This is my new "black"coffee favorite.
    My Starbucks never seems put out when I ask for a sample, could be because they see me often. They made me a pour over (that's what they called it) in seconds of the Willow.

      • jonomills
      • 1/19/2012 11:43 AM

      In reply to: tatudfrog

      I think thats what they did with me. Meaning they did it right there in front of me a few minutes later i had it in my hand, it was great.

    • Jojo1excust
    • 1/16/2012 5:33 AM

    I agree with others that Pikes Place is getting old as a choice at the counter. I have been a regular whole bean customer for years. I am disappointed with your change to new blends. I did not find my regular choices yesterday, they are no longer available. I will now have to search for a new place to purchase my 3 lbs per week. In this case, change was not good! I hope other people agree and speak up.

      • jonomills
      • 1/19/2012 11:42 AM

      In reply to: Jojo1excust

      Jojo1ecust look i know PIKE Is bad I am with you on that, no clue how that made it to the serving table it would be better to replace it with morning blend or something else

      But Italian is amazing, rich, beautiful and bold.

      And you have to say that BLONDE is light, its tasty and I have to give starbucks the thumbs up they did well on that one. 10/10

      I buy beans too from them but don't go switching just because they still offer pike, they have a lot more in beans

    • jonomills
    • 1/19/2012 11:39 AM

    Hi, as someone who BUYS from starbucks exclusively coffee and bags of coffee beans. I am very pleased to say I love BLONDE coffee, this was long overdue

    for a long time all you gave was that puke tasting PIKE that everyone hates and the beautiful italian roast that everyone loves ;) I only tasted italian as im not really a bold drinker because pike tasted bad and you had no other choice. Now I love italian

    I tried blonde today and it was incredible, light and tasty!. Well done a new fav!

    • tknoegel
    • 1/20/2012 11:06 AM

    Bummed that I missed this tasting event! I have been looking forward to scoping out the Blonde Roast but am in the middle of a time of fasting. :( Will there be other promotional tasting events in the near future?

    • crista111
    • 1/20/2012 12:40 PM

    We love to drink bold coffee in our house~ We had been brewing up the Christmas Espresso, and this week I purchased the Morning Joe Gold Coast ~ it is delicious. I tried a cup of the Blonde Veranda at my local Starbucks and thought it was delicious. Smooth and smelled wonderful..but the thing that suprised me the most was the caffeine buzz I felt after 1 cup! If you are looking for an intense wake up, try the Blonde! We enjoy the medium roasts as well...it's all good...thank you Starbucks~

      • gizmoeyes
      • 1/22/2012 11:10 AM

      In reply to: crista111

      I experienced that same kind of buzz when I tried the blonde veranda. What is that about? Is there more caffeine in those beans than in their other beans? I always thought the darker the blend the more caffeine there is. I must be misled in that assumption. Someone please explain this to me. Thanks.

        • 1SbuBarista
        • 1/25/2012 5:07 AM

        In reply to: gizmoeyes

        Actually it's the opposite. The stronger (darker) your coffee, the longer it spends roasting. The roasting process actually burns off some of the caffeine so the darker your roast, the less caffeine you should expect. That's why the lighter blends are typically morning coffees to give you that pick me up first thing in the morning and darker roasts are typically dessert coffees.

    • jimlohse
    • 1/21/2012 3:30 PM

    I thought Pike's was bad but at least PIke's is still coffee, lol. Me, personally, tried the new blend today, HATED IT! Two thumbs down, Folger's is better. Just my opinion, I have given up on Starbuck's having the coffee I want brewed in the afternoons, I just go in for beans or to do what they want me to, buy an espresso drink. But this Veranda "coffee" is so bad I couldn't even drink it. Yuck!

    • twistedknitter
    • 1/22/2012 10:37 AM

    My local Starbucks offers the coffee options on the menu board inside (blonde, medium, dark) and when I purchased my weekly 1-lb bag of coffee beans, I asked for a "short" cup of the blonde so I could try it out -- and the barista insisted he would give me a tasting portion (very generous, I might add) to try it rather than purchasing it. It was delicious -- much better than I thought it would be and I liked it so much, I will buy the beans and brew at home the next time I buy a fresh bag.

    • jojoschibot1
    • 1/22/2012 5:11 PM

    Heaven! Today was the first day EVER that I finished a whole eight cup pot of coffee all by myself. And, I mean EVER! I purchased a pound of the new Blonde Willow Coffee in Decaf the other day and am so very excited about it! My husband still can't believe I finished a whole pot of coffee off all by myself and we've been married almost thiry years. It's great if you want a smooth non-bitter cup of coffee. Toss in a spoon of cocoa and a spot of milk and you've got yourself a mocha latte.

    • westsloper
    • 1/22/2012 7:29 PM

    Meh. My husband said it best, "This is coffee for people who don't like coffee" (perhaps a new tag line?). It tastes like the mediocre coffee you would get at a diner -- not horrible, but certainly not worthy of the Starbucks name (or price). I suspect that the people who would go for this will not be willing to shell out the big bucks for it when they could get just as good a cup of Maxwell House.

    • walder89
    • 1/23/2012 1:09 PM

    hey starbucks.....
    i am a long time, daily customer of starbucks. i prefer a bold blend of coffee in the morning and pikes place has never been my drink of choice. now you are offering a new blonde veranda at my local starbucks, so....i am left with 3 choices as i see it. i can order pikes blend and add an espresso shot adding about 75 cents to my purchase, i can order an americano with it's additional cost over a brewed cup or lastly i can go elsewhere. aren't you guys making enough money?

    • natedogg828
    • 1/24/2012 7:16 AM

    I too missed the tasing event as they were not set up for it when I made my stop in the early part of the 6am hour. I did try the Blonde Veranda blend and was not impressed, though I did like it better than the Pike roast (which I find awful). I have noticed that since the launch of Blonde roast they have not changed the bold from Italian. Any chance the bolds will begin to rotate through the offerings again?

    • pandalorious
    • 1/25/2012 8:14 AM

    I don't know why so many people in America are taste-trained to think that burnt beans are good. They're just cheap beans, over-roasted to mask the awful taste.

    • lisandlaur
    • 1/25/2012 10:22 AM

    I don't know why so many people are so self-righteous about their tastes. If you like bold coffee, great, enjoy your bold coffee. It doesn't make you any better or "more discerning" than anyone else it's just your personal preference! So don't drink the new Blonde coffee but don't tell Starbucks not to offer it because there are plenty of us who prefer a mild taste. I don't complain about bold coffee - I just don't drink it.

    • lisandlaur
    • 1/25/2012 10:25 AM

    By the way, I was in SBux this morning for a latte and I just mentioned to the barista that I had seen an ad for the new Blonde roast and she immediately offered me a sample. I like it a lot and will now consider getting my regular coffee there instead of just doing special treats like Frappucinos. And that's why I love Starbucks - not so much the coffee - I just really appreciate the customer service and I'm willing to pay more for that.

    • ppfooie
    • 1/25/2012 11:53 AM

    Hello SBux! I generally only drink decaf or half caf but my dad got a sample of the Veranda Blonde and I LOVE it! I've been brewing it at home all week as half caff w/o any IBS issues at all! It seems to have low acidity too, which is also great - no gerd issues. I love coffee, but my body doesn't so much. This Vernda Blonde smells fab, tastes great and is easy on the body. YAY! I can't wait to try it in the instant! (I would love to see instant decaf in something other than Italian, too.)

    • yjenner
    • 1/27/2012 8:25 AM

    Both of our local Starbuck's had the Blonde sample packs available, as well as taste samples . My husband and I tried it and we really like it. We have since purchased a bag of it - the only drawback is that I find myself drinking more coffee in the mornings than usual! Well done, Starbuck's - thanks for giving us another choice!

    • Spark5758
    • 1/27/2012 9:27 PM

    I also missed the tasting event for the new Blonde roast. however when I stopped in to my local Starbucks they were more than happy to give me a tasting since they were brewing it. I initially liked it and bought beans. However after brewing it home several times I have decided that I think it tastes like Dunkin Donuts coffee. very disappointed. Give me the Espresso Roast or My favorite Casi Cielo! If you haven't tried Casi Cielo you should! It is a seasonal blend. Should be available in February

    • beacwarm
    • 1/29/2012 11:24 AM

    Some people can not have milk or soy products. Rice milk is a good alternative. Will Starbucks ever add that request to the list? It would be great to enjoy a rice latte!

    • chrystall83
    • 2/2/2012 7:38 AM

    My personal fav is the Christmas espresso roast! So yummy and so strong! <3 it! Just what I need to wakt up in the AM...but they dont sell it year around :S

    • kgriffen@yahoo.com
    • 2/6/2012 5:00 PM

    I for one, LOVE Veranda. All of you posting re: Blonde, please be more specific on which coffee you actually tried: Veranda or Willow. Otherwise it does us (and Starbuks) no good to have vague feedback.

      • granniejanny
      • 3/23/2012 4:55 PM

      In reply to: kgriffen@yahoo.com

      Instant Blonde Veranda is the first Starbucks coffee that I love. I'm in the stores often, but I drink green tea when out and about. I buy instant coffee to use at home in my lo-carb almond milk mochas. Only thing, I really, really need it in DECAF! Currently I have to limit myself to 2-3/week, when I'd probably have it every day if there were an instant decaf Blonde Veranda.

    • steixeira
    • 1/16/2013 11:40 AM

    I love the new blonde both Willow and Veranda , the taste is just perfect any time of the day. Blonde is officially my new go to brew.!! Thanks Starbucks!!

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