The coffee option to have a light roast or dark roast selection is pretty common. Espresso, however, has traditionally been dark roast only. Starbucks has made a big splash by offering the blonde espresso. It is simply the “light roast” bean used for an espresso. It seems to have created an amazing amount of stir.
I had my first cup of espresso in a small bakery in Venice, Italy many decades ago. They used the classic manual pump that was the norm at that time. I have been an espresso fan ever since that fateful day. I have multiple espresso machines and even take a portable espresso machine on longer vacations. (I am not good at standing in Starbucks lines.)
Most people think espresso has much more caffeine than it does. Using the Starbucks official numbers for example:
- A double espresso contains 150 mg of caffeine.
- Grande latte or cappuccino has 150 mg of caffeine.
- A grande size cup (16 oz.) of regular coffee contains 320 mg of caffeine. (That is more than double the caffeine of the double espresso.)
So, four shots of espresso would contain less caffeine than a grande regular coffee. Even baristas look surprised if you ask for four shots of espresso.
Don’t order the venti size latte at Starbucks. Another surprise I found in looking at the Starbucks chart is that the difference between a grande latte (16 oz.) and a venti latte (20 oz.) is milk and about a dollar. Both the grande and venti sizes have the same amount of espresso (150 mg caffeine). The caffeine is also less for the smaller sizes according to Caffeine Informer.
Other coffee shops usually increase the coffee content for each size increment. For example, Caribou’s medium size (16 oz.) has 270 mg of caffeine and the large size (20 oz.) cappuccino at a Caribou contains 360 mg. of caffeine. That is more than double the Starbucks amount of caffeine.
For those who prefer a Diet Coke for their caffeine, a 12 fl. oz. can has 46 mg. If you use Nespresso standard capsules, they average 60 mg of caffeine. The Vertuo line average 165 mg of caffeine.
The bottom line is that espresso drinks do not have as much caffeine as most people think they do. At Starbucks it’s even less caffeine than you would expect. I am not down on Starbucks. I drink a significant amount of their coffee and I have the reward stars to prove it.
I hope you enjoy your morning beverage … whatever it may be.