Tuesday, October 9, 2012

here's to being blonde...

So for any of you reading this that also happen to be my 'real life' friends, you may be about to cry 'hypocrite' to this post, if you saw me mention on Facebook this morning that I'm "trying to be aware of my caffeine intake". But, in my defense, I'd like to pre-emptively say that being 'aware' does not necessarily mean 'cutting out'. What I'm about to share with you, I'm very...*ahem*...'aware'...of. :)

Recently I tried Starbucks 'blonde roast' coffee.  It was recommended to me months ago by a couple of friends.  They talked of it's wonderful smoothness, and delicious taste...which for many is uncharacteristic of any Starbucks coffee.  I will admit, that even I find they can be a bit bitey or 'burnt' tasting.  Upon trying certain blends, I've even commented to Todd that I felt like I'd smoked a cigarette after drinking them.  (Not that I'd actually know, since I've never in my life smoked anything...but whatever.  It tasted like my dad always smelled, so it was my best guess.)

But let me just say, I've tasted, and I'm a believer that blondes...at least when it comes to coffee roasts...really are more fun!! 

Last week I had a long afternoon drive to attend a 3-hour meeting, followed by another long drive home.  I knew it was going to be...well...long...so I figured a nice shot of caffeine would be in order.  I thought I remembered someone warning me that the blonde roast was more caffeinated, and I decided to do a little research to confirm this.  Sure enough, the blonde roast is the highest caffeination of all the roasts. Here's a quick explanation of why...

Spectrum of beans..."blondes to the left, please..."
Think about steaming veggies.  It's the preferred method because less cooking time means more nutrients stay contained in the food, right?  Well, same goes for roasting time of coffee beans, apparently...less means more.  Less roasting allows the beans to keep all that good caffeine sealed up tight...to be released in my Venti cup 'o joe.  On the flip side, the darker the roast, the more bitter (some might say 'burnt') the taste, and the less caffeine...though, don't get me wrong...I'm not saying dark roast means 'almost' decaf.  More saying, if you need to stay awake, and are looking for a bigger 'boost' from your java, go light roast.

"Gimme the big 'un!"
So, in looking for that afternoon 'boost', and still trying to stay within my current eating plan, I decided a nice cup of blonde roast with some sugar-free caramel syrup and cream would be just the thing I needed.  And, in the spirit of 'go-big or go-home', I order up a 'venti'...yep, the LARGE, most caffeinated drink I could get.  Needless to stay, I didn't have any trouble nodding off during the drive...or my meeting...or at bedtime, either.

But it was sooooo good.  So good, in fact, that I went and splurged a second time last week...  And found myself battling against a desire for a third.  At which point I realized, I really can't support a Sbux addiction, so I needed to say no.  But I will confess to buying a bag of blonde last night at Target to brew at home...still a treat, but FAR less costly.  And, hey...it was on sale!  Don't you judge me...  ;)  (Apparently what is true for hair is also true for coffee...blonde is best done by someone else, but cheaper to do at home...)

I also just realized, in doing some more research, that next week is the one-year anniversary of Starbucks introducing this...so here's to you and Happy Anniversary you beautiful blonde...  :)
(BTW, apparently, if you'd like to try a blonde roast for the taste, but minus the caffeine jolt, there is one variety that comes decaf... the Willow Blend.  So, you can still try it, even if you don't want to be shaking for the next 12 hours!  And no, Starbucks doesn't pay me anything for all this crazy endorsement...I just really love them.  But, if they wanted to give me free coffee for saying these nice things, I'd totally take it!!)


Zoanna said...

You have made me willing and curious to try it. I have not liked Starbucks because of that After a cigarette taste. And I DO know how that tastes
, I had a three month cig habit one summer after high school. Anyway, the price is equally off putting, hence two strikes against Sbux. Since we both don't like dark roast Starbucks, I might like blond roast. I only buy Sbux at their place if I have a gift card...ie twice a ear maybe

klcmusings.com said...

I've been drinking the blonde roast (Veranda) since it came out a year ago. LOVE IT!! And thanks to now drinking filter coffee at Sbux instead of getting a latte, I can afford my Sbux habit - $2 instead of $4? Sounds good to me. :)

And yes, I'll take an extra jolt of caffeine to boot!

Andrea said...

Huh. Thanks for the info on blonde vs. dark roast. I like that bitey flavor of a dark roast, but thought that it had lots of caffeine. Good to know that if I need a boost, go for the blonde!

Jessi said...

I have been drinking the Veranda blend...and I will add that I think part of the 'smoothness' for me is the caramel syrup...gonna have to buy some for my at home brew...

Kerri, I agree...it's nice to find something at Sbux that I enjoy almost as much as a latte for less $$!

Andrea, I do occasionally like the bitey taste too...but am often looking for the jolt more! :)