Starbucks Sees the Light, Introduces New ‘Blonde’ Roast

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Starbucks has heard your complaints about its coffee tasting “burnt,” so they’re changing things up and bringing a new roast into the mix. Meet the Blonde.

Hitting stores and supermarkets across the U.S. on January 10, the new Blonde will be the chain’s lightest roast ever. The Pike Place Roast was introduced in 2008 as a more medium-bodied, “everyday” brew alternative to the French Roast, but Starbucks research has apparently revealed that 40% of the 130 million coffee drinkers in the U.S. prefer a lighter roast.

What makes the Blonde different from darker blends? Different beans and a shorter roasting period give the brew its mild acidity and light-body, creating a roast that Starbucks calls “mellow, soft and subtle.”  After trying out over 80 recipes, the coffee giants created a couple different coffees for the Blonde Roast: “Veranda” brings in beans from Latin America and is also available as a Via Ready Brew.  “Willow” is a blend of beans from Latin America and East Africa, and will also be available in decaf.

Check out the video above to learn more about the Blonde from two Starbucks master roasters who helped create it.

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Aylin Zafar is a contributor to TIME. Find her on Twitter at @azafar. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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