What Is The Strongest Coffee At Starbucks?

Starbucks is sometimes criticized for having coffee that is overly roasted resulting in what tastes to some like a burnt flavor (via Grouchy John's). But if you're someone who enjoys the bold taste of the Seattle-based company's beans, you might be wondering what Starbucks considers to be its strongest coffee blend. 

Starbucks uses only Arabica coffee beans, as opposed to Robusta, which is widely viewed as an inferior varietal of bean among coffee connoisseurs (via The Roasters Pack). The company goes to great lengths to procure their Arabica beans at high altitudes because they have a more complex and stronger flavor (via Starbucks). 

Coffee bean blends are divided into three different categories: dark, medium, and blonde, the last of which is the newest of the categories, released in 2012 (via Bon Appetit). When it comes to flavor, it should go without saying that the strongest blend is probably going to be one of their darker roasts. 

However, a stronger flavor doesn't necessarily translate to a higher caffeine content. In fact, it actually works in reverse, with their blonde coffee containing the most caffeine, followed by medium, and finally dark with 180 milligrams, 155 milligrams, and 130 milligrams per tall cup, respectively (via Caffeine Informer).

The strongest tasting Starbucks roast

The coffee giant is constantly introducing single-origin blends and limited-edition options such as their Anniversary, Thanksgiving, and Christmas blends, but for the purpose of brevity, only their "legacy" roasts (i.e., ones that have been around for a long while and will be available for the foreseeable future) will be considered when it comes to deciding which is the strongest tasting option.

The dark roasts available at Starbucks include Sumatra, Caffe Verona, French Roast, Italian Roast, and Espresso Roast. Every drink that comes out of the industrial espresso machines at Starbucks is made using Espresso Roast (via Starbucks). The roast is a blend of beans from the Latin America, and Asia-Pacific regions. It's described as having a "caramelly sweetness," which blends well with milk to create the company's beloved lattes.

Although Starbucks refers to its Italian Roast as the "quintessential dark roast" (via Starbucks), when a company describes a product as quintessential, it can mean that it's pretty middle-of-the-road and suitable for all palates, rather than being particularly intense. According to the company itself, the strongest tasting of all its offerings, flavor-wise, is its French Roast. "This is French Roast and you can't roast it darker," is how the offering is described online (via Starbucks). They refer to it as their darkest roast which is "adored for its intense smokiness."