After finding that many Americans (40 percent) prefer lighter-tasting coffee, Starbucks has launched the Starbucks ‘Blonde’ Roast. This new lineup of coffees offers customers an lighter, milder taste than the coffee chain’s other blends.

After exploring more than 80 recipes, Starbucks chose four new blends for its Starbucks Blonde Roast lineup: Veranda Blend, Willow Blend, Decaf Willow Blend and Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Veranda Blend. Set to be available in January 2012, this lineup took about a year to create (which is short period when you compare it to the 20 years it took to create the Starbucks VIA formula).

For the major coffee brand, the Starbucks Blonde Roast category is definitely an opportunity to reach an entirely new section of coffee drinkers that may have previously considered Starbucks coffee too bitter or dark.