By Hallie Detrick
Updated: January 9, 2018 3:39 PM ET

Starbucks is going to start offering a gentler espresso to help new coffee drinkers ease into the hard stuff.

As of Tuesday, Starbucks locations across the U.S. will offer a blonde roast espresso with a crisp, citrus flavor and a creamy texture for the same price as a Signature espresso shot. It will be a permanent menu item.

The introduction of a light espresso is an interesting move for Starbucks, which was founded more than 40 years ago to bring darker, more flavorful coffees to the American market. The company’s vice president of Global Coffee, Andrew Linnemann, recognised this. “We set the standard for a dark, boldly roasted coffee and in this case, we broke a few of our own rules by taking a lighter approach to espresso which created a bright taste with sweet citrus notes and a smooth body,” he said. This is the first time the company has expanded its espresso offer in the U.S.

Starbucks is one of the few chain restaurants that has grown over the last two years, with sales up 40% to $21.3 billion. The new espresso will be available in more than 8,000 of the chain’s U.S. locations.

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