Starbucks offers its first single-origin coffee from Vietnam — Starbucks Reserve® Vietnam Da Lat

SEATTLE, 2015-7-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Coffee came to Vietnam in the 1800s, brought by the French up to the mountains of Vietnam’s Lam Dong Province. The volcanic soil and cooling mists of the Central Highlands made it the ideal land for coffee. Its anchoring city, Da Lat was known as “The City of Eternal Spring,” with its temperate weather a welcome respite from the tropical weather of the bustling cities near the coast.

Although Vietnam today is one of the world’s top exporters of robusta coffee, its specialty-grade arabicacoffee has thrived in its mountains for more than 150 years. Now Starbucks is offering its first single-origin coffee from the country with Starbucks Reserve® Vietnam Da Lat.

“When we received a sample of this coffee, we were delighted at the quality,” said Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist for Starbucks. “Vietnam Da Lat has a bright refreshing acidity highlighting kola nut, toffee, and vanilla. It is excellent as espresso, brewed coffee, or even cold brew.”

Patricia Marques, a 13-year Starbucks partner based in Ho Chi Minh City, has served as general manager for Starbucks Vietnam since the company opened its first store in 2013.

“Vietnam has a very long and proud coffee history,” Marques said. “People here prefer a strong, thick coffee with full body. They enjoy coffee at a very slow pace, sitting outside and having conversation with others.”

Did you know?

The packaging for Starbucks Reserve® Vietnam Da Lat was inspired by the close proximity of the farms to the city of Da Lat. The city’s French Art Deco style architecture is reflected through bold, geometric shapes of the design. The gold texture represents the ever-present mist that sits amongst the city and its surrounding pine forests.

About Starbucks Reserve Coffee
Each Starbucks Reserve® coffee is sourced from small lots in coffee-growing regions in Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific, and every coffee has a signature roast profile to bring out its unique flavors. These coffees are roasted with care, at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, to enhance their peak flavor expression. They are available in limited supply in select Starbucks® stores or through subscription.

For more information on this news release, contact Starbucks Newsroom.

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Starbucks offers its first single-origin coffee from Vietnam -- Starbucks Reserve® Vietnam Da Lat

Starbucks offers its first single-origin coffee from Vietnam — Starbucks Reserve® Vietnam Da Lat

Starbucks expands its small-batch Cold Brew iced coffee as a core menu item in participating stores across US and Canada

SEATTLE, 2015-7-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just in time for the heat of summer, Starbucks is expanding its popular small-batch Cold Brew iced coffee as a core menu item in participating stores across the U.S. and Canada.

Cold Brew is the latest in a series of new coffee experiences at Starbucks that showcase the passion baristas have for coffee, and allow customers to learn more about the craft of roasting and brewing Starbucks beverages.

How to Make Starbucks Cold Brew

Starbucks baristas freshly grind Starbucks® Cold Brew Blend coffee, created specifically for the cold brewing method, and then steep it in a container of cool water for 20 hours. This artisanal process results in cold coffee concentrate that baristas measure and top with water and ice and serve unsweetened.

Traditional iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee at double-strength and pouring over ice, while iced espresso beverages such as an Iced Americano are made by combining espresso shots with water and ice. The Cold Brew crafting method – which never comes in contact with heat – creates a naturally sweet, smooth iced coffee.

Aubrey Hensley, a shift supervisor and Coffee Master at the Starbucks store at 45th & Broadway in New York, has been crafting Cold Brew for customers in her store since its regional launch in March in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest United States and parts of Canada.

“I love introducing my customers to new coffee experiences, especially when I can really show off the craft that goes into each cup,” said Hensely. “There’s a lot of time and passion that goes into brewing each batch of Cold Brew, so it’s been especially rewarding to see my customers enjoying it. A lot of them have made it their new go-to drink.”

To create the recipe for Cold Brew, Starbucks® coffee and research and development teams tasted hundreds of cups of coffee to develop a blend that would heighten the smooth, full-bodied flavor created during the brewing process. The team also experimented with the brewing time, settling on 20 hours to get the full spectrum of flavor.

“Cold Brew Blend features high-quality varietals from Latin America and Africa,” said Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist at Starbucks. “The blend delivers a flavor profile of chocolate balanced by citrus notes for a sweet, dense and smooth cup.”

Celebrating the Art of Handcrafting

To celebrate the nationwide launch of Cold Brew today (July 7), Starbucks invited California pop artist Steven Harrington to create a 60-piece collection of colorful hand-painted mason jars, symbolizing the 60 cups of handcrafted Cold Brew served from each small batch. Customers at the Beverly Hills Triangle Starbucks store in Los Angeles will be in for a surprise. Starting at 8 a.m. today, the first 60 to order Cold Brew will receive one of these unique art pieces with their coffee.

“I wanted to reflect the colorful, sun-drenched, playful attitude of the Los Angeles lifestyle,” said Harrington. “Since the art is a release for Cold Brew, I tried to push the euphoric sensation of sipping an ice-cold coffee on a hot summer day.”

For more information on this news release, contact us.

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Starbucks expands its small-batch Cold Brew iced coffee as a core menu item in participating stores across US and Canada

Starbucks expands its small-batch Cold Brew iced coffee as a core menu item in participating stores across US and Canada

Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time

SEATTLE, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — In May 2014 Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo, came to the Starbucks coffee team with a special request.

He had an idea to celebrate the first Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room, a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience where customers could see the rare small-batch  line of Starbucks Reserve® coffees being roasted. The freshly roasted beans would be delivered to a bar where baristas would create handcrafted beverages using one of six different brewing methods.

“Howard was looking for a special coffee for our Roastery customers, just as a winemaker may have a unique blend that’s available only at the winery,” said Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist at Starbucks. “Up to this point, our Starbucks Reserve program featured single-origin coffees – all from one country or growing region, or sometimes even a single farm. He wanted us to break the mold and create our first-ever blend of Starbucks Reserve coffees for our Roastery customers.”

The Creation of Pantheon Blend
Wolford and a team of roasters and coffee experts went to work.

They looked at all the coffees in the Starbucks Reserve® portfolio and started with nine single-origin coffees. Next they roasted and brewed each of them and lined them up on the long tasting room table at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. From there, the team did a wet blending exercise, spooning different combinations of the coffees – drawing out different flavor notes in each cup.

Each person on the five-member team created two coffees, writing down the recipe on a card that was placed down in front of each cup. The team collectively tasted each of the ten coffees and whittled them down to the top three blends, which were turned over to Starbucks roasters.

“Once we got the blends back from the roasters, we tasted three top recipes for five days and had lots of opinions,” Wolford said. “Then we tried each coffee as a pour-over, in a press, as a shot of espresso, and as a latte. One coffee rose to the top. We invited Howard in to sample, and Pantheon Blend was born.”

Ultimately, Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 was a combination of coffees from Guatemala, Colombia, and Java. Coincidentally those are all coffees on Starbucks original menu board at Pike Place Market store in 1971.

“The experience of this coffee comes in waves,” Wolford said. “We started with Guatemala as the anchor – it’s rich and complex. Next comes the Colombia, which has black currant notes with some sweetness that’s not too overpowering. Finally, the semi-washed Java brings in more of the body and savory notes in the coffee.”

This first blend of Starbucks Reserve coffees holds a special significance for Wolford, who has tasted coffees for Starbucks for more than 20 years.

“To me, this coffee speaks to our history and our future,” Wolford said. “Howard chose the name Pantheon, because it reflects its place among an illustrious group of extraordinary coffees. The best of the best.”

Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time

Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time

10 special coffees featured on the Starbucks Newsroom in 2014

SEATTLE, 2014-12-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — It has always been and always will be about quality. Since 1971, Starbucks has been passionate about ethically sourcing and blending only the finest arabica coffee beans and roasting them with great care. The company’s passion for coffee is rivaled only by its love of sharing it with customers. Here are 10 special coffees featured on the Starbucks Newsroom in 2014:

1. Hacienda Alsacia

Hacienda Alsacia is a coffee farm resting Starbucks owns on the slope of the still-active Poas volcano. More than 300,000 pounds of coffee were harvested in the farm’s first year under the guidance of Starbucks (Starbucks purchased 396 million pounds of green coffee in fiscal year 2013).  Instead of selling the first crop of coffee from Hacienda Alsacia to customers, Starbucks gave a bag of the special coffee to each of its partners.

2. Costa Rica Geisha

Six years ago, in partnership with a local cooperative, Starbucks director of global agronomy planted a special coffee on the La Ines farm. The team was looking for the perfect union of disease tolerance, high yield and exceptional taste. “This truly was a labor of love,” said Carlos Mario Rodriguez. “We selected only two plants each out of lots of 20 and then nurtured the plants for six years.” The result is Starbucks Reserve® Costa Rica Geisha La Ines. Geisha takes its name from the village in Ethiopia where it was first discovered before being brought to Central America.

3. Kati Kati

In Swahili, Kati Kati simply means “between.” Starbucks Kati Kati Blend® tells a vivid story about the coffee grown between Kenya and Ethiopia. It is an example of the art of blending and roasting in action. The blend of these iconic East African origin coffees highlights the balance between citrus and spice notes from Kenya and subtle floral aromas and crisp acidity from Ethiopia, embodying the carefree nature of the summer season that is Kati Kati.

4. Colombia Nariño

Starbucks® Colombia Nariño coffee comes from a region in southeast Colombia on the border with Ecuador known as Nariño. Nariño’s unique characteristics create an exceptional coffee growing climate. The mountain area gets more than 70 inches of rain per year and plenty of sunshine. The region’s volcanic soil has a high percentage of organic material. “For us, the heart of Colombian coffee sits in the mountains of Nariño,” said Leslie Wolford, Starbucks senior green coffee specialist.  “Coffee grows at elevations higher than 6,500 feet, where warm tropical days and cool nights let the beans develop slowly.”

5. Tribute Blend

Starbucks created Tribute Blend® to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, to honor customers and partners, and to recognize the accomplishments of the coffee producers and roasters. Tribute Blend® combines four of customers’ all-time favorite coffees from all three growing regions. The Sun-Dried Ethiopia coffee, with an exotic flourish of dark cherry, is from Africa. Aged Sumatra comes from the Asia/Pacific region, featuring deep notes of cedar and sweet. Also originating from the Asia/Pacific area is the Papua New Guinea coffee, a deep-toned coffee with juicy herbal taste. Colombia coffee, with balanced and nutty tasting notes, hails from Latin America.

6. Single Origin Coffees

Single-origin coffees are beans sourced from one country, a region within a country, or sometimes even just a single estate or farm. Starbucks® Guatemala Laguna de Ayarza Single-Origin Coffee is one of three coffees made available in grocery stores in 2014. Starbucks has been purchasing coffee from Guatemala since the early days of the company. Laguna de Ayarza is a double caldera lake formed thousands of years ago in a volcanic mountain range in the northeast part of Guatemala. The coffee trees thrive in the rolling hills and mild climate, and roots grow deep in its volcanic soil rich in minerals.

7. Reserve Coffees

There’s a story in every cup of Starbucks coffee. From the qualities of the soil, to the fragrances and tastes of nearby crops, to the length of time it was left to ripen on the tree – each coffee expresses its own sense of place and conveys the way it was grown and nurtured. Starbucks Reserve® coffees help bring these individual stories to life with an ultra-premium line of coffees that are the most rare, limited availability coffees from around the world. “Starbucks is one of the few companies that can send coffee buyers to dozens of countries each year and taste hundreds and thousands of cups of coffee,” said Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist at Starbucks. “Every so often we come across a coffee that dazzles. We help their exceptional qualities shine as a Starbucks Reserve coffee.”

8. India Estates Blend

Launched as part of the first anniversary celebrations in 2013, the Starbucks® India Estates Blend captures the essence and rich heritage of Indian coffee history and draws inspiration from the finest arabica beans which have been carefully selected by Starbucks coffee experts from Tata Coffee’s estates across Coorg and Chickmagalur, the birth place of coffee in India. This single origin blend creates a fine balance between herbal and chocolate notes. The blend has been named to represent the origin of the coffee and the packaging has been carefully created to reflect traditional Indian designs, and this year the coffee was made available throughout 14 countries.

9. Gold Coast Blend

When Starbucks opened its first stores outside of Seattle, in 1987, it wanted to introduce a blend to honor one of its new locations in Chicago.  Starbucks master coffee blenders brought together the heft of beans from Latin America and Indonesia with a bit of sweetness from our dark Italian Roast. This created a taste every bit as sophisticated as the neighborhood it is named after – the Gold Coast Historic District. Starbucks Gold Coast Blend® is the epitome of the high art of blending because no single flavor element dominates this lush and lavish coffee.

10. Pantheon

To celebrate the opening of Starbucks® Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, the company created an exceptional new coffee exclusive to the Roastery. Pantheon™ Blend is a blend of Starbucks® Reserve coffees from Guatemala, Colombia and West Java with tiered flavor notes of lemon, dark chocolate and brown sugar. The result is an exceptional cup that is complex and sophisticated as espresso and brewed coffee. The Starbucks Newsroom will feature the story behind Pantheon in January.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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10 special coffees featured on the Starbucks Newsroom in 2014

10 special coffees featured on the Starbucks Newsroom in 2014

Starbucks Reserve® coffees launch ultra-premium line of coffees that are the most rare, limited availability coffees from around the world

There’s a story in every cup of Starbucks coffee.

SEATTLE, 2014-10-29— /EPR Retail News/ — From the qualities of the soil, to the fragrances and tastes of nearby crops, to the length of time it was left to ripen on the tree – each coffee expresses its own sense of place and conveys the way it was grown and nurtured.

Starbucks Reserve® coffees help bring these individual stories to life with an ultra-premium line of coffees that are the most rare, limited availability coffees from around the world.

“Starbucks is one of the few companies that can send coffee buyers to dozens of countries each year and taste hundreds and thousands of cups of coffee,” said Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist at Starbucks. “Every so often we come across a coffee that dazzles. We help their exceptional qualities shine as a Starbucks Reserve coffee.”

When Starbucks opened its first store more than 40 years ago in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, it brought customers small batches of extraordinary coffee to its single store such as the bright Chanchamayo from the highlands of Peru or smooth Bourbon Santos from Brazil.

Once the company grew to more than 1,000 stores in 1996, Starbucks began to highlight small quantities of exceptional coffee such as Rantepao Sulawesi and Aged Java with the Starbucks Limited Edition program. In 2004 Starbucks offered customers its best single-origin coffee as Black Apron Exclusives™ starting with a rare 100% Kona coffee.  This program evolved into Starbucks Reserve in 2010.

“From the very beginning, we cultivated a network of farmers that brought us quality coffee to support our expanding customer base,” said Wolford.  “As we grew, we noticed that this extensive network also brought us coffee that was undiscovered and special. As a result, we started to be more intentional about helping our customers to have the same journey of discovery as we explored new farms and regions. It gives our store partners (employees) the opportunity to share the story of our coffees and what makes each one special. It becomes something personal.”

Extraordinary Care

Starbucks Reserve has featured coffee from locations as remote and rugged as the Galapagos Islands and the Mt. Bromo volcano on the Indonesian island of Java. The program has also featured rare varietals such as Starbucks Reserve® Panama Geisha Auromar, which was limited to fewer than 800 half-pound bags.

Starbucks Reserve can also showcase coffees that require extra attention to detail, such as the handpicked, single-rounded beans of Starbucks Reserve® Zambia Peaberry Terranova Estate or the Sun Dried Ethiopia Yirgacheffe™ and Sumatra Rusuna, which gets their rich, cherry-flavor from being laid out to air dry.

Aged Sumatra Lot No. 084, was aged for five years in a special environment with meticulous care. The coffee bags were individually rotated and turned to ensure a consistent aging process, and the beans were tasted regularly to determine their exact moment of readiness for a bold, full-bodied cup of coffee with toasted-marshmallow sweetness and deep cedar notes.

In September 2014, Starbucks offered customers the rare, small batch Starbucks Reserve® Costa Rica Geisha La Ines developed by Starbucks agronomist Carlos Mario Rodriguez for its combination of disease tolerance, high yield and exceptional taste. The coffee sold out online within hours.

Distinctive Flavors

Each Starbucks Reserve coffee tells the story of its origins.

The Africa region is believed to be the birthplace of coffee, and its diverse geography is home to some of the world’s most unusual and sought-after coffees, with flavors ranging from berries to spices to citrus fruits. Starbucks Reserve coffees highlight the distinctive characteristics of African coffees from the herbal and floral notes of Cameroon’s Mount Oku and the full bodied, chocolaty flavor of Malawi Lake of Stars.

In the Asia/Pacific, Starbucks Reserve® Sumatra Blue Batak showcases the region’s signature full flavor herbal spiciness with deep, syrupy body and sweet herbal notes. In Latin America, Starbucks purchased the 190 burlap sacks of coffee produced on a small farm by farmer Aladino Delgado and produced Starbucks Reserve® Perú Aladino, an extraordinary bright citrusy coffee characteristic of the region, with surprising rich toffee notes and a nutty sweetness.

The Future of Reserve

In December, 2014 Starbucks will open its first-ever Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. Dedicated to roasting and coffee education this one of a kind experience will allow Starbucks to increase the availability of these limited availability coffees. By consolidating its small-batch roasting, Starbucks will expand their Starbucks Reserve® program to 1,500 locations globally, as well as open at least 100 stores designed to highlight these rare coffees exclusively.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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Starbucks Reserve® coffees launch ultra-premium line of coffees that are the most rare, limited availability coffees from around the world

Starbucks Reserve® coffees launch ultra-premium line of coffees that are the most rare, limited availability coffees from around the world