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An Unexpected Visitor to the Coffee Tasting Room



We were in the tasting room, blending possible components for Christmas Blend 2010. How would the Guatemala mix with the Costa Rica? How would the Sumatra and Sulawesi combine in this year’s cup? Was the Aged Sumatra ready to be highlighted in our most important blend? We were tasting and blending and pondering these important questions when out in the hall there arose such a clatter.

It being April at the time, the guest we received was a little unexpected, as in through the door burst the right jolly old elf himself: Santa Claus. He brought with him a great challenge:

“Mrs. Claus and I are just returning from our annual trip to Acapulco. We were laying on the beach, discussing what would make this year’s holiday even better, when Mrs. Claus said ‘What if Starbucks made an Espresso Roast especially for the season?’ And then it hit me … what if Starbucks made an Espresso Roast especially for the season?!”

He surveyed the room, and by each of our names he called upon the members of the Starbucks Coffee Quality Team a unique challenge:

“Now, Leslie! Now Patty! Now, Kim, Andrew, Dave! On Eileen! On Doug! On Amy and… well… the other Dave! Make for the world a new Christmas Blend! One spicy and herbal and sweet cup with a bright acidity, roasted in your Espresso Roast style! Make it for those who choose to brew espresso for their holiday gatherings! Make it so all the moms’ and dads’ lattes and cappuccinos taste richer as the little ones open their gifts! Make it so Mrs. Claus and the elves can sip and savor as they await my return to the North Pole in the wee hours of Christmas morn!”

And then lying a finger aside of his face, giving a nod he left our coffee tasting place.

Needless to say, we went right to work. After all, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, and none of us wanted coal in our stockings! We set out immediately, constructing a blend that would highlight all the familiar flavors of our Christmas Blend while standing up to the darker roast of our Espresso Roast. The result is a blend of coffees unlike any we have ever made: rare Aged Sumatra coffee with its cedary-spice flavors and syrupy body; specially selected Sumatra coffee that exhibits sophisticated herbal notes, and beans from the Bella Vista F.W. Estate in Costa Rica, which adds bright acidity and depth.

These coffees are blended together and roasted to our Espresso Roast level, adding a rich and caramelly-sweet flavor. The result is our Christmas Blend Espresso Roast. This coffee is perfectly suited to be used in your espresso machine … or any way you enjoy brewing your coffee.

From our tasting room to your home, happy holidays from the Starbucks Coffee Quality Team.

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