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.

comments (21)

Comment FAQ

    • voiceof1
    • 12/3/2010 3:46 AM

    I purchased the Christmas Blend Espresso Roast because I purchase the regular espresso blend regularly. I found the Christmas Espresso blend to be very mild. I'm used to the "punch" of regular espresso. I will not be purchasing the Christmas Espresso blend again. I will stick to the regular espresso. That's my two cents....

    • starbucksisawsome
    • 12/3/2010 8:15 AM

    Great Stuff

    • imlefty
    • 12/5/2010 11:26 AM

    I purchased the Christmas Expresso and liked it very much. Can't wait to see what the special is every day.

    • rpfonda
    • 12/7/2010 10:20 AM

    enjoyed the Christmas Espresso very much!

    • admin admin
    • 12/16/2010 8:50 AM

    Thanks for the feedback on Christmas Blend Espresso. I agree it is a nice treat for the holiday season.

    • lolamae1962
    • 12/18/2010 9:16 AM

    I don't like the Christmas Blend coffee because it is too spicy for my taste. However I LOVE the Christmas Blend Espresso and it is not too spicy and has just the right amount of bold. I took advantage of the Christmas Blend coffee or espresso buy one get one free text message that I received and therefore was even happier with my purchase!

    • rmloan
    • 12/20/2010 12:53 PM

    My wife and I are very disappointed with this year's Christmas Blend. We look forward every year to stocking up on the Christmas Blend. We are just not expresso drinkers. We gave away half the bag.

    • bandballen
    • 12/21/2010 3:52 AM

    The Expresso Christmas blend is marvelous. I'm hopeful you can carry it year round; however, just in case you don't I will plan to get a couple of extra bags to at least last until Feburary. By the way, upon remembering my 10th grade English teacher's instructions on the use of the words lie and lay and then your description of Santa and Mrs. Claus in Acapulco on the beach did provide a holiday chuckle. Thanks.

    • allig2727
    • 12/28/2010 7:48 AM

    I have been a faithful Starbucks drinker for the last 6 years. I have never tried the Christmas Blend because I stick to the Breakfast Blend and never waiver. I felt like doing something wild this Christmas so ventured out and bought the Christmas Blend 2010. Much to my surprise, it was the best tasting coffee I have ever had!! Maybe from now on I will not be so reserved. I will make it a part of my holiday season from now on. Now, on to the next coffee tasting- Holiday Blend...

    • nanittaa
    • 12/29/2010 6:05 AM

    Sincere congratulations for your site, it's a real pleasure to browse. Especially keep it up. Thank you for this wonderful sharing.

    • melissapaczkowski
    • 12/30/2010 5:14 PM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this Espresso Roast.

    • RobertBP
    • 12/31/2010 6:26 AM

    I was excited to see this blend and expected the full bodied punch of the espresso. I must say I was a bit dissapointed to find it so mild. I am enjoying it but would much rather have it extra bold.

    • rayph51
    • 1/3/2011 8:04 AM

    The Christmas Espresso Blend has a fantastic richness to it. Definitely my choice for espresso based drinks. This would be nice to have year round.

    • Kenshin777
    • 1/3/2011 6:05 PM

    I loved the christmas espresso blend of 2010. I used it in both my espresso machine and in my french press. Good work with this one guys!

    • cmf0113
    • 1/7/2011 1:54 PM

    would love to have the christmas espresso blend year round.

    • pamc07
    • 2/4/2011 5:47 AM

    I absolutely LOVE the Christmas Expresso Blend!!! I so wish I has bought more to last me through the year and hope that this blend will return! Any suggestions of anything close to it? Loved the smooth sweet boldness!

    • georgejungle
    • 7/8/2011 9:37 PM

    blue mountain coffee bought from ......http://www.marleycoffee.com. Is very good . And it makes me sense freshness, like there is no chemicals in the been.. I think who you get blue mountain coffee from in Jamaica , makes a big difference...
    I hope to buy whole been locally at starbucks someday soon. from Marley , version of coffees.. email me when some gets in to buy there... at my local rowlett texas branch... 66 hwy.

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