Only a few months ago I was standing with our design team inside a cavernous concrete shell below the beautiful city of Amsterdam. We were inside “The Bank,” a landmark building in Rembrandt Square, and were about to transform the empty 1,400 square foot bank vault into the biggest single space for one of our stores in all of Europe. It had to honor the existing architecture and culture of the city, but is also had to feel just like your neighborhood Starbucks.
We started with a deep study of Dutch design. The Dutch have a strong sensibility of using open spaces with clean lines – a simple aesthetic combined with functional ingenuity. But this is also a culture rich with trade history that influences an inviting, intimate and relaxed old world aesthetic, and no one knows this more than our Dutch-born Concept Design Director Liz Muller and her team in Amsterdam.
I have a great job. I was in Kona, Hawaii, recently, where I got to see the passion and pride that farmers bring to the coffee they grow there. They are resourceful, creative, adventurous, and completely committed to their farms, their mills and their craft.
“Our grandfathers left us a timeless treasure,” Lankamo Lana tells me as we walk through the impenetrable lush garden farms of the Homacho Waeno Cooperative in Sidamo. “The ability to understand how to keep coffee ageless through garden farms,” he says.
Most coffee farms can be traversed with ease through the relatively wide spaces between growing coffee trees, but here, the spaces between are filled with growing food. I can barely keep up with him as I carefully avoid destroying the delicate crops. I stare at him, pretending I understood what he just said, as he disappears into the next garden.
So, what’s with the name Blue Java? Well, blue refers to the color of the raw coffee beans before we roast them up. Most unroasted coffee beans have a greenish hue, but what is unusual about these raw beans is that they show distinctive deep blue-green color. In the cup, the coffee has herbaceous notes of sage and fresh earth and a sweet and syrupy mouthfeel.
I’ve worked for Starbucks for more than 10 years, and Ethiopia Harrar™ coffee has long been a favorite of mine. Its unique characteristics never cease to amaze me. As soon as I received our special, new package of Sun-Dried Ethiopia Harrar™ coffee, I couldn’t wait to share it!
So I asked Candace, a 5-year Starbucks veteran, to do a tasting with me. When we opened the bag, the smell of dried berries and spicy notes filled the air. As soon as the juicy complexity hit my tongue, I was reminded of how unique this coffee can be.
A new coffee is arriving for Starbucks Reserve and we are delighted to share it with you. Ka’u coffee takes its name from the Ka’u district on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Ka’u region is located on the slopes of the volcano Mauna Loa. The area was traditionally used for growing sugar cane, but after the exodus of sugar plantations the soil was well-suited to grow coffee. With over 2,000 acres of prime land in the district of Ka’u there are approximately 280 acres planted and worked by about 40 farmers. Here Ka’u coffee is quietly transforming this small region into a world-class coffee source that’s gaining attention.
Guatemala de Flor is a special coffee that we’re excited to share with you. In fact, we’ve selected it as one of our Starbucks Reserve™ coffees this fall – and with good reason.
Hailing from the famed Antigua region where green mountains, deep valleys and ancient volcanoes live. Antigua is tucked between three volcanoes and produces some of the best coffees in the world with complex flavors.
It’s that time of year again when all is blue, the weather is warm and the sun is shining. We’re brewing up yummy cups from our Clover® brewer and stocking the shelves with bags of Jamaica Blue Mountain® for all who are delighted as it makes a return appearance. We discovered this was a coffee that folks buzzed about when we featured it last season. Well, we listened to you, and it’s back!
The coffees from Rwanda have been winning awards and capturing the attention of coffee enthusiasts around the world. We feel our latest Starbucks Reserve™ coffee, Rwanda Gakenke Fair Trade Certified™, is especially worthy of our attention – and yours too.
Gakenke is the district located in the central highlands of Rwanda’s Northern Province. The cooperative that provided this coffee is comprised of roughly 4,400 small holder farms. In that mix are about 300 women who contributed. It’s exciting to see more women smallholders emerging in a landscape traditionally held by men. It feels good knowing this coffee is a collaborative effort shared by community.
Probably one of the best contest prizes you could win is a trip to Hawaii. Well, I am not running a contest but I can get you to Kona. It’s just going to come by way of a very beautiful cup of coffee rather than an airplane.
We often talk about a coffee having the ability to take us to the place from which it came. Starbucks Reserve™ 100% Kona Coffee, is no different. When describing 100% Kona Coffee we talk about her gentle acidity, medium body, aroma of caramel and flowers, and flavors of citrus and nuts. All these attributes are very evident in the origin as well as the coffee. Hand-selected from the highest grade of Kona coffee, these Extra Fancy beans are cherished for their large size and density which contribute to the rarity of these beans.
I have had the opportunity to spend time on the big island of Hawaii and the first things that come to mind from a flavor memory perspective are the sweet papayas with a squeeze of juicy lime. The citrus and sweetness balance perfectly. I also think of Macadamia nuts. They are everywhere; in salads, cookies, bread and on fish.
Gorgeous and fragrant flowers abound in Hawaii. Magnificent botanical gardens and lonely roadside plots contain thousands of remarkable scents and floral experiences.
The gentle breeze from the ocean is constantly cleansing the air, delivering new sensory episodes, sensory episodes that create the beautiful memories and visuals that can transport one to Hawaii in a moment.
Taste Starbucks Reserve™ 100% Kona Coffee and you will be transported to this land of startling beauty and rapture. Taste the coffee, its layers of elegant flavors will deliver you to the islands in a single cup.
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