My Favorite Bold Coffee #8 – Sumatra

For the past 30 years, I’ve started each day with a coffee press of Sumatra or, when it’s available, Aged Sumatra.

Sumatra was the first Starbucks coffee I ever tasted. I encountered it on my first visit to the Pike Place store in 1981. It was distinctive, unmistakable…Sumatra.

I described that first sip in my book Pour Your Heart Into It. What I wrote then still describes how I feel about this coffee today.

“As we spoke, the counterman scooped out some Sumatra coffee beans, ground them, put the grounds in a filter cone, and poured hot water over them. Although the task took only a few minutes, he approached the work almost reverently, like an artisan. When he handed me a porcelain mug filled with the freshly brewed coffee, the steam and the aroma seemed to envelop my entire face. There was no question of adding milk or sugar. I took a small, tentative sip. Whoa. I threw my head back, and my eyes shot wide open. Even from a single sip, I could tell it was stronger than any coffee I had ever tasted. Seeing my reaction, the Starbucks people laughed, ‘Is it too much for you?’ I grinned and shook my head. Then I took another sip. This time I could taste more of the full flavors as they slipped over my tongue. By the third sip I was hooked.”

comments (19)

Comment FAQ

    • rmcnutt383
    • 1/12/2012 11:50 AM

    I love your X-bold roasts. On the other hand, if all I had to drink was your new blond roast, I would probably give up coffee altogether.

    • dbleportion
    • 2/21/2012 6:07 AM

    Ah, Sumatra... nothing better in the morning or anytime fo the day. For awhile I was trying Suluwesi (sp) but it had a sweetness that Sumatra didn't have. So it's me and Sumatra to the end. Thank you Starbucks for this great blend. I am originally from Seattle where it all started and I was there in line. Thanks

    • 1BlessedRedhead
    • 4/24/2013 6:17 PM

    I've long wondered how one might request a Venti Sumatra via Intravenous Drip... but my taste buds would simply shrivel and wither, and my soul would implode with longing.

    • coffeeandthedead
    • 8/7/2013 11:33 AM

    Always has been my favorite beans, with the exception of Jamaican Blue Mtn and real 100% Kona ( could have been the environment fresh roasted and sipped in Hawaii). Wish though you would bring back Ethiopian Sidamo.

    • mammalynn
    • 8/7/2013 6:00 PM

    I truly love so much I just got real strong good cup of coffee

    • Emilygroot
    • 9/18/2013 10:13 PM

    Great strong flavor love it

    • Jambriz15
    • 9/19/2013 1:01 AM

    I simply can't start my morning without a cup or two of Sumatra :)

    • anthonynapoli
    • 9/19/2013 4:27 AM

    The best coffee of all brands sold by Starbucks.

    • jhb4498
    • 9/19/2013 9:08 AM

    Sumatra by far is my favorite coffee

    • sgarton
    • 9/20/2013 2:34 AM

    Sumatra has been my favorite since the first time I tried it. I travel overseas quite often and always take sumatra in my bag so I can have coffee where I can't easily get it. I don't know how I could function without it.

    Nonetheless, Sumatra is for true coffee lovers. If you really like coffee, not light coffee, coffee with milk, moca-java or other coffee concoction, but your really like coffee (espresso, dark roast, european, turkish), sumatra will be your favorite too.

    • Larrysk65
    • 9/20/2013 1:40 PM
    • Wynna61
    • 9/24/2013 12:00 PM

    It's the BEST! ...got to have some today! I will.

    • Kerrysoudan
    • 2/6/2014 6:16 AM

    I have been drinking Sumatra for any years. Black. Love it!!

    • nanaperson
    • 3/12/2014 7:37 PM

    Love me some Sumatra. I can't wait until it is in my Starbucks as the dark roast drip blend of the day/month.

    • ms_eg55@yahoo.com
    • 3/16/2014 7:31 AM

    I really love this flavor I got one box to try it and it is almost gone.

    • JMBurke57
    • 4/12/2014 7:21 PM

    I first met Sumatran Coffee at a café in Eugene, Oregon around 1985. It was so delightful to taste that I had to ask what it was. It was their house coffee and it was Sumatran. Nothing else comes close to the magnificent flavor and texture of Sumatran. I recommend it to everyone. And Starbucks has the very best.

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