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Brewin’ Up Something Special From Hawaii

Starbucks Reserve Ka'u

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.

Already this young coffee-producing community has won numerous awards. This year it won the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Coffee of the Year and it is quickly gaining international attention.

We were smitten instantly with this lovely little coffee and lucky enough to buy five tiny micro lots. With all of this attention it won’t be long until everyone will have Ka’u on their lips! The discovery of this little gem is replete with flavors that scream tropical paradise. With fresh coconut, sweet caramel notes and hints of lime zest and nuts, this little coffee lets you know there is so much more to come. I am excited to introduce Ka’u coffee to our customers and partners and I hope that you’ll discover it for yourself. Remember, it’s limited and won’t be around long!

comments (18)

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    • sillymacboy
    • 10/11/2011 9:57 AM

    Are you able to have Starbucks Reserve coffees brewed by Clover? Or is it only available for whole-bag purchases?

    PS. If you haven't tried a Clover brew, ask for one! It's like 50 cents extra but the coffee is so rich and smooth!

    • blackamerica
    • 10/12/2011 12:55 PM

    Recently Marines in Iraq wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to let them
    know how much they liked their coffees and to request that they send some of it to the troops there. Starbucks replied, telling the Marines thank you for their
    support of their business, but that Starbucks does not support the war, nor
    anyone in it, and that they would not send the troops their brand of coffee.

      • blackamerica
      • 10/12/2011 12:57 PM

      In reply to: blackamerica

      I am cancelling my account on account of the above. Even if i dont agree with the war I support our boys over there!
      semper fi

        • shellmarie712
        • 4/3/2012 1:06 PM

        In reply to: blackamerica

        Please, do research before blindly accepting what other people say in comments. They do not always know what they are talking about. shows where you can find that Starbucks never did such a thing and actually do donate coffee to the troops. Thank you.

      • charles84
      • 10/15/2011 5:44 PM

      In reply to: blackamerica

      Starbucks need not support the war, but should certainly support our troops. Supporting those who fight for our freedom means support no matter where they are. Would Starbucks support military personnel if they were state side?? Of course they would!! Support those who are doing a job most of you at Starbucks are not willing to do. Do the right thing Starbucks, please.

      • rdoughty
      • 10/17/2011 10:44 AM

      In reply to: blackamerica

      Dear Blackamerica,

      as you know by now this is actually a very old and very false rumor. Check it on Every Starbucks in America has collected and donated coffee to our troops overseas. I've personally shipped hundreds of pounds.

      Please check this and recant your post.



      • juliabrown1982
      • 10/26/2011 4:10 AM

      In reply to: blackamerica

      My local Starbucks store has had multiple bins where people can purchase pounds of coffee and Starbucks ships them overseas to our military. I have read the same kind of story that you listed above and I am not entirely sure it is correct. I can not say for sure, but I can only go off of what I see in my local stores on a regular basis. I am a military wife, so I understand supporting our troops.

    • virginy33
    • 10/12/2011 3:49 PM


    I really hope you check this out because it simply is not true. The servicemen DID receive CASES of coffee. This is an E-rumor. Please do not believe this or stop getting delicious coffee from Starbucks!!!

    • mbtiernan
    • 10/12/2011 4:21 PM

    Dear black America,
    That email has been floating around for years. I know i have personally sent over 100 lbs of coffee from my store from customers and partners who have donated their mark outs.

    • kauilehu
    • 10/17/2011 7:47 PM

    Great to see that Starbucks is recognizing the quality coffee coming out of Kaʻu! I noticed however that Kaʻu is spelled incorrectly on the package. The mark between the "a" and "u" should NOT be a apostrophe. It is an ʻokina which is actually a letter in the Hawaiian alphabet- it looks like a apostrophe flipped the other way (Kaʻu as opposed to Ka'u). I know this seems like a small thing, but for Hawaiian language speakers its a glaring error that I know Starbucks would not want to repeat

    • estyler5
    • 10/20/2011 5:40 AM

    Looks like Black America is a racist to me.

    • Westrum
    • 10/22/2011 6:32 PM

    I do so love your coffee. I hope you retain all the true real coffee lover flavors of the bolds and medium blends that are so unique to Starbucks. This is one of the reasons that I buy my coffee mornings, afternoons, and evenings at Starbucks. The bolds and mediums have a true European flavor. I would not like to see these coffees give way to weaker blends. I can buy that at McDonalds. Please continue on with your current tradition of maintaining quality coffee.

    • hwhynxp0rt
    • 10/27/2011 7:43 AM

    When you consider the general ethos of a company like SBX, I can only laugh at the people like blackamerica who don't take a moment to ponder what they read & critically THINK about it. The funny thing is I don"t think SBX coffee is that great, and among coffee geeks it's considered pretty mediocre , but SBX takes care of its workers & overall should be admired. They have a social conscience & walk the walk. is indeed a great source to check out these type of rumors.

    • mknoebel
    • 11/7/2011 7:11 AM

    I wanted to give the Ka'u coffee a try but didn't see any at my local Starbucks. Is there a list anywhere that tells which stores it is available at?

    • PLDiggs
    • 11/8/2011 5:17 AM

    How do you use the Starbucks expresso pods? I bought them thinking it was a K-Cup like pod, but it was some kind of small round disc that was in a sealed package. I have a k-cup type machine and wanted that makes espresso beautifully. I wanted the Starbucks espresso that I love. Also, that K-cup thingy from Keurig where you can add your own coffee is outrageously priced. Hopefully, Starbucks will make espresso K-cups too in the near future.

    • 11/13/2011 5:39 PM

    Hope blackamerica has finally learned the truth

    • madlovemonkey
    • 3/25/2012 11:57 AM

    I'm loving these Starbucks Reserve coffees. Ka'u coffee is actually my favorite, I like it even more than regular Kona Coffee. I remember reading that it's actually won some serious coffee tasting awards, finishing ahead of Kona.
    Here's where I read it:

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