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Pike Place™ Roast – Three Years Later

The unveiling of Pike Place™ Roast was done in spring 2008. Since that time, it has become one of the best-selling whole bean coffees we offer. I remember the introduction of Pike Place™ Roast like it was yesterday. There was a big celebration when we introduced a new coffee that would be brewed everyday, all day. Before then, Starbucks rotated coffees through our brewed lineup, sometimes switching them weekly, sometimes daily. This was great for some people, but most were telling us to offer a consistent brew that they could count on when they came into our stores.

So our coffee quality team was approached with a task – a really big task. They were asked to create a coffee that was smoother than any other we offered, one that would be approachable yet have the signature Starbucks Roast, one that would be great black or with cream and sugar.

The team spent months experimenting with different origins and roasts looking for the perfect coffee. Our tasting room was abuzz with the excitement and anticipation of find the “one.”

And the winner is … Pike Place™ Roast. It features a soft acidity, smooth body and subtle flavors of cocoa and toasted nuts.

comments (41)

Comment FAQ

    • mlawrence82
    • 1/26/2011 9:46 PM

    Why is Pike Place not offered in whole bean form at grocery stores?

    • perryminyard
    • 1/27/2011 7:50 PM

    Probably because then nobody would go to Starbucks to have coffee!

    • grasor
    • 1/29/2011 8:10 PM

    Three years on PP is still tasteless rubbish.

    • jazzybest
    • 1/30/2011 5:49 PM

    This is one of the worst coffee I have drank in my life. Don't call yourself coffee place when you serve horrible coffee.

      • cuty1000
      • 3/11/2011 9:28 PM

      In reply to: jazzybest

      Jazzybest, that is your opinion my friend, but my whole family and I love the taste of Starbucks, and drink it everyday, I guess everybody has different likes and dislikes :=)

        • jazzybest
        • 3/16/2011 3:08 PM

        In reply to: cuty1000

        This is not coffee my friend you need to try other types. The issue is not even cost I am willing to pay extra for more variety and better coffee selection . What about Kenya, Arabica,Medellin,Civet. I think Starbucks strategy is to make the coffee barely drinkable so are tempted to pay more for milk foam which gives them a bigger profit margin.

    • Weebsurfer
    • 1/30/2011 7:13 PM

    Amazing how you sell a coffee for three years straight and it becomes your best selling. Duh!!! Let's see... Roasted too dark for brewed coffee or slightly too dark for brewed coffee. Your just lucky the alternative in Canada is just *****. Give your customers variety before they realize your treating them like cars lining up at the gas pump. Stop boring us and Bring back coffee of the day... For what you charge for franchise coffee, you could do sooooo much more!

    • dmredlips
    • 1/30/2011 8:37 PM

    i want coffee of the day back yo!

    • 1/30/2011 9:33 PM

    You people do know that you can ask for a pour over of whatever type of coffee you want. Only takes about 2 minutes, any Barista like myself would be more than happy to do so.

      • Miriam57
      • 2/22/2011 4:34 PM

      In reply to:

      That is not true at all locations. Matter of fact, I haven't had very much success with that at many of the locations I've visited, and I have been to quite a few. And the few times that I have had a pourover (Atlanta Hartsfield Airport once) it was terrible.

        • Pablo64
        • 4/26/2011 8:55 PM

        In reply to: Miriam57

        I agree with Miriam57. Not all Starbucks are accommodating. Usually attitude or just a plain "No, we don't do that is what I get." So I leave empty-handed and will have a 5 hour energy instead.

    • ccathi
    • 2/1/2011 7:41 PM

    Well, PP is fine, but Gold Coast is still my favorite. Unfortunately, I rarely enjoy my cup with a pastry from Starbucks. Do you see a change in the near future with your pastry line? Lets up the quality and variety, maybe something from a french bakery, and a little something (less sweet) from a japanese bakery. You're oatmeal is a yummy tummy warmer, but pastries are a little easier to mac while driving.

    • likethebean
    • 2/1/2011 9:57 PM

    I gave the Pikes Peak a chance but find my taste buds were absolutely offended. The best that I can say of it is that it tastes like used pipe tobacco smells. Yes, you do sell a bunch of it but only because you push it on us. Please go back to the rotating blends. At least it was interesting. It had been my joy to "sample" other blends for the cost of a grande. Please replace Pikes Peak. Also, whatever taste deaf committee foisted it upon us should be reprimanded.

    • yukisaito1973
    • 2/2/2011 9:24 PM

    I think everyone is being too harsh on Pike Place. I say this: If you don't like it, then go to McDonald's. That's most likely where you belong. As for the pastries, I love the scones... however, a greater variety... maybe monthly specials... would be a great idea. You do it with Pumpkin and you even have a cranberry bliss, though what about the remainder of the year? Thank you. From a Seattle resident who chooses SB coffee over all the other available shops. : )

    • djackino
    • 2/10/2011 10:00 AM

    Pike Place comes in handy at the end of the calendar year when Starbucks shoves "Anniversary Blend", "Holiday Blend", "Thanksgiving Blend" and the most evil "Christmas Blend" as the bold pick of the day (month) down our throats.

    • inward
    • 2/13/2011 8:48 PM

    I tried to gave PP a chance, but it is just plain awful, I have walked out of more than one Starbucks empty handed because PP was the only roast available. I have just about quit going to Starbucks because this roast being the only choice.

    • 1latinlady
    • 2/19/2011 9:36 PM

    I've ordered PP at several locations (in San Diego County and in Riverside County) and it tastes awful. Last week I went to Albertsons near my home and ordered hot coffee with soy. It was very tasty. I was shocked when the barista told me it was PP! I went again yesterday to the same location and ordered the same. And again, it tasted great! I don't know what it is, the barista claims it's made the same at all locations. I'll stick to the Starbucks near my home.

    • Miriam57
    • 2/22/2011 5:11 PM

    I have been a Starbucks fan (my family says junkie) for 14 years, and usually I don't do comments, but this is the exceptiom. I feel so strongly about this. When you started this "Pikes only" offering, it truly dampened my enthusiasm. I've seriously thought often of leaving, but have held out hope that this insanity would change. After hearing this could all hope be gone? How dumb is dumb? If Pikes is the ONLY offering, it can't help to be your #1 top seller. I've starte

    • davidhelmuth
    • 2/25/2011 9:38 AM

    I remember the day we did the first tasting of Pike Place Roast. I was so pleased. I instantly loved it, and I buy it to this day. Here's how I roll with it: I buy it at Starbucks using my Starbucks Gold card, and then I order a Double Tall Breve Vanilla Chai Latte...which comes free when you use the's like a $5 drink...for FREE! So if you don't like Starbucks, a) why are you on this site and b) why don't you load your mouths full of your fav junk McCoffee and leave

    • twbryant
    • 3/1/2011 5:15 PM

    I think the flavor of the Pike Place Roast is similar to drinking dirty dish water.

    • browneeddie
    • 3/1/2011 9:32 PM

    spanish people & black west indian people was killing people from the us ****** island in ny city right infront of me, i go to the cops , tells the cops , iama witness of murder, cops pull there guns at me , tells me to get the **** out of the precients ******, local distric attorney in brooklyn, i tells them iam a witneess of murder, they tells me to leave the build

    • browneeddie
    • 3/1/2011 9:34 PM

    spanish people and black west indian people make me witness multple to get my union construction benefits, spanish people make me witness murder to be an american citizen, spanish anmd vblack people make me wtness murder to get medicade,also they make me witness murder to get mrdicade,

    • tlyates
    • 3/2/2011 4:53 PM

    I agree with several others. bring back coffee of the day!

    • donna-1
    • 3/5/2011 12:10 PM

    There is another option; won't you just try the other one. As someone has pointed out, if it is not readily available it takes only 2 minutes for the pourover. Perhaps a more open mind about it will help.

    • dnbiola
    • 3/8/2011 1:18 PM

    Maybe it is different in other parts of the country, but the Starbucks stores in Southern California all have a "bold" coffee brewing every day before noon. This usually rotates by week. If you don't want Pike's Place, there is always another option. And when the bold is no longer brewing, the baristas kindly offer me a pour over.

    • costamatt
    • 3/10/2011 10:32 AM

    For everyone that complains about anything at Starbucks I have one thing to say: If you don't like it, go somewhere else. There are plenty of other coffee places budding for your business.

    • cuty1000
    • 3/11/2011 9:35 PM

    It's hard to please everybody, I like Pike Place Roast. I love coffee and I love Starbucks, I like all the Starbucks coffees. Why people always look at the negative side of everything.

    • rjackb
    • 3/17/2011 9:57 AM

    I don't know why a supposedly reputable company like Starbucks would begin serving Pike Place as their primary coffee. Even Folgers instant coffee tastes better than that swill. It's definitely cost them a lot of my business because for years I used to frequently stop by early evenings for a nice cup of bold while I worked on my computer but can no longer do that.

    • Starbuckslut69
    • 3/20/2011 2:27 PM

    I love Starbucks, but dont love pikes place roast.

    • paxwo13
    • 3/21/2011 2:19 AM

    Please either retire or reformulate Pike Place roast. There are a certain number of people that it tastes fine to - but to the rest of us, it tastes bitter and flat. I have a similar experience with the VIA line of coffees. They have a nice aroma, but that flavor is gone AND/OR bitter when it hits my taste buds. GET RID OF PIKE PLACE ROAST PLEASE!!!!

    • tammyo5
    • 3/27/2011 11:46 AM

    I HATE pikes place!!!

    • swanny37
    • 3/29/2011 3:34 PM

    I do not enjoy Pike Place, and by that I mean I hate it and refuse to order it. You have so many wonderful blends, I do not support this being the one always brewed.

    • lrivet
    • 4/13/2011 11:27 AM

    I love Pike Place and order it at "the bar" and also purchase it to have at home. I love that it is always available to me. BTW - I work in an office complex that is walking distance to my favorite Starbucks - it's a place where "Everyone knows your name"! Love that hometown feel to the store!

    • Pablo64
    • 4/26/2011 7:10 PM

    I'm 47 years old and have been drinking coffee since I was 12 years old. Pike's Place is the worst coffee I have ever had. Denny's makes a better cup. Thank you for serving bold coffee still. I left Starbucks for awhile because the store I would go to never had bold brewed and I'd have to wait. After 2 years they finally got it together. Pike's Place is dirty dishwasher that someone dumped a cup of coffee into.

    • srgwriter
    • 5/13/2011 3:30 PM

    I remember when it was released also, and our choice of good coffee was reduced. I went to Starbucks every morning at that time, alternating between latte' and a brew. And then, Pike Place was always kept brewed, and good flavorful coffees were allowed to go dry. The baristas said complaints were common because most didn't like Pike Place. It is just a notch or two above the flavorless swill they brewed at my work that caused my original Starbucks habit. Why do companies ruin a good thing

    • coffeeadict39
    • 12/3/2011 8:08 AM

    Pikes Place is by far, the BEST coffee I've ever had. I've drank a lot of different brands and roasts, but none compare to the rich full flavor of PP. PLEASE, don't ever stop offering this. After tasting hundreds and hundreds of different roasts... I've concluded that PP is what true coffee should taste like. For all those that don't agree; draw yourself a cup of instant Folgers. Truth be told, anyone that doesn't like a good cup of PP, probably doesn't like straight black coffee anyways.

    • killshroeder
    • 4/28/2012 8:56 AM

    Pike place is horrible coffee. I personally like many of Starbucks' brews and only drink them black. If the benchmark for quality is Folgers instant coffee, then yes Pike Place is adequate. While I agree that this is all opinion, I must say that many people would drink dirt as long as it is served at Starbucks. Amazing what people will do so that they can feel trendy, eccentric, and cultured.

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