Why does Starbucks blend coffee?
You may have noticed a cheerful holiday shift at Starbucks® stores lately. For a limited time, you can order Starbucks® Christmas Blend Vintage 2016, a spicy and sweet dark roast, or Starbucks® Christmas Blonde Roast, a light roast with a softer flavor profile. What makes these coffees so special? In the case of our holiday coffee line-up and many other favorites, the right blend is key.
First Things First: Single-Origin Coffees
A single-origin coffee is sourced exclusively from one coffee growing country. Coffee beans get their distinguishing flavors from the soil, climate and elevation where they are grown. Starbucks offers individual coffees from countries such as Kenya, Guatemala and Indonesia.
Blends Go Beyond
Blends are created by combining coffees from different countries, regions and roasts to create interesting flavors and aromas not found in single-origin coffees. The art and science of blending involves thoughtful experimentation – mixing beans from different regions, finding the right proportions of each coffee, and ultimately roasting the blend to draw out desired characteristics.
The coffee masters at Starbucks are insatiably curious, constantly working to find surprising and extraordinary combinations. They use three major approaches to craft inspiring blends.
1. Highlight the signature style of a particular geographic region.
2. Combine qualities found in different regions into a balanced blend.
Our popular Caffè Verona® coffee was once called 80/20 Blend. People came to love this coffee so much that we eventually named it after Verona, an Italian city synonymous with Shakespearean romance. Known for its dark cocoa texture, this full-bodied blend is made with beans sourced from the three major coffee-growing regions: Latin America, Africa and Indonesia.
3. Highlight flavors connected to a particular time of year.
Made with the warmer months in mind, Iced Coffee Blend brings together beans from Latin America and East Africa. The Iced Coffee roast accentuates the coffee’s full flavor with caramelly smoothness when chilled. And, of course, our holiday blends are multi-region specialties made to celebrate the sweet and spicy flavors that give the season a cozy glow.
These are just a few examples of our original blends, and there are always more inventive coffees to come. While single-origin brews are distinctive in their own right, blends allow for new levels of complexity and variety. Try them all, and taste the story in every sip.