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Starbucks Goes Blonde


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#1 weinoo

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:55 AM

Starbucks, never a corporation to shy away from being late to the party, is now offering "Blonde roasts."

According to the web site, they're "lighter-bodied and mellow", and they "awaken the senses gently."

I haven't tried any of these coffees, and I haven't had a Starbucks coffee in years, because I never liked the roast profile.

Will this cause any Starbucks non-lovers out there to give them a try?
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#2 Mjx

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 06:35 AM

Nope.

If I buy already-made coffee, it's either espresso not (obviously not 'blond[e]') or emergency/need-caffeine-now coffee (the latter can be purchased more cheaply virtually anywhere else, since quality isn't the key issue). Who the hell drinks coffee, if they want their senses awakened gently, isn't that what mimosas are for? I sort of have to hand it to them for finding a way to market their wimpier/more diluted coffees, though.

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#3 nibor

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 06:46 AM

I tried it, and found it kind of tasteless.

#4 WK2

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:01 AM

I tried it. It's less offensive than the others.

#5 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:31 AM

I'm glad. We go to the local Starbucks fairly regularly as a social meet-up place and I was in despair about what to have -- their "Pike" blend, which is their normal brew, is simply awful. It needs vast amounts of milk along with chocolate and cinnamon to be drinkable. They were giving out samples of the "blond" coffee the other day and it tastes just like regular American brewed coffee. Not delicious but at least drinkable.

#6 Chris Hennes

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:35 AM

It has the distinct advantage of allowing you to actually taste the coffee itself, rather than just the roast. It's not fantastic, but it's better than their usual. It's certainly not a roast I'd call "blonde", either: more like a full city roast.

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#7 rotuts

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:29 AM

starbucks sells atmosphere caffeine and sugar. in any order it can. maybe some flavorings for those who cant stand their coffee.

:blink:

Edited by rotuts, 27 January 2012 - 09:29 AM.


#8 andiesenji

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:37 PM

First "Ski-Through" Starbucks opens in California. Link Here.

Wouldn't you know it would have to be in California!

Next, I can see an off-the-beach site for "surf-through" service.
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#9 gfweb

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:11 PM

Starbucks regular coffee is so bland it needs all the added stuff to have any taste. Blond is bland-er. Starbucks... eh

#10 threestars

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:42 AM

I haven't tried it yet, but no harm to give it a try. :)

#11 tikidoc

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:06 AM

Who the hell drinks coffee, if they want their senses awakened gently, isn't that what mimosas are for? I sort of have to hand it to them for finding a way to market their wimpier/more diluted coffees, though.


Actually, lighter roasts have more caffeine, because some of the caffeine is broken down by the roasting process, or so I have read. And a truly "blonde roast" wouldn't even really be "done", I wouldn't think. If you are not through first crack, it's not really roasted, and in my roasting experience, if you are past first crack, it's more brunette than blonde...

No interest in trying this one.

#12 Mjx

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:21 AM

Who the hell drinks coffee, if they want their senses awakened gently, isn't that what mimosas are for? I sort of have to hand it to them for finding a way to market their wimpier/more diluted coffees, though.


Actually, lighter roasts have more caffeine, because some of the caffeine is broken down by the roasting process, or so I have read. And a truly "blonde roast" wouldn't even really be "done", I wouldn't think. If you are not through first crack, it's not really roasted, and in my roasting experience, if you are past first crack, it's more brunette than blonde...

No interest in trying this one.


I've read that too. But I was thinking in terms of flavour, actually: The first thing to hit you with a dark roast (first sip, even before the caffeine manifests) is the assertive, eye-opening flavour, which seems sort of intrinsic to drinking coffee... 'mellow' and gentle' just seem misplaced/pointless (but I've been drinking espresse since I was two or three, so this obviously biases my view).

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#13 Hassouni

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:24 AM

I like strong coffee but severely detest Pike's Peak, thinking it tastes like the charred, cindery remains of coffee. I tried the blonde, and while not offensive, it is exceptionally boring. The coffee has almost no body, little in the way of taste and still has that funny Starbucks aftertaste. Oh well....

#14 Shel_B

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:45 AM

I don't care for Starbucks coffee, and imagine the blonde roast would be most insipid. We have so many great coffee places in the San Francisco Bay Area, with so many wonderful and interesting options, Starbucks is a last choice.

Edited by Shel_B, 16 February 2012 - 08:46 AM.

.... Shel


#15 Chris Hennes

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:51 AM

Don't assume that coffee that is less roasted is by definition less flavorful: it tastes less like roast and more like coffee. Yes, in this case, Starbucks is using a mild, uninteresting bean. But you can make strong coffee with a full city roast (what Starbucks insists on calling "blonde").

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#16 tikidoc

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:32 AM

Don't assume that coffee that is less roasted is by definition less flavorful: it tastes less like roast and more like coffee. Yes, in this case, Starbucks is using a mild, uninteresting bean. But you can make strong coffee with a full city roast (what Starbucks insists on calling "blonde").


Oh, agree completely. But for any coffee that is properly roasted, blonde is a misnomer. Even a monsooned bean (physically lighter in color than most) will still be brown in color, both the bean and in the cup, when roasted just past first crack. I know it's just a marketing term, but having tasted under-roasted beans once or twice, the concept of a "blonde" roast just sounds unappetizing to me. Sounds under-done. Blech.

#17 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:44 AM

I like strong coffee but severely detest Pike's Peak, thinking it tastes like the charred, cindery remains of coffee. I tried the blonde, and while not offensive, it is exceptionally boring. The coffee has almost no body, little in the way of taste and still has that funny Starbucks aftertaste. Oh well....


Yes, exactly. Starbucks always has overroasted their coffees but in the early days (I used to live very near the first ever SBs) the quality was pretty good. Then the quality went and the overroasting stayed. Pike roast (named for Pike St in Seattle, not Pike's Peak BTW) is absolute swill.

So, I was hoping the "blonde" roast would be normal coffee -- and if it were Arabica coffee beans, freshly roasted, how bad could it be? I'm here to tell you it's really dull with weird off flavors. The kids who work at our local SBs sneer at it...:)

Oh well, indeed.

#18 Hassouni

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

Pike Place I think it's called, not Pike's Peak. I dunno why I said that....

dull with weird off flavors is exactly right.

#19 Chris Hennes

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:51 AM

The kids who work at our local SBs sneer at it...:)

Ordinarily I'd take that as a recommendation :smile:

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#20 Msk

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:10 AM

Tastes vary.

I actually really like it. Normal roasts from Sbux taste overroasted and burnt to me. This one has caramel undertones I like alot. It reminds me most of the coffee I made when I was roasting my own beans.

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#21 Chris Hennes

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:37 AM

Which bean did you have, Msk? I think they are doing two in the lighter roast now, right?

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#22 rotuts

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:44 AM

Msk: what beans did you roast? what temp?

which was the SB you liked?

if I were you Id go back to home roast if you can. after study of the Sweet Maria list and finding you 'Roast Zone' Id never go back to commercial beans, even very high end ones. which SB and Peet's are not.

maybe better than DD's or McD's,

:huh:

#23 Msk

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

It was just the Blond (or veranda they call it also-the manager said they both were the same).

Its been awhile since I roasted my own beans at home, which I greatly preferred. I used to roast all sorts of beans and bought from Sweet Marias. I do prefer medium roasts (i really like the caramel flavors).

Im really just comparing it to mass market coffee I get on way to work. It has more flavor to me than DD for sure. Id prefer if it was slightly stronger (but not burnt). I also go to an excellent Starbucks where coffee is fresh and well done (many are not).

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#24 rotuts

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:47 AM

interesting points

to me 'strong' is coffee (of any sort -- your fav? :smile: ) with more coffee/oz of water

'Roast' ie the end temp of the roast, is more a flavor depth, than strenght

#25 Msk

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:46 AM

Rot, I agree with your points. However, I do think there is some middle ground where overroasting adds to perception of strength.

Mike

#26 Jane Randahl

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:28 PM

I'm not much of a coffee connoisseur, but there is one within walking distance and I pretty much live on it. I would be curious to know if there are any alternatives to coffee houses that I might try in order to gage the difference.

Then again when I say 'coffee' I mean sweet syrupy type drinks loaded with sugar and a pinch of coffee.

It seems as though they are kind of the McDonald's of coffee as in they have a new flavor of the month .

On a side note I think their instant VIA stuff is passable for the lazy tired morning coffee drinker.

#27 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:52 PM

Then again when I say 'coffee' I mean sweet syrupy type drinks loaded with sugar and a pinch of coffee.

That's a whole different ballgame: my Saturday morning ritual includes a stop at Starbucks for a Mocha (grande, one pump, nonfat, no whip... sometimes they even get it right!). And I agree that VIA is an acceptable "coffee of last resort" when the next option is McDonald's <shudder>.

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