Today is Thursday, which means it’s the first day for Starbucks of introducing their “Blonde” roast with free tasting starting today through Saturday.I have a Starbucks just on the way to my campus so I went out earlier than usual and drop by to have a look.
Before I went in, I was just expecting them to give out free samples and a sample cup or something. Anyhow, they did something out of my expectation, which is pretty cool in my opinion. Three different kind of ‘roasts‘ (light, medium, dark) were offered as brewed drip coffee and were served in sampler cups. This way, the customers were allowed to compare three different roast levels and see which they like best.
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Picture: My sampler cup of Blonde Veranda
I’ve had their normal roasts prior to this so I wasn’t so fancy about trying their medium and dark roast. So, I pop my tongue for the day with their ‘Blonde’ coffee. Before tasting coffee, the olfactory impression is very important : Not disappointingly, it did actually smell like they’re very fruity and floral, not just typical coffee. *Sip..* And the first sip was really bright with dominant acidity, there was also some faint nuances going on. Being an undeveloped taster, I am not sure what I am tasting(apologize!). But using Starbucks’ standard, I would say this is a pretty good cup. The complexity wasn’t as sophisticated as what I would have gotten from fresh roasted coffee, but it’s not totally dead either. Their normal coffee were usually ‘dead’ with nil complexity to them, but this actually still have some live in it.
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Picture: Elegant packaging and marketing..but that's probably as far as it goes, sadly..
Then, I proceeded to taste their medium roast and Dark roast. Nothing much there, as expected. The medium roast was okay, it tastes bland and not much to offer. The bitterness was present, and there was some slight acidity(surprising). But it definitely wasn’t as lively as the blonde roast. It’s too stale. The dark roast was even more bitter, and more disappointing. I can’t taste much of the characteristic of the coffee, just the roast flavor. Bitter and hollow.
There are actually three types of blonde roast offered. The one I’ve tried today was Veranda blend. They would offer one blend for sampling each day, according to the girl there. The other two were Willow blend and Willow decaf bland, which was roasted even lighter as compared to the Veranda. There’s a transparent box showcasing the coffee beans on the shelf. By examining the appearance, they look like they’re light-medium roast, which is a feat for them, considering most if not all they’ve been doing are oily dark roast.
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Picture: My free sample!
So, would I buy their Blonde roast? Certainly! But with two conditions: it’s priced competitively and that it was fresh(within a month). The one I saw was sold at $11.95 for 1lb, which is not too bad by today’s standard. But the expiry date was June 2012. According to what I’ve read last time, the expiry date is actually 1 year from the roasted date itself. So, this coffee is actually 6 months old. So no thanks, I would stick to ROASTe. But I think Starbucks should be given a thanks for introducing not-burnt coffee to the public. They’re a big influential player in the coffee sector so this means a lot. Hopefully this would change the typical mindset of coffee=bitter for most people.
Do go get your free sample if you haven't already. Hahaha!
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Picture: Nice ambient there