If there was ever evidence that locally roasted coffee is making a comeback, it's this:
In Seattle, Starbucks has quietly removed its name from a cafe that it planned originally to close and instead called it 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea.
As first reported in the Seattle Times, Starbucks plans to scrub its name from three cafes in the Seattle area, using them to test new concepts. It's Starbuck's way of experimenting with new store formats and trying to be your local corner cafe.
I've had my share of Starbucks lattes, but our loyal fans at ROASTe.com know that there is no way Starbucks can avoid the charred overroasted flavor of its coffee. Any time that you are blending coffees from around the world that are inexpensive, particularly beans from farms in Brazil, Vietnam, China and even Taiwan, you have to overroast it. That is the only way to have a consistent flavor.
So no matter how much Starbucks takes on a local look and feel as a corner coffee shop, if it wants to use those cafes to sell more of its MegaRoast, it's going to be dark roasted, bitter, and a little ashy.
But who am I to comment? Starbucks has made billions of dollars in profit selling overroasted coffee from inexpensive sources. They deserve a lot of credit for turning gourmet coffee mainstream.