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Starbucks takes roasting to a new level - Page 5

Postby Compass Coffee on Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:06 am

Marshall wrote:I may be going out on a limb here, and I really don't have a pony in this race, but isn't it customary to actually taste a coffee before reviewing it?

Don't believe anyone has actual said anything about the taste of the coffee. My point and that of some others was calling it Blond Roast when they say it just hits 2nd crack. Any roast that hits 2nd crack by all common roasting terminology is beginning to enter the darker roast stages, commonly called Full City at least, and in roast color will be medium dark brown not Blond, not even dishwater Blond. It's Starbucks penchant for making terms up rather than using Industry norms that ticks me off. Call medium dark brown "Blond" all you want, it is not Blond in color. Now, their usage of the term Blond may simply mean to them it's lighter than full charcoal, oh goody, but still doesn't make a dark brunette a blond.
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Postby another_jim on Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:39 am

Mike is absolutely right, we are mainly talking about the number they are doing on roast terminology.

But even ahead of a review; I think it is safe to say that they are also behind the curve in actual roastingl. I had a get together and served a coffee that had a few pops of the second as it hit the cooling tray (I was wool gathering and took the roast about 30 seconds further than I intended) The comments were unanimous, he coffee was "OK", but thought it somewhat boring compared to the lighter, more aromatic roasts. These were advanced coffee lovers, well beyond the average Starbucks audience, but not pros or hard core amateurs. Five years ago, the same group would have regarded roasts lighter than the first pops of the second as too sour and lacking in caramels.

Based on experiences like these, and on what the best cafes are doing hereabouts, I really would be stunned if Starbucks makes a dent in the Chicago 3rd wave cafe public with their blond roast. It is more likely that they are playing defense with this coffee, trying to slow down the move of their more knowledgeable customers to the better cafes.
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Postby Anvan on Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:16 am

Marshall wrote:I may be going out on a limb here, and I really don't have a pony in this race, but isn't it customary to actually taste a coffee before reviewing it?

I travel too frequently and spend far, far too much time in airports to avoid them entirely, but of course I tell myself I only go there "for the articles."

Last year at a strip-mall Starbucks in Dallas I came in five minutes from closing and the guy made me an 88 point decaf latte. I have no idea how he managed it.
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Postby another_jim on Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:35 pm

Every week I do a roast for cappas, my darkest, to the beginnig of a steady 2nd crack. In honor of the occasion:

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Postby GeoffPDX on Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:23 am

I've tried the Veranda (the darker of the two new "blonde roasts"). I actually like it. Granted, I was tasting it against their "Italian Roast", which honestly smells like motor oil, so I'm sure I would have liked anything else--including motor oil. It's amazing, though, how even when people seem to enjoy it, by the Starbucks crowd, it's consistently described effeminately and patronizingly ("My grandmother would enjoy it", "a mild cup to end the day", "perfect for those who drink McDs/DDs", etc).

After watching that marketing video, I have to post these videos from Starbucks' coffee master; I'm sure you'll all get a giggle: http://youtu.be/GlL1z_76TNo?t=45s
http://youtu.be/2kphfWRQyy0?t=43s
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Postby Marshall on Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:31 am

GeoffPDX wrote:After watching that marketing video, I have to post these videos from Starbucks' coffee master; I'm sure you'll all get a giggle: http://youtu.be/GlL1z_76TNo?t=45s
http://youtu.be/2kphfWRQyy0?t=43s

I bet they would pay good money to make that one disappear.
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Postby aecletec on Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:10 pm

The equivalent of calling well done steak Blue. Maybe the hipsters have their irony talons in management?
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Postby jamoke on Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:14 pm

Well, that first video certainly demonstrated "blonding," if not blonde roasting. It was getting rather peaked about halfway through the shot.
Why not call the darker of the two "Dirty Blonde?" In truth, however, it seems they've only gone from ebony to black walnut.

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Postby farmroast on Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:13 pm

GeoffPDX wrote:
After watching that marketing video, I have to post these videos from Starbucks' coffee master; I'm sure you'll all get a giggle: http://youtu.be/GlL1z_76TNo?t=45s
http://youtu.be/2kphfWRQyy0?t=43s

:lol: nice separation,I agree! I could clearly distinguish between the coffee at first and the slightly colored water after that.
Thanks for posting the opportunity to watch a Master share his skill.
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Postby Anvan on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:42 am

Looks like more chains are getting into the act. Here's a Wall Street Journal from this morning, February 1.
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