Two Seattle culinary giants came together recently in the coffee test kitchen at Starbucks. The end result is Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend, a new, limited edition coffee created by Starbucks® coffee experts in collaboration with Tom Douglas, renowned Pacific Northwest chef and culinary entrepreneur and the 2008 Bon Appétit Restaurateur of the Year.
Arriving November 4, at Starbucks stores across the country and just in time for the biggest meal of the year, Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend is a flavorful combination of full-bodied beans from Sumatra, with hints of fine herbs, and beans from Guatemala, which add subtle spice, notes of cocoa and a pleasant sparkle. This new coffee blend is the perfect complement to the cornucopia of savory and sweet foods shared around the Thanksgiving table ? from sage-rubbed turkey to pumpkin pie.
The relationship between Starbucks and Chef Tom Douglas spans across three decades with Starbucks as the exclusive coffee in all of Douglas' restaurants, but Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend marks their first coffee blend collaboration. To create the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table, the coffee quality and blending team of Starbucks collaborated with Chef Douglas and his team of culinary experts to explore a variety of coffees from around the world.
After weeks of sampling different blends of Starbucks® coffees and a final series of blind taste tests, the culinary and coffee masters narrowed down their top choices. The team put the final contenders to the ultimate test: pairing the coffees with a classic Thanksgiving feast prepared by Douglas and hosted at his signature Seattle restaurant Palace Kitchen. The clear winner was the special Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend that customers can savor with friends and family at their own Thanksgiving celebrations.
"This new blend offers an opportunity to experience coffee's culinary attributes in new ways and see firsthand how it can enhance an entire meal and also provide a perfect finish to a fine feast," said Anthony Carroll, manager of green coffee quality at Starbucks. "Pairing coffee with dessert is easy, but creating a blend that also goes well with savory foods was more challenging. We went through the process of layering different coffees, in much the same way a chef would with food, to create the taste we were looking for. Working with Tom on this new blend was a pleasure."
"I have been drinking Starbucks® coffee for about 30 years and serving it in my restaurants for nearly 20 and was excited to collaborate with their team of coffee experts to develop a new blend specifically for Thanksgiving," said Chef Tom Douglas. "I learned that, much like creating a delicious new recipe, developing an extraordinary blend of coffee takes passion, talent, and a keen understanding of flavor."
The introduction of Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend marks the first time that Starbucks has ever offered a special coffee to celebrate Thanksgiving. Similar to other Starbucks seasonal offerings, Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend is available as brewed coffee for a limited time beginning November 4. It will also be sold in 1 lb. bags ($10.95) at Starbucks locations throughout the U.S. that sell whole bean coffee.
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.
About Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas has won the 1994 James Beard Award for Best Northwest Chef and again as an author in 2001 for his book Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen. His first restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, opened in 1989 and was followed by Etta's Seafood and, later, Palace Kitchen, which was nominated for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation in 1996. More recently, Tom opened a Greek spirited restaurant, Lola, and a pizzeria, Serious Pie. He also operates Dahlia Bakery where he sells his world-famous Coconut Cream Pies, as well as other pastries and breads. Tom has been drinking Starbucks® coffee for 30 years and serving it in his restaurants for nearly 20.