Starbucks Honors the Birthplace of Coffee with Ethiopia, a New Coffee Steeped in History

A Single-Origin Coffee Unlike Anything in Starbucks 42-Year History, Ethiopia is Masterfully Roasted for an Exquisite Taste Experience

SEATTLE (September 24, 2013) – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today introduces a new single-origin coffee from the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia.

Starbucks first whole bean packaged coffee available globally since the introduction of Starbucks® Blonde Roast two years ago, Ethiopia coffee celebrates Ethiopia’s rich coffee tradition and delivers a taste in cup unlike any other coffee offered in Starbucks 42-year history.  This new coffee joins Starbucks selection of 20 core and 10 traditional and seasonal whole bean coffees offered at Starbucks retail stores nationwide.

“We’ve taken great care in sourcing this coffee and applying the signature Starbucks roast to create a flavor profile that is both uniquely Starbucks and unique to specialty coffee,” said Craig Russell, senior vice president of Global Coffee at Starbucks. “We want to honor Ethiopia’s rich coffee heritage while also giving our customers an exceptional flavor experience from the birthplace of coffee.”

With its high elevation, rich volcanic soil, and more than 10,000 coffee varieties, Ethiopia produces some of the most extraordinary coffee in the world.

“Starbucks fully-washed, medium-bodied Ethiopian coffee offers soft, velvety notes of dark chocolate, subtle hints of peppery spice, and sweet, mandarin-like citrus for a balanced and approachable taste in the cup,” said Anthony Carroll, Starbucks coffee development manager.

Coffee was discovered in Africa more than 1,200 years ago and is where the first arabica beans were grown.* Today, coffee remains central to Ethiopian culture and heritage and is shared with family and friends through daily coffee ceremonies often occurring throughout the day lasting up to several hours.  Multiple steps in the ceremony include pan-roasting green coffee, grinding the roasted beans using a mortar and pestle, and preparing the roasted and ground coffee in a spherical-shaped pot called a jebena. The coffee is then served in traditional tasting cups.

Ethiopia coffee is available at Starbucks® retail stores and starting today, September 24, for the suggested retail price of $13.95 U.S. per pound.  Customers can sample Ethiopia coffee at participating Starbucks® stores in the U.S. on National Coffee Day, September 29, and those who purchase a 1 lb. bag of Ethiopia whole bean will receive a commemorative Ethiopia tasting cup, while supplies last.  Ethiopia coffee will be available for customers to order as a brewed option through October 15, at select Starbucks stores.

Starbucks Four Fundamentals for Brewing Great Coffee at Home

The following are quick tips for getting the most from brewing Ethiopia coffee (or any Starbucks® coffee) at home:

  • Freshness – Once you have opened the bag of coffee, Starbucks recommends grinding coffee fresh and using it within a week. Storing coffee in the refrigerator or freezer causes condensation on the bean and can negatively affect the flavor.
  • Proportion – Starbucks recommends 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 fl oz. of fresh water
  • Water – Start with clean, filtered water heated just off the boil (195° to 205°F). For a milder cup, add hot water after brewing versus changing the ration of coffee to water.
  • Grind – From a fine grind to course, there are different grind texture for different brewing methods. Starbucks is happy to grind coffee for customers while they wait, but if grinding at home is preferred, here is a helpful guide:
  1.  Espresso grind = powdered sugar
  2. Pour over grind = granulated sugar
  3. French press grind = Kosher salt
  4. Standard drip brewer grind = cornmeal
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