When the leaves start to fall, Starbucks looks forward to the annual tradition of taking time to celebrate the season with Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend – a culinary coffee truly worthy of the occasion.
Anthony Carroll, a manager on Starbucks coffee team, has created hundreds of blends for Starbucks in his 19 years with the company. He shares what makes Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend extraordinary.
“Back in 2007, we first started to explore the idea of a special coffee for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Carroll said. “We approached the challenge through a culinary lens, and we thought it was a great opportunity to collaborate with award-winning Seattle chef, Tom Douglas.”
Douglas, Carroll and the team settled on a blend of coffees from Guatemala and Sumatra with subtle spice flavor, cocoa notes and hints of herbs.
“When it comes to coffee, it’s commonly thought of as the perfect pairing with dessert. Thanksgiving Blend is actually a coffee fit for the whole feast,” Carroll said. “It’s a coffee that complements all the flavors of the season – the holiday sweets, as well as the savory too.”
The team tasted the blend with a Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Douglas at his Palace Kitchen restaurant in downtown Seattle.
“While it went great with the pumpkin pie, it exploded with the turkey,” Douglas said in a 2007 video about the special blend. “The different herbal notes in the turkey really brought out the layers of flavor in the coffee.”
Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend is now an annual fall tradition in the U.S., Canada (where it is sold to coincide with the Canadian holiday on the second Monday in October), and as Autumn Blend in the China/Asia Pacific region.
Take a look back as Douglas and Carroll reflect on the process when it was first brought to customers in 2007.