Fittingly, the story of Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend began over a table.
Starbucks coffee manager Anthony Carroll was tasked with creating Starbucks first Thanksgiving coffee in 2007. His challenge was to create a coffee that would complement the entire meal. It needed to pair with the sweet and the savory – from the first forkful of roast turkey to the last slice of pumpkin pie.
For help, he turned to award-winning Seattle chef Tom Douglas. Over the course of several weeks, the culinary and coffee masters sipped and tasted side-by-side in a Seattle test kitchen. After narrowing down to their top choices with a series of blind taste tests, the team served the final contenders alongside a classic Thanksgiving feast prepared by Douglas.
The winner was a blend of coffees from Guatemala’s Antigua region and Indonesia’s island of Sumatra with subtle spice flavor, cocoa notes and hints of herbs. That blend became Starbucks® Thanksgiving Blend,which has become a tradition since 2008. The coffee is offered each fall for a limited time in the United States and Canada, and sold as Autumn Blend in Starbucks stores in Asia.
“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."