Reviews for Starbucks Coffee
Decent enough in the aroma: sweetly pungent, balanced, intensely roasty with a twist of slightly charred cedar. In the cup sweet and pungent, but the charred cedar notes turn to charred board notes, expressionless and woody. A vague hint of fruit at the top of the profile. I hope the nominating reader tasted a better sample of the Verona than this one.
A thoroughly dispirited coffee, with little sweetness and limited nuance aside from hints of nondescript fruit and a sort of vegetal, slightly charred cocoa. This particular sample appears to consist of green coffees of ordinary to poor quality that were poorly roasted to boot. Presumably nominating reader C. Dowling got luckier than I did when he was inspired to nominate this blend as a "mellow ... all-around coffee."
Willem found this sample of the Starbucks staple blend "balanced throughout with no major high [positive] or low [negative] notes in aroma, flavor and aftertaste. [In the demitasse] some sweetness with a bitter end note. With milk, sweet, spicy, [with] a mild, pungent aftertaste." (85) Ken was less impressed. For him the aroma was "smoky, sweet and subdued," the body lean, the small cup "smoky and simple." He was most taken with this ubiquitous blend's impact in milk: "sweetens and rounds, prune fruit softens toward chocolate in the finish." (83)
A delicate cup with impressive complexity: Lemon, smoky spice and milk chocolate notes carry with subtle variation from aroma through finish. In the cup, shows a fine balance of sweet acidity and a subtle roastiness, the roast making itself felt mainly in the smoky spice. The five cups I sampled displayed some unevenness; otherwise I would rate this silky, aromatic blend even higher.
Pungently roasty with cantaloupe notes in the aroma. In the cup softens nicely, allowing some sweet lemon and grapefruit notes to glisten in the smooth, rather delicate roastiness. Sweet but gently astringent finish.
The reader who nominated this coffee rated it an 85 -- 89, citing its "great aroma and floral hints," and adding that it is "a great breakfast coffee." I'd agree, though the sample I cupped may have sat around in its elegant bag too long. It belongs to the authoritative rather than the delicate style of Panama: intensely acidy, yet still displaying the bright, high-toned sweet nut, floral and fruit notes characteristic of this underappreciated origin. I felt the profile suffered from bitterness, however, which turned the acidity a bit too assertive for many coffee drinkers.
A big, simple, acidy coffee only partly tamed by the darkish roast. The result is a bit of a hybrid: medium-bodied, roasty but acidy, reasonably sweet, but with only a hint of Antigua-style nuance, some fruit perhaps. The finish is slightly astringent, always a danger when an acidy coffee is brought to a darkish roast. The nominating reader Carolina Facciani of Redondo Beach, California rates the Starbucks Guatemala she or he tasted a 95 to 100, declaring it "one of the best tasting coffees I've had next to Costa Rica's coffees." The big acidity and relative lack of nuance does make this coffee resemble high-grown Costa Ricas.
"Light-bodied with an almost rioy flavor. Quakers, soft, wild-looking. Could have been better if roasted a little darker?" (78). Rioy is a hard, medicinal flavor taken on by some dry-processed coffees during the drying. Quakers are beans that fail to take the roast and remain light, robbing the coffee of flavor and body. Ken: "Burned tones, faint sweetness, not much else" (78).
When hot, understated but pleasantly sweet, with a hint of spicy fruit complicating the mildly burned, pungent tones. The aftertaste is unyieldingly bitter, however, and when the cup cools the coffee lands on the palate with a flat, unrelieved, carbon-toned thud.
The earthy tones of the Indonesias dominate, sweet in the nose but dry and cocoa-like on the palate. A hint of winy fruit tries to raise its head above the dry earth and cocoa but subsides into the taciturn briskness of the cup.