Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Pantheon Blend No.1
|Roaster Location:||Seattle, Washington|
|Coffee Origin:||Guatemala; West Java; Colombia.|
|Est. Price:||$30.00/16 ounces|
|Review Date:||May 2015|
Blind Assessment: Evaluated as espresso. Very discreetly and mildly roast-toned. Ken (93) found the hint of roast fine, maybe even refreshing given all of the bright, lighter-roasted espressos he tastes, but Ethan (91) was not entirely happy with the roasty suggestions. Chocolaty and floral yes, but he also found the blend “bittersweet,” “dry”, even “gritty,” and “lacking complexity overall.” The term “dry” found its way into Ken’s notes as well, but nevertheless he appreciated the chocolate, the caramel, the raisin, the flowers and for him a pleasant hint of anise. True, Ethan did fall in line with Ken when it came to sampling the blend in three parts milk, where both found the chocolate and caramel notes appealing and the floral notes surprisingly clear and persistent.
Notes: The Pantheon Blend is a limited edition open-source seasonal espresso blend, one of an array of very select small-lot coffees that together demonstrates the entry of Starbucks into the new, highest-end specialty coffee scene. This blend was roasted on a small-batch roaster and is only available for purchase at the palatial new Starbucks Reserve Roastery location in Seattle. Note that most of the rest of the Starbucks Reserve coffees, including all of those that can be purchased online or off-site, are roasted on a considerably larger batch-roaster located on the lower level of the Reserve Roastery, and based on our sampling are roasted considerably darker than the highest-end coffees like this one that are only sold scooped out of bulk bins on location. For further information visit www.starbucks.com/roastery.
Who Should Drink It: Not your usual pungent, scorched-cedar Starbucks espresso blend. On the other hand, not a bright, crisply sweet lighter-roasted espresso in the newer style either. Unfortunately, short of traveling to Seattle and buying this blend in person at the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery readers apparently will have no way to decide for themselves whether Starbucks split the difference felicitously between dark and medium when it roasted this blend. The Starbucks Reserve coffees sold online or off-site are roasted much darker than this blend. Nice coffees, fancy names, but, well, just your same old dark-roasted Starbucks.
This review originally appeared in the May, 2015 tasting report: Open Source Espresso Blends