Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Sumatra Aceh

Location: Seattle, Washington

Origin: Aceh Province, northwestern Sumatra, Indonesia

Roast: Medium-Dark

Est. Price: $14.50/8.8 ounces

Review Date: April 2016

Agtron: 36/47

Aroma: 8

Acidity: 7

Body: 8

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 7

Blind Assessment:

Roundly roast-toned but nuanced. Scorched oak, dark chocolate, apricot, soft hints of lily-like flowers in aroma and cup. Roast-rounded, gently tart acidity; lightly satiny mouthfeel. Chocolate, apricot and flowers carry faintly into a briskly drying finish.


Aceh is a distinguished Sumatra growing region in the hills surrounding Lake Tawar in northwestern Sumatra. Produced by small-holding farmers and apparently processed by the characteristic Sumatra wet-hulled method. This is a limited edition coffee, one of an array of select small-lot coffees that together demonstrate the entry of Starbucks into the new, highest-end specialty coffee arena. It was roasted on a largish batch-roaster located on the lower level of the Seattle Reserve Roastery and packaged using state-of-the-art packaging equipment. For further information visit http://roastery.starbucks.com.

The Bottom Line: A sweetly crisp roast-dominated profile complicated by a quiet under layering of fruit and chocolate.

This review originally appeared in the April, 2016 tasting report: When the Small Get Big (and the Big Try for Small)

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