Several months ago I got a small amount of Hacienda Alsacia when it was released in Japan. The paperwork that came with it suggested pairing it with pecan pies. So I set up a spread of different foods; lemon shortbreads, salted caramel ropes, milk chocolate and pecan pies. We tasted the coffee and all of the food, and I was really in love with how the sweet brown sugar paired with the Hacienda Alsacia. Fast forward to this week. I received a coffee care package from Seattle, and inside were two bags of Hacienda Alsacia! I was so excited for the opportunity to share this coffee with more of my partners, but also to explore with pairing this coffee with pecan pie….
Back in March, the Starbucks Roastery and Tasting room in Seattle debuted an innovative new coffee; Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi. Green beans from Sulawesi were stored in used whiskey barrels from Woodinville Whiskey Company, and over the course time, the flavor and aroma from the barrel absorbed into the green beans. During the roasting process, the alcohol is burned off, but the identity of the whiskey remains. With unmistakable notes of whiskey, this is a cup of coffee like no other….
Colombia Nariño Supremo was a core coffee back in the day, but has been missing from the shelves since around 2009. Now, 8 long years later it has returned as part of Starbucks new single origin offerings. Even though Colombia Nariño Supremo has been missing from my life for so long, we were able to pick up right where we left off. Herbal notes with bittersweet chocolate notes and a walnut like finish. There is something so special and unforgettable about this coffee, and I am so glad it is back!…
The third installment of Gravitas is back at the Roastery. This legacy blend launched on March 20th 2017, and I just happened to be in town visiting. Perfect timing on my part! This years version of Gravitas is a blend of Sumatra Lake Toba, Nicaragua Maracaturra and Sun-dried Brazil Barinas. The result is layers of herbal and chocolate notes with a unique dried fruit sweetness….
Kenya Kangunu is the newest online exclusive coffee to be offered on the online store. This is the third offering, the first being Costa Rica Vista del Mar yellow honey and Papua New Guinea Luoka. These coffees are, to my knowledge, released in other countries, but a small amount is offered online. Because of the limited quantities, these seems to sell out fairly quickly! I was lucky enough to notice Kenya Kangunu shortly after it was released online and ordered it right away.
I first tasted this side by side with core Kenya, and was surprised how different they were. The Kangunu is lush with a layered complexity with notes of dark chocolate and lemon, while the core Kenya is juicy with unmistakeable notes of grapefruit.
According to Starbucks legend, Yukon Blend was the winner of a “name that blend” contest. Yukon blend was created in 1971 for one of Starbucks original customers, the captain of a fishing boat in the Bering Sea. He wanted a blend for his crew that could stand up to the frigid mornings and long days of fishing in the cold waters where the Yukon River meets the Sea.
This hearty and well rounded blend pairs well with oatmeal and cinnamon, but has toasty notes that I thought might pair well with brown butter. But then I got to thinking, what if I infused butter with coffee and then browned it?
And then coffee brown butter was born.
It’s cookie season, and I have been seeing posts on facebook about pairing wine with Girl Scout cookies (which is always a good idea!) I did a search for Girl Scout cookies and Starbucks coffees, and was surprised to see that no one had made up a tasting sheet! So here it is, my personal recommendations for Starbucks core coffees with Girl Scout cookies.
Wandering the aisles of the grocery store is one of my favorite past times, especially since we are in a different part of the country. So many new stores to explore. One thing that caught my eye recently was this apricot pie filling. I have never heard of such a thing, but immediately thought how fun it would be to make an apricot upside down cake. Apricots are not in season just yet, and Nicaragua Monimbo is bursting with fresh apricot notes, slightly tart with a brown sugar sweetness….
The coffee ceremony is one of the most of the most recognizable parts of Ethiopian culture, and an invitation to attend a coffee ceremony is considered a mark of friendship or respect. The ceremonial hostess will roast green beans in front of the guests before they are ground and brewed. The hostess mixes the ground coffee with spices, and pours them into a clay pot called a jebena. The coffee is served with plenty of sugar, salt or even butter and often complemented by a traditional snack such as popcorn or peanuts. This is the main social event, performed up to three times daily, to take time to talk about politics, the community and life.
I wanted to pay tribute to this tradition, pairing Ethiopia with popcorn and peanuts, coated with a cayenne infused coffee caramel.
A few weeks ago we were talking about our favorite coffees, and my favorite Starbucks core coffee is (usually) Sumatra.
I remember when I was a new barista, drinking Sumatra for the first time paired with a maple scone and cheddar cheese, and I was blown away how this coffee paired with sweet and savory. Sumatra is earthy, and herbal and can balance so many different flavors. Maple, cheese, toffee, cinnamon and even mushrooms.
I wanted to take this early memory of Sumatra and a maple scone and reinvent it into something new. The addition of bacon not only compliments the maple, but lends a more savory quality. Bacon and Sumatra are a match made in heaven. <3