Apparently Starbucks has had enough of people telling it to just “lighten up, man,” as they’ve announced they’re debuting a “Blonde Roast” brewed coffee in all their U.S. stores. It’s being called “mellow and approachable,” as opposed to the other darker, high-strung and standoffish roasts.
The Seattle Times notes that Starbucks has tried to go light in the past, with the 1998 Breakfast Blend, but customers weren’t impressed.
“While we thought it was light, (customers) were really telling us it wasn’t all that light,” Andrew Linnemann, director of coffee and tea quality and formulation told the paper. “We had to look at it in a completely different way without that roast element. It wasn’t part of our normal pattern either, so we had to learn a lot about ourselves and our customers, how do we do this so we’re not delivering something that’s under-roasted and raw and not tasting like anything.”
Starbucks says they tried out 80 versions of light brews before coming up with The Veranda blend, which has “a touch of cereal, a little bit of grain, a little bit of milk chocolate.” Another blonde roast, Willow, has “a touch of crisp acidity, light bodied, light intensity, but flavorful and very approachable.”
The mellow move is in response to what consumers want, says Starbucks in their announcement, saying 40 percent of coffee drinkers prefer lighter roasts.
Let’s hope that “burned coffee from the bottom of the pot taste” doesn’t carry over to the new roasts, eh, Starbucks?
Starbucks brews up something mild. Will customers prefer Blonde? [Seattle Times]