It’s already that time of year – Starbucks Christmas Blend has arrived in stores! Deck your halls with cups of coffee, fa la la!
I picked up this bag of Christmas coffee on November 2 at my local Starbucks shoppe, and was a little shocked to see it already on the shelves. But with Halloween over, I suppose the countdown to Christmas has begun.
If you’ve tried the Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend 2017 and found it very sour, you’ll be happy to know this Christmas Blend isn’t quite as tart, and is mellowed by layers of other flavors that are actually quite noticeable. I found the Christmas Blend much more palatable.
This Starbucks Christmas Blend promises the woodsy taste of cedar (very appropriate for a Christmas coffee), along with spicy notes. As well, it’s supposed to be sweet, rich, and smooth.
I must admit I’m much more impressed with this Starbucks Christmas Blend than the 2017 Thanksgiving Blend. This year’s holiday coffee tastes mostly like its description though it does have a moderate sourness to it.
- tasting notes are “distinctive cedars, spicy layers balanced by a sweet, rich smoothness” – from product package
- contains three kinds of arabica beans: Sumatra, Latin American, and Indonesian
- contains “rare aged Sumatra” beans that have been aged for 3 to 5 years
- these aged Sumatra beans create “depth, smoothness, and complex cedars spice notes” – from product packaging
- Latin American and Indonesian beans create “balance and sweet richness” – from product packaging
- 100% Arabica coffee
- dark roast
- pre-ground coffee
- size is 453 g (16 oz)
- available for a limited time
DISCLAIMER: This product was purchased by the blogger. Neetzy.com received NO compensation from Starbucks for this review. This review does not represent medical or professional advice, it is an opinion only. Photographs may not depict the exact color of the product.
- dark brown bean grinds
AROMA OF GROUND BEANS
- very fragrant
- strong, sweet burnt scent
- slight burnt rubber aroma
- herbaceous, woodsy notes
- possibly some subtle spice aromas
HOW TO BREW
For best results, Starbucks recommends using 2 tablespoons of coffee per 180 mL of water.
THE TASTE TEST
The Starbucks Christmas Blend is available pre-ground, and ready to use in a standard drip coffee maker. While the package doesn’t give other recommendations, I believe this size of ground can be used for French press or pour over methods, though taste may vary.
The following commentary is regarding the flavor and texture of the black coffee (no creamer or sugar added), unless otherwise noted.
DRIP METHOD: 2 TABLESPOONS OF GROUND COFFEE PER 180 mL WATER
I was worried the Starbucks Christmas Blend was going to be just as sour as the Thanksgiving Blend, but surprisingly, the sourness at the beginning was more mellow and it was followed by woodsy flavor and spicy hints. I wouldn’t necessarily say the woodsy flavor is cedar, but there’s a taste of the woods that is neither overwhelming or offputting. There are also one or two other flavors mingled into this blend that could be spices. There is a nice bitterness at the end of a mouthful of Starbucks Christmas Blend.
DRIP METHOD: 2 TABLESPOONS OF GROUND COFFEE PER 250 mL WATER
Surprisingly, diluting the coffee by using a cup of water per serving makes a very enjoyable cup of coffee that is medium-bodied. The Starbucks Christmas Blend holds up better than the Thanksgiving Blend when diluted – the Thanksgiving Blend lost it’s body and became noticeably watery. The sourness at the beginning is much more subtle but the other flavor nuances are still present, just not as distinct. This method creates a cup of holiday coffee that starts with a medium sourness, then reveals a mix of flavors that tastes like a smooth smokiness, and ends with a nice bitterness. If you don’t like the woodsy flavor in the full-strength method, try brewing with more water for a softer taste.
100% Arabica coffee.
As I’ve mentioned before in the Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend review, I find Starbucks coffee too sour and bitter. Starbucks used to be my go-to brand for a strong cuppa coffee until I found a few smaller brands who make more mellow robust blends.
But with that said, I do really like the Starbucks Christmas Blend. And I like this blend ten times better than the Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend. This holiday blend has several flavors that are actually quite distinct in the blend, and the sourness is turned down a few notches. Also, the bitterness is quite nice. Overall, this coffee is quite balanced for a Starbucks blend.
If you tend to shy away from Starbucks coffee because you find it to strong – specifically, too sour and bitter – this might be a blend you’d enjoy. The “cedar” flavor is a bit different and distinct, but it comes across more of a smoky outdoors taste. The woodsy flavor is also mellowed with hints of spice-like flavors. And while I wouldn’t quite describe this Christmas cofffee as “sweet”, I would say it’s less sour than typical Starbucks blends, and has a decent balance to it.
WHERE TO BUY
This Starbucks coffee can be purchased at Starbucks retail locations. The price in Canada for this 453-g bag was $19.95 CAD.
I searched high and low on the US Starbucks website but couldn’t find the price for the Starbucks Christmas Blend. I know that Starbucks has recently updated their website (you can no longer purchase coffee directly from the US or Canadian websites).
I had to do a Google search to bring up a page on the “Starbucks at Home” section of their site to find a couple of their coffee offerings. Here is that link. Perhaps in the future Starbucks will make their website easier to navigate.
This is a limited edition coffee, which I’m guessing will be available until New Year’s.
As of October 2, 2017, the Canadian online Starbucks store is closed. As of October 1, 2017, the US online Starbucks stores is closed. Starbucks coffee can be purchased only at Starbucks retail locations or other retailers who carry their products.
Neetzy.com is NOT an affiliate of Starbucks.
- the first coffee shop opened on March 31, 1971, in Seattle, Washington
- the original founders were Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker
- Starbucks sources it’s beans ethically via Conservation International
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WHAT’S IN YOUR COFFEE CUP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?