Whether you’re a coffee drinker or addict, you’re likely very thankful for your daily cuppa joe.
Thanksgiving Blend 2017 promises to be full-bodied with subtle notes of spice – which is tempting when it’s pumpkin spice season. I’ve reviewed this coffee a few years ago, but with Thanksgiving in Canada just around the corner, I broke down and bought this blend again – mostly, I was tempted by the beautiful packaging, which I think is one of the prettiest Starbucks coffee packaging I’ve seen.
If you’ve found yourself caught up in the craze of the pumpkin spice phenomenon made famous by Starbucks, you’re probably intrigued by a coffee that promises notes of subtle spice. However, if spicy flavors excite your taste buds, don’t get too excited for Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend 2017.
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.
- “features herbal notes from Sumatran beans and distinctive soft spice from the coffee of Guatemala’s Antigua region” – from product package
- “created to pair beautifully with dishes savory and sweet” – from product packaging
- 100% Arabica coffee
- dark roast
- whole bean coffee
- size is 453 g (16 oz)
- available for a limited time
- dark brown beans
AROMA OF GROUND BEANS
- very fragrant
- strong, sweet burnt scent
- perhaps some herbaceous notes
- no spice aromas
AROMA OF BREWED COFFEE
I find hot coffee has a slight brown paper bag scent. Perhaps it’s partly the smell of the steam, or just my nose! Also, I typically find that coffee beans, when brewed, have a subtle scent of baked beans (the kind you eat).
HOW TO BREW
For best results, Starbucks recommends using 2 tablespoons of coffee (ground to suit your brewing equipment), per 180 mL of water.
THE TASTE TEST
I had my bag of Starbucks coffee ground for a standard drip machine.
DRIP METHOD: 2 TABLESPOONS OF GROUND COFFEE PER 180 mL WATER
While this is the strength Starbucks recommends for this blend, the result was a highly sour coffee cup of coffee when drank without anything added. There was perhaps almost as much bitterness as sour, though overall, the sourness was most prominent. Although I love a strong cup of coffee, the sourness made this coffee unpleasant. I found no trace of subtle spice – only sour and bitter flavors. The aftertaste of this coffee was extreme sourness and a dry sensation on my tongue.
Of course, straight-up, black coffee isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. A little half-and-half can make even the worst cup of coffee drinkable. While this coffee isn’t the worst, adding a good amount of creamer will dial down the sour and bitter flavors, giving a more homogeneous, palatable taste – and giving the coffee a hint of milk chocolate flavor. However, even with a good amount of creamer added, I found the aftertaste just as sour.
DRIP METHOD: 2 TABLESPOONS OF GROUND COFFEE PER 250 mL WATER
If you are a casual coffee drinker, this will likely be your best choice. I was able to drink this black (no added sugar or creamer), and actually enjoy the sour and bitter flavors. This brewing method won’t give you as punchy and full-bodied coffee as a cup from a Starbucks shoppe, but I think this makes this blend very drinkable.
As for subtle spice, there was perhaps an underlying light flavor of something that could be categorized as spice, though I can’t say specifically which spice it could be. With the sourness and bitterness toned down, there is a hint of something else. The aftertaste is much less jarring.
DRIP METHOD: 2 TABLESPOONS OF GROUND COFFEE PER 225 mL WATER
This is perhaps the best cup for those who like really strong coffee but don’t want to be overwhelmed with sourness. While using a little more water than what is recommended, you do lose a bit of the rich body, but you gain a cup of coffee that isn’t so sour. And as mentioned above, yes, there could be a hint of ambiguous spice as this method allows for other nuances in the coffee to come through. Again, the aftertaste is more enjoyable, with less lingering sourness.
100% Arabica coffee.
I used to think Starbucks coffee was the cat’s meow until I started drinking Kicking Horse Coffee. This Canadian brand has a blend called Kick Ass, which is one of the best coffees I’ve tasted. It has just the right levels of bitterness, smokiness, and sweetness.
Now, I tend to compare every cup of coffee I drink to Kicking Horse Coffee, and I find many Starbucks blends to be very sour and overly bitter. That is not to say this Starbucks coffee is horrible. If you can handle a really strong cup of coffee with severe sourness, this might suit your liking. Otherwise, brew it with a little more water to tone it down and even out the flavors.
The last time I reviewed this Starbucks coffee, I did find a slight flavor of what I believed to be cayenne. But this year, I couldn’t pinpoint the other underlying flavor in this Thanksgiving Blend.
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.
This is a limited edition coffee, available during the respective Thanksgiving holidays in Canada and the US. This blend will likely be available in the US in late October or early November.
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?