REVIEW: Starbucks Kati Kati

DISCLAIMER: This product was purchased by the blogger. received NO compensation from Starbucks for this coffee review. This coffee review does not represent medical or professional advice, it is an opinion only. Photographs may not depict the exact color of the product.


neetzy-coffee-review-starbucks-kati-kati-8This whole-bean, 100% Arabica coffee features beans from Kenya and Ethiopia. Starbucks promotes this blend as being “versatile”, equally enjoyed hot or cold. Brewed hot, it is said to have a “slight roastiness and a caramelly sweetness”, and served over ice, it is said to have “floral, citrusy notes”.

Please note that this blend is available during Summer only.

Starbucks opened its first coffee shop in 1971, and by 1987 had a total of 17 locations. By June 28, 2015, the Starbucks brand (which includes Starbucks Coffee, Seattleā€™s Best Coffee, Teavana and Evolution Fresh) had 17,003 retail locations according to data on their web site.

Starbucks has a loyalty program which provides discounts and offers to customers who enroll.



For a hot cup of coffee, the manufacturer recommends brewing 2 tablespoons of ground coffee (10 g) per 180 mL of water.

For making iced coffee, 2 tablespoons of ground coffee are recommended per 90 mL of water; then pour the brewed coffee over ice and drink immediately.


Brewed according to the instructions above, this a cup of Starbucks Kati Kati is quite dark, having an orange-brown hue.


The ground coffee smells burnt, with a touch of sweetness, and some astringency; it also has a unique scent that i can’t quite pin-point, but perhaps could be herbaceous.

The scent of the brewed coffee reminded me of something cooked over a campfire, or Boston baked beans.


neetzy-coffee-review-starbucks-kati-kati-10The Starbucks Kati Kati blend has a unique way of revealing its flavors. Each time I tried the coffee, the first sip was really bitter, however, every mouthful thereafter was highly sour. The sourness was overwhelming for the first few gulps, but then it became relatively easy to drink black (if you enjoy strong coffee). It also had a hint of a pleasant burnt taste.

While I typically add 18% cream to my coffee, I found myself enjoying this blend black – but again, I will stress that this coffee is very sour. Unfortunately, when consumed black, I did not detect any of the “caramelly sweetness”.

I tried brewing this coffee with 2 tablespoons of grounds per 250 mL of coffee; the result was a really watery coffee with no body. While it retained some flavor – and certainly much of the sourness was diminished – it made a very watery coffee. If you enjoy a full-bodied (not watery) cup of coffee, I would use the manufacturer’s brewing directions.

Drank black, the iced version has pronounced bitter and sour notes. The iced coffee has more bitterness than the hot coffee. Once in a while I think I detected a slight caramel flavor in the iced coffee when I drank it with cream.

I made iced coffee with this blend by simply adding ice to the brewed coffee (please see above for the manufacturer’s instructions for making iced coffee). I found this coffee tasted best when made into iced coffee (by simply adding ice). It reduced the sourness slightly and made the coffee smoother.



The estimated caffeine content of a 250-mL cup of any brewed Starbucks coffee, such as Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend, is 167 mg. This estimate is based on data in the Starbucks nutritional information guide, which states that in general, there is about 20 mg of caffeine per 30 mL of their brewed coffee.

According to this Starbucks nutritional information guide, the approximate caffeine content in the following hot Starbucks coffee shop sizes is as follows. Keep in mind that depending on the blend, the caffeine amount could be more or less. In the guide, you can find this info under “Hot Beverages”:

Short = 236 mL (8 fl. oz.) = 175 mg caffeine
Tall = 354 mL (12 fl. oz.) = 260 mg caffeine
Grande = 473 mL (16 fl. oz.) = 330 mg caffeine
Venti = 591 mL (20 fl. oz.) = 415 mg caffeine

According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy caffeine consumption for an adult is 400 mg per day or less, and 100 mg per day or less for adolescents. [4] Therefore, a healthy adult who drinks a Starbucks Venti brewed coffee has consumed the recommended daily caffeine limit.


This is a seasonal blend available during Summer at Starbucks stores and Starbucks online.


neetzy-coffee-review-starbucks-thanksgving-blend-8No – the Starbucks Kati Kati blend was too sour for me. Despite this, it did possess a smoothness that made it relatively easy to consume black (if your palate can handle the sourness).

My quintessential cup of coffee is a blend possessing an equilibrium of bitterness and sourness, paired with an amicable burnt or smokey flavor (and perhaps a little sweetness too). However, if you enjoy a coffee with really noticeable sourness, this blend could be a real hit!

I will note here that although I didn’t detect any of the promised flavors (caramel, floral, spice, citrus), the citrus component might be the extreme sour taste of the Starbucks Kati Kati blend. Oddly enough, the sourness present – although really drastic – did not ruin the coffee. I didn’t pucker up my face as I drank it black. However, this blend was too sour for my liking.

The ground coffee was not memorable in terms of smell – it had a bit of an odd scent.

While I don’t mind paying the price for good coffee, a 250-mL cup of Starbucks coffee (brewed at home) requires almost 3 tablespoons (13.88 g) of ground coffee – which means a one pound (453 g) bag will only make about 33 250-mL cups of coffee. If you drink 2 actual cups a day, a big bag of Starbucks beans will only last about 2 weeks.

Mostly, I was very disappointed that the proposed citrus, spice, floral, and caramel notes were absent (I might have caught a hint of caramel in the iced coffee after I added cream). I tasted the entire bag over several weeks in an attempt to find these flavor nuances, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find them.


If so, please share – or leave a comment below if you’ve tried this Starbucks coffee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *