How is the Pike Place Roast different from Starbucks’ old standard drip blend?

How is the Pike Place Roast different from Starbucks’ old standard drip blend?

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0 thoughts on “How is the Pike Place Roast different from Starbucks’ old standard drip blend?”

  1. It is actually called “Pike Place Roast” with no “s” after the word “Pike”. Pike Place Roast is a fairly mild-bodied flavor coffee with predominately Latin American beans. Before Pike Place, Starbucks often would brew “House Blend” as a morning coffee, but Starbucks hasn’t brewed House Blend regularly in two years. (Pike Place Roast was launched on 4-8-08, I remember it well – I was right there at the Market). House Blend was slightly more medium-bodied, but in reality, they are both fairly mild coffees with a strong Latin American flavor profile, and medium roast.

    Just as a matter of trivia, there is another coffee called “Pike Place Special Reserve” which is NOT the same thing as Pike Place Roast, and Special Reserve is only sold at the first Starbucks at 1912 Pike Place in Seattle. Special Reserve is a bolder Latin American coffee.

    If you ever want to have a dramatic experience in tasting the differences in coffee, make 3 French presses: Pike Place Roast, Kenya, and Sumatra. One coffee from each typical growing region. Sumatra will be the heaviest and boldest, and will feel very heavy in the mouth compared to Pike Place.

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  2. I’m a barista working at Starbucks a community store in Beijing, and studying for my upcoming black apron exam. I plan to do a pour over showcase for the exam presentation.
    The reason is very simple: although coffee tasting is all about comparison and discovering new smell flavor or body of a new bean, by the end of the day, you’ll still found you stick with one and only one coffee claiming that’s your favorite. And most of the time, it’s not because of it’s flavor, but something else.
    Pike Place is my favorite Starbucks coffee, I love it the way Howard loves Sumatra. If you are not using French press or espresso machine, a dark roast would NOT bring you the essence of coffee-the subtle flavor that only medium roast or light roast could present.
    Right, I believe coffee tasting is not about a simple description of “BOLD” or “WEAK”. The most pricy beans Blue Mountain and Geisha, one is good for medium roast and another is good for light roast, both works much better using pour over method. Drip coffee is just a convenient brewing method for time saving. Could you tell the floral flavor in Verona in drip coffee? I don’t think so, even it feels “strong”, it’s because they roast it longer. Verona’s floral and subtle spice flavor only become obvious when you pour the cup, when you spend time on timely fresh grind and accurate water temperature and you vessel is warmed up you mug is warmed up and everything else is perfectly aligned.
    The same thing applies to Pike Place. It’s nutty flavor is very distinctive when brewing it carefully.
    And the convenient dripping method does do the job perfectly for bringing a smooth body and balanced flavor. The acidity is low. Everything you look for in a medium roast in a drip cone.
    Some people may say traditional Starbucks bold drip coffee is better because they simply use better beans. Define “better beans”. For me it’s just a discrimination on coffee beans. All Arabica has their own characteristics and each bean it’s own note and flavor. Judging a coffee or a blend based on it’s unit price is very unfair to coffee farmers and the customers.
    Maybe people in old days define Stabucks drip coffee as “bold coffee”, but most of my friends I’ve talked to, by which I mean pretty representative among today’s young people, lean ore towards a medium or blond roast.
    Honestly Blond espresso is far more acceptable for me compared to Starbucks traditional espresso roast.
    Now, the very important thing about Pike Place, and how it’s different from other Starbucks roast is that Howard released it during Starbucks’ crisis, among other solutions he executed to safe the company. Cost maybe a consideration at that time, but the idea behind it is too create something NOT ONLY for those heavy taste ones but also bring Starbucks a more general group of customers. I love the philosophy behind—balance—it’s like a trending of Starbucks’ growing path. From boldly moving forward to take a break to find the perfect balance between its old and hound customers’ preference, the interest of its shareholders and customers, the speeding expansion and preservation of its soul, the large coffee bean market needs and the quality of its roast.
    When you see a Starbucks coffee bean, no matter what is that, see the story and understand the love and struggle behind. That’s when you fall in love with a Starbucks coffee bean and it would become your favorite throughout time. Not because it’s BOLD, not because it’s flavor is so unique, but because of its history, its idea, and also how the taste touches you, always, as described on the bag, when you treat it right.

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  3. Wow, where do I begin…
    Some background: I was working at Sbux when Pike Place was released. I listened to Howard’s recorded speech about how Pike Place was the first blend deemed so good and so high quality and so delicious that it deserved to be named after the location of the first Starbucks.
    Several major problems immediately exploded:
    1. In the beginning, Starbucks originally started out selling one drip coffee each day, what today you would call the “Bold”. Then, due to customer requests for a somewhat milder blend, Breakfast Blend was introduced. Here’s the key point: All baristas were taught that when a customer simply requested “a tall coffee”, they were served the Bold. Always. Because, regular Starbucks customers came to Starbucks for Starbucks coffee. If they wanted the very mild Breakfast Blend, that’s what they would have asked for. With the introduction of Pike Place, baristas were ordered to fill a customer order for “a tall coffee” with Pike Place only. Always. Well, the shit hit the fan.
    2. When a customer expecting a cup of Starbucks bold coffee was, instead, given a cup of Pike Place, because the Pike Place was SO WEAK, 99% immediately returned to the counter and said: “Sorry, you gave me a cup of Breakfast Blend by mistake.”. After much explanation, and customer replies that essentially were: “You have got to be kidding me.”, they left the counter, pissed. Now, imagine how pissed off the customers who didn’t realize they didn’t get their “regular” bold Starbucks coffee until they got to work.
    3. Compared to any Starbucks bold blends, Pike Place is flavorless. Or, as one regular little old lady customer barked at me: “You mean you’re going to serve me this swill unless I remember to ask for the bold?!?” The 1–800 customer number in Seattle went nuclear. Our district manager said 99% of the calls were customers complaining about the Pike Place coffee. 99%. Keep in mind that this happened during one of the periods that Starbucks was struggling financially. It became crystal clear, and very, very, quickly, that when Howard was gushing about how spectacularly delicious the new Pike Place was, he was really saying: “The cheapest beans we felt we could get away with.”
    4. Starbucks stores were ordered to stop brewing the bold blend after the busy period ended, and only brew Pike Place for the rest of the day. This was before the “pour-over” method was released, so if you came in after lunch and ordered a cup of bold coffee, you were told: “Sorry, no can do.” As a customer, when I went into another Starbucks, was told they were done brewing bold for the day, and I said: “Hey, no problem, I’ll be happy to wait while you brew a sm…

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