In my previous post, I bemoaned the fact that Starbucks ceased brewing decaf coffee, and I think now I’ve got it figured out, at least in part. When I was in the SBUX near home (one of ‘em), I noticed that their brewed coffee machine had units for three different types of coffee. In the past this would be two different blends (e.g. Christmas and Breakfast) and decaf.
Now, however, Starbucks’ new business model is getting in the way of my decaf. For most of its existence, Starbucks claimed to roast most of its beans at “Full City,” a fairly dark roast. It also killed the character of some regional beans that don’t take a dark roast very well. Recently though, I’m sure you’ve noticed that Starbucks has gone to a three-roast system. You can buy “blonde,” “medium,” or “dark.” Interestingly, some of Starbucks’ flagship blends fall into the lighter roasts. I wonder if I’ve been misunderstanding SBUX’ use of full city, or if they’ve messed with the character of these blends? Since I buy my whole coffee at Nugget or Temple, I honestly don’t know. Unfortunately, Starbucks’ three-coffee machines don’t have room for a decaf. Instead, they feature a blend from each of the three roasts–never mind that there are at least two decaf blends in the “medium” category.
Thus, Starbucks has chosen to drive its decaf customers to espresso drinks (as I implied previously, the vast majority of its customers anyway). Maybe there are a lot of people like me, who drink Starbucks because of its convenience but brew our home coffee from someplace better.
By the way, Temple’s decaf Dharma Blend is quite good. They use it in their espresso drinks, I think, but it also makes a good cup of coffee.