The Starbucks Roast
Our coffee buyers search the world to find great coffee. But the weeks spent traveling to origin countries and the hours in the tasting room would be wasted without the proper roast.
Along with our great partners and inviting stores, our roasting philosophy sets us apart from our competitors. The coffee we buy and the way we roast it are linked. The high‑quality, high-grown beans we purchase require a dark roast, and our roasting style requires great green coffee.
While our roasting plants are more mechanised now than in the early days of Starbucks, it would be a mistake to think that machines determine how our coffee tastes. The sophisticated equipment is very consistent, but our coffee buyers, quality experts and roasting plant partners determine how the coffee will taste. Years of experience combined with repeated sample roasts and tastings give our experts the information they need to arrive at the proper “roast curve” for each coffee.
In general, lighter roasted coffees (such as Breakfast Blend) tend to feature more acidity, while darker roasted coffees (such as Espresso Roast) feature more body and flavour. After a certain point (as with French Roast), you taste the roast more than the flavours of the growing region.
Starbucks roasting plants use packaging systems that allow coffee to be sealed in bags directly after the coffee is roasted. This FlavourLock™ process protects the coffee from oxygen, light and moisture. In addition, all packages of whole bean coffee include a one-way valve that allows coffee gasses to escape while keeping oxygen out. This process helps ensure that the coffee tastes as great as the day it was roasted.
The Starbucks Roast is not a time, temperature or colour—it’s a philosophy. Each coffee requires a unique roast profile to create a cup that is at its peak of aroma, acidity, body and flavour. Over the past 30-plus years, we have mastered the art and science of roasting to bring out the inherent potential of our distinctive coffees.