One of my favorite store managers, Rachel of the Fourth and Union Starbucks, was selected to go to India to help Starbucks train new partners and open new stores.  What an opportunity of a lifetime!  She was there for about six weeks, busily training new partners about all things Starbuckian, and taking in the sights.

When she returned to Seattle (about two weeks ago), she brought back a five-pound bullet of whole bean espresso.  It’s the espresso that would be found in your beverage if you ordered a latte in a Starbucks in Mumbai.  As it turns out, import tariffs in India can make it cost prohibitive for a business to import tremendous merchandise (such as coffee), and the Southern part of India already is an established coffee growing region.  Starbucks has partnered with Tata Coffee,  a local business, for an espresso roast for this market.

Today, we did a quick coffee tasting of the Starbucks India Espresso Roast.  It’s definitely a little lighter roast profile than Starbucks espresso roast.  I took a picture of the two whole bean espresso roasts side by side, and you can see that the Starbucks coffee is a little darker.  I know I totally enjoyed seeing the two side by side!  The  Starbucks India whole bean had a really wonderful spicy aroma to it, and when made as a French press, it was fairly bright, and a little acidic.  It doesn’t have the deep caramelization of Starbucks Espresso Roast.  I definitely enjoyed from the press.  It’s still pretty full-bodied, but it’s an approachable, bright coffee.  Check out the pics from today’s (March 29, 2013) coffee tasting:

IMAG4399 5 pound bullet of WB - 29Mar2013IMAG4403 Starbucks India Espresso Roast beans 29March2013IMAG4408 French press of Starbucks India Espresso Roast 29March2013IMAG4409 Starbucks India Esp Roast side by side with US Starbucks Espresso roast 29Mar2013






I learned some interesting things about Starbucks India today.  Did you know that signs are in both English and Hindi?  They only have a small selection of Starbucks coffee at this time, and currently sell House Blend, Veranda, Italian Roast, Kenya, decaf Komodo Dragon, and Sumatra.  This was something that Rachel mentioned to me, and I found the list of their available coffees on the Starbucks India website.

Coffees available in Starbucks India 29March2013

Last but not least, the Starbucks India icon mugs are beautiful!

IMAG4421 India Starbucks Mug 29March2013IMAG4420 Bottom of Starbucks India mug 29March2013