Starbucks Kati Kati Coffee Arrives in Stores on June 25th

by Melody on June 3, 2013

2 - 1 - Front Kati Kati blend from JSComing soon, on June 25, 2013, Starbucks will be introducing a new summer coffee into their stores.  It’s called Kati Kati Blend, and has Citrus and Spice” notes.  I haven’t had the chance to try it yet – I am sure I will be writing about it again after I have the chance to taste it.  The back of the bag describes it as a blend of Kenyan and Ethiopian coffees, and recommends it either hot or iced.

I like the packaging.  I still miss the coffee packaging of yesteryear which often told stories about the coffee.  Nonetheless, I like the blue and white design on the new Kati Kati coffee.  The word Kati Kati comes from Swahili, which is one of the national languages of Kenya, and it means “between.”

Going back to the 1990s, traditionally,  summer coffees are often African coffees because of their natural citrus flavor notes, making for a nice iced coffee.  Some readers might remember that during the 1990s (up until 2010), Starbucks routinely offered Gazebo Blend as a summer season coffee.  Gazebo Blend was the essential summer coffee at Starbucks from 1991 through 2010.

Let me know if you have tried it!

I will be looking forward to this on the 25th!

2 - 2- Back Kati Kati Blend - from JS

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Devin June 3, 2013 at 4:31 am

You can not believe how excited I am for this coffee to come out! Almost as excited as the other summer drinks debuting soon and some merchandise that will perfectly compliment this stunning new coffee.

Patsy Burnette June 3, 2013 at 5:22 am

It’s AMAZING! Like drinking a warm grapefruit!

Ethan M June 3, 2013 at 7:32 am

It’s a darn good cup of iced coffee! Makes me miss Tarraza.

Kate June 3, 2013 at 7:39 am

Watch out for new coffee packaging starting in mid June! I guess some stores already have some out but it’s a lot more like the old packaging, more graphic… Like the Kati Kati and 3 Region bags!

Melody June 3, 2013 at 7:44 am

@Devin – I am actually totally excited for June 25th – lots of good things! And, I will be on vacation that day, so I will feature a Clover Starbucks in Orange County for the new launch!
@Kate – Woohoo! New packaging! Maybe Starbucks was listening to this blog all along. ;) ROFL

Jess June 3, 2013 at 9:43 am

I cannot put into words how excited I am to try this coffee! My heart is so happy. It’ll be part of my July 1st coffee seminar at Olive Way. You know me and iced coffees…I can’t get enough :)

Chgo. June 3, 2013 at 11:21 am

Is this considered a medium or a bold?

Melody June 3, 2013 at 11:25 am

@Jess – I hope I can be there July 1st! That’s the end of my vacation, but I should be back in Seattle on that day.
@Chgo – I would assume this squarely a medium.

Becky E June 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

Oh how exciting! New Packaging and merchandise. The Kati Kati sounds great and I can’t wait!

kitenarie June 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm

@Chgo. It is a medium roast, medium body.

Absolutely delicious. I found that the spice notes hit me up front, and then the fruity citrus in the back. I got less grapefruit and more strawberry and orange.

When I tried it, one of the first things I said was that I think I can finally forgive Starbucks for discontinuing Gazebo blend. LOL

Chgo. June 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Thanks…. I was never a fan of Gazebo Blend hot, but I can surely believe it would be a good iced coffee. I assumed it was probably a medium. It makes sense.

denise r June 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

@Chgo: I always liked Gazebo in the summer….just a little ‘lighter’ so, yes, I guess since we’ve gone to lt, med and dark, I’d say med. on the (apparently gone) Gazebo…but I always liked it for summer. I also really liked, in the spring, Costa Rican Bella Vista….. similar to Gazebo, I think. What’s funny to me is coffees that were once all “BOLD” (back in the days when Sbux was NEVER going to ever do a light roast ;) are sometimes now “medium” ie: Yukon. Suddenly it’s ‘medium’. Kind of funny.
I really look fwd to the new packaging, too. Hopefully this will be a good surprise, not a disappointing one. (and also to trying this ‘Kati Kati’…..hoping the Ethiopian parts help me love it)

Hayley June 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I love African coffees! We still don’t have Clovers or Reserves anywhere in Tucson, but I will get my partners in crime to work on procuring this one! Sounds yummy!

BCav June 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Seriously. Summer coffees are always the best. I can’t wait to try this! Kenya + Ethiopia? I’m busting at the seams to try it!

Chase Jaynes June 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm

After so many people talking about it I had to sample it, today, when we got ours in. It was pretty good. It has surpising acidity for an African coffee.

I haven’t had a chance to try it over ice, yet, but I plan on hitting my local clover store and getting them to make me a batch.

Melody June 4, 2013 at 5:49 am

@ChaseJaynes – I am pretty jealous of you and others who have already had the chance to try this!

KDH June 4, 2013 at 9:52 am

HOLY…this coffee is DELICIOUS. I’m drinking some right now. I’ll finish the pot.

Also, on the heels of the beautiful packaging that Kati Kati and 3 Region has comes the news that Starbucks will be repackaging ALL of it’s at home coffee beginning later this month! I’m excited to see the changes!

Melody June 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

@KDH – I am so excited to hear that all the packaging is changing! It looks like the current packaging didn’t really have any staying power – Starbucks must’ve figured out that it was too bland.

KDH June 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I figured something was coming with the gorgeous 3 Region bags. I’ve seen a couple tiny B/W thumbnails of Sumatra (tiger), Veranda (hummingbird!), and Guatemala (bird of paradise!).

They’re going to continue to organize at home coffee by roast, but it looks like the bags are going to get some personality back!

Kristina June 6, 2013 at 5:41 am

It’s good to hear the packaging of at home coffees will have more visual appeal. Honestly, the current design is kind of blah and it’s easy to grab the wrong blend if you’re not paying attention due to each roast group having the same color. I wasn’t a fan from the start. But on a more positive note, after reading the rave reviews in the comments, I’m actually looking forward to trying the Kati Kati blend over ice!

kitenarie June 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I came back here because I took the opportunity to try Kati Kati with the Berry Inclusions from the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher shaken in. It is SOOOOOOO GOOD and I recommend you try it if you get the opportunity.

Melody June 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

@Kitenarie – That sounds wild – berry inclusions? I tried Kati Kati for the first time today – from the pour over. Nice and clean. Some lemony notes. I like it.

kitenarie June 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Melody it’s lovely. I do a pourover at double strength and then shake it up with the berries. It enhances the flavor in all the right ways.

Matt Griffiths June 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Having a glass of iced Kati Kati right now. Very good Afeican blend. Light citrusy tang on the finish. Subtle spicy notes. Medium light body. Good one for the hot weather.

Jacquith porter June 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I did a double strength pour over on ice of Kati Kati with one pump of the new peach syrup. It was absolutely amazing!

Melody June 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Love hearing the reviews of this coffee. I think it will sell well! I’ve tried it hot so far, and liked it. Still haven’t had it iced. On launch day, I’ll be at the only Clover – Evenings Starbucks in Orange County, California, and I definitely want to try it iced. Thank you for the peach syrup suggestion!

Alex M. June 13, 2013 at 5:57 am

I’ve been brewing it as espresso and it’s AMAZING! I always enjoy Kenya as my espresso bean of choice, and when Ethiopia Sidamo was a core coffee, that was my espresso of choice with a little Kenya mixed in. Why I didn’t patent that blend back then is beyond me!!!! LOL!

When you get a chance, you must try it as espresso with a little spritz of lemon oil… or with an Iced Lemon Loaf. SOOO good!

kandace June 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

I just tried kati kati! I’m not a coffee drinker AT ALL but I loved this! it was unlike any coffee I’ve ever tasted!

Kevin June 18, 2013 at 7:44 am

Just finishing my first cup of home-brewed Kati Kati. It’s a lovely medium blend and I can definitely taste the spice and citrus. Interestingly, it sits on the back and front edges of my tongue. Perhaps that is a result of it being two distinct coffees. In any case, even as a hot coffee I found it surprisingly refreshing.

Eric Bressani June 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm


This coffee is just amazing! I have tried it several times. I am planning on doing a massive coffee seminar for this coffee along with some other favorite coffees at 1st and Pike. You should bring some buddies and attend!

Teodora June 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

YES :)Kati Kati is here in Bulgaria :) It’s great coffee, I love it !

carla June 21, 2013 at 12:22 am

tried it and loved it! great over ice in combination with strawberries!

Ole Sweet Lou June 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

I’m sitting here sipping a grande Kati Kati and its great. I’d call it very mello

Marco June 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I had the opportunity to have two venti’s of the Kati-Kati. The new girls at my local Target Starbucks had it out today 6-22. It is GREAT. Smooth and bold at the same time. Very good, I will be purchasing a pound on the 25th.

Kim June 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I’m very excited to Romance this Coffee. Kati Kati Blend :)

RJ Teich June 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm

My Starbucks offered Kati Kati this morning as the bold selection. I always get the bold because I prefer a stronger cup of coffee. This tasted like a nice cup of coffee and the slight after taste as you swallowed it reminded me of those hard coffee flavored candies. I would drink this again. Not bad actually. Now I’m going to brew a Verona in Starbuck’s Verismo machine (which makes awesome coffee and espresso).

rohan June 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

meh. its ok.

Nick June 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Stumbled upon it in store today and gave it a try hoping it was just a rebranding of the Gazebo Blend (in fact, Googling “kati kati gazebo blend” while in line led me to this blog). It’s somewhat similar, but lacks the floral flavors found in Gazebo which is a shame. Definitely worth a try, but it’s definitely not as good as Gazebo in my personal opinion.

denise r June 27, 2013 at 4:36 am

Kati-kati is being served here now as the “dark” choice for a week. I’ve had it probably 3 or 4 times now (not iced, which I’ve heard is better) and I have to say: I really am not liking it. It’s not ‘bold’ enough for me and just tastes…..too citrus-y and just weak and bland. Definitely nothing like what I remember Gazebo as, which I used to enjoy for a summer break.
I get a cup of ‘dark’ everyday at Sbux and I dislike this so much I may switch to an Americano, or just a quad doubleshot. This just doesn’t take the place of a good ‘dark roast coffee to me. :(

denise r June 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Had the Kati Kati by a pour over today which made it slightly more ….tasteful? So, a bit more likeable to me made this way but still not a coffee I would desire. (I was offered, by a partner….one of the many NEW ones….who didn’t know me, a cup of PPR instead. Of course, I declined! :(

Kati June 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Love it!

KatiJ July 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I have five friends sending me packages if this coffee from other states because its my name. My whole life makes sense now :)

Kevin D July 10, 2013 at 9:28 am

I am drinking an Iced Kati Kati right now with cream. Great iced coffee. I get a nutmeg flavor and fruit. I can not identify the fruit flavor but it is there and I wouldn’t consider it citrus maybe more berry like. I would like it hot in the fall, but not as well as I like it iced in the spring/summer.

Talita August 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I loved kati kati, one of the best coffee that already took. I’ve been in the USA for a week and was lucky enough to be able to buy one single bag at the airport and bring to my country Brazil. Unfortunately, is not here yet. Just sad!

Jeane October 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Sadly Summer has ended and Kati Kati is long gone from Starbucks. At least until next summer. I loved to “chew” the flavor of this coffee all summer long. I was not a fan of this brewed as hot coffee, as it was bland to me. But made double strength with cold spring water brewed in a french press overnight, then poured over ice with a touch of cream was divine!

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