Shining a Spotlight on Starbucks Breakfast Blend and Milder Dimensions.

In 1998, Starbucks introduced Breakfast Blend into the lineup of whole bean coffees.

As readers of this blog know, just this past June, Starbucks unveiled new packaging for all their coffee.  I showed off pictures of the new Kenya, Komodo Dragon, Yukon Blend and Veranda packaging  in this previous article.

All of the new packaging has little hidden words and/or images which reference some history or story behind that coffee.  The current Breakfast Blend packaging really is superb in giving little clues to its unique history.

Turning back to 1998, Breakfast Blend was introduced with words “Milder Dimensions” on the flavorlock whole bean packaging.  It was one of four coffees launched and branded as “Milder Dimensions.”  The four coffees were as follows:

  • Light Note Blend
  • Decaf Light Note Blend
  • Breakfast Blend
  • Serenade Blend

A while back, I had purchased this poster off eBay (and had been storing it in my office), and now is the perfect moment to show it off as part of the Breakfast Blend story.

Capture_00523 Milder Dimensions poster - Starbucks

If you take a close look, you can see the original Breakfast Blend whole bean packaging!  If you take a very close look at the current Breakfast Blend package, you’ll see in faint letters, the words “Serenade”  and “Milder Dimensions” on the back side of the bag.

IMAG6505 Side of the breakfast blend bag 4 August 2013IMAG6506 Front of Breakfast Blend whole bean coffee 4 Aug 2013IMAG6509 Back of breakfast blend whole bean bag - Starbucks August 2013

And so now, if someone asks you, “Do you know why it says, ‘Serenade’ and ‘Milder Dimensions’ on the bag of Breakfast Blend?” you’ll now have the answer.  You can say this: “That is in tribute to the original 1998 packaging, and the now-gone lineup of ‘Milder Dimensions’ coffees which included four coffees: Serenade, Light Note, Decaf Light Note, and Breakfast Blend.  Breakfast Blend is the only remaining of the four Milder Dimensions coffees.

By the way, I know that I enjoy Starbucks history lessons, and I hope you do too: you can read more of the old Starbucks history lessons on this blog by clicking through here.  Enjoy!

(Please disregard the yellow mat boards behind the Milder Dimensions poster.  I took the poster to a friend who has a frame shop in Seattle, and in this photo it’s on her work table, and we discussed what mat boards might look good for this poster.)

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  • purple1

    Neat to go back in time and remember the days of old from SB. Perhaps, they can do that with their stores!

  • DadCooks

    I enjoyed this “blast from the past”.

    I do have some fond memories of Serenade and Breakfast Blend. My Wife used to prefer a milder coffee in the morning, so I would often brew these for her.

  • Melody

    @DadCooks and @Purple1 – Just want to say thank you for your great comments. This is the kind of article that tickles me pink – I love a good dose of Starbucks history trivia – but receives few reactions. I can understand why: there’s nothing controversial to discuss. Still, it’s good to see I’m not the only one enjoying the blast from the past history lesson. :)

  • Robb F

    I’m fascinated by the new packaging, the most recent packaging was too quiet for Starbucks. The new packaging inspires a conversation, challenging us partners to not only know our coffee, but to know the history of it as well. Kudos Starbucks!

  • Chgo.

    When I had enough of Dunkin Donuts, and decided it was time to ditch the brown flavorless coffee, it was Light Note, House Blend and Breakfast Blend that brought me around. I was in the mindset that everything else was strong, burnt tasting mud. Before long I was trying it all and loving it, but Light Note will always be considered the coffee which stole me away from Dunkin Donuts. I honestly think Light Note had more flavor than the Blonde Roasts, but it’s just an opinion. Now you will rarely find me drinking anything but a medium or a bold, especially the reserves. It was shortly after 1998 when I returned to Starbucks after my first (last at the time) bad experience.

  • Chris

    This is great! Having just read ‘Pour Your Heart into it’ I’m really interested in Starbucks history at the minute!

  • Melody

    Chgo. – That’s a great Light Note story. Maybe Starbucks needs Light Note to come back!

  • Douglas Wayne Wieboldt

    Sorry… While I understand Starbucks need for diversification, they have done themselves a disservice. The entire “lite note” scheme was a disaster… That is the competitors coffee (Starbucks was much Better! than the competition, and still is). I’m really surprised that we are now trying to compete in the “bad coffee” competition…

  • Melody

    @Douglas Wieboldt – Reasonable minds may differ as to what’s a “bad” coffee. I would never consider a coffee bad just because it has a mild roast – in fact, many very fine coffees are very light roast.

    This particular article is really a Starbucks history lesson. I’m not suggesting that Starbucks change any current offering in their whole bean lineup. And Breakfast Blend has been selling well for 15 years. I think it’s proven its staying power!

  • Chgo.

    @Douglas – You know what? I will give you that. Now that I have been around the block for a long time now, I feel the same way about Blonde Roast these days. But as Melody said, this is more of a history lesson than about comparing Starbucks to the Competition. The bottom line for me is, if it weren’t for Light Note, Starbucks would not have gained another customer in me or my family. I have since graduated to the better stuff (by my standards), and Starbucks has profited well off a customer like me. Say what you want about Light Note, but it was a game changer for me, so it must have had something positive going for it.

    I don’t get the whole Blonde Roast thing. You would think I would respect Veranda and Willow because of my history with Light Note, and I admit I don’t, but it doesn’t matter. The only thing that should matter, is that these mild blends can possibly be the one thing that wins new customers for Starbuck’s from the competition. Unfortunately, It is a competition. Even if Starbucks decided to lay down and play dead, it’s still game on with Dunkin Donut’s, McDonalds and whomever. So they have to either do what they gotta do, or get beat. Although I wish they would emphasis less on the Blonde Roast, we still have individual choices. Once upon a time I believed a real cup of coffee was Light Note. I have since moved on to better things. But I had to start somewhere. You have to learn how to walk before you learn how to run.

    ps: Why does your name link us to the Food Network?

  • jocelyn

    starbucks japan has lightnote (notice the packaging is very familiar)

    when was the serenade blend taken out of the stores? i don’t remember ever seeing that blend before!!!

  • Kenda

    I’m a partner from VN and i just know that Breakfast Blend has shoter time then 2 blonde: Veranda and Willow. Is it true? And i’m not clearly about Breakfast Blend and Serenade. Serenade is the first name of Breakfast Blend or Milder Dimensions?
    Thanks :)

  • Arc Soleria

    “Bright and Sparkling” as their stamp description way back ago..

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