Look for Micro Blend No. 21: Delicious as a shot of espresso

Starbucks is currently offering a delicious Reserve blend, created to be used as a perfect shot of espresso. Micro Blend No. 21 launched in Starbucks Reserve Bars on September 5, 2017.

This new blend is described as flavors of candied citrus flavors wrapped in flavors of dark chocolate. The Guatemalan base gives it the chocolate notes and Kenya gives it lots of citrus, especially the candied orange notes.

Starbucks roasted this a little on the darker side, making a perfect sturdy shot with lots of flavor for your latte. It’s a medium acidity, medium body coffee.

The name Micro Blend No. 21 comes from nature’s golden ratio.

If you’re looking for a Starbucks Reserve Bar, there are roughly 25 of them in the United States. Here are a few: (Click onto the stores to pull up store locator information)

Kenya holds a special place in the storytelling behind Starbucks Espresso Roast. It’s as if, with the introduction of blend Micro Blend No. 21, this beloved wildly citrus-y coffee has finally found its rightful place.

Dave Olsen, an original Starbucks coffee guru, executive, and leader for decades, developed the core Starbucks Espresso Roast, still used to today He was a fan of Kenya, so much so he hoped to see it in core Espresso Roast. There used to be an official Starbucks blog on this story. Here’s an excerpt from one of my older StarbucksMelody.com articles:

And who could tell the story about Espresso Roast better than the man who created the blend? Dave Olsen described how he and the original founders of Starbucks were at the roasting facility near Fishermen’s Terminal. They talked about what would be needed for a coffee that could carry its distinctive flavors through 6 to 12 ounces of steamed milk.

As Dave tells it, “We all loved Kenya coffee for its very distinctive flavor and acidity. We probably started with something around one-fourth Kenya in the blend, and it might as well have been 100%! Those great qualities of the Kenya completely overwhelmed the other coffees, mostly Central Americas. So we reduced and then further reduced the proportion of Kenya coffee in the blend, finally determining that the right proportion of Kenya was … zero!

I’ve had this already several times as a doppio. Hope you get a chance to try this exquisite blend!

Micro Blend No 21 Espresso shot - 08 Sept 2017

Micro Blend No 21 08Sept2017 - Beans espresso water card

Micro Blend No 21 Espresso Shot 08 Sept 2017

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7 Comments

  • Tex

    How much would the Reserve Bar charge if I ordered 36 ristretto shots of Micro Blend 21? (why 36? That’s how many will fit in a Venti cup…)

  • Tex

    Melody: Thank you for posting the list of Reserve Bars. I still find it amazing, shocking even, that Starbucks does not post such a list anywhere nor allows you to filter for “Reserve Bar” in the store finder (and I posted elsewhere on your site how Starbucks Customer Service avoided answering when I asked where they are, danced around the question like a crooked politician would). So at least I know where they are in the USA (and I know in Canada we only have 2 – Vancouver and Ottawa… Toronto and Montreal got snubbed).

  • Melody

    @Tex – It would make sense for the store locator to sort by Reserve Bar. Definitely.
    36 shots of espresso would be a small fortune. I have no idea what would happen if you tried to order a Venti cup with all MB 21. I don’t know what the partners would do. Not something I would try. If you want to email me, I’ll send you a bag of the whole bean coffee. You could paypal me for one bag of MB 21.
    By the way, I used Instagram to help figure out reserve bar locations – a lot of them have their own Instagram and it was a huge help to search Instagram by ‘reserve’ in the name of the profile. It’s not a complete list, but it’s something.

  • Tex

    Melody,
    Thanks for the offer of MB21 but I really wanted to try it in the store setting as I definitely do not have professional espresso equipment at home to do it justice :-(
    As for 36 shots, it’s a frequent order I make when redeeming 125 stars. I’ll order 36 ristretto shots of Blonde Espresso Roast, which is approximately $30 value. I’ll drink what I can of it (maybe 4 ounces?) and the rest I take home and freeze in ice cube trays, as even Starbucks suggests: https://1912pike.com/coffee-ice-cubes-recipe/
    If I ever get to a Reserve Bar I want to make a similar order using Reserve beans to significantly increase the value of my free drink… and so I can have MB21 (or whatever) in my freezer ready for use :-)

  • samuel choi

    Great idea tex. I was at the reserve bar today and order a siphon. I tried the 21 several times. I will let you know if they let me get multiple shots instead. Great article as always ms melody.

  • Tex

    Sam,
    Glad you’re going to a Reserve Bar as you can’t redeem free drinks at the Roastery. To further increase the “value” of your order, have them pull your 36 ristrettos using the Black Eagle machine rather than the Mastrena. (the Black Eagles costs twice what a Clover does!)

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