Starbucks Tanzania Blend

3 Sep

Today’s tasting is Starbucks Tanzania Blend, a great limited time treat at your local Starbucks now (America not included). This coffee is “A special coffee from the heart of Africa’s Rift Valley” with Blackcurrant and sweet citrus flavors. As always I started out by reading all about coffee from this region (Africa/Arabia) and how these beans can taste crisp, citrusy and floral. Learning all I could about what I was about to taste, like the body (Medium), acidity (Medium) and Processing Method (Washed, Wet). All of these can give you hints as to what a coffee will taste like before you even get near tasting the beans. Washed coffees are usually picked and transported to the processing location. Then they are sent down a washing channel and into De-pulpers (the berry fruit is removed), they are then fermented in tanks (adding to flavor and acidity) and washed a second time to remove any fermented pulp still on the beans. Then they are dried on outdoor patios or drying tables before being bagged and ‘rested’ before hulling (the outside thin papery membrane is removed from around each coffee bean). This method of processing usually added to a more acidic flavour in the cup and an overall cleaner taste.

Starbucks describe this coffee on their website as “Shaped by powerful volcanic forces, Africa’s Rift Valley is considered by many to be the birthplace of coffee. With aromatic hints of fruit and flower, its crisp acidity and medium body will pair perfectly with your favorite summer fruit salad. This coffee is wonderful both hot and iced. Enjoy it with oranges or berries to bring out its bright notes.”

Upon opening the bag a noticed it had great nutty, sweet floral notes. It really did make my mouth water to open a fresh bag of coffee that just smells so good. Today I used the french press method, widely said to be one of the best ways to taste coffee and get a really true sense for it’s flavour profile as the french press soaks the ground beans in hot water for 4 minutes making all the oils and coffee flavors seep into the water for a balanced great cup of coffee. On to actually tasting the coffee – with each coffee tasting there are 4 main points to keep in mind.

Aroma (smell)

Acidity (slurp)

Body (locate)

Flavor (Describe)

Aroma, this coffee smelled sweet and fruity, with caramel nutty notes to it. The acidity of this coffee was medium, as it hit my tongue it tingled in the middle like fresh berries would. The body was medium also, as it was not to heavy in the mouth. Finally the flavor was citrusy and roasted. Very complex notes that all seemed in perfect harmony with eat other but also meant it was very hard to pick out any one thing from the rest. More flavors to pick out were roasted cocoa, blackberries and almost tangy wine overtones. I hope you enjoyed the coffee tasting, this coffee is really great and I can’t wait to pick up a few more bags!


As an end note this coffee is a Starbucks Shared Planet certified coffee with means they are doing good for the local community and help farmers take care of the countryside and habitats were they grow their crops.

From Starbucks on Tanzania:

“How is Starbucks helping Tanzanian farmers?

For years, we’ve partnered with Lima Ltd. and their networks in southern Tanzania. We’ve helped them bring a superior coffee to market, and in the process helped raise incomes for thousands of small farmers in the Mbeya region of Tanzania.”

So go out get a bag and enjoy this great coffee that also does the the planet good!


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