I start each day off with my home-brewed Starbucks coffee — I love a hot drink and a little caffeine to get me going in the morning. And while I’m not an expert, I can taste the difference between different blends — and I know a good coffee when I taste one. When I buy a new coffee, my priorities are taste and a concern for price. So with that in mind, I reviewed Starbuck’s new Veranda Blend, which is part of their Blonde trio that also includes a decaf and regular Willow Blend. Starbucks made these Blonde blends as lighter roasts to appeal to a wider audience.
Starbucks describes the Blonde Veranda Blend as “lighter-bodied and mellow” — but others around the web call it watery, weak, and muted. Here’s what I thought:
When I received my very own tall Veranda Blend, my first thought was that it was blazing hot. It practically burned my hand through the cup, but I didn’t want to mask its flavor with cream, so I waited until it cooled to a reasonable temperature. As I waited, I noticed that the Veranda has a great smell — its nuances of cocoa and toasted nuts are apparent through its scent.
Once I tried the coffee, I wish I would have added the cream after all. The flavor was nutty and mild, as the barista had described, but it was also just as watery as its light coloring suggested. Realizing this wasn’t anywhere as rich as a shot of espresso — or even a medium roast — I halfheartedly convinced myself that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because the light taste would make it easier to drink.
Wrong again. I actually found that I enjoyed the brew less and less as I continued drinking because the first nutty aroma and taste was quickly overshadowed by the bitterness of its aftertaste.
This blend may be better when made at home where you can brew it is as strong as you would like, but personally I’m sticking with the Italian Roast. The mistake I see is that in trying to reach the non-coffee drinker, Starbucks removed all flavor that is associated with good coffee. Maybe someone would buy it if they were very price conscious, because it is much less expensive than most of their drinks, but I predict that non-coffee drinkers will stick with the frappuccinos.
Image credit: Starbucks.com
About the author: Sarah Heckle is a blogger from Indianapolis. She writes for Scarves Dot Net on how to style, tie, and wear scarves. Check out the Scarves Dot Net blog for more of her writing. You can also catch her on her personal blog, Tulle and Trinkets.