It's hard to think about going out for a cup of coffee without mentally considering stopping by a local Starbucks. There is a reason for this. Starbucks is the world's leader in the coffeehouse industry-a business category that earns over $31 billion annually in the U.S. alone. But even though there's practically one on every other street corner nowadays, the company had modest and meager beginnings. Founded in 1971 by two teachers and a writer who met in college, the brand started as a simple roasted coffee supplier. A decade later the company had still failed to take off, so the trio sold it to Howard Schulz after he failed to get them to sell brewed coffee. Franchises took off after he incorporated his brewed plan into the mix, and the first half dozen stores conquered local trendy suburbanites in the Seattle area. It didn't take long after that for the rest of the country to get its first taste of Starbucks Coffee-a decision that's now celebrated annually with its Starbucks Anniversary blend. But what in the world is that and what's so special about it?
What Is Starbucks Anniversary Blend and How Did It Originate?
Starbucks' original store grew to over 1,000 individual franchises in America and its first in Japan by 1996. The marketing department knew something special had to be done that autumn to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary. A special blend was developed and introduced as Starbucks Anniversary blend. Going back to their original roots, they created a hearty blend punctuated with cedar and spice-a delicious public nod to the Pacific Northwest. Brewed options are available in-store, but so are packaged whole beans, grounds, pods and Starbucks Anniversary Blend K-Cups. And how can you tell which bag to choose without waiting in line for a half-hour to ask a busy hipster barista?
Using the siren logo so well known to the Starbucks name, the artwork on the Anniversary packaging evolved to include flowing hair and a mermaid tail. Earlier renditions included a brown background as though she was floating in a sea of coffee. But the latest renditions have her longer luscious locks floating within a stunning azure sea. Celebrate by drinking your beverage out of one of their special Anniversary tumblers adorned with a winking siren's face with Swarovski crystal lips. To those who appreciate elegant design, the tumbler and package artwork alone are worth the purchase. But the taste will keep you returning year after year, especially when properly paired with palate pleasing provisions.
What Are Some Tasty Food Pairings?
In 1996, Starbucks shareholders were told directly “everything we do begins and ends with coffee”. That certainly hasn't changed, but the offerings have evolved dramatically. Today, Starbucks includes baked goods, sandwiches, salads, delicious snacks, hearty gastronomic adventures, and of course, gourmet beverages. The Anniversary Blend is unlike any other menu item. Each year's blend is slightly different with unique notes taking front stage. The current blend has the traditional Sumatra base, aged just right to minimize the acidity level and expand the body. This creates a spicy platform which perfectly supports notes of marshmallow and cedar.
The dark, bold, and spicy platform pairs well with an array of foods. If a light snack or sweet treat is in order, enjoy this year's Anniversary Blend with a side of Madeleines. The sweet French butter cake, known to most as a light cookie, pairs pleasantly either dunked or nibbled. Not a fan of French pastry? Try anything buttery. The creaminess will bring out the buttery notes of the base and mellow the boldness even further.
A little sweet spice also works well. Since this is a fall treat, pumpkin-spiced treats or anything dusted with cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg will complement and balance the bitey base of the blend. Non-sweet and savory foods also work well. Try some rogue blue cheese popcorn or zesty bread selections with your beverage. Play around and discover some unique flavor concepts yourself. But don't put it off because the Starbucks Anniversary Blend is on the shelves for a limited time.