Micro Blend No. 11
Micro Blend No. 11 was created by Leslie Wolford, Senior Green Coffee Quality Specialist, at the Starbucks headquarters. I heard the story from her in September 2014, when she presented a coffee education seminar at a local Starbucks. She said that a number of Starbucks leadership members had approached her with the idea of creating an exquisite blend, as wonderful as other coffees sold in Reserve Starbucks. She got to blending various coffees and on her 11th iteration, came upon a blend that was quickly loved by the Starbucks leadership. She mentioned that there had been a Micro Blend No. 8 that came in a close second.
The next problem became what to do with this new coffee. The Reserve Starbucks locations were intended to highlight single-origin coffees, not blends. And it could be reproduced at the scale of 20,000 stores all that easily.
Starbucks begin looking for restaurants that might be interested in offering this coffee in their fine dining establishments. I’ve never heard a straight answer as to exactly which restaurants offer it, but I’ve been assured that at least a few do offer this coffee. I have been told several times that you will find this coffee at the Herald Square Starbucks in New York City.
My own first real encounter with Micro Blend No. 11 came in September 2013, a year before the coffee seminar with Leslie. What’s most remarkable about my September 2013 purchase of this coffee was that I ran into Howard Schultz shortly after I bought the coffee. He called Micro Blend No. 11 “extraordinary.”
Micro Blend No. 11 appears on the scoop bar at the Roastery off and on. I’m told that when a restaurant needs to order more, the Roastery roasts the coffee and a little extra for the scoop bar.
In fact I visited the Roastery luckily when it was being roasted. I saw the two bags on the tray awaiting roasting and asked about them. Sure enough, they were the components (Guatemala Antigua and sun-dried Ethiopia) to Micro Blend No. 11! This is still one of my favorite coffees. I hope you get to try it too.
(Edit May 7, 2016 - This note is for those who are the collectors of these Reserve tasting cards. There are two versions of the Micro Blend No. 11 card. For the more recent version, click here.)
A note for Reserve tasting card collectors: There are 2 versions of the Micro Blend 11 card. One version is a much more solid purple card, and the more rare of the 2 versions. (Not shown here)