With barrel-aging coffee beans trending on the market, it was only a matter of time before Starbucks jumped on the bandwagon. And boy are we glad they did. The exclusive Seattle Roastery officially debuted their first barrel-aged coffee – Starbucks Reserve® Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi – last Tuesday March 6.
The idea to barrel-aged green beans was a result of Starbucks R&D researcher Duane Thompson’s love of experimenting with the barrel-aging process. Duane Thompson has been messing around with barrel-aging techniques for the past four years, and has utilized that experience in creating the new barrel-aged coffee from the Starbucks Reserve® brand.
In order to impart the flavors of the barrels, a small batch of 800 pounds of green Starbucks Reserve® Sulawesi coffee beans were left to age for several weeks inside Woodinville Whiskey, Co. American Oaked-Aged Whiskey Barrels.
After the beans took on the beautiful whiskey flavors, they were roasted by the master roaster. The final result was a specially crafted whiskey flavored bean, minus the alcohol.
If you are lucky enough to visit the Starbucks Roastery, you will find a couple exclusive beverages being offered up with the barrel-aged beans.
The first is a barrel-aged cold brewed coffee that “starts with a slow steeped Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi that’s sweetened with vanilla syrup in a carafe. It’s served as a sidecar next to a glass with a larger cube of ice”, according to Starbucks.
The second beverage is a smooth Barrel-Aged Con Crema. According to Starbucks, this hot beverage is a “pour-over of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi mixed with barrel-aged vanilla syrup, topped with cascara sugar cold-foam topping.”
Hot or cold, both sound enticing. If you’re in the area, be sure to pop in and check out this latest innovation from the Starbucks team.