Starbucks Launches New Reserve Coffee

Staff Writer
The newest coffee to join the monthly club of reserves hails from Costa Rica
Measuring beans
Marcy Franklin

La Candelilla Estate is a single-origin Costa Rican coffee offered as a part of the Starbucks reserve program.

The Starbucks Clover® Brewing System may not have four leaves, but with one taste of the coffee it brews, it reigns in the same excited reaction as who happens upon the lucky plant.

Each month, Starbucks releases specialty reserve beans, which can be brewed in-store through the Clover® brewer. Tuesday, July 16 marks the launch date of the newest reserve coffee roast for the Clover® system: La Candelilla Estate. These Costa Rican beans were a part of the 2012-2013 Tarrazú Harvest by fifth-generation coffee farming Sánchez family.

The Daily Meal got a taste of the newest brew courtesy of Coffee Master Jasmine Sherod. She suggests that with hints of citrus flavors and chocolate notes (following the norm for South American coffees), a hot cup goes great with a Starbucks brownie, while the iced coffee’s citrusy notes pair well with the iced lemon pound cake. The brewing process varies slightly between hot and iced; brewing an iced coffee has the extra step of ____ (I didn’t write down what the extra step was!). Though Sherod prefers the coffee black, she says that a touch of milk or a simpler syrup like hazelnut would pair well for those who don’t like the stronger taste of black coffee.

According to Starbucks, the Clover® brewing system creates an elevated single cup experience using Vacuum-Press™ technology, which extracts more water than normal brewing methods. The machine lowers its stainless steel filter into the brew chambers, adds hot water at a precise temperature, and controls brew time. After the coffee brews, it sifts through a 70-micron filter as the grounds are pushed out of the top of the machine. It even has specific settings for each coffee bean region, a direction that is programmed before each brew. Leslie Wolford, quality manager at Starbucks, emphasized the personal experience customers get from watching the Clover® at work, viewing every aspect of the brewing process and getting an individual made-to-order cup. She also says that with compostable grounds and filters, this brewing method is more environmentally friendly.

The clover is Starbucks’ vehicle to present customers with some of the best single-origin coffees from around the world, ones that are only available in limited quantities. Given the rarity of the beans, most roasts are limited editions, and in North America, only one coffee is released each month. All of the coffees are selected for quality and are carefully roasted to bring out unique flavors.

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Of the 500 stores with Clover® brewing capabilities, customers can find a clover-serving Starbucks near them by visiting The La Candelilla Estate reserve will be available for purchase at $3.45 for a brewed-to-order tall cup (though price may vary regionally) and $15.95 per pound.