Guest Post: Starbucks Organic Shade Grown Mexico review

DailyShotOfCoffee.com blogger reviews Starbucks Organic Shade Grown Mexico: Recently I was talking to coffee blogger Mike Crimmins who produces DailyShotOfCoffee blog and I asked him if he would like to do one of his famous coffee "reviews" for my site.  Mike produces a coffee blog where he features a true variety of coffee blends, and roasters, and he tastes each of the coffees and writes a review on it.  Mike is based out of Florida, and so when I read his blog, I often feel like I am taking a trip across the country and being introduced to coffee producers whom I otherwise would have never heard of.  There definitely are Starbucks in Florida, including one Clover-designated Starbucks, and so I asked Mike if he would pick out a Starbucks coffee and review it. Since he picked out Organic Shade Grown Mexico, I wanted to remind my readers that this coffee is produced using both strict C.A.F.E. practices and Shared Planet Standards as well as certified organic.  I definitely recommend reading up on the basics of Starbucks Shared Planet.  Shade Grown Mexico was developed in the late 1990s as part of the initial cooperation and agreement between Conservation International and Starbucks.  It was through this partnership that Starbucks worked to develop formalized ethical sourcing guidelines.  Here's the previous blog post on Shared Planet, which further talks about this amazing coffee:

And now here is Mike Crimmins' coffee review of this very special Starbucks coffee:

Dear Starbucks, I'm Sorry

Even though it was more than a decade ago, it seems like just yesterday that you came in and setup shop a few blocks away from my college campus. It was love at first sight and I quickly forgot about the lackluster sources of caffeine back on campus.

It didn't take me long to grow addicted to your calorie loaded drinks like venti Caramel Machiattos and grande Mocha Fraps. However, I hit a rough spot when I discovered why people called you “Charbucks” behind your back. It seemed like even your medium roast coffees were roasted to the point where there was more chafe than whole beans and the only flavor was smoky.

Then you gave me a new coffee to try, Starbucks Organic Shade Grown Mexico. Despite my fears and a name that seemed to be missing an “-ian” at the end, I opened up the bag and decided to open my heart back up to you.

When I opened your bag and saw golden brown beans, I wondered if maybe you had made something just for me.

A few minutes later, I filled my mug with a coffee that had an aroma that made me doubt what was going on. This wasn't the over-roasted coffee that I had settled for in the past. It had a mild nutty aroma, with hints of fruits and chocolates underneath. There wasn’t a hint of the over-roasted, house fire aroma that I was expecting.

The aroma got my attention, but it was the taste that won me back to you. It was an exceptionally smooth nutty flavor. The aftertaste had a dry feeling that gave it character and made me look forward to the next sip. By now, thoughts of your burnt-to-the-crisp flavor had disappeared.

As an added bonus, you made the coffee shade grown (obviously), and organically grown.

I won't even complain to you about the price. At 11.95 for 16 ounces, it's a priced below the average price for many coffees that I've purchased that are just 12 or even 10 ounces.

If this was a Daily Shot Of Coffee blog post, I'd give it an above average score of 3.75. It's by far my favorite Starbucks coffee that I've tasted in years and it made me want to go out and try even more of your coffee.

Mike Crimmins is the highly caffeinated blogger behind Daily Shot Of Coffee, an average joe's guide to finding better coffee. You can also find him on Twitter at @ShotOfCoffee

Melody writing again:  Just a quick post-script to this blog post.  I actually know that Organic Shade Grown Mexico is one of the very lightest coffee roasts that Starbucks uses.  My understanding is that it is in the roasting oven an even shorter amount of time than House Blend!  It is amazing to me that people think that Starbucks does all dark roasts, because that plainly is false, and this coffee is a good example of a light roast coffee - I'm not even sure if it is pushed to a "full city" roast profile.

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