I live fairly close to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. I drop by often. One thing I enjoy seeing is the burlap sacks which hold the green coffee, and watching it get loaded into the green coffee loading pit. Each time I drop by, I stop and look at what's stacked up at the green coffee loading pit, and often I'll take a photo of the burlap coffee sacks. Over the roughly year and a half that the Roastery has been open, I've noticed that it's become increasingly common for the burlap sacks to arrive at the Roastery with a Star/R (the Starbucks Reserve trademark) stenciled onto them.
A couple of times, I've asked about this. How does this happen? Does Starbucks put the Star/ R on the bag of green coffee? Does the farmer do it? Each time, I've gotten almost identical answers: Starbucks doesn't mark up the burlap sack. Starbucks doesn't tell the coffee farmer what should be stenciled onto the burlap sack.
The coffee farmers are putting the Star /R on the sacks. And a couple of partners commented to me that they too noticed that it's becoming increasingly common and all the partners came to the same conclusion: It's farmers having pride in the Reserve brand.
This morning, I was struck by this Star / R on a bag of Ethiopia Gedeb green coffee:
Somehow, it doesn't even look like a perfect Star /R. It looks like the work of the coffee farm or cooperative.
This is an interesting phenomena: Coffee farmers, on their own initiative, are starting to stencil a Star/R on coffee sacks, knowing that their coffee is earmarked as a premium coffee, worthy of the Starbucks Reserve logo. There's something awesome about that.
Here it is again:
And another example:
And this Brazil Peaberry Samambia is another example:
Now you know!