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STARBUCKS CORP. : Starbucks Reserve? Premium Single-Origin Coffee Line Launches in Select U.S. Markets This Fall

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08/17/2010 | 12:05am EDT

Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced the launch of Starbucks Reserve?, a line of ultra-premium, single-origin coffees available in select U.S. stores this fall. Chosen by Starbucks coffee buyers for their unique flavors and rarity, Starbucks Reserve? coffees will be offered in limited quantities and while supplies last in select stores within metropolitan markets including New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Miami.

The first offering, Galápagos San Cristóbal, originated on San Cristóbal, one of the oldest geological locations within the Galápagos Islands. The subtropical region's intense microclimate, rich volcanic soil and equatorial sun create ideal conditions for extraordinary coffee. Influenced by these environmental characteristics, Galápagos San Cristóbal is a medium-bodied coffee that features fresh flavors and highlights of green herbs balanced by soft cocoa and spice.

?For nearly 40 years, our coffee buyers have traveled the world discovering the most exquisite tastes to appear in a coffee cup,? said Dub Hay, senior vice president of coffee and global procurement, Starbucks Coffee Company. ?Only three percent of all the coffee grown around the world is good enough to make it into a bag of Starbucks® Coffee. Sometimes we encounter a truly rare and special coffee and we can only purchase a small quantity. Starbucks Reserve? represents our heritage as a purveyor of the world's finest coffees, and we're thrilled to offer our customers passage on this journey of discovery.?

Galápagos San Cristóbal, and all other Starbucks Reserve? coffees, will be available for sale as whole bean half-pound packages, and in select markets they will be available brewed by the cup through either the Clover® brewing machine or Pour Over Brewing method. Clover® brewing machines are currently featured in more than 60 stores in the U.S., and Starbucks will continue expanding the presence of Clover® in additional Starbucks stores through the end of the year. Both the Clover® brewing machine and Pour Over Brewing method are ideal methods to showcase flavor and highlight subtle nuances of Starbucks Reserve? coffees.

Beginning August 31, Galápagos San Cristóbal will be available for sale as whole bean or hand-crafted by the cup in select markets, while supplies last. The suggested retail price for a half-pound of whole bean starts at $12.50 and a tall (12 fl. oz.) cup of Galápagos San Cristóbal brewed by the cup coffee starts at $2.95.

For customers looking to secure the first Starbucks Reserve? coffee before the August 31 store debut, Galápagos San Cristóbal will be available for purchase on www.starbucksstore.com starting August 17. And beginning August 21, participating stores will reserve half-pound bags of whole bean coffee to be picked up on August 31.

As a special preview to My Starbucks Rewards Gold level customers, an exclusive preview sale of Galápagos San Cristóbal was hosted on Gilt Groupe on August 3. The coffee sold out in less than 12 hours as Starbucks most loyal customers recognized the distinctiveness of this coffee.

?Curating a private sale featuring Galápagos San Cristóbal was a special opportunity to work with Starbucks to showcase this rare coffee and help them recognize loyal My Starbucks Rewards Gold level members,? said Stefan Pepe, general manager, Gilt Home. ?The fact that this coffee sold out in less than a day shows that the most discerning of Starbucks customers recognized the rarity and special attributes of the coffee and appreciated the exclusiveness of the Gilt.com sale.?

Additionally, Starbucks invites customers to participate in a special preview tasting of the unique coffee on August 28 at participating Starbucks Reserve? stores. Customers can visit their local store for times of each tasting event.

While Galápagos San Cristóbal is the first offering within the Starbucks Reserve? line, beginning in October up to four exclusive Starbucks Reserve? coffees will be available for a limited time in Starbucks stores. The first coffees available for a limited time will include Aged Sulawesi Kalosi, El Salvador Montecarlos Estate Pacamara, Nicaragua Corcasan Fair Trade Certified and Brazil Sul de Minas Peaberry. A list of stores carrying Starbucks Reserve? coffees can be found through our online store locator.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at starbucks.com.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6398986&lang=en

Starbucks Coffee Company
Sanja Gould, 206-318-7100
Emily Killoren, 206-318-7100

© Business Wire 2010
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