Please note, all opinions stated here are my own. They do not reflect my employer.
I think I may be in the minority when I say this. I do NOT like Tribute 2013. I’m very sad about this. For the past 2 years, Tribute has been my favorite part of springtime at Starbucks. The cherries, the spice, the hint of cocoa. This coffee is a celebration of all the magical things that Starbucks offers to the world.
To give a background on Tribute Blend, it was created in 2011 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Starbucks. The blend is a reflection of Starbucks past, present and future. It has four different coffee beans in it, and is a Post Roast blend, meaning that all four beans are roasted separately before being combined to become Tribute. It is a blend of Columbia, Papua New Guinea, Aged Sumatra, and Sun Dried Ethopian. These coffees represent all of the regions where coffee grows (Latin America, Africa, and Asia/Pacific).
Tribute was supposed to be a one time offer – available only in 2011 and then never again, but it was so well beloved and so requested, that Starbucks decided to make it available annually. We celebrated when the announcement was made that Tribute would be returning, and would continue to be a seasonal offering into the future, and I was so excited to see the Siren peeking out of that lovely white bag when the beans arrived in stores.
However, this year’s blend just isn’t doing it for me. I think that the thing that makes it so wonderful, for me, is the Cherry notes. Here in US, we only have two primarily African coffees in our core lineup, and both of them show off the more citrusy side of African coffee, so it’s a rare treat to enjoy the berry/cherry notes that come from the Sun Dried Ethopian. This year, though, those cherry/berry notes are secondary to the syrupy body of the Aged Sumatra. Now, I love Aged Sumatra as much as the next guy (Anniversary Blend and Thanksgiving are both AMAZING), but for some reason, it just doesn’t work for me this year.
What about you? Have you tried this year’s Tribute yet? Which year has been your favorite?