This week’s stop on our Bold Coffee Journey has a special place in my heart – Chicago is my kind of town (next to Seattle!). I lived there for many years before coming to Seattle, so when I was given the chance to write about Gold Coast Blend®, developed especially for the Windy City, I jumped at it. Gold Coast Blend® was created in 1987 to celebrate Starbucks first foray out of the Pacific Northwest, to a city we knew would embrace Starbucks as its own. And we were right – in the early 90’s, when I was living in Chicago, there were so many Starbucks locations and so well integrated into their neighborhoods, that many people thought Starbucks was a Chicago company! Gold Coast Blend®, named after the lakeside neighborhood of condos and boutiques just north of the heart of downtown, was a favorite from the start.
This blend is our biggest and most sophisticated. It’s a combination of Latin America and Asia-Pacific coffees, which provides an intriguing mix of brightness and earthy boldness. There’s also a touch of Italian Roast’s sweetness, which makes Gold Coast Blend® a great coffee to pair with sweet treats like cheesecake, a Chicago favorite, would be especially tasty. It also tastes great with cranberry, maple, and caramel flavors.
I asked Aileen, in the coffee department for some of her thoughts on Gold Coast Blend®. I also figured, as a long-time Starbucks partner (employee),that she might have some good stories about it – and I was right. She first recommended that you taste our blends in progression, starting with Breakfast Blend, moving to House Blend, Yukon Blend®, then Caffè Verona®, and finally Gold Coast Blend®, to really see how it is our heartiest and most complex blend. She was also kind enough to share a Gold Coast Blend® memory – back in 1993, we realized it was the perfect St. Patrick’s Day coffee (St. Pat’s is a pretty big day in Chicago – they dye the Chicago River green and there’s a HUGE parade), so we recommended that it be used for Irish Coffee (even though St. Pat’s is over, why not give that a try…). We even sold Irish Coffee glasses in the stores. I wish I had picked up a few of those!
I hope you will enjoy Gold Coast Blend® as much as I do. This coffee has a rich history at Starbucks and continues to be a favorite not only in Chicago, but everywhere we brew Starbucks® coffee.