Brian is far away from the things most of us find comfort in during the holidays.
A U.S. serviceman deployed overseas, Brian (last name and location withheld for security reasons) can only imagine a world of festive decorations, stockings by the fire, and gatherings with family and friends. Those things will have to wait for holidays to come, but for this year he had one request for his mother to create a feeling of home. All he wants for Christmas is coffee the company offers once a year – Starbucks® Christmas Blend.
“Every Christmas, he’d make sure he had a supply of Starbucks Christmas Blend,” said Joan, who lives with her husband in northern Idaho. “That’s the only kind he asks for specifically. So when he was deployed, he asked, ‘Mom, can you get me some Christmas Blend?’"
Brian recalled tasting the coffee one day at a base and becoming an instant fan. “Prior to that, I didn’t even drink coffee,” he said. “I can’t make it quite as good as the baristas, but it is a great morale booster.”
His mother, Joan, made it her mission to make that Christmas wish came true. She began shopping for the coffee weeks before it arrived in Starbucks stores. Her house is a half-hour from the nearest town with a Starbucks, so she reached out to the company through Facebook for some help.
On Veterans Day, a Starbucks partner (employee) who works with the Starbucks social media team, contacted the determined military mom. As soon as Christmas Blend® became available, Starbucks assembled a package containing four complimentary pounds of Christmas Blend, as well as a card, ornament and supply of VIA®. Once it arrived in Idaho, Joan pulled out two pounds of Christmas Blend to save for her son to enjoy when he arrives home from his six-month deployment in late January and tossed in a pennant from his alma mater, the University of Washington.
“He was just thrilled,” Joan said. “He texted me when the package arrived and said, ‘I can’t thank you enough, Mom!’”
12 Years of Starbucks Christmas Blend
When you pick up a bag of Starbucks® Christmas Blend this season, look closely. Just like the coffee inside, the package is a unique work of art. Starbucks introduced Christmas Blend in 1984, starting what has become a beloved tradition. Each year, designers create a new bag for the latest Christmas Blend vintage. In the spirit of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” our friends at 1912 Pike look back at 12 years of designs that capture the imagination and fun details of the season.
Starbucks® Christmas Blend has become a holiday tradition for Starbucks customers around the world since 1984.
“Everyone has an experience with this coffee,” said coffee specialist Leslie Wolford. “They can tell you where they were when they first had it. They can tell you what celebration they took it to.”
Starbucks first offered Christmas Blend in 1984 when it was just a small chain of five retail stores that sold whole bean coffee. It was a unique blend of Latin American beans, Indonesian coffees and rare, spicy Sumatran beans that have been aged for three to five years with a distinctive cedary, spicy flavor balanced by a sweet, rich smoothness.
When it was first introduced, customers quickly scooped up the coffee, buying it as a gift for friends and family or as a special addition to a holiday meal. Stores were selling Christmas Blend just as quickly as it could be put on the shelves. Over the next 30 years, Starbucks brought back the blend each year. Each vintage is unique – just like wine its flavors can fluctuate each season. What hasn’t changed is its cherished role through the holidays in more than 25,000 stores in 75 countries around the world.
Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee is available in participating stores and online in whole bean, ground, Verismo® pods, K-Cup® packs and Starbucks VIA® Instant.
For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom