Starbucks

August 29, 2006 08:38 ET

From One Store on Seattle's Waterfront to Stores in 37 Countries, Starbucks Celebrates 35 Years of Delivering the Best Coffee Experience

SEATTLE--(Collegiate Presswire - August 29, 2006) - To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Starbucks (Nasdaq:SBUX) is bringing the party to coffee fans by reintroducing seasonal favorites, expanding the availability of one of its most exclusive coffees, and welcoming back a fall-themed favorite beverage. The festivities will continue online with Starbucks first-ever downloadable audio programming series, Coffee Conversations, where customers can expand their coffee knowledge. In stores, customers will be invited to try their coffee expertise and explore the nuances of aroma and flavor during Coffee Exploration seminars at Starbucks locations across the U.S. and Canada during the month of September.

Still serving thousands of customers each week, Starbucks first store, in Seattle's world-famous Pike Place Market, has been the only place until now where the Company's unique Pike Place Blend could be purchased. To commemorate its anniversary season, Starbucks is making this select blend available in stores in the U.S. and Canada, beginning today. Available only for a limited time, Pike Place Blend combines Starbucks® finest single-origin Latin American coffees to create a well-rounded blend, with a smooth complexity and a touch of roast intensity.

"Just as they did 35 years ago, customers come to our first store in Seattle every day to taste a great cup of coffee. We are thrilled to now share the flavor of that quality coffee experience with our customers around the country through the Pike Place Blend," said Jim Donald, Starbucks president and chief executive officer. "Because it is a tribute to our commitment to quality, our coffee heritage, and the place Starbucks calls home, we felt our 35th anniversary was the perfect opportunity for customers nationwide to experience this special coffee."

Pumpkin Pairs Perfectly with Fall

As millions of customers can attest, nothing heralds the arrival of fall like Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Latte and Starbucks® Anniversary Blend coffee. Consistently rated one of Starbucks most popular seasonal beverages, Pumpkin Spice Latte returns to stores today.

Coffee Enthusiasts Tune In to Coffee Conversations

In addition to tipping its hat to seasonal favorites and its humble Seattle beginnings, Starbucks is embarking on a new adventure, this time online, with Coffee Conversations, an audio program celebrating the art, science, and culture of coffee. A four-episode podcast series launching on September 5, Coffee Conversations will be hosted by Starbucks Coffee Masters and will welcome special guests to share ideas and information on topics such as home-brewing methods, specialty coffee, entertaining, Fair Trade™ certified coffee, and pairing coffee with different foods. Coffee Conversations is available for direct download or as a podcast at www.starbucks.com/coffeeconversations.

"As more and more of our customers look to Starbucks as the coffee expert with the latest in coffee trends and education, the Coffee Conversations audio program is a way for us to expand our elationships with them, while providing additional coffee knowledge and fun facts," said Scott McMartin, director, Coffee Education at Starbucks, and Coffee Conversations host. Aileen Carrell, McMartin's colleague and co-host of the program, added that "The ability to conduct in-depth sessions about coffee tasting or how to apply used coffee grounds to cultivate a garden, is an amazing opportunity for our Starbucks Coffee Masters and customers alike."

For in-person insight, Starbucks baristas will conduct Coffee Exploration seminars at Starbucks locations across the U.S. and Canada in September. These seminars will help reveal the essentials of finding, roasting and blending the finest cup of coffee; identifying distinctive flavors and aromas; the Four Fundamentals of brewing; "Geography is a Flavor;" and the taste characteristics of great coffee. To attend a Coffee Exploration seminar, customers should ask partners (employees) at their local Starbucks store when events will be conducted in their community.

Akeelah and the Bee on DVD

This fall, motivate returning students to strive for academic excellence with the DVD release of Akeelah and the Bee. An inspirational drama, Akeelah and the Bee is the story of a precocious 11-year-old girl (Keke Palmer) with a gift for spelling. Despite objections from her mother (Angela Bassett), Akeelah enters various spelling contests, for which she is tutored by the forthright Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) and the proud residents of her neighborhood. Akeelah's aptitude earns her a spot in the national spelling bee, and her determination instills all those who help her with a sense of community pride as they witness the courage and enthusiasm of one amazing little girl. A Lionsgate, 2929 Productions and Starbucks Entertainment Presentation of an Out of the Blue Entertainment and Reactor Films Production in association with Cinema Gypsy Productions, Inc., Akeelah and the Bee was released theatrically by Lionsgate in April of 2006 and was one of the most critically acclaimed live-action family films of the year. Akeelah and the Bee will be available at Starbucks Company-operated locations in the U.S. and at traditional retail beginning on August 29.

Starbucks Coffee Journey

Today, Starbucks has nearly 12,000 locations in 37 countries and serves more than 40 million customers each week. Expanding its knowledge over the past 35 years, Starbucks coffee department now tastes more than 150,000 cups of coffee each year to ensure that Starbucks offers only the highest quality coffee. That's more than 12 million ounces, or enough to fill Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, the largest indoor aquarium in the world.

Some Starbucks milestones over the last 35 years include:

-- Named after the first mate in Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, Starbucks opened its doors in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971

-- Still atop millions of holiday wish-lists, Starbucks introduced Starbucks® Christmas Blend in 1985

-- Changing the daily lives of millions, Starbucks complemented its line-up of whole-bean coffee with espresso beverages like Caffe Latte and Caffe Mocha, in 1987

-- Nonfat milk was first offered to Starbucks customers in 1989; by 1997, about half the lattes and cappuccinos sold at Starbucks were made with nonfat milk

-- Starbucks Frappuccino® blended beverages burst onto the scene in 1995, making their appearance on grocery store shelves in bottled form one year later in 1996

-- Starbucks began selling CDs in 1995, as a result of an extremely popular in-house music program initiated by a store manager at Starbucks Seattle's University Village location

-- Starbucks goes global in 1996 with entry into Japan

-- Tazo LLC, a tea company based in Portland, Ore., was acquired by Starbucks in 1999

-- In conjunction with Conservation International, Starbucks developed socially responsible coffee buying guidelines called C.A.F.E. Practices (Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices) in 2001. By fiscal year 2005, more than 20 percent of all green coffee purchased by Starbucks came from suppliers verified through C.A.F.E. Practices.

-- T-Mobile® HotSpot™, Starbucks high-speed branded wireless internet service, launched in 2002 and is now one of the largest high-speed networks in the country

-- In 2004, Starbucks emerged as an entertainment powerhouse with the release of the eight-time Grammy® winning CD, Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company

-- Starbucks acquired Ethos Water in 2005 and set a goal of donating $10 million to support clean water projects around the world over the next five years

-- Starbucks is currently one of the largest purchasers of Fair Trade™ certified coffee in North America and the only company licensed to sell it in 27 countries

-- Today, Starbucks offers more than 50,000 possible beverage combinations, brings back fan favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte, launches its first-ever Coffee Conversations podcast series, and launches the Akeelah and the Bee DVD in stores

Starbucks Coffee Company

Through the dedication of our passionate partners (employees), Starbucks Coffee Company has transformed the way people in 37 countries enjoy their coffee, one cup at a time. Starbucks is the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world, with nearly 12,000 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering its customers the highest quality coffee and human connection through the Starbucks Experience, while striving to improve the social, environmental and economic well being of its partners, coffee farmers, countries of coffee origin, and the communities which it serves. Through Ethos Water, Starbucks demonstrates its long history of integrating a social conscience into all aspects of its business. The Company surprises and delights its customers by producing and selling bottled Starbucks Frappuccino® coffee drinks, Starbucks DoubleShot® espresso drink and Starbucks® superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships, and Starbucks™ Coffee and Cream Liqueurs through a marketing and distribution agreement, in other convenient locations outside its retail operations. The Company's brand portfolio includes superpremium Tazo® teas, Starbucks Hear Music™ compact discs, Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia. These brands' unique and innovative personalities allow Starbucks to appeal to a broad consumer base.

MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE:

http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5216412

Contact Information