About halfway through my commute this morning I realized that I’d left my fresh bag of Counter Culture’s Kuta coffee sitting in my kitchen. I was tempted to turn back, but not wanting to be too late for work and knowing that Starbucks’ new Pike Place Blend is at least drinkable, I decided to be a good employee and pick up coffee at the Evil Empire instead.
Normally when I go to a Starbucks I’ll only get brewed coffee, since the bags of beans aren’t marked with a roast date and there’s no telling how old they are. But waiting in line today I saw that they had half-pound bags of Pike Place for sale, and with a roast date hand-written right on the package. “Freshly roasted on: 5-12-08,” it said.
“Wow, that’s fresh,” I thought. “Way to go, Starbucks.” But wait a second. Isn’t today the 12th? I’m no roasting expert, but I really doubt these beans were roasted in the middle of the night, cooled, packaged without resting, delivered to a store in DC, and placed out for sale by 9:30 am.
So what’s going on here? Isolated mistake or pervasive skullduggery? Anyone else notice impossible roasting dates on Starbucks coffee?
[Thanks to Caleb for photographing with his pricey Apple impulse purchase.]
Update 5/13/08: Former barista Baylen says in the comments: “The date on the bag is the date they scoop the beans in the store, not the roast date. Not sure why it says roast, but it’s disingenuous.”
Second update: Mystery definitively solved. Thanks, StarbucksGossip. The label applied to my bag was made for the 5 lbs. bags. The smaller bags are supposed to have “scooped on” labels instead. I’m glad to know this was an innocent mistake, but as Jim points out, who the hell cares when a coffee was scooped? If they have the roast date available, they should just put that on the label.