Isla Flores Indonesia – New Starbucks Reserve Coffee

The new Starbucks Reserve coffee called Isla Flores Indonesia launched in Starbucks on February 19th.  It’s a bold, wash-processed, Indonesian coffee, grown at an elevation of about 3,950 feet to 5,000 feet.  The flavor notes are maple, spices, and butterscotch.

Today (February 16, 2013), I went to a tasting for this new coffee, held at the Seventh and Pike Starbucks in downtown Seattle.  Coffee master Jay walked us through the seminar, and paired Isla Flores Indonesia with some “Butterscotch Chews” from See’s Candy.  I was still getting over a head cold, and had some difficult smelling much of anything.  One person told me that he smelled cinnamon in the aroma.  By the way, the coffee for tonight’s event was Clover brewed.

I definitely liked this new coffee.  I thought it was fairly dark roast for a single origin Reserve offering, but it seemed to work well at that roast profile.  There were indeed caramelly, butterscotch flavors to the coffee.  If I could do a second tasting of this coffee, I would love to see how it would work as a shot of espresso.  My gut says that the nice caramelization of the beans, and natural flavors would make it fantastic as an espresso shot.

It was pretty fun that Jay broke out the store’s old “aroma kit” to help with the aromas.  Most everyone there agreed that the coffee also had a certain earthiness to it, both in aroma and flavor, but I was having a hard time detecting that.

Thank you Jay for putting together this event!  If you have tried the Isla Flores Indonesia coffee, I would love to hear how you liked it.

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11 Comments

  1. purple1
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 07:45:18

    Melody would never think of pairing the candy with the coffee. When you are at a coffee tasting, do they ever ask if there are any suggestions from the customers what food would go good with the particular coffee they are tasting?

  2. Adam Jackson
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 08:01:19

    Hi Melody! I had a venti-clover of this roast today and it was very good. Maybe too nutty and earthy for my taste but a solid for under $4 a Venti which is great!

    I also love the design of the packaging for this one. Very pretty and colorful.

  3. Chgo.
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 10:06:01

    I think this is the better of the two new Reserves, the other being West Java. I couldn’t figure out what flavors I was supposed to be tasting with the West Java. I have tried the Isla Flores 3 times this week, and I was pleased the 1st two times. I would love to try this iced! Unfortunately my luck has run out, and I have finally gotten sick, meaning my taste buds are out of whack. Today I ordered it hot again, and because I was sick, it was rather flat. But if your looking for that butterscotch and maple flavor in a coffee like this has, you will not only like it, but should taste it. I was expecting that it would be a bit bolder than it is, but it is a very decent Reserve.

  4. Monica Dillow
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 14:08:23

    Hi Melody! This was my first order of a Reserve coffee and I must say I am very impressed. The coffee is bold and yet extremely smooth at the same time. I know I am going to sound ignorant but I have to ask,”what is clover?” I’ve not heard of this before this blog post. Thanks!!

  5. Chgo.
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 14:39:18

  6. Monica Dillow
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 05:15:18

    Chgo, Thanks for the information on the Clover System. Just to let everyone know I was going to order more of this coffee this morning but did not see it available on the website. Maybe if you’re lucky you can catch it at your local Starbucks.

  7. Hayley
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 21:18:40

    This coffee sounds just wonderful! After all these years of my grumbling and there is still no sign of a Clover or even just a Reserve store. :( Sigh, maybe someday…until then I have to live vicariously through you! So, I’m very glad you do these posts so I can determine if they are worth ordering online and paying the shipping for them.

  8. Jason
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 16:42:51

    I’m disappointed that I didn’t try this while I was near a Clover on a trip last week. I tried the West Java instead and was quite underwhelmed. It seemed to be a cup of blandness, unlike any reserve coffee I’ve had before.

    On a side note, the store was testing the Caramel Flan drinks. Interestingly none of the partners working had heard that they could/should be made with a different whip.

  9. Eric N
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 20:11:21

    I really liked this coffee. Definitely tasted the butterscotch note, and I really appreciated the “woodsy evergreen” …a little more crisp than the earthy, barky flavors I’ve come to expect from Indonesian coffees (but this makes sense: Indonesian coffees are usually semi-washed, while Isla Flores is washed – the added fermentation gives it a slightly brighter acidity than e.g. Sumatra, Blue Java, etc.).

    It paired wonderfully with the La Boulange Banana Walnut Loaf.

  10. Melody
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 20:14:20

    Welcome to the blog Eric N! Hope you’ll “like” it too. I am a little jealous that you’ve already tried the La Boulange pastries! I have been waiting and waiting to write about them until I get a chance to try them. I have heard that Seattle launches La Boulange items in May. Maybe it will be a birthday present to me from Starbucks. ;) Great pastries.

  11. Jean Hémond
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 10:44:59

    This coffee was Champagne for breakfast this morning!
    Thank to My Isabelle!

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