Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starbucks Café Estima Coffee Is Just Worth The Buy For Fans Of Rich, Dark Coffees!

The Good: Appropriately caffeinated, Good aroma, Tastes very good
The Bad: Expensive (paying for name)
The Basics: With a weaker recommendation than one might expect for a Starbucks coffee blend, Starbucks Cafe Estima Coffee is very good, but still very expensive.

As the holiday season passes, I am certainly reaping the benefits of after-holiday shopping, even if my new diet plan is not! My wife went out several days ago and was excited when she found one last Starbucks gift set hidden at Walmart, no doubt by a customer who loves coffee, but just cannot justify paying so much for Starbucks. Well, my wife decided to teach that hoarder a lesson and she bought the hidden gift set and now, I am enjoying a big, steaming cup of Starbucks Café Estima coffee.

Café Estima may be a seasonal coffee from Starbucks, but the expense of the bag comes mostly from the name. You’re paying for the corporate branding, though the coffee inside is very good.


Based on the success of Starbucks, a chain of coffee shops, Starbucks began selling its coffee in supermarkets and other stores. The standard size for Café Estima is a 13 oz. bag, though the bag my wife picked up was only 2.5 oz. as it was part of a gift set.

The Café Estima Blend is an aromatic blend that smells potently of coffee beans and it is a caffeinated blend. This is intended to be a bold coffee and it does come across as that, from the aroma to the first sip!

Ease Of Preparation

Cafe Estima Coffee is remarkably easy to prepare, no advanced culinary degrees necessary! First, open the bag. Starbucks Cafe Estima Coffee is vacuum sealed when first purchased, so when it is opened, the bag will likely plump up a little. Then, measure out one heaping tablespoon for every two cups of water in your coffee maker. Café Estima Coffee is intended for automatic (drip or percolating) coffee makers. This is NOT an instant coffee. As a result, it needs to be brewed and I use a Hamilton Beach machine (reviewed here!) with Melitta coffee filters (reviewed here!).

Consult your coffee maker's instructions for how to brew the coffee. However, as far as the basics go, you'll need a coffee filter, which you put the Café Estima Coffee in and then brew through your coffee maker. The directions recommend making a pot at a time and serving it within twenty minutes and brewing complete pots does seem to net a more unified taste to the coffee (nothing too weak or too strong - as if the latter is possible!).


The Café Estima blend smells exactly like what one might expect of a powerful black coffee. This is one of the few coffees I have ever tasted that has a legitimately bitter scent to it. Smelling Café Estima, the scent is not warm and inviting, it is hot, heady and bitter.

This prepares the consumer perfectly for the experience of drinking Café Estima, except that the experience is not at all unpalatable. This is a coffee that is very bitter, but dark and flavorful. This tastes richly of dark coffee beans and so in the best tradition of coffee, this tastes like water that has been burned. There are no additional flavors to this coffee.

With creamer, Café Estima gets a touch sweeter, but be it creamer or syrups, this is a coffee that never relents on its strong coffee flavor. This is a coffee drinker’s coffee!


This is coffee, not something that appears on the nutrition pyramid! Starbucks Cafe Estima Coffee does not contribute anything to one's daily recommended allowance of anything. In fact, the bag does not have any ingredients, so I am forced to assume all that is in this blend is coffee beans, which would fit what it tastes like.

This is a caffeinated blend and it feels like it! This has enough caffeine to pop one's eyes open between the taste, aroma and caffeine. Because it is a caffeinated coffee, it appears to not have undergone any of the chemical processes that sometimes cause complications in decaffeinated coffees.


Cafe Estima Coffee ought to be stored sealed in its container with the top firmly closed. Coffee is known to absorb flavors of food nearby it, so keeping the top tightly closed is highly recommended. There are different schools of thought on refrigerating open coffee and I have a very clean refrigerator with a lot of ways to segregate coffee, so I tend to come down on the side of refrigerate it. The container makes no recommendations on that count , though the bag of Cafe Estima Coffee my wife bought earlier this week had an expiration date of mid-April 2012, so this is not a great coffee for stocking up on.

After brewing, coffee grounds ought to be disposed of. These grounds may be thrown in the trash when used or put in a compost pile, if available. Coffee grounds make great compost and I swear the pine tree I've been putting these grounds around has shot up since I started caffeinating the ground around it!


Starbucks Cafe Estima Coffee is a very good dark roast coffee, but it still feels overpriced for the quality. I have had equally good, equally dark and robust coffees without having to deprive someone of their hidden Starbucks gift set!

For other coffee reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Taster’s Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee
Tim Horton’s Fine Ground Coffee
Kahlua Coffee


For other food or drink reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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