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La Candelilla Estate Coffee Shines at Starbucks; Vertically Integrated, Family-Owned Estate Delivers Starbucks Seventh Black Apron Exclusives Coffee

SEATTLE, Jul 05, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- One remarkable family. One great coffee. This week, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX) introduced La Candelilla Estate coffee, from Costa Rica.

"La Candelilla is one of Costa Rica's first micro-mills," explained Dub Hay, Starbucks senior vice president of Coffee and Global Procurement, "so the Sanchez family -- the nine owners of the estate -- controls the high quality of this exquisite coffee from seedling to export. The Sanchez family has been working this land for five generations, and we are honored and humbled to be working with them to provide this exceptional coffee to our customers."

The estate spans more than 90 acres including coffee plants, two main houses, a warehouse, a coffee mill and drying patios. The Sanchez family controls all aspects of green coffee growth and production, making sure their Caturra and Catuai varieties of arabica coffees are cared for every step of the way.

"The rich volcanic soil, high altitude and dry summers produce a 'strictly hard bean' with enormous flavor potential," continued Hay. "In the hands of our master roasters, this green bean is transformed into a coffee with juicy acidity and a flavor that is soft, sweet and complex."

La Candelilla Estate is in the magnificent valley of Tarrazu, set on a rise of land between the roaring Pirris River and a small creek -- in fact, the "little candle" estate is named for fireflies that light up this creek at twilight. The estate is high in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica, in a verdant valley known for breathtaking scenery and a region known for its leadership in growing fine coffees.

"Our family has a deep respect for each other and for our coffee," said Ricardo Hernandez, Manager, La Candelilla Estate. "Only the ripe coffee cherries are hand-picked, processed, completely sun-dried and graded in the old Tarrazu methods. In addition to producing the highest quality coffee, we use progressive, environmentally friendly practices -- like transforming the broza (skins of coffee cherries) into organic fertilizer, and using water treatment facilities to purify waste water and avoid any damage to our natural water sources."

Starbucks continues to award $15,000 for each Black Apron Exclusives(TM) coffee for a project that will improve the lives of the farmers in the community. These projects have made immediate impacts in education, transportation, coffee-processing facilities and the environment. The award for the most recent Black Apron Exclusives(TM) coffee, Elephant Kinjia coffee from Tanzania, will be spent on projects that improve health services, living conditions and coffee research/crop improvement, including new water systems at the medical dispensary in the village; rehabilitation of the bwana shamba's house (coffee headman); and a tissue culture project for the coffee.

The Black Apron Exclusives(TM) line of coffee is named for Starbucks most knowledgeable buyers, roasters, tasters and Coffee Masters, who wear black aprons in the tasting rooms and in Starbucks coffeehouses. Since Black Apron Exclusives(TM) coffees hail from very distinct and scarce crops -- making any prediction of availability nearly impossible -- subsequent introductions will be announced shortly before their arrival in select retail stores. One more rare and exclusive coffee -- expected to be available October 3, 2005 -- will follow La Candelilla Estate coffee this year.

Starbucks La Candelilla Estate coffee was introduced on July 4, 2005 and is available in Company-operated stores throughout North America (1/2 lb price: US $11, CAN $15) and at It will be available only while supplies last.

Starbucks(R) whole bean coffee assortment includes more than 20 single-origin offerings and blends from around the world, including many worldwide exclusive coffees. The "Coffee of the Week" program links brewed coffee to whole bean coffee, providing customers with the opportunity to bring a daily taste home for the weekend. Starbucks Coffee Masters are available in stores to answer coffee questions and help customers navigate the world of coffee.

Starbucks Corporation is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 9,000 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering the highest quality coffee and the Starbucks Experience while conducting its business in ways that produce social, environmental and economic benefits for communities in which it does business. In addition to its retail operations, the Company produces and sells bottled Frappuccino(R) coffee drinks, Starbucks DoubleShot(TM) coffee drink, and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company's brand portfolio provides a wide variety of consumer products. Tazo Tea's line of innovative premium teas and Hear Music's exceptional compact discs enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products.

SOURCE: Starbucks Coffee Company

Starbucks Coffee Company
Chris Gimbl, 206-318-8474