Where Does Starbucks Get Their Coffee Beans?

If you haven’t heard of Starbucks before, we just can’t be friends. Only kidding. But seriously, Starbucks has to be one of the most prolific and popular coffee shops across the globe.

Apparently, the world-famous chain has a whopping 35,711 coffee shops worldwide at present. Now that’s a whole lot of coffee being served each and every day, right?

Where Does Starbucks Get Their Coffee Beans?

With that many stores, and even more customers constantly coming through their doors hoping to get their next caffeine fix, it’s pretty perplexing to even think about the number of coffee beans they need in order to maintain that constant supply.

And counting them one by one is a job that nobody would want! Could you imagine how tedious that would be? 

Well, while we won’t be spilling the secret of just how many coffee beans Starbucks purchases, we are going to look at where they source that incredible amount of coffee beans. So, if you’d like to learn more, keep reading. 

From Humble Beginnings To Taking Over The World

Though it’s hard to imagine a time when Starbucks wasn’t a household name, back in the early 1970s, it was no more than one simple store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market with a great mission to turn a traditional cafe into a coffeehouse that was more like a social hub rather than a place to simply sit and sip away at a selection of hot and cold beverages. 

And obviously, this vision was welcomed with open arms by the people of America, considering how popular the store has become. It has literally taken over the world. And its new mission is to always provide the most superior quality coffee on the market. 

This involves sourcing the best beans that are beautiful Earth has to offer. So, let’s take a look at where exactly Starbucks sources its amazing quality coffee beans. 

Where Do Starbucks Coffee Beans Come From? 

Before we begin, let’s start with a fun fact. Did you know that Starbucks is responsible for 3% of the world’s coffee supply? Now, 3% may sound like a small value, but be under no misconception, that is a whole lot of coffee. 

And as you might imagine, it’s hard to find that amount of coffee beans just from one singular region. Because of this reason, Starbucks doesn’t actually source their coffee beans from one particular area or country. Instead, they source them from across the globe.

This is a much smarter move, as it allows a steady yet constant supply of the beans, as well as a multitude of different flavors. 

However, there are three areas in particular that most of the supply comes from, and they are Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. Let’s take a look at which countries are involved in the Starbucks coffee supply! 

Latin America

  • Brazil
  • Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru

Asia Pacific 

  • China
  • East Timor
  • Hawaii
  • Indonesia
  • Papua New Guinea

Africa

  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

However, one thing that all of these areas have in common is that they all produce 100% arabica coffee beans as this is the only kind of coffee bean that Starbucks purchases for its stores. However, these beans can be used for a selection of different products such as: 

  • Blends 
  • Coffee Pods
  • Cold Brew Concentrate
  • Flavored Coffee
  • Instant Coffee
  • Single-Origin
Where Does Starbucks Get Their Coffee Beans?

Quality Control 

You’ll also be happy to know that Starbucks has several traceability systems in place to ensure the exact farms that the coffee beans are from, who the farmers are that produced them, and how much was paid for their coffee. 

The chain also adopted a vertical integration approach to ensure that they can control all facets of the enterprise. This includes sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and consumption.

Doing so means that Starbucks is able to ensure that the quality of the product is consistent and it also helps prevent supply issues. 

Can you imagine a coffee bean shortage? How would you possibly get yourself up and out of bed on a Monday morning without it? 

What Is Starbucks Reserve Coffee? 

For those who don’t know, the Starbucks Reserve Program officially launched back in 2010. This program allows the popular coffee chain to compete not only in the day-to-day coffee market but also in the high-end and premium coffee market too. 

The Starbucks Reserve Coffee boasts some of the most unique and exotic coffees that the chain has to offer. Now, you often have to catch these as they come in, and they often don’t stick around for long since they come in smaller lots. 

They are often limited by season and come from specific areas or farms. Typically, this high-end premium coffee will come as single-origin but sometimes there are also signature blends that are well worth a try. 

Starbucks Sustainability & Ethics

You may have reservations about the impact that importing such a high yield of coffee beans may have on the market. And rightly so. And that also begs the question of whether Starbucks has anything in place in terms of ethics and sustainability. Well, let’s take a look. 

Since 2015, Starbucks has ensured that its coffee beans are all 99% ethically sourced. Not only this but they also ensure that they support the farmers and the communities producing them too.

This is done through Farmer Support Centers, Coffee Tree Donations, Equitable Buying Practices, Emergency Relief Funding, Global Farmer Funds, and Origin Grants. 

Final Thoughts 

Everybody loves Starbucks coffee, that much is evident, there wouldn’t be so many stores across the globe if we didn’t! 

But with that many stores, the amount of coffee beans needed to supply them all is absolutely astronomical. This means that they simply can’t obtain their beans from one region of the world. Instead, they opt to purchase coffee beans from several different places across the world. 

What’s better, though, is that they have managed to do this in a sustainable and ethical way. 

Starbucks Coffee From Bean to Cup— and the People Along the Way

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