Dad of Divas' Reviews: Seattle’s Best Coffee Introduces with New “Level” System for Packaged Coffee

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seattle’s Best Coffee Introduces with New “Level” System for Packaged Coffee

Starbucks-Owned Brand Makes Finding the Right Coffee for Consumers as Easy as 1-2-3-4-5

Seattle’s Best Coffee®, part of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX), today announced a radically simplified packaged coffee line designed to change the conventions of the coffee category.  The Seattle’s Best Coffee “Level” System delivers great tasting, premium coffee with an expanded blend offering in conjunction with an innovative and bold new packaging concept.  The Level System’s unique array of numbers and vivid colors tell consumers exactly what they want to know: which type of coffee fits their taste profile. Seattle’s Best Coffee is the first brand in the coffee category to offer this unique approach, which will begin hitting grocery and retail store shelves in December 2010.

For Seattle’s Best Coffee, the Level System represents a move to bring simplicity to the coffee aisle today, while growing the brand’s market share in the premium coffee segment.  The packaged coffee market in the U.S. is a $3.6 billion dollar industry according to AC Nielsen*, and research shows shoppers today are sometimes overwhelmed by coffee choices. 

“The Level System represents a bold step forward in the packaged coffee category, and Seattle’s Best Coffee is leading the way,” said Michelle Gass, president, Seattle’s Best Coffee. “We’re making it easy for consumers to find the coffee that’s right for them.  For premium coffee drinkers, the Level System is a simple way to explore taste profiles, and for mainstream coffee drinkers, it is an invitation to enter the premium coffee segment with confidence and ease.”

With the new Level System, consumers will be able to easily find and choose from a selection of Seattle’s Best Coffee blends that span the entire range of coffee enjoyment, from a mild, light, crisp Level 1 to a bold, dark and intense Level 5.  Each Level represents a finely tuned recipe crafted from decades of roasting experience, blended from beans carefully chosen for their nuances and characteristics, and carrying the hallmark taste of Seattle’s Best Coffee: velvety, round and smooth. 

In addition to Levels 1 through 5, consumers can choose from a decaffeinated blend, an Organic Fair Trade CertifiedTM  blend and flavored coffees Cinnamon (“C”) and Hazelnut (“H”).   The new Level System lineup will begin replacing the existing Seattle’s Best Coffee products on shelves beginning in December.

According to AC Nielsen data, 85 percent of all coffee sold is listed as medium and light.  Before the new Level System, Seattle’s Best Coffee only offered choices in the medium and dark ranges.  By expanding its line-up and developing two new coffee blends and roasts, Level 1 and Level 2, Seattle’s Best Coffee is appealing to the growing base of consumers who enjoy a lighter blend but may be looking to trade up into the premium segment.

As part of the Starbucks Corporation, the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand leverages the same supply chain and quality controls as the Starbucks brand.  This means working side by side with farmers and cultivating decades-long relationships to ensure quality standards are met around the world. This dedication to responsibly grown, ethically traded coffee ensures access to the premium beans used in the Seattle’s Best Coffee Level System. 

“Ultimately, people select coffee based on taste and that can be hard to determine in today’s coffee aisle,” said Andrew Linnemann, director, Green Coffee Quality, Starbucks Corporation.  “Seattle’s Best Coffee is known for its smooth taste profile.  Each Level has been sourced, blended and roasted with care and precision to meet consumers’ desire to simply enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee.”

About Seattle’s Best Coffee
Seattle’s Best Coffee, LLC has been roasting premium coffee since 1970 and today roasts more than 20 million pounds of coffee every year and serves millions of cups of coffee every day.  Seattle’s Best Coffee is currently available in more than 550 cafes and kiosks as well as locations such as college campuses, restaurants, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, bookstores, grocery stores and movie theatres.  The company is rapidly expanding the distribution of its premium coffee.  Seattle’s Best Coffee is a featured brand within Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) and is ranked among the 10 best franchise opportunities by QSR Magazine (January 2010). For more information, please visit Seattle’s Best Coffee online at or and become a member of the coffee community at or @SeattlesBest on Twitter.

My  Take on the Coffee
I was very impressed with this new take on coffee! So often people have a hard time finding the right blend for their own taste, but with this new system from Seattle's Best you can take the worry out of choosing. All you need to know is what you are looking for in a cup of coffee and based on the number system you are there.

I am surprised that no other companies have come up with this idea in the past as it seems so sensible, but alas it does not surprise me that it was Seattle's Best who came up with it, as I have been impressed with them in the past as well with their innovativeness and willingness to try new things.

I provided some of these samples to my family members and friends to try as well (as they have come over to visit), and they too remarked on the great flavor and the ease in which someone can find the right flavor level for themselves.

So for me, I say, good job Seattle's Best and continue looking forward, and for all of you coffee drinkers, I ask, What is your coffee level?

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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