Does Starbucks Routinely Test For Mold And Mycotoxins?

a guy I know and respect from another message board posted this, after we had a discussion about bulletproof coffee:


Rick, you may have a reaction to Starbucks coffee, probably due to their roast (on the dark side) not sitting well with you, but they have access to the best beans in the world (they pay the highest price and get pick of the litter), and since they roast everything at one site and have the absolute strictest QC in the business, it isn't mold you're getting. They are anal to an extreme degree about that. Straight from the horse's mouth BTW.


when I politely challenged his information (i typically feel like crap after drinking starbucks, so rarely do anymore unless there's zero alternative), he posted this:

Starbucks relentlessly test for mycotoxins at the plantation level and at the plant. It is as clean as I think it is because one of the people who does it for a living lives four houses over from me.


Does anyone know if this is true or not? Just curious. I've always found their coffee way overrated, back when I drank other stuff. I always preferred Peets. Actually just ordered Peet's San Sebastian (guatemala) and Costa Rica beans to try out, getting a bit bored with Dave's beans and would like some variety if I can find alternatives that keep me feeling great.


But if Starbucks is actually routinely testing for these issues, that would be a good thing.


  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited July 2015
    Interesting to know.

    But isn't it a mute point for you, since you "feel like crap" after drinking it.

    Tho, I wonder why it makes you feel like crap, if it were not mold/mycotoxins

    fake it till you make it

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited July 2015

    If they did, why wouldn't they write about it? You've got a bit of a game of telephone going on here, but I suspect the breakdown is between not buying moldy beans, and the common misconception that mold = mycotoxins. Of course their coffee buyer would scoff at the idea of moldy beans. 


    There are several instances of the word "mold" within the domain. Site search for "mold" here


    There are zero instances of the words "mycotoxin(s)" within the domain. Site search for "mycotoxins" here


    Neither word shows up in their 2014 annual report to investors. 


    If it's true that they roast ALL their beans in one location, and assuming they don't have a separate product pipeline for Europe, then they may meet EU mycotoxin standards, which at least for chocolate is generally good enough for Dave (with Lindt.) I just don't see why a publicly held company would exceed government regulations (at great cost,) or if they did why they wouldn't advertise it. 



    As for your reaction, my understanding is they do over-roast to maintain a consistent flavor across so many beans, sort of a homogenization process, so you could be reacting to over-roasting byproducts even in batches without mycotoxins. 

  • WalterWalter ✭✭✭

    Don't they *have* to check for mycotoxins to a certain degree? Or is there no such regulation?

  • when I asked my friend if he had links or if his neighbor could provide more info, this was his response:


    Rick, hard to get anything in writing from Starbucks (they are very very secretive), but the neighbor says their mycotoxin standards are half that of the EU.


    And their type of bean may not be your taste (perfectly legitimate), but they pay about 15-25% above the boutique guys for the beans they buy, and their testing teams have bithbsome if the most talented tasters and a full micro tech team. They legitimately buy the top end of what they want, and pay a premium. They don't cut corners on the beans. At all. They reject more coffee than some of the large buyers buy. I've been to two of their contracted plantations, and aside from the coffee, the amazing thing is that part if the contract requires a clinic, school, and daycare that is open to the entire village. Starbucks figures that money is useless if there isn't infrastructure to use the money, so they make that part if their deal. Spectacularly forward thinking socially and from a corporate responsibility standpoint (part of why I am a big supporter). And Shultz is Jobs level obsessive about their quality standards.


    And thinking about it, my reaction to drinking their coffee could well be from things other than the coffee itself, now that I ponder it. I don't drink my coffee black, never have. With BPC, that issue is easily resolved. At Starbucks, now what. Latte? Put in some milk or half and half? Soy milk? None of those options are bulletproof. Have tried various things, probably more that issue than the coffee itself if they do test as he describes.


    And think what you want about their coffee, I do admire the way they conduct business. I read Schultz's book, good stuff.
  • Lol, as if they would pay top dollar for beans that they then burn for the sake of consistency. Sounds like a company line to me.

    The espresso from Starbucks tastes bad. Not bad as in this isn't what i like bad, quality detection and preference are not the same thing.

  • I've been making Bulletproof Coffee with Starbucks beans (usually blends...which I know is not Bulletproof), Kerrygold, and Brain Octane oil. I definitely feel the benefits of going Bulletproof. I may try getting the upgraded beans to see if I feel a difference. 

  • Isn't anyone bothered by Starbucks joining forces with Monsanto to sue VT for wanting to label GMOs?

  • sparefilmssparefilms Post-human Construct ✭✭✭

    I would too, GMO claims are baseless, the labelling is purely to stroke consumer fads and ignorance.

    I agree for the most part, except for the motivation in favor of labeling. It is perfectly valid for consumers wanting to know which foods are GMO and which are not, similar to placing labels with the country of origin and the cultivar. The reason they choose one over the other may be baseless, but providing that information is a far better idea than deliberately leaving it out. Marketing-wise there is an incentive for manufacturers to include this information as well, since non-GMO produce would carry a premium pricing (again based on consumer ignorance, but people are allowed to pay for their ignorance in dollars).


    I'm the type of person who wants to know as much as possible about my food whenever I can, even down to the soil composition if it is somehow possible to fit it on the label! I'd also like to know which produce is an heirloom variant because I like to save the seeds of the ones I enjoy and grow them myself, which could potentially violate patent laws until better regulation gets passed in that area. (Not a serious threat but still a concern to keep in mind.)

  • I think that guys Starbucks story with the neighbor who is a Starbucks employee/ expert superhero has been made up.

  • Starbucks coffee makes me jittery and it isn't the caffeine because the decaf makes me even more jittery. I would be interested as to why?
    The new Dark Chocolate cold brew is so good -a total brush of genius. Hopefully I can break my dark chocolate addiction with it? Does anyone know how to make it? at 5 bucks a pop it's still less expensive than SBs. It's pushing $2,000 a year which is worth it to me just in time saved though I'd certainly prefer less out of pocket -of course not at the cost of getting a lesser quality product. Nice nice work Dave!!

Sign In or Register to comment.