Starbucks Natural Fusions Vanilla Ground Coffee, 11 Ounce

Vanilla has a subtle flavor and an indulgent aroma that’s simply made for coffee. To allow the vanilla to come through, we specially blended and lightly roasted Latin American beans. A combination of coffee artistry and culinary insight, this aromatic coffee has an understated vanilla highlight. You’re in for a rare treat and an entirely new experience – a fusion of premium coffee with natural ingredients ground right in.

Quick facts

  • Pack of two, 11-ounces per pack (total of 22 ounces)
  • High quality Latin American arabica coffee beans
  • Naturally flavored coffee

Top reviews

Wonderful

I don’t know how to start this off, this coffee tastes nothing like I have tasted before…That is how wonderful it is…If you love Vanilla this is for you to try…I especially love doing Ice Coffee in the morning…Thank you Starbucks for putting this out…YAY!
InaPewamo, MI

Awful, just awful

My wife and I fancy ourselves coffee connoisseurs. We use an expensive drip-brew machine, cold filters, specially filtered cold water, and fresh fine-ground coffee from Pete’s.

However, we also frequent Starbucks when traveling, and Seattle’s Best, and even [shudder] Java City from time to time. We have exacting standards which we use at home, but we are fine with (and even enjoy), the occasional cup of Starbucks coffee, etc.

With that in mind, I when ahead and ordered this coffee sampler bag from Amazon Vine, figuring it might be an interesting trial. It was interesting all right, but only in the “i can’t believe they tried to sell that as a premium new product” sort of interesting.

The grounds arrive dried out and brittle, I suspect freeze-drying was the culprit. The bag is a cheap-seal bag, glued shut, and the feel and smell of the grounds screamed “cheap.”

But, even with those misgivings, I soldiered on. Maybe the coffee those grounds produced wouldn’t be THAT bad … right? It is Starbucks after all, they have a MINIMUM reputation they are trying to maintain … yeah, I was wrong.

The coffee produced from these grounds was bitter, acrid, and acidic. The vanilla flavoring is obviously an additive that was poured on to the beans, and it also contributes to the bitter and acidic taste — you can feel it in the back of your throat, and curdling the taste buds at the back of your tongue.

Cream and sugar mask some of the unpleasantness, but only some of it. The bottom line is this product is a cheap, freeze-dried coffee bean that has been sprinkled with the cheapest imitation vanilla “flavoring” they could find. I have tasted real vanilla bean infused flavor, and also premium vanilla extract flavor, and this was not it.

If you want vanilla flavored coffee, I would say your best bet is to buy quality beans/grounds, and brew them properly, and then add a shot or two of premium vanilla syrup, or keep a couple of vanilla beans in your coffee beans/grounds, and let the flavor infuse directly into the coffee before brewing.

Stay away from this offering from Starbucks, it is just nasty.

CarolaLisco, NE

Downsized For Price?

As a buyer of this prior, I am somewhat surprised to see this once 1 POUND had been reduced to just 12 ounces the last time I bought. Now? Just 11 ounces? Aside from the shrinking amount of coffee for the price (leaves a bad taste in my mouth!), how about the coffee? Well, I really have a liking for anything vanilla from juicing, to smoothies and coffee too. When drip brewed, I find this coffee a bit too full flavored (slightly bitter to me) and add a bit of creamer to soften it a bit. I am not a huge coffee drinker since a recent heart attack and had to go to decaf so this new batch is for my wife. She doesn’t care at ALL for this brand however unless she pours in about 3-4 ounces of dairy creamer (coffee-mate French Vanilla from Nestle) so the price is just crazy for me when I see how she “modifies it”! But this is from a guy who just drinks a cup of instant Folgers decaf every morning these days (sad I know).

So I have to defer to the connoisseurs on snob appeal and such. To me, it has always just been a nice cup of coffee before I was no longer able to drink with any caffeine. This brand was just one in a bunch of experiments I treated myself too after retirement before the heart attack. To ME, it is just an “average” coffee with an above average price. To be fair, remember I am not a big coffee person so this is perspective from an old guy who just was a casual drinker of coffee, not a fanatic. I just don’t see the value given both my wife and myself added so much coffee creamer to get the desired taste of Vanilla? I still rate this 3 stars (average) since I may just not be the type of coffee drinker to “appreciate” something I just don’t get. For what it’s worth, I also prefer grilled hamburgers over grilled steak. And yes, beer over whiskey too…..No reason to beat up on a Company I really respect for it’s success and quality treatment of their employees (but that’s another story)!

HanRavenden Springs, AR

Is This Really Vanilla-Flavored???

I love a cup of Starbucks coffee, and I love a good flavored coffee. When Starbucks announced Natural Fusions Ground Coffee, I really looked forward to purchasing and tasting it. Vanilla-flavored coffee is one of my personal favorites – as long as it is not sickenly artificial. I love Gevalia’s French Vanilla, but prefer not to have to get regular shipments of a product. I’d much rather be able to purchase my coffee as needed and at the local grocer. Based on my experience with regular Starbucks ground coffees, I was sure Starbucks would be able to produce an excellent flavored coffee.

Unfortunately, I feel Starbucks missed the mark, just as they did with the Caramel Flavored Natural Fusions. The Vanilla Flavored Natural Infusions Ground Coffee has almost no vanilla odor and has even less vanilla taste. Since the coffee I purchased was just being put onto the grocer’s shelf, I know it was fresh and had not lost scent or flavor due to aging. In an attempt to be sure my dissatisfaction was not due to drinking my coffee black with sweetner only, I added cream to the cup. This did nothing to enhance or elevate the intensity of the vanilla flavor. Rather, this coffee is a very good coffee, but does not have any layers of other flavors, either subtle or more noticeable. For those looking for a flavored coffee which disguises the taste of coffee, this is definitely not for you.

I am less than pleased with Starbucks Natural Fusions Vanilla Flavored coffee and have rated it as an average brew. If you are interested in trying this coffee, visit the manufacturer’s website and put the word “fusions” in the search box. You will be able to print two coupons for $1.50 off a bag of this coffee so that you can decide for yourself whether Starbucks has produced a brew that meets its usual quality standards.

TakishaBatesburg, SC

Smooth, Not Bitter, but Vanilla?

I’ve been drinking coffee every morning of my adult life and in recent years have developed a fondness for flavored coffees. My favorites are mocha, cinnamon, and hazelnut. Thus I welcomed the opportunity to try a Starbucks flavored coffee, Natural Fusions no less.

I love opening a fresh container of coffee to experience that heavenly burst of fresh, intense coffee aroma. When my bag of Starbucks Vanilla had its grand opening, I must say I was disappointed by the lack of a distinct vanilla aroma or anything resembling aroma. I figured I’d just have to wait for the actual brew to experience the promised vanilla flavor.

So how is the coffee’s vanilla flavor? Does it make up for the lack of that heavenly coffee scent that eluded me? Let’s put it this way. If I were given a blind taste test,I’d be hard pressed to identfy this coffee as vanilla flavored. In fact, I’m not sure I could match any specific flavor to this coffee. It’s obviously flavored to this taster, but I can only recognize that distant, nebulous vanilla taste because of the flavor’s word printed on the bag.

Overall this is a pleasant coffee. It’s smooth, not bitter, and has a pleasant aftertaste. But if you are looking for a readily identifiable vanilla accent, you will have to be satisfied with vageuely vanilla.

GwynethCapistrano Beach, CA

Tastes like real vanilla, very subtle and smooth

I am sipping on this right now and loving it. The vanilla flavor is not fake at all, and it does not overpower the flavor of the beans which is surprisingly good. I don’t like many flavored coffees because they taste like they were sprayed with chemicals, not this one.

I am also not the biggest fan of Starbucks coffee that you can get in their cafes, it all tastes burnt to me. I never had their DIY beans and grounds before and I like this much better than what they serve in their chains. I think it is because I can use a bit less grounds and steep how I like; it creates a cup that is just as strong, but not so bitter or burnt tasting.

I used 2/3 of what the bag recommended and it is still very robust. I made it in a french press for 4 minutes, added 2 creams and 1 sugar, and it kept its deep java edge despite my add-ins. I sipped it black too and was pleasantly surprised at how less acidic it was than the cafe offering.

I took a star off for not being a 16 ounce bag despite the list price, its feels like they are charging for a pound, but skimming off the top. The price here on Amazon is much better.

I am really enjoying my 3:30 Mommy-pick-me-up. We have 26 guests coming for Thanksgiving in a few days, so I anticipate many pots of this coffee will help make that happen 🙂

TinishaKlingerstown, PA

could be better

I’m used to going to Starbucks for vanilla lattes and I was hoping this coffee would have a sweet vanilla flavor to it. Although I’m glad to be contributing to buying Starbucks products, this coffee flavor is a let-down. If there is a hint of vanilla flavoring to it, it’s extremely subtle and I was unable to notice it. If you buy this and you’re looking for it to have a sweet vanilla flavor, I would recommend buying a syrup to add to the coffee.
MeaganAdvent, WV

Not so good

Purchased only as a filler for an order, had 7.50 off a two pack on top of that still not worth it, I had much rather have 8Oclock. Way overpriced and had little vanilla flavor.
TadFort Mc Kavett, TX

I can smell the vanilla, can’t taste it

Starbucks Natural Fusions Vanilla coffee isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You can clearly smell the vanilla when you open the bag but….. brewing destroys it

After I brewed a pot, Could not smell the vanilla nor taste it. The Vanilla was gone.

Save your money. There’s no vanilla flavor, just vanilla scent in the coffee grounds fresh out of the bag

CaraArcadia, SC

Starbucks is consistant…

… consistently bad.

— EDITED 11-27-2010 —
Has anyone read the ingredients? This product contains corn maltodextrin (which I have an allergy to), vegetable glycerin, and Indian sarsaparilla root. This is probably where the odd and nasty taste I am getting is coming from.

And why the hell are these in coffee? Shouldn’t it be JUST coffee and whatever flavoring is added?

Way to go Starbucks! 1 star!
— EDIT —

I’ve tried many different Starbucks coffees, from morning blends to more flavored coffees and not one have I enjoyed or liked.

The vanilla flavor in Starbucks Natural Fusions is a joke. When you first open the bag you are hit with this amazing aroma of nice fragrant coffee with a delightful hint of vanilla. When brewing, you completely loose the vanilla smell. And once tasted, the vanilla is GONE. And I don’t think I should be expected to have to add something (be it milk, cream, or some other product) to bring out the flavor of the coffee. A good coffee can stand alone straight from the pot.

No matter how weak or strong I made it, it had a not so pleasant taste to it. I’m thinking that it had a lot of quakers in it before the coffee was ground, thus this odd taste was present.

The only redeeming quality is the look and design of the bag, initial smell, and the fact that it gives me my caffeine for the day, even if I have to chug it.

Back to the drawing board Starbucks and come back with a better tasting blend.

Pros:
Smells great!
Didn’t get a bitter taste from it (oddly enough).

Cons:
Didn’t taste like vanilla by any stretch.
Isn’t all that palatable to my or three other peoples taste.
Pricey for mediocre coffee.

JoeTchula, MS

AWESOME!

I love this particular brand and taste! The vanilla not only has a great aroma when brewing, but the flavor is just as awesome! I love coffee and usually always change what i’m drinking because of the vast variety out there; but I honestly have to say that this is probably the 3rd time in a row i’ve purchased this particular brand and flavor! I love it!… Nothing more 🙂
AmmieWhittemore, IA

No Artificial Flavors and it’s so delish!

This coffee is great and you feel so good knowing you’re not putting junk into your body! Love it!!
ChristeenMuir, MI

Don’t throw away that empty Starbucks coffee bag!

I must confess right up front that I’m not a coffee drinker, but everyone else in my family is, so this review is a composite of remarks and observations from all of them. The vanilla aroma and taste is definitely there and yet is well balanced so it isn’t overpowering. This type grind worked very well in our cone shaped filter with a paper liner. There were no grounds in the brewed coffee. Even I could tell that this coffee had a very nice aroma while it was brewing, once again not overpoweringly vanilla. Everyone agreed that this is what they would consider a mild roast (milder than the Pike’s Peak as a point of reference), some experienced some bitterness while others did not.

The overall opinion was that this was an enjoyable coffee which would be ideal for a specially brewed pot, but not for a standard get-you-going-in-the-morning pot. It seems that my coffee drinkers want basic medium to strong coffee for that first cup of the day. One really interesting thing I found on the package is that Starbucks will give you a free 12 oz cup of coffee if you take this empty bag to a Starbucks store before the expiration date for the coffee which is printed on the bag. That might be standard procedure with all their bags of home brewed coffee but it was new for all of us. It sounded like a great plus to my coffee drinkers.

KittyParker, ID

Great flavored coffee…. only the Starbucks way

Flavored coffee sometimes tastes artificial. This Starbucks Vanilla coffee smells great as it’s brewing. And the taste is great. Not artificial. And no aftertaste.

Highly recommend this coffee if you like a bit of vanilla taste. You can’t go wrong.

And enjoy the aroma as it brews…. so pleasing.

GarnetBurr Hill, VA

Not A Fan But Would Drink It In a Pinch

3 Tries, 3 people and an average rating of 3 Stars.

The unanimous conclusion: It’s okay.

Getting ready to brew our first sample, we agreed that the coffee in the bag smelled spectacular. The process of brewing significantly stripped much of the flavor noted when the bag was opened, but the final product, prepared according to directions, was smooth with a nice flavor.

Liking our brew stronger, we made our second sample using more grind than called for in the directions. That time around we all detected a slight bitterness. One person called the aftertaste “chemically,” despite Starbucks’ assertion of all natural flavorings.

The next day, we brewed a third batch in our preferred coffee maker, a french press. The vanilla flavor was more pronounced, but so was the bitterness. None of us finished our individual cups of the french press brewed batch. In Starbucks defense, using a press ignores their directions which specifically say to use a “machine,” so we did not weigh this batch heavily in our rating.

Overall, we agreed that it is drinkable, but not worth the premium price. Occasional drinkers of not very strong coffee would probably rate this product one star higher.

BroderickRavenel, SC

Rich Tasting!

Starbucks’ Vanilla Flavored Ground Coffee sounded so good, I decided to order it when it was offered through the Vine program. And I’m so glad I did! It has a full, rich flavor, which is surprising considering that it is definitely less aromatic than similar vanilla products. In fact, one has to lean in close even to a just opened bag to get a whiff of the vanilla (which for those of us who enjoy the smell of coffee, and particularly flavored coffee, is a disappointment). However, once brewed, the vanilla flavoring comes across in just the right amount. On the second brewing, we (my husband and I) did decide to make it a bit stronger just for personal tastes, but this coffee is smooth and full even without the extra boost. Definitely a coffee we’d both recommend to lovers of flavored coffees!
TylerLowry, MN

It’s coffee and vanilla, how bad can it be?

I’m not sure exactly why I thought I’d like this Starbucks Natural Fusions Vanilla Flavored Ground Coffee, since I usually find Starbucks coffee not to my taste. The ground coffee has a nice vanilla smell while it’s still in the bag but my first sip was a huge disappointment–it tasted decidedly harsh. I tried brewing it stronger and weaker; still harsh, almost acidic. The only thing that made it drinkable was adding quite a bit of sugar, and I really don’t care for my coffee that way.

The ingredient list claims “ground vanilla beans,” which I wouldn’t expect to have a harsh acidic taste. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world (after saffron) and grinding the beans is known to be a good way of dispersing the flavor through hot liquids. How can it have gone so wrong in this product? Is it the coffee itself that’s so unappetizing, or the combination? I just don’t know.

From now on I’ll look for vanilla in baked goods and body lotion, and keep it out of my coffee. Sorry, Starbucks, I’m not a fan of this brew.

Two stars, not really for the coffee but to encourage Starbucks to do better with recycling and other green issues, and to increase fair trade initiatives.

Linda Bulger, 2010

AllanJoaquin, TX

Delicious. 5 Star Coffee.

Starbucks is consistant when it comes to good coffee. Usually it is a little pricey but worth it. Still though I wondered if they could take a flavor that isn’t too exciting and bump it up a notch. And so they did.

PROS: Nice distinctive flavor. The vanilla perfectly compliments the beans and blends together into a delicious blend. The grounds were nice and fresh as well.
CONS: The bag runs out fast. That’s because it’s good though so I guess that’s not really a con…
BOTTOM LINE: Well worth the money. Thumbs up.

MikelFalls, PA

Natural

I was skeptical about this coffee before I tried it. Then I opened the bag, and the earthy scent of vanilla mixed with coffee wafted to my nose. Score! The vanilla and the coffee are ground together; you can actually see it. The brewed coffee taste is crisp, smooth and distinct — in my opinion a departure from the garden-variety Starbucks ground; and a real treat. If you’re a fan of Starbucks and are in the mood for something different, I say give their Natural Fusions Vanilla a try.
BrunildaHastings On Hudson, NY

Tasty, good vanilla flavor

The coffee was good, even though I prefer grinding my own beans. It had a good vanilla flavor and was fresh. I bought it on sale and it was worth the price. Not my favorite coffee, but I would buy it again if it was on sale again.
LouieWheeler, IL

nice vanilla aroma

My mother in law loves this coffee. I find the aroma a little strong for my taste, but different people enjoy different things. I did like the flavor, sometimes flavored coffees seem like they taste plastic-y or something, this did not. I sometimes mix this with regular coffee in a half and half ratio…that seems to be my perfect amount. Just enough vanilla for me that way. I do that with many flavored coffees though, so it is hard for me to judge what is “too much” or “just enough” for someone else’s taste. If you like vanilla coffee, then I think this is a good choice since the flavor is so good. Try it. If you find the aroma slightly strong, you can temper it with regular like I did.
FrankieLake Park, IA

Perfect way to wake up…

Love, love, love vanilla flavored coffee and this one doesn’t disappoint. Starbucks has me and I’m loyal through and through. The aroma upon opening the bag each morning is such a treat. The beans are perfectly ground – just the way I like them. The flavor is smooth and not over powering with vanilla. My household is always pleased in the morning when I’ve chosen to brew this. Just add a bit of half & half with 1 Splenda and I know my day is off to a great start.
AlethiaParker, AZ

I love flavored coffee

And this was no exception. You can really taste the vanilla in it. It does have a slightly bitter aftertaste, but I’ve found that to be the case in a lot of Starbucks coffees. I use it in my Kuerig and love brewing myself a large cup every morning.
JesseAtwood, CA

Doesn’t taste as good as I thought

I had originally thought that this Starbucks coffee will taste as good as the ones they sell at their stores. But it is not as good. The coffee doesn’t taste as strong as other coffee (like Blue Mtn Hawaii coffee). Overall, you pay for what you get. I paid a discounted price on this, and I got a lesser quality product.
KayleeOgallala, NE

Just Ok

I love good coffee. So when I picked up this Starbucks Natural Fusion Ground Vanilla I was excited just to open it up and smell it. To make a long story short, I kept making excuses for the coffee several pots later and half way through the bag it sits on the shelf. I’ve actually considered tossing it out but it’s not terrible. So I’ll use it when I run out of other brews or when I have guest who just wants an average cup of non flavored coffee. I’ve never heard, “oh this is Vanilla?”

I made excuses for this brew because it is “Natural Fusion”. The thinking being that it was organic and little or no chemical process used, but even if that’s true it just tastes average and hardly like the Vanilla flavored beans I normally use.

Sorry Starbucks.

BaoLa Rose, IL

Disappointed

Sadly, this tasted like nail polish remover smells. Really bummed out as I love Seattle’s Best Coffee Vanilla (a Starbucks-owned company).
JettieSaraland, AL

The right balance of vanilla and coffee

Starbucks Natural Fusions ground coffee contains the right balance of (added) vanilla flavor and bold coffee. Normally, flavored (let alone pre-ground) coffees aren’t very high quality; however, this Starbucks blend is very good. It’s not stale or poorly roasted, nor does it have any kind of artificial smell or taste. There’s no strange after-taste, either. It brews well, and I’ll likely purchase it again. The vanilla “flavor infusion” doesn’t overpower; the aroma is absolutely amazing – not flat, with the right amount of depth and complexity.

I prepared this coffee drip-style (not in a machine), and found it required a bit more than usual to make the strength I prefer. Additionally, though I prefer black coffee, this coffee responds well to a bit of sugar (it heightens the vanilla flavor) and cream.

InaClinton, NY

Mmmmmm…..smooth….

I’m not a HUGE coffee drinker but I do like to keep some in the house so that once in a blue moon we can enjoy a cup or have some when friends or family visits. Being that I’m not accustomed to drinking coffee, I’m VERY, VERY sensitive taste wise to coffees that are really bitter, have a strong, overpowering flavor and ESPECIALLY those who leave a nasty aftertaste in the mouth. In other words, for an inexperienced coffee drinker, I’m VERY picky about my coffee.

Right when I opened the bag to this Starbucks Natural Fusions Vanilla Flavored Ground Coffee, I smelled this wonderful, coffee and authentic vanilla aroma that I felt compelled to make a batch immediately just to try it. Both my husband and I thought it was delicious. It’s very smooth – it doesn’t have a harsh ‘bite’ to it at all, the vanilla flavor in it tastes very ‘real’ and not some horrid chemical rendition of vanilla and again, didn’t leave a bad aftertaste. I served it to family who visited who are AVID coffee drinkers and they enjoyed it as well – actually asked me what brand it was.

For those of you who enjoy your flavored coffees, Vanilla is a GREAT flavor to have on hand since you can do so many things to it in my opinion. I added some cocoa powder to the grounds one time to make a vanilla – chocolate coffee (YUM!), another time I added cinnamon (DOUBLE YUM!) and another time, Pumpkin Pie spices (hubby didn’t like this but I did). Two thumbs up for me!

AudreaRainelle, WV

Worst Vanilla coffee I have ever had

There were a number of things I did not like about this coffee. First, while most coffee is packaged in 12 oz to 1lb bags, this one is only 11 oz. That may not seem like much but to pay thier price and get an ounce less than their standard product, seems like a price increase to me. Next was the actual coffee flavor. I tried making this coffee a number of different ways to make it taste good. And every time it just didn’t work. Now, trying to be fair, I like a lighter roast which Starbucks is not known for. So for those of you who like a darker roast, you may like this just fine. The last problem I had was the vanilla flavor. It was extremely overpowering. Just for the record, my wife, who only drinks flavored coffee, did not like this one either.
BenjaminBaltimore, MD

A hit with the family

Brought this bag of coffee home for the holidays to share with my family. My brother in law is the biggest coffee drinker and also particularly a fan of vanilla coffees; he enjoyed it but did not think it was outstanding in terms of the vanilla flavor. As it was brewing, I have to confirm that there wasn’t much vanilla to the scent either; it was definitely pleasant, however. I don’t know that I’d pay any more for this vanilla coffee than for a generic brand, and I might brew it a little stronger to increase the flavor.
AnnetteTetlin, AK