Starbucks Rolling Out a Blend to Mark the Chinese Lunar Year

International coffee chain Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) announced the roll-out of a special, limited edition blended coffee to mark the Chinese Lunar Year. Called the “South of the Clouds” blend, the coffee comprises a mix of Arabica beans sourced from Latin America, Asia Pacific and the western Baoshan region of Yunnan, a major coffee producing region in China.

According to Starbucks’ Beijing spokeswoman Caren Li, “Our priority is local relevance. We are very proud of this coffee and we have full confidence that it will be popular with our customers.” She went on to say, “We spent more than three years working in Yunnan with local farmers and local coffee suppliers. The coffee has gentle acidity, medium round body and a soft herbal flavor in the finish and a cocoa mouthfeel.”

Starbucks will market this blend as the “coffee of the week” in Singapore, Malaysia and also over 700 outlets in Greater China in time for the Lunar Year next week.

Starbucks Also Expanding into India

Starbucks Corp. plans to open its first store in India in August with venture partner Tata Global Beverages Ltd., reports Bloomberg. Stores are slated to open in Mumbai and New Delhi in 2012, with 50 locations planned within the first 12 months, Tata Global Vice Chairman R.K. Krishna Kumar said yesterday at a press conference in Mumbai.

The company has a contract to buy beans from Bangalore-based Tata Coffee Ltd, a unit of Tata Global.

Here’s how shares of Starbucks are trading now:

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX): SBUX shares recently traded at $48.16, up $0.01, or 0.02%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $31.17 to $48.62. Volume today was 1,829,182 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 5,851,710 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 28.79, while trailing earnings are $1.67 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morris at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com