Starbucks partners up with Microsoft on new tech - including blockchain solution for tracking coffee supply chain

Starbucks and Microsoft are working on a series of tech solutions, Microsoft announced in a press release following the company's Build 2019 conference.

The three main initiatives will be the introduction of predictive "drive-thru" coffee orders, bean-to-cup blockchain tracing, and smart machines - which collect "data points for every shot of espresso pulled; from the type of beans used to the coffee’s temperature and water quality." 


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Bean-to-cup blockchain is an Azure Blockchain Service that will track the bean's supply chain; from the farms where the coffee beans are harvested to the packaged coffee on Starbucks shelves. In doing so, Starbucks hopes to connect the people who drink their coffee with those who grow it. The technology will allow supply chain participants to trace the journey the coffee beans make, with each change recorded on a blockchain.

“While high-quality, handcrafted beverages are so important, it’s the stories, the people, the connections, the humanity behind that coffee that inspires everything we do,” said Michelle Burns, Starbucks senior vice president of Global Coffee & Tea. “This kind of transparency offers customers the chance to see that the coffee they enjoy from us is the result of many people caring deeply.”