Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Latest From Your Friendly Neighborhood Starbucks

Tuesday was a big launch for Starbucks, with a new drink, lots of new merchandise, and a renewed focus on coffee (even a new way to brew coffee!). It's a lot to take in and as your unofficial Sbux guide, I thought I should highlight a few things so you're not completely bowled over the next time you wander into a sea of green aprons...

*Dark Cherry Mocha
The new drink, which is essentially a mocha (espresso, chocolate syrup, steamed milk), except it includes an additional cherry flavored syrup. I was terrified to try it as I don't like cherries and feared it would taste like cough syrup. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The cherry flavor is subtle (and you could always ask for fewer pumps of the syrup if you're really leery). It comes topped with whip cream and chocolate curls as well.

*Fun New Stuff
Tons of new mugs, tumblers, and cups in fun spring patterns and colors.

Sbux Spring 2010 New

The spring themed cherry blossom gift card is a personal favorite (makes me harken back to our cherry blossom themed wedding!), but you'll have to check it out for yourself in a store because I can't find a photo yet online. UPDATE: Click here to see what the card looks like.

*New Coffee
The featured coffee at the moment is Peru Chanchamayo (rhymes with "on the bayou). I'm a fan because the acidity of the coffee is really low (so it's less bitter than others). In fact, NavyGuy and I busted open our bag this morning (the renegade Starbucks in the Safeway in Anacortes had it on the stands already on Sunday night... they never follow the rules and tick me off every time I'm in there... but I'm not above taking advantage of their rule-breaking).

*Bold Picks Coffee
Starbucks is highlighting a different coffee each week for the next eight weeks. They're obviously trying to get people to try different varieties, so every Starbucks should be brewing the standard Pike Place coffee as well as the Bold Pick of the Week. This week it's Organic Yukon Blend. If you're a plain 'ole coffee drinker and you frequent Starbucks, there's actually a deal to be had here - if you buy at least one 12oz cup of each bold coffee (so one cup each week for the next eight weeks), you can get a free pound of any of the Bold coffees. Just ask for a coffee passport at your Starbucks and be sure to get the coffee stamps each time you try one of the Bold Picks. Obviously, if you're strictly a white mocha kinda person, this isn't a deal for you, but, if you're a brewed coffee drinker who often goes to Starbucks, this is a great way to get free coffee (assuming you're going into Starbucks at least once a week to begin with).

The last bit of news is that Starbucks introduced a "pour-over" brewing method. The idea is that you should always be able to get a freshly brewed cup of coffee no matter when you walk into a Starbucks. So, let's say, you're at my Bucks - all we brew on a daily basis is regular Pike Place. We're not a very busy store, and it's silly for us to be brewing more than one kind of coffee every 25 minutes (which is how often Starbucks makes a new pot of brew coffee). So, using the pour-over method, we have ground Decaf Pike Place ready to go, and if you come in wanting a Decaf cup 'o joe, we'll make you your own individual cup of coffee. The ground coffee goes in a small filter, and then we pour the hot water over the grounds and the coffee brews (drips) right into your own cup. (Essentially, the baristas have become human coffee pots, because we're doing by hand, what a normal coffee pot does, automatically.) We'll see how it works out. Right now people are way confused and think we're making them instant coffee (it's not), or charging them more (we're not).

Whew! This post ended up being a heck of a lot longer than I expected. As always, I'm not trying to convince any of you to buy Starbucks. I just know that before I worked there, Starbucks intimidated me. I never knew what to order, I didn't know the lingo, I didn't know what I might like, and I'd usually just end up getting a hot chocolate. So hopefully these little updates shed some light on the 'Bux, and help those of you who may also share my weird fears.

Also - feel free to ask any other questions you may have about Starbucks! Either post them in the comments, or ask anonymously on Formspring.


Sister March 9, 2010 at 10:01 PM  

Hurray for the bold pick of the day promo! My barista targeted me right away this morning, getting out the passport before I even had the chance to give her my Lucy mug :) I don't know if anything will top Caffe Verona for me, but we'll see.

And good to hear that the Bux is picking up on the drip coffee trend! Philz and Blue Bottle in SF are famous for their commitment to one cup at a time...and it's amaaaaazing (you WILL be trying both of these when you come back to visit).

ebs handler March 10, 2010 at 4:08 AM  

Who are you two and what did you do with my babies? Such java junkies!

YellowBunnies March 10, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

Yay spring mugs! I'm going to have to get one... the guilt of tossing my Starbucks coffee cup twice a week is killing me deep down.

Also, I'm a huge fan of low-acid coffee and might have to pick up some on my way home for my non-latte days!

Thanks for the tips!

historygirlie March 10, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

When is *Bux going to figure out to hire you for a PR person? You should bring your blog to the attention of someone...make some more Bucks from the *Bux.

How's that for a bad pun (or whatever)?

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