Starbucks celebrates 40th (with free goodies)

To celebrate 40 years of taking over every other corner of the world, starting in Seattle, Starbucks has a couple ways to celebrate this year. (I kind of joke about the every other corner part, you know what I mean.)
Not being a coffee drinker since I was probably 12 years old, it took me a lot longer than most to jump on the Starbucks grande latte, no foam, skim milk, coffee craze. (I don’t even know if that’s a real drink.)
It wasn’t until I was introduced to the Frappuccino – frozen cappuccino – less than 10 years ago that I was sucked in. Though it’s not a daily ritual, I admit I like to treat myself to an occasional caramel frapp – being caffeine sensitive, a little of that goes a long way for me.

First, in celebration of this milestone, Starbucks will offer one free Starbucks Petite to each customer purchasing any beverage on Customer Tribute Day, from 2 to 5 p.m. today, March 10, through March 12 at participating stores in U.S. and Canada.

Starbucks Petites are eight petite sweets, perfectly sized
for an afternoon treat, that are made with
only premium ingredients and all under 200 calories. The treats range from whoopie pies to mini cupcakes and more.

50743-IMG00311-thumb-300x220-50742.jpg

I took advantage of this deal today and cooled down with a sweetened iced green tea. I decided to try the red velvet whoopie pie. The size was definitely perfect. If I was a giant, it would be a crumb but trying to be lady-like, I took a few bites to devour this little goodness that was filled with a sweet cream cheese filling and topped with a red little glaze. Careful, there was a lot of red dye in the glaze which left me with pink fingers. This was actually my first whoopie pie and the cake was moist and delicious.

At $1.50 each, it would have to be a special occasion or a bad-day pick-me-up to grab one of these small desserts. I picked up a latte for a co-worker and she tried the birthday cake flavored cake pop with light pink frosting. She said the cake was moist and sweet. She had tried other cake pops before that were crumbly but was surprised how well this one held up.

Starbucks is also launching its Starbucks Tribute Blend that pays tribute to “customers, partners (employees) and the accomplishments of coffee farmers and roasters over the past 40 years.” The new coffee is a blend of four coffees, from three coffee growing regions using three different coffee processing methods such as Aged Sumatra, that is semi-washed and aged; Sun-dried Ethiopian coffee that is naturally processed; Washed coffee from Papua New Guinea; and Washed coffee from Colombia.
The Starbucks Tribute Blend will also be available as Starbucks VIA Ready Brew.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE AT STARBUCKS?

Starbucks happy hour

To promote their new “however-you-want-it” Frappuccino options, Starbucks is holding a happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. through Sunday, May 16, at participating locations.

Get your favorite Frappuccino for half-off and get options like decaf, no whip, soy, lowfat milk and more.

I don’t drink coffee but I do love ice-blended cappucino beverages so I took advantage of happy hour yesterday.

But it made me wonder if this was more of a counter attack towards McDonald’s for recently releasing their McCafe Frappe’s, their own ice-blended sugar and caffeine loaded drinks.

I got to try the McCafe Caramel Frappe a few weeks ago and my first thought was it was way cheaper than Starbucks. The small was $2.29 and it was bigger than the “small” at Starbucks. 

40926-McD_frappe-thumb-200x266-40925.jpgFor me, it was nicely blended with not a lot of caffeine, and it tasted creamy, more like a smoothie.

I’m caffeine sensitive and don’t need much to get me going so it was perfect for me.

Those who need a bigger shot of caffeine may not be satisfied with the small or even the entire drink altogether.

Might as well take advantage of Starbuck’s Happy Hour while it lasts. 

Pike Place Roast

6866-pikeplaceroast.jpg
What do you think of Starbucks’ Pike Place Roast? Is it as good as anticipated? Do you think it’s better than some of their other blends?

My short view – Pike Place Roast is light, nutty and smooth. Starbucks must have listened to the complaints of burnt, bitter flavors in their other coffees because It’s not bitter. Although it could use a little more body, it’s a great every day coffee.

Other takes –

Pike Place delivers a pretty great cup of joe. It’s got
a light fruity and nutty aroma, a smooth feel on the tongue but nice
body and no wimpy finish. This lighter roast (clearly a response to
widespread complaints about Starbucks’s penchant for over-roasting)
allows a broader spectrum of flavors and aromatics to emerge, things
that can sometimes be burnt away in a darker roast. Starbucks might not
like this, but it kind of reminds me of Dunkin’ Donuts’ house coffee.

The Stew (Chicago Tribune blog)

Pike Place definitely went down better than the normal houseblend at
Starbucks. It was smoother and without the bitter aftertaste. Another
barista informed us it is lighter than Starbucks’ usual coffee.

The New York Observer

I’m surprised and pleased that the taste is friendly….there’s no
shock. The flavor may be easy on the tounge, but its also very
full….the boldness of a strong roast is not sacrificed…its pretty
darned good.

Inside KIRO Newsroom

It was anti-climatic.  The aroma was reminiscent of a more mellow
(generic?) coffee, which I think is good – the objective here should be
to provide a more universal coffee experience I think.  The taste is
citrus-like, with less of the bitter aftertaste that has become the
bane of many a coffee aficionado.  Im reminded of perhaps the Casi
Cielo.  Its good, but I dont see it as raising the bar so much: had
Starbucks put the same care into turning over the House Blend brew more
frequently and grinding the beans in-store, I think the flavor would be
close to par.

The Starbucksters Blog

Pikes Place Roast itself is REALLY good. It has some similarities
with house blend but is much deeper. The barista told me that when they
were choosing the beans they really focused on pairing the coffees
flavor with creem and sugar. This is a pretty ingenious, dont you
think?

My Starbucks Blog



the pike place
blend is a medium roast that i wasn’t too crazy about. it had a very
weak after-taste & it just felt to light.

Radar Hill

Super gourmet coffee

The gourmet coffee scene is getting a little crowded: Starbucks, McDonald’s, Peet’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Dunkin’ Donuts.

How about some super gourmet coffee? Would you pay $22 for a personalized latte? Or $5 for a perfect cup of drip coffee?

LAMILL Coffee. Your $5 cafe au lait is made at your table.

Intelligencia. Super expensive coffee and long lines. Also mentioned on NPR.

Literati Cafe – Reviews say it is hit or miss.