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December 02, 2010


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Wow, it's another person trying to steal from Starbucks, just in her own unique way. It's a good thing the judge had his tall double pumpkin spice latte that morning.


Thank God that judge had his head screwed on straight...


"Miller argued that Starbucks has no control over the internal controls of the tea brewer."
True they "have" no control over the internal controls of the brewer in the present. But in 2007 they certainly had internal techs that could adjust the temperature setting at that time. But as for water that is too hot? You can sustain 3rd degree burns from water at 130F. Two cup would have only made the problem worse, because the insulation factor of the second cup would have kept the temperature higher for those 8 to 10 minutes between when the beverage was served till when the spill occurred. Moral of the story, BYODC! And quit wasting paper!


I love the part where her own expert witnesses were against her on the tea being too hot.


Baristas get burned all the time. I'm sure she was perfectly fine 5 minutes later.


There is no parallel between this case and the McD's case. Keep n mind that

a----McDonalds ahd an incredibly high degree of negligence. The coffee wasn't the typical 130 degrees it was about 180

b---The woman didn't spill the cup; the cup disintegrated

c---The injuries were extremely painful to the point they were life-changing.

d---These facts were largely undisputed; the on;u issue before the jury was the amount of damages.

Here are the details



From the link provided by bill:

"McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees."

Well starbucks brews coffee and tea between 180-200 degrees. I actualy think that to be quite typical.

If starbucks were to serve coffee or tea at less than that temp, they would be FLOODED with complaints about the coffee not being hot ENOUGH. You really can't win.


The recommended temperature for consuming tea is 180 to 195 degrees fahrenheit, coffee is 190 to 200. McDonald's and several other companies have found that most people enjoy their beverages that hot. I think the issue that killed McDonald's was the lack of a sufficient warning and the fact that they under-estimated idiocy. When handling a beverage you expect to be hot, I think it only makes sense to exercise caution, especially when the cup states the contents are extremely hot. That's the only way to win.


The brewing temperature for the Bunn brewer is right around 197F at the spray head (and it will not brew below 195F tank temp). It's usually lower at the hot water faucet - say a couple of degrees. The holding temp for the Bunn server is just over 170F. It does vary with the amount of liquid in the urn.

BaristaG - the recommended temperature for brewing coffee is 190 to 200F. The serving temp is lower - usually between 160 - 180F. Also most people cannot distinguish temperatures much above 130F. That is to say 135F feels just like 180F - it's just plain hot. Those above 60ish years of age have diminished sense of temperature in the mouth and that's why they generate the majority of cold coffee complaints that are in fact false.

Starbuckers Inc.

Bill, THANK YOU for pointing out those facts about the McD's case. I get really sick of people using that as an example of a frivolous, greedy lawsuit when it was nothing of either sort. I would add that the only reason she even took it to court AT ALL is because multibillion dollar McDonald's refused to pay for the modest medical bills that she initially was asking for in the first place.


Keep in mind that the lady never asked for medical only. She would not accept any offers from MCD. That on appeal, Mcds penalty was reduced and the victim walked away with less than she paid for medical, the attorney got the rest. Mcds went back and paid all of her medical bills...the attorney was asked to help out too by family members..and declned.

Meghan c

On September 24, 2010 I was at a Starbucks with my mom. We were waiting for her drink to be made and decided to split a piece of pumpkin loaf. I bit into the loaf and felt a crunch, but I assumed it was one of the pumpkin seeds and bit again. I instantly felt a pain and strange feeling in my mouth. I spat the piece out of my mouth to discover a small grey stone. I immediately took the stones to the barista and she profusely apologized while filling out an incident report. I asked if she wanted to keep the stone, but she said no and wrote down all of my information.

It is now almost December and I have been playing phone tag with the corporation for months. I have spoken to 11 different people and have been given 6 different case numbers to which I have to report and explain this frustrating situation every time I call. Each person tells me something else and tells me to wait for a representative to call. I was asked the best times to be reached, but of course the only time I receive phone calls is to my answering machine while I am at work and they are rare.

I went to the dentist to discover my teeth were severely damaged to the point of needing filing and porcelain veneers. My teeth were perfect, my parents had already spent over $5000 getting braces, filing and bleaching. Due to the damaged teeth, other teeth are now becoming damaged as the sharp edges chip away at existing teeth. I now need the removal of my brace wire and cement, mouldings for my teeth, porcelain veneers and 8 teeth filed. All because I decided to trust Starbucks and their products that were tainted. I would like to believe that the high prices and friendly people ensure safe food, but clearly they do not.

How the stones got there I am not sure….was my food dropped on the ground? Were they baked inside? No one knows. All I am aware of is I am an extremely frustrated consumer that has realized clearly Starbucks as a corporation does not care about their products or consumers.

After writing this message I received a letter from Starbucks (Nov 29, 2010. It states “ It is with my sincere apologies that I must inform you that Starbucks does not feel we are responsible for your damages and therefore must respectfully deny any claim you may file as a result of this incident.” Not responsible? Was the product not sold over your counter, from your store? Did you not take my money? Are you saying you don’t care what is in your products or who eats it? What if I was a small child? What if I was a high power business man? Would you treat this situation any differently?
All I know is I will never purchase an item from Starbucks again. I will tell every person I know this story as a warning so they know the type of company Starbucks is, and to be careful before biting into any product they sell.


Considering it's a known fact to make tea you must boil water, what do you expect?

AS it is, we all know the hot water dispenser is at least 15 degrees below boiling on it's best day. I sometimes don't think the water is hot enough to fully extract the flavors from the tea.

All Starbucks needed to do was show the judge ever box of tea ever made and the directions for making it.

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