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January 10, 2012

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spm

Here in Canada we just have it for retail sales etc. With all the signage etc in the store the first coment we have has around it was, Why did you spell it that way. Deffinition of blond vs blonde
blond a person or object light in color or tone. blonde a woman or girl with light hair or fair hair...

Melpomene

I think it tastes terrible. I think it is yet another way to water it all down and make a cheaper blend. I know they say it uses the same high quality beans--whoever knew corporate America to lie? They can tress it up all they want--but it is nothing more than lipstick on Rick Santorum.

otterinthewater

Haven't yet tried the Willow, but the Veranda is okay as long as it's piping hot. When it cools down a little, I find it unfortunately sour.

Tom2SL

It's decent. A bit boring, though some of the darker roasts I don't care for, such as the Italian Roast, I like the medium roasts including Pike Place. Not bad.

Starbucks Gossip webmaster

Too light for me. I'm going back to Pike Place.

spence

Realistically, baristas arn't going to love it. It wasn't created for us. The Dunkin donut customers will like it a lot.

Barista Rocket Scientist

It didn't leave a charred aftertaste in my mouth like I had just chewed on a chunk of charcoal, as most of the other roasts do. It was, however, rather boring without a dynamic flavor. It's still darker than what I prefer, but it's obviously not practical for such a large corporation to do a true light roast.

TiredofThis

I think the Veranda is OK for what it is, but the Willow Blend is vile. It tastes like Breakfast Blend mixed with Sidamo. It is unbelievably tart.

that guy

Willow tastes like green beans.

Anongirl

This coffee is awful and we didn't sell one single pound. Most customers heard the word 'light' and they shook their heads no. This is going to be a huge flop. Just wait.

That Guy

@Anongirl wow the negativity!

Guys remember that blonde isn’t supposed to convert your regular coffee drinkers into liking a lighter roast. Its supposed to help bring it a group of customers that currently our competition is capitalizing on. There are light drinkers out in the world you know

happyasm

I love it. I'm not a dark roast lover. I Think it is going to be great in time and do exact what it's intended to do. Bring in a new customer base. I finally have a coffee I can can drink. Still haven't tried willow but I'm not in rush to try it. Hate breakfast blend.

TeaMisto

I understand the logic behind the blonde roast, but I prefer bolder coffee for myself. The veranda isn't bad, and it sold well this morning -- we'll see how many return orders it brings -- but Willow was possibly the most disgusting coffee I've tasted. Barely choked down my second sip...

I.Heart.Spirit

My store has quite a few people who order a grande pike with 1/4 water on the top. They all loved it, but we only sold 18 pounds for the day. :(

Steve Marks

I usually go for the bold roasts, but I thought "what the heck" today and got the Veranda Roast. Now, it was prepared as a pour-over, which I think always produces better coffee, but I'll have to say, I really enjoyed it! It was certainly different than anything I'd ever had at Starbucks before: citrusy, maybe a bit floral, and quite flavorful. It wasn't bitter at all -- though again, that might have to do with the brewing method. In all, I'm glad Starbucks is broadening their coffee offerings.

Melpomene

Oh I get it. You are That Guy who gets paid by the BUX to propagandize. It takes me awhile...

open minded

as a partner who loves bold coffee I appreciate the Blonde Roast for what it is, I will not be drinking it but I know people who will - the lady who waters down her pike or the guy who adds a cup of half and half to his coffee is going to love it!

Still tired from Christmas Rush!

I think "Citrusy and a bit floral" describes Willow Blend, not Veranda.

frapatte

Steve, I don't understand how you can claim that a coffee which was "citrusy and a bit floral" was different than anything you've had at Starbucks before. Starbucks has offered plenty of citrusy floral options.

The Moar You Know

Not bad. Too acidic for my taste, but at least doesn't taste like charcoal. I think the reasoning behind it is beyond absurd - that somehow they're going to capture a new market segment - but offering a range of roasts is something I've been agitating for since I worked for Starbucks back in the early part of this fine century.

Jonathon Nield

Not a fan of the Veranda. Way to acidic which is exactly what happens when you have a lightly roasted blend. But as many have already said, this blend is not meant for myself of most current Starbucks consumers. Its meant to attract an entirely new market: The DD and McDonald's market.

Amazing Grace

Remeber the days when we were an elite brand of coffee and didn't lower ourselves to the expectations of our imitations? Back in the day before Howard wiped his tush with the pages of his old book and then used the "crap" he had left over to write his new book. I miss that Starbucks...

Confused as always

Amazing Grace, only if we had GOP politicians like you -- maybe Obama would never have happened

(If you purge my comment, why not purge the Santorum comment up above? And politics IS part of our every day reality -- that's why we are not Europe (yet)

Amazing Grace

I don't understand about purging comments? When did that happen?

And as for being Europe--I could only hope and pray that we get to have a health care system like they do someday...sigh. And PS, I love that Santorum comment. Lipstick on a pig...HAHA.

Coffee Hobbist

I've tried both the Veranda and the Willow. If you're totally accustomed to char$, then this won't taste like what you're accustomed to. In fact, you'll probably hate it.

I don't know how brewing standards are at *$s across the nation, but I thought the store brew sample was a bit on the light/weak side. This changes if you do a pourover or brew it properly, yourself, with a proper 6.5% brew ratio and good temperature clean water.

If you've never tasted a good, City+ roasted Ethiopia Sidamo or Harar, then you've never experienced some of the things that coffee can be. I've had the DP Ethiopia that *$s occasionally gets - they roast the crap out of it and drive out the varietal flavor I'm looking for. In fact, *$s penchant for overly dark roasting EVERY SINGLE BEAN is what drove me to roast my own coffee.

To the review, the Veranda is a very simple, balanced medium body Central-South American coffee. If you LUUUVVV Pike Place and your world is always tasted with an overtone of smoke, then you'll hate it. This ain't for you - and arguing it's crap is like arguing that the Azure is a better shade of blue than Cobalt.

Willow is what Caribou Coffee has been doing for years - choosing an APPROPRIATE roast level for the bean. Properly brewed, it's got great taste counterbalances (between Central American base flavor and wilder berry-like flavors of Ethiopia and other African coffees). French roast it certainly ain't.

JMHO, not yours. Your actual opinion may vary. Void where prohibited. Not valid for exchange. No cash value.

Cheers.

Beaver Brown

I love the new blond roast. I have to admit when I did the tasting, I found it to be a little to acid for my taste. I tried it with a little milk and WOW! I loved it. I make sure I have little tester cups and offer taste to those who wanted to try it. They all like it with a little milk added. Well, most of them.
Offering this new blend has been fun. Now my male customers would ask for a "tall blonde, room for cream." or "I want a grande blonde,black." There are a lot of laughs. A lot of fun and a lot of blonde roast being sold. I call it a happy blend, because when I offer it, everybody has a smile and all the blonde jokes come out. I tell them, I make sure all the blondes don't have all the fun. LOL I'm glad it's a good blend, especially for those who want me to add a little hot water in their pike place. Happy New Year!

Beaver Brown

OOPS! ...too acid for my taste.

sunny_days

one of my regulars said he wished the sticker said "i tried a blonde" not "I'm mellow". That was the best blonde joke I have had so far.

P

Interesting reading the last few comments. Our DM came out and told us not to refer to it as the 'blonde' roast but as the 'ight' roast so as not to be derogatory. It's business like that why I hate this market and has made me hate this company. Spend what, 40 mil, on a new label and roast for your coffee and now the word plastered all over the bags and ads is forbidden? Smooth move, dipsh*ts. I hate my management.

Starbuckers, Inc.

I was originally* grandfathered into Starbucks when Coffee Connection in Boston was bought out by them. I remember being shocked at how overroasted Starbucks was compared to our own varieties, which were roasted across the whole spectrum - a few in darker shades, but probably the majority in what I think was called either a City or a Full City roast. This was under the leadership of George Howell, who for a time was certainly one of the leading figures in coffee.

ANYWAY, I've long been a fan of lighter roasts, but it's specifically because I feel that IF it is done correctly, you can taste the flavor of the beans so much more fully - this is particularly true of varietals.(I used the word 'varietal' to someone supposedly training as a "Coffee Master". He had no idea what it meant. That is a crying shame.) So, point being, I think that the problem here is twofold: I think they've chosen a dull, boring BLEND of beans for this, seriously. I like them, but it could be sooooooo much better. What I want is a Sumatra or a Kenya or a Sidamo or Yemen Mocha Mattari in a lighter roast. Not this tame, bland, bordering on insipid stuff. No wonder people think it's weak.

And on that note, that's the other problem. Why market it as "mellow" and "calm" and such? Especially because lighter roasts have MORE caffeine, even if the difference isn't huge (I know they're referring to flavor, but the implication is twofold). They should be using words like "bright" and "clean".

OY. I think they're screwing themselves with a completely weird approach.

*(Recently returned as a second job for some fortified income, so also a current partner.)

Waltie

"Especially because lighter roasts have MORE caffeine"

This isn't always true.

Waltie

"Our DM came out and told us not to refer to it as the 'blonde' roast but as the 'ight' roast so as not to be derogatory."

I find this very hard to believe.

Coffee Soldier

I wouldn't be surprised if a DM said that..maybe not in that exact phrase...we were told at a Regional Rally there are absolutely no Blonde jokes to be told around the coffee what so ever. It will be a written offense if so. This came right from the RD's mouth to about 100 SM's so communicate back to our stores at our own meetings.

It's like the time they told us we could not refer to Via as instant it must be called micro ground but then wrote instant on the packaging...great idea!

The Blonde Roasts are going great for us in DD territory so far. Snow is slightly ruining the kick off of the sampling event but we have already been sampling just not with a designated table in the cafe until today. I like it and if presented right no matter what your feelings are on the coffee itself is a great option for those who prefer a light roasted coffee. Are there better out there? Sure..just liek there are better dark roasts as well but we have to sustain nearly 8k (North American wide) stores with the same roasts. I think quality and quantity now play a major role rather then 15 years ago it was all about quality.

Waltie

"we were told at a Regional Rally there are absolutely no Blonde jokes to be told around the coffee what so ever. It will be a written offense if so. "

We shouldn't be making blonde jokes at work period, no matter what we're selling.

"It's like the time they told us we could not refer to Via as instant it must be called micro ground"

I was never told that.

Coffee Soldier

"I was never told that"

I and 100 of my peers were! hahah

Lighten up Waltie...you must be a joy to work for/with!

No, we should not be making Blonde jokes at work..but I'm sure some people need to be told.

Jeff Tom

The female barista (blonde) working the cash register at my local location was making blonde jokes with customers left and right to the point it was getting obnoxious.

Melpomene

Everybody knows what Waltie's title at work is...Barista Brown-noser. Jeez...I'm sure you don't believe that they company ever put the fear of God into managers about Customer Voice or Via. No one's job ever got threatened over that. Yes Waltie, and Howard speaks in rainbows and loves every partner like his own children. You probably believe in Santa and Peter Pan too.


PS--Still an overperforming, underpaid SM. Until the economy turns around...

P

Waltie,
I was told no to use the word 'instant' either as it made people think of already existing instant coffees and would be a turn off. 'Micro-ground' was what we were to say. And I heard from my DM herself that we weren't to refer to it as 'blonde'. These things happen and are always happening. No wonder you come on here and white-knight everything corporate does and says, you don't work for the same Starbucks I (and many others) do. Either that or you are an ignorant tool.

a

What is going on Blond, Medium, Dark!!!!

Where is Kona, Itialian, Columbian, French Roast????????

I'm off to PEETS!!!!!!!!

"Pike is here to stay.."

Also in agreement here regarding Via as NOT instant back in 2009-2010

Can I add Vivanno NOT as a smoothie back in like 2008. It was a BIG push and if you even MENTIONED it's LIKE a smoothie.."

brendon

Most people like weak, watery coffee, if you give it to them in a taste test, but they'll never admit it if asked.

Dunkin is super smart about how they market their watery coffee: by not calling it watery. It's just their coffee. They'll never get the 20% of the population who genuinely likes strong coffee, but they don't need them.

"Blonde roast" is not long for this world, I suspect. Which is a shame, because Veranda Blend, as ridiculous as that name is, is pretty decent. Haven't tried Willow.

Venti Urnex Latte

I am always surprised about how FEW customers complain about our crappy coffee. The only time we get complaints is when the urns haven't been Urnexed for weeks at a time, and then we might get one complaint an hour. But I know when the coffee is bad, and even when the urns are semi-dirty and the coffee is old and rancid, we get very few complaints. Our customers are hardly coffee connoisseurs.

frapatte

I'm grateful that humorless people like Waltie work at other stores, because the dour and moody attitudes in such stores sends the customers and numbers in droves to our fun little corner. Keep them coming! I'm enjoying the hell out of all this allocated labor and I get to have some fun conversation with customers while working instead of acting like I'm working in a morgue.

Long Timer

It is just coffee... I'm not sure it'll become the next Joe Magazine, Penza Bar or Chantico, but I'm not convinced I needed to be auto shipped 300+ pounds either.

Anon

I get the no blonde joke thing. Honestly, I don't want my partners making blonde jokes anyways - people DO get offended and the last thing I want to do is have to apologize because someone made a harmless (or worse) blonde joke.

That being said, I haven't heard anything from anyone higher up saying not to make the jokes.

I do remember being told not to call via instant coffee, but again, I get that - we are trying to differentiate ourselves from "instant" coffee. It just makes good marketing sense. This isn't instant coffee, its "micro ground magical coffee".

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Blonde Roast is so light that you'll forget that its coffee. It's like chicken of the sea. It says coffee but I'm not sure if its coffee.

me

we were also told not to say instant.. instead we say ready brew.. i don't think it was an official announcement, just a smart marketing tool

lostinlodos

Really. I used to get sick of them calling Christmas blend and Pike "bold" and "dark".
If I wanted some water with a hint of coffee I'd just go to McCrapples.
Then again; I like my Italian roast French Pressed. So that's my route.

lostinlodos

Just a quick second comment; since there's no 'edit' feature. Did anyone else notice that
ALL the new blends in this category share names with FONTS?

Waltie

I never said nobody was told not to use the word instant, just that I wasn't nor was anybody else in my district that I know of. I was simply pointing out that it wasn't a corporate directive.

I've never said that there aren't dumb DMs and SMs out there, since there are plenty and I sometimes feel as though I've worked with all of them. But the notion that a DM would tell people not to call a product called Blonde "Blonde" simply doesn't sound true.

Oh, and I love the notion that because I'm positive and upbeat and defend the company outright lies and mistruths I'm considered to be some kind of bitter, cold, uncaring person that must be horrible to work with. Trust me, people like working with somebody who's positive and doesn't complain all the time and think every new promotion is stupid.

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