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April 15, 2012


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It isn't like Starbucks just decided to stop to piss people off. A lot of decaf was being wasted. If it were to be brewed all day, more would be poured down the drain than served.


I'm told this is to prevent waste. My local Sbux has a pump carafe of decaf at the counter or will brew an individual cup of decaf any time after noon. Easier yet: Ask for a decaf Americano (which is my option).


I never understood why anyone stopped serving decaf later in the day. I suppose looking at the numbers would help, in terms of seeing when caf and decaf were purchased. Maybe the idea is that coffee is a morning thing, and non-caffeine drinkers still want coffee? Merely a guess.

As far as waste: the waste at Starbucks is unbelievable. If they handled their inventory better the waste could be reduced enormously.

Decaf is best :)

Also disappointing Starbucks doesn't serve decaf iced coffee. I've had to find my fix elsewhere.


I've never heard anyone ask for decaf iced coffee. If someone asked for decaf iced coffee, I would just make it via pour over. It's a simple enough recipe to make quickly.

My store only brews decaf on demand via pour over. I'll make one, two maximum a day.


We make and sell decaf iced coffee year-round in my mid-atlantic store.


I won't ever touch DECAF coffee. EVER. However; they don't brew "dark" coffee in the afternoon either. So.... It's called a pour-over. You can get the days "dark" or decaf as a pour-over on request after 12 noon.
Just ask for it.


"As far as waste: the waste at Starbucks is unbelievable. If they handled their inventory better the waste could be reduced enormously."

i.e. not brewing decaf after noon since so few people buy it.


Pour overs depend on the volume that the store does in sells. I'm at a store that does 55-65k a week. We don't even have the equipment to do a pour over. We typically stop decaf around 3pm, then just offer americanos. This annoys some people, but most of them know that the store 1.5 miles is much slower and has a pour over.

As far as waste goes, my area is currently the only test market for a new inventory system that they want to launch nation wide by years in. For management and shifts it involves a lot more work on the front end, but balances out after a month. We've seen a huge improvement in every single aspect of business because of it- so be excited


supply vs. demand


We serve decaf until 9pm. We make quarter batches. We typically throw out every batch in its entirety.

Pourover Princess

Starbucks standard is to brew all 4 options until noon, pike all day, and after noon it is up to the store to brew based on demand. All stores should have a pourover available upon request no matter the volume. If two pourovers are done in a half hour, it should be brewed. No matter the store customers should be able to get decaf, blonde, or dark all day either brewed or pourover. There is a recap of this policy in the upcoming summer 1 training. Pourovers are not eligible for the free refills with the starbucks card or 50 cent refills otherwise.


Yeah I don't understand why people think its such a big deal to not keep something ready that isn't being bought. A pour over takes just a minute or two, and for those picky customers who say they don't like pour overs, at my store we are more than willing to brew them a quarter batch in the urns or offer them a French press. Its pretty dumb for customers to expect us to keep something ready when only a couple of people all afternoon will ask for it. You wouldn't get mad at Little Caesars because they don't have pineapple as one of their Hot and Ready's


"You wouldn't get mad at Little Caesars because they don't have pineapple as one of their Hot and Ready's"

Oh Yes I WOULD... I have a VERY specific (unspecified) Food Allergy / Medical Condition / Mental Disorder that REQUIRES me to have pineapple on my H&Rs... this currently involves me having to place my order then step to the side and watch EVERY pizza that comes out of the oven and ask "Is that mine? There's no Pineapple!" for every pie that comes of out the oven until I get mine. Then I need to ask a minimum of three times "Are you sure this has Pineapple?" before I can leave. I don't know why this hasn't been thought of sooner!

And this Ellen Gray who just solved the great Starbucks decaf dilemma should be made CEO of the company. (This is why I hate social media.) I don't come into YOUR work and tell you how to do your job. But maybe I should.


If you're talking about IMS...we've been using this method of inventory tracking for over 3 years now.

Coffee Soldier

In New England we brew all 4 coffees all day long...it is such a waste even at quarter batch...this has been on going since the launch of Blonde. No one buys it after about 2-3pm aside from Pike at my location. I'm sure any day now someone will be shocked at the cost of goods in the brewed coffee category and change it back to noonish.

We also brew decaf iced coffee year round. I made the 3rd batch of the day before I left today at 6 people love iced coffee in my area!

Barista Man Again

In my store, I think we have 4 regular customers that either get decaf or 1/2 decaf. Other than that, we may be lucky if we sell 10 cups of decaf in a day. We stop brewing decaf at noon.


It would make more sense to brew decaf in the afternoon/evening, but our customers just don't seem to want it. We have about 4 or 5 customers every morning that order decaf, then only 3 or 4 the rest of the day. Kinda sad.


"Pourovers are not eligible for the free refills with the starbucks card or 50 cent refills otherwise."

Which is completely ridiculous. I'm advertised free refills on brewed coffee, and then can't get it because you decide to stop brewing.


I'm happy to take the pourover decaf, but it's a hit or miss on any store if they offer it. I'm often told, "No, we don't have any more brewed decaf." And that's it. I usually leave.

Barista Ben

No free refills on pour overs? I've never heard that, and I wouldn't enforce that either. That's just silly and I doubt it's true - unless it's a European rule or some such.


Free refills?
I've never heard of, nor been offered, free/50c whatever refills at any of our area stores. Those who are getting any sort of discounted refills should be happy they get them at all.

Don't complain it's not there when you're the only person who will ask for it after xxxx hour of the day.

If you're nice and ask, and they have the tools for it, they'll probably do it for you.
I get Italian French-pressed in the evenings a few days a week. They're kind enough to throw in a few spoonfuls of the grounds with it for me.
At three local stores, if they're not busy, they've even gone through the trouble of making me Arabian (aka Turkish) brews, which takes almost 15 minutes to do correctly. And they still charge me only $3 for a 6oz Arab.
Though I do tip for these 'special' drinks, be it FP or Arab.

livin' la VIA loca

Sbux- stop the maddness, pls.

Pour-overs the way that they are positioned and promoted and executed in your coffee shops are not sexy. They piss off your customers who wait for and "settle for them" (note not being "served" them) and your baristas who have to stop everything (including serving other customers) to babysit this one cup of coffee just so you can reduce waste/costs.

Send each store a keuring machine and thru IMS tracking/controls a supply of decaf, bold, blonde k-cups to use after 12noon for coffee requests.

This is sexy. This serves the customers and SELLS the k-cups plus the sbux experience.

Cmon sbux. You know better or at least you should by now. Sacrificing customer/partner satisfaction for "profits" is really only going to result in less $$ in your pockets. Happy now?


I would like more information on the Arabian Coffee that lostinlodos is talking about. I don't consider myself a coffee expert, but after 9 years at the Bux, I would at least expect to come across this once. It sounds interesting (15 minutes to do it correctly). Not sure if I would be too happy to make one during our rushes, but wouldn't mind to at least know what it is. Please explain!


We have decaf in the form of pour-overs in the afternoon. It's as fresh as you can get and it prevents waste. Curbing waste is huge to Starbucks. Some stores are better at it than others, but regardless...
Brewing quarter batches all day when you're not selling the coffee is ludicrous and incredibly wasteful. Think of how much coffee you wouldn't have to order and your P&L bottom line would be leaner. The Blonde push was only until Jan 30 and after you could have it all day if there was demand, but brew pour-over otherwise.
Not having decaf period, even in pour-over, is disrespectful to the customers and those baristas are being lazy because it is not hard to do.


@ managermatt
My guess is he's incorrectly describing proper turkish coffee, as I haven't seen any ibriks sitting around any store I've been in.
Maybe he's talking about super fine coffee grounds in hot water and left to sit?

@ Managermatt

It's very similar to Turkish coffee, but rather than simply being brewed thick, it's also heat-evaporated.

Arab is just the modern (localized) term for a Persian; or pre-Turk.

And just to reiterate; I've never ordered this during a rush. I'm selective, not selfish. ;)


Oops; that last comment was from me. Not sure how it posted without my name but...


I don't know about your stores, but at my old store, we served decaf only until noon because that's when people simply drink brewed, generally. Our brewed sales drop off after about 2, so why waste? We sold WAY more decaf in the mornings than we ever did at night, and if someone wanted it later on, they were more than happy to get a fresh pour over.


I am a part time barista and only work nights. We don't sell much decaf coffee at night either. We do sell a lot of decaf espresso drinks though! I think people who visit the store in the evenings are coming in more for dessert than coffee.


My store serves all four coffees all day long, open to close. Following cadence, still getting credits on my inventory adjustment line. Anything I waste I more than make up for in customer satisfaction by having what anyone who walks through the door wants available.

Blake Wells

I enjoy drinking lots of coffee but am sensitive to caffeine, so half-caf works for me. I hate to see SB wasting a lot of good coffee, but the problem with pour-over is that the baristas don't have the time to do it right. Simply tossing the water into the dripper and waiting for it to drain doesn't cut it. My solution: equip each store with a Clever Coffee Dripper. Google it. Amazing little device.

east coast mgr

@ Elle, wait until all the soon to come change management stuff kicks in and then you might want to consider cutting back on waist, as CVS alone won't come anywhere close to cutting it anymore.
Don't particularly like it myself, but I understand the business case ...


Decaf is not in high demand in many place's. However if you need one ask. If you are not satisfied with the outcome drop a comment to starbucks costumer feed back and make sure you ask for the store number of the Starbucks that you did not get a cup of decaf coffee or decaf americano. Starbucks now have airpots that decaf can be kept in for a resonable time.


If you are not charged a refill price on a pourover please again ask for store number and go to costumer feed back or ask for manager or shift supervisor. At starbucks coffee is a standard and an experience...


Maybe, just maybe, the reason our stores do not any decaf business in the afternoon or evening is because we have refused to serve it and/or served old and expired decaf for so long?

I've visited plenty of coffee shops in my area in the evening - and they are bustling with coffee sales late into the night (mind you, there's a Starbucks down the street).

Now, I know there could be (and probably are) other factors contributing to this - but I have to ask one question:

"If we build it, will they come?" - If we DID actively serve decaf in the afternoon, would we see a spike in sales?

Just a thought...


if anyone can recommendme for a starbucks job i ll appreciated I havent work for about 6 months i need this job so bad. and being aplying at many starbucks and i have no luck at all I have 8 years experience working as a starbucks barista.


my store policy is to brew a quarter batch whenever anyone asks. it only takes 2 1/2 minutes, and ensures your coffee is absolutely the freshest it can be :)


k-cup coffee is crap. i would never pay for a k-cup.


Your a coffee house! Why isnt there Decaf all day. I enjoy drinking coffee at 6 or 7 pm but if I do, I am up to 3 am! So I stopped bothering going to starbucks at least 3 nights a week. When I was pregnant I only drank your decaf, every day for nine months. I am sure if you would offer it as an option when someone oders a coffee, it may decrease your waste. Either way, for the price of your drinks a sinple cup of decaf, at a coffee shop should be a standard!Please stop offering an Americana, its not the same. I would almost rather you offer to microwave me a cold decaf from the morning.

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