Fall Into Fizzio. What’s your favorite Fizzio customization?

2 -1 - IMAG2890 blackberry syrup and lemon ale 5 Oct 2014It may be Autumn here in the Pacific Northwest, but in some areas of the country, it’s still blazing hot. Too hot, in fact. As of June this year, Starbucks stores in the sun belt states of the US have carbonated beverages called Fizzio. (And there are a couple of international Starbucks markets that have Fizzio too.)

I was just in Orange County, California, and it was so hot that I thought I’d melt:

Screenshot_2014-10-04-16-50-08 - 96degrees96 degrees out! So, I landed at John Wayne Airport and tried to drink as much Fizzio as possible while visiting Orange County. Some readers may recall that I had the chance to try these drinks when they were still very experimental. I’m still a fan! This is such a refreshing, delicious all-new beverage at Starbucks.

The official Starbucks newsroom now has an image of the Fizzio machine, which is used to make the three official beverages: Spiced Root Beer, Lemon Ale, and Ginger Ale.

ZRBaPMfC-3150-2100One of the first things I did was make my way to a Starbucks in the City of Orange (Main & Town and Country), and ordered a Fizzio Root Beer:

2 - 1 - Fizzio Rootbeer 4Oct14 Main and Town and Country Starbucks Orange CaliforniaI quickly started asking baristas what their favorite Fizzio combination is. While visiting another Starbucks in Orange, a barista mentioned that she really liked Ginger Ale with Peach syrup. Turns out, I was speaking with the store manager of the Orange Plaza Square Starbucks, who recognized my name and quickly figured out I am “StarbucksMelody.”

2 - 1 - IMAG2801 Ginger Ale with Peach syrup Orange Calif 5OCt2014 Orange Daily News StarbucksI’m still not a huge fan of Ginger Ale, but this was indeed a refreshing combination! I might change my mind about Ginger Ale!

I’ve always loved how pretty the old building that the Orange Plaza Starbucks is in. It’s in the historic Orange Circle area, which has lots of cute antique stores, places to eat, and two Starbucks.

2 - 1 - IMAG2797 Orange Daily News Starbucks 5 Oct 2014At one Starbucks, baristas strongly suggested Lemon Ale with just a very light splash of strawberry on top. Apparently the strawberry is so heavy that it quickly falls through the drink, and you only need a tiny splash of it. This was absolutely delicious too. This drink was recommended with “extra fizz” and you end up with a sweet and delicious very fizzy customized beverage:

2 - 1 - IMAG2873 Lemon ale with a splash of strawberry on top 5Oct14 Tustin and Lincoln Starbucks OrangeFinally, I was in Santa Ana, and a register barista (at the Bristol & McArthur Starbucks) suggested Root Beer with Vanilla Syrup. This might have been my favorite of all these combinations. If you worked hard enough at customizing this drink, you could get close to a Root Beer float. ;)

2 - 1 - IMAG2893 Rootbeer with vanilla syrup 5 October 2014I liked the wall art of the coffee growing regions (“the coffee belt”) at this Santa Ana Starbucks:

2 - 1 - IMAG2895 Wall art at the Bristol and MacArthur Starbucks Santa AnaSo what is your favorite Fizzio beverage? And if you don’t have Fizzio in your region, what do you think of carbonated drinks at Starbucks? By the way, in speaking with store partners, it seems as though this is doing quite well… at least in Orange County. Lots of customers like having this option.

On a new topic, on October 10th and 11th, in honor of Coffee Con, the Kindle version of Tales of the Siren will be 99 cents. Make a mental note to get your e-copy of the book then! You can use the Kindle app on your smart phone too! I have it set up now that on the 10th and 11th, you’ll see the Kindle count down clock for the promotion. I have it set up to run for 49 hours, ending at 1:00 AM on the 12th.

Thank you to the many great partners I met in Orange County recently! So many friendly baristas!


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Starbucks this and that: Register your partner card/ the Shakerato/ A new book by Howard Schultz

This is a bit of Starbucks this and that. Weigh in the comments if you want to add anything Starbucks related. This is an open thread!

Register your partner card: (For Starbucks employees only)

Today is October 3rd! If you’re a partner reading this, there are only two days left to register your Starbucks card to get to instant gold status (without having to climb through 30 stars first). Your gold status will appear on your Starbucks profile by October 13th. If you already have a regular Starbucks card registered, still be sure to add your partner card to your profile at Starbucks.com/card. Your partner card will add exclusive perks just for partners. You do not have to load money onto your partner card to register it. If your partner card is already registered, you’re already in!

Screenshot_2014-10-02-19-34-36-1The Shakerato is a thing: I know the name sounds a little too close to the unfortunate movie title, Sharknado, but there are no sharks involved in this drink. It’s basically just two shots of espresso shaken and sweetened. I had one recently and it was delicious. The barista who made my beverage, strongly suggested white mocha for the sweetener. Give it a try. For more information, see the Starbucks Pinterest pin describing it.

The key to the Shakerato is shaking the espresso with whatever you use to sweeten it (such as classic syrup) and then straining the ice and pouring only the two lovely, sweetened, shaken shots of espresso. It’s frothy, cold, and delicious – and a petite amazing drink. Don’t order this if you want a huge drink. This is only going to produce a couple of ounces of beverage.

for the love of country book coverA new book by Howard Schultz is coming soon: For Love of Country. It will be available inside Starbucks stores beginning November 11, 2014. (I have to assume that’s what’s happening – the publish date on that link is November 11th, Veteran’s Day, and Howard Schultz always sells his books in Starbucks stores. I’m just kind of putting two and two together here. If I’ve got this wrong, please let me know.)

I will definitely pick up a copy. As long-term readers of this website know, I was Air Force from age 18 to 22, so I have special interest in all veterans’ issues.

I’ve heard a number of baristas mention to me that a special, collectible Starbucks card for Veteran’s Day will be coming November 11th. I’m looking forward to seeing that too.

Reserve Cards:

Starbucks Reserve CardsFor no particular reason, I leave you with some Starbucks Reserve cards (for their Reserve coffees). I’ve been accumulating them! You will find Reserve coffees on StarbucksStore.com or in any Starbucks Reserve store. The Starbucks store locator lets you filter your search by Reserve store locations.

It’s kind of fun to see some of the Reserve coffees that have been offered in the past.

IMAG2753 reserve note booklets 2I have a friend who takes those Reserve cards and makes little note books out of them. They’re very cute!

I’m going to pass on my collection to her so she can make more of these cute little booklets.

No new blog articles for a bit:

I may not get a chance to update this blog much over the next week. Please don’t be alarmed if there are no new articles for a week. I’ll be out of town this weekend, and the following weekend is the Coffee Con produced by Sue Fox. This isn’t going to leave a lot of time for this blog. In honor of Coffee Con, the Kindle version of Tales of the Siren will be 99 cents only October 10th and 11th. Make a mental note of those dates if you’re wanting to download a copy for 99 cents.

Please pardon typos. As with so many of my articles, I just wrote this out quickly without even much proof reading.

Looking forward to your thoughts in the comments.

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Share your coffee passion with the world! Be a Starbucks barista at the new new concept Roastery and Cafe.

Coming soon, there will be an expansive, gorgeous Starbucks that will have coffee roasting operations, a café, and a specialty pizza restaurant operated by well-known Seattle chef, Tom Douglas.  This new and amazing Starbucks is called “The Roastery.”

If you work there as a barista, you’ll get the chance to have the latest beverages, coffee blends, Starbucks test concepts and you’ll be serving your customers coffee that was roasted right in your café.

This is an amazing opportunity. And NOW is the time to apply for barista positions.

Here’s the link to be a barista at the Roastery.

Just imagine, this will be the front door to your store: (under construction right now)

IMG_20140926_095344 The RoasteryIf you are a partner, and you don’t know about the Roastery, you should! It’s an important Starbucks concept.

I hope to see you there. The Roastery is on Pike Street between Boren Avenue and Melrose (where Minor turns into Melrose), right on the edge of downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, and the First Hill neighborhoods.

You’ll be in an extraordinarily high profile amazing concept Starbucks. If you’re currently a partner, this is a fantastic chance to transfer to an amazing store. Partners are transferring from all over to be at this special location.

(If you are an existing partner, fill out a transfer request form and send an email to ReserveRoastery@Starbucks.com)

Good luck!


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Teavana Tea is Now Available in Starbucks Stores!

2 - 1 - IMAG2704 shelf of teasStarbucks is now offering Teavana teas inside their stores! You can buy loose leaf Teavana tea. Look for it on your store’s merchandise wall.

The Teavana tea options include:

  • Royal English Breakfast (black tea)
  • Jade Citrus Mint (green tea)
  • Pineapple Kona Pop (herbal infusion)
  • Passion Tango (herbal infusion)
  • Youthberry (white tea)

And continued from previous seasons, you still can purchase the Teavana Oprah Chai too.

I’m pretty excited about the new teas. The Pineapple Kona Pop is one of my favorites. If you open it up, the aromas will entice you and lure you in. I’ve made it at home as an iced tea hundreds of times. It’s great by itself or blended with the Teavana Blueberry Bliss tea (look for Blueberry bliss online or in the actual Teavana stores).

Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time visiting the Teavana tea store in Seattle’s University Village. And so over time, I’ve already tried every single tea listed above, except English Breakfast. I’m not a big English Breakfast fan generally speaking, and I tend to make a lot of iced tea at home.

At home, I use this Teavana Infusion Pitcher (designed for iced tea) and make lots of iced tea. The Youthberry is delicious hot or iced.

Hope you go check out the new teas! Starbucks started with a small test of this transition one year ago, and here we are finally Teavana teas everywhere!

2 - 1- IMAG2703 teavana shelf2 - 1 - PhotoGrid_1412044694297 Teavanna photo grid2 - 1 - IMAG2713  oprah chai2 - 1 - IMAG2724 Pineapple kona pop

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First Time Ever: Starbucks India Estates Now Available

1 - 1 - IMAG2595 India Estates Blend coffee seminarFor the first time ever, you can try Starbucks India Estates Blend. Previously, the only way you could get your hands on this coffee was to travel to India to get it! This coffee – sourced entirely from coffee grown in India – is a core, year-round offering Starbucks stores in India.

Click here to find the Starbucks India Estates Blend on StarbucksStore.com.

I bought a few bags of it, and took one to Coffee Master Megan G. at the East Olive Way Starbucks and challenged her to come up with a great food pairing for India Estates Blend. She took her challenge very seriously!

She presented this coffee at a coffee education seminar on Monday, September 22, 2014. We tried it made with a French press, and Megan paired it with the Dark Chocolate Covered Grahams and the Turkey Pesto Panini.

We had a great turn out of customers and a lot of fun! This was really a treat to try the India Estates Blend with a knowledgeable coffee master! We thought the aroma was herbally sweet, with one person in the group picking up hints of coconut in the aroma.

The description for this coffee is “chocolaty and herbal,” and indeed it really is. It’s also squarely a medium roast profile coffee. Megan made a French press of it and we tried it with the Dark Chocolate Covered Grahams first. I thought this was the best pairing of it! The chocolatyness of the coffee really pops with the grahams and the texture of the grahams complements the coffee’s chocolaty mouth-feel.

If you’re looking for an excellent pairing at a Starbucks store to try the India Estates Blend with, try the grahams!

Herbal and chocolaty is an interesting combination and challenging to work with. The Turkey Pesto Panini was supposed to bring out the herbal notes, which it did. Though I thought the butteryness of the bread fought against the pesto/ herbal flavors.

One thing that I would like to do still is taste and compare this coffee with Starbucks core Sumatra. That would be a great taste and compare coffee tasting. As we worked on discovering the herbal side to this coffee, several people in the group noticed that this could have a little overlap with Sumatra. A lighter, more elegant version of Sumatra? I haven’t done that coffee tasting yet, but it’s on my list of things to do.

By the way, later on, I had this coffee made through the Clover and I thought it was much more herbally than chocolaty when made via the Clover.

If you’re ever available, please join me at the East Olive Way Starbucks for regular coffee seminars. They’re every other Monday evening, at 6:00 PM and free and open to the public.

Hope to see you there!

1 - 1 - IMG_20140922_182934 Photogrid of the India Estates Blend Coffee seminar1 - -IMAG2610 India Estate Blend with its whole beans 22 Sept 2014

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New braille Starbucks card coming soon and a reminder about Coffee Con.

If you’re a Starbucks card collector, be on the look out for a new Starbucks braille card.

This is the third time Starbucks has offered a braille card. The first one was 2011. All of them have the word “Starbucks” punched into them in braille.

If you are a collector of Starbucks collectibles (such as cards), there is a “Coffee Con” convention designed for you! This convention is the 10th and 11th of October. I will be there in the “Trade and Sale” room with copies of Tales of the Siren for sale. And more importantly, I’d be happy to meet you! (The “Trade and Sale” room has a two-hour window that it’s open on Saturday the 11th, I think. But ask the organizer for more information). This is going to be a lot of fun!

I’m not the organizer of Coffee Con! If you have questions about it, contact Sue Fox.  You can reach her by email at StarbucksEditor@yahoo.com. There’s a pre-convention tour that includes fun things like the Coffee Gear Store and much more.

Hope to see you there!


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Starbucks Gets Book Bombed! Read all about it!

GLOUCESTER - Virginia - 6705 Fox Mill Center Parkway Sept 2014Starbucks has been book bombed! All across North America, more than 135 books were hidden inside of Starbucks stores! I organized a street team of people who volunteered to hide Tales of the Siren: A StarbucksMelody in their local Starbucks stores.

This ended up being super fun! I wanted Tales of the Siren: A StarbucksMelody to wind up in the hands of store managers who might then, in turn, share it with their teams. Much to my delight, I got tons of feedback from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram of partners who thoroughly enjoyed finding the book in their lobby. Each book had a handwritten message inside indicating that the book was left intentionally for the store manager to find. And I did get a ton of feedback that some stores were indeed circulating their “store copy” around from partner to partner.

I accomplished pretty much what I wanted. I wanted to get the book into the hands of lots of new people who might really enjoy it. And the feedback I got was terrific. Copies of Tales of the Siren ended up in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Idaho, Ohio, Hawaii, Georgia, Illinois, and also Canada.

It was much easier to “book bomb” Starbucks than I thought it would be. When I started this project, I worried that there would be so many lobby slides that it would be hard to “hide” things inside a Starbucks store. My guess turned out to be totally wrong. In fact, it’s quite easy. By the end of the project, I realized that anyone could do this. While I was hiding a book about Starbucks, it occurred to me that the next group could be hiding bibles,  Scientology books, or whatever. Some of the books stayed planted in the store’s lobby for hours upon hours before being found. In one case, I myself hid a book in a store, drove away, and returned six hours later, only to find the book untouched, and still laying atop of a number K-Cups boxes.

There were more books hidden than just in the photogrids below. Once in a while, I didn’t get photos for hidden books.

I want to call attention to a few favorite book hides:

This is the Starbucks at 328 – 15th Avenue East in Seattle. A number of the scenes in Tales of the Siren happen inside this Starbucks, so that’s why I wanted to call attention to it. This store was once an experimental store called “15th Avenue Coffee and Tea”:

SEATTLE - 328 - 15th - 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea Starbucks - 30 Aug 2014And I’ll point out a few of my favorites from below. This is the Starbucks actually inside the headquarters. The “SODO 8” Starbucks is not open to the public, so getting a book hidden in it was a little bit tricky!

SEATTLE - SODO 8 Starbucks - 2401 Utah Avenue South 8th Floor August 2014I got so many great pics, but this few stood out to me. I really liked this Blythe, California book hide. Very few of the hidden books ended up chilled! ;)

BLYTHE - California - 745 West Hobson Way - 18August2014This Starbucks in Hurst, Texas is a striking building!

HURST Texas - 1498 Precinct Line 5Aug2014This Austin, Texas store is gorgeous too:

AUSTIN - Texas - 3rd and Lavaca Starbucks in Austin Sept 2014I want to thank the many people who signed up for the Tales of the Siren street team. There’s no way I could have done this without them. It took a lot of people to make this work! Thank you to every single person who hid a book!

Look through all the photos! It’s a tour of many Starbucks stores and see if you can spot all the hidden books!  A few of the books are hard to find. I promise every photogrid below has a Tales of the Siren book in it! :)

new book cover versus old book cover2(By the way, shortly after this book hiding project ended, I changed the cover of the book. It’s the spine of the book that’s new and different – the orientation of the words is now much more standard. It’s funny because I’ve had people joke with me that all these hidden books are now special editions. ;) LOL – If you buy Tales of the Siren now, it will come with the cover shown as the top book in the photo with the two books)

For a review of Tales of the Siren, I suggest reading the review written by Portland Book Review.

GLENCOE - Illinois - 347 Park Avenue - Sept 2014WILLIAMSVILLE - New York - 5429 Main StreetWILLIAMSBURG - Virginia - 5541 Richmond Road August 2014WEATHERFORD - Texas 1954 South Main Street 22August2014VANCOUVER Washington - 8720 NE  Centerpoint Dr 2August2014VANCOUVER - British Columbia - Canada - 1095 Pender Street August 2014TUCSON Park Place Mall Starbucks AZ July 2014TUCSON - Speedway and Pantano Starbucks 4Aug14TUCSON - Old Spanish Trail Starbucks July 2014 AZTUCSON - Arizona - River and Campbell Starbucks 6Sept14TUCSON - Arizona - 3421 E. Broadway Blvd August 2014TORONTO - Canada - 185 King St East - 24 August 2014TORONTO - Canada - 81 Front Street East 24 August 2014TORONTO - Canada - 2 Ossington Avenue - 24 August 2014TORONTO - 525 University Ave -July 2014TORONTO - 250 Queen Street West - 26August2014 StarbucksTORONTO - 180 Queen Street West -July 2014TORONTO - 145 Richmond Street West -July2014TORONTO - 55 University Ave - July 2014TOMS RIVER - New Jersey - 2360 Lakewood Rd. Toms River NJSEATTLE - SBC on 4th Avenue South - Owned and operated by Starbucks 5 Aug 2014SEATTLE - MLK Jr Way and Graham Street - Store 3302 - 9Aug14SEATTLE - Fremont Starbucks - 34th North and Fremont - Seattle WA - 8Aug14SEATTLE - 1912 Pike Place Starbucks - 9 August 2014SEATTLE - 23rd and Jackson Starbucks 4 August 2014SEATTLE - 1st and DiagonalSARASOTA - Florida - 5825 Derek Avenue - 26 August 2014SAN LEANDRO - California Palma Plaza Starbucks - 24 August 2014 - 3808 E 14th StSAN LEANDRO - California - 15555 E 14th St  24 August 2014SALEM - Oregon - Wallace and Glen Creek 1124 Wallace Rd NW 20Aug14SALEM - Oregon - 3405 Commercial St. SE - 11Aug14SALEM - Oregon - 831 Lancaster Drive NE - 11Aug14SALEM - Oregon 399 Court Street NE 11Aug14ROUND ROCK - Texas - I 35 and University - 200 University 110 - September 2014PENDELTON - Oregon 709 Southgate - 30 August 2014ORMOND BEACH - Florida - 31 August 2014  - 247 East Granada BlvdNORTHBROOK - Illinois - 1931 Cherry Ln - 31 August 2014NORTH KINGSTOWN - Rhode Island - 1370 Ten Rod Road - 16Aug14NAPAVINE Washington - 1280 Rush Road 2aug14NANUET - New York - 1131 Fashion Drive, Nanuet, NY - 13Aug14NAMPA - Idaho - 1451 Caldwell Blvd - Karcher Mall Starbucks - 30 August 2014NAMPA - Idaho - 1401 North Happy Valley Road - I84 and Garrity Blvd - 31 August 2014NAMPA - Idaho - 1324 - 12th Avenue Road - 12th and Hawaii - 31 August 2014MILL CREEK - Town Center Starbucks - 15517 Main Street 8Aug14MESA - Arizona Greenfield and Inverness - 1705 S. Greenfield RdMESA - Arizona - Ellsworth and Baseline Road - August 2014 - StabrucksMESA - Arizona - 1923 S. Signal Butte Road - Hwy 60 and Signal Butte - 15Aug14MERCED - California - 580 West Olive - Sept 2014MENTOR - Ohio - Starbucks at 9372 Mentor Avenue 4Sept2014MENTOR - Ohio - 7681 Mentor Avenue - Mentor Ohio StarbucksMANALAPAN - New Jersey - 310 Route 9 North - Starbucks 20August2014LONGWOOD - Florida - Springs Plaza Starbucks 2425 West State Rd 434LOMA LINDA - California - California and Barton - 17Aug14LAKEWOOD, Washington - 10314 S Tacoma Way - 2August 2014LAKE BUENA VISTA - Florida - Downtown Disney Starbucks - 31 August 2014LAKE BUENA VISTA - Florida - Downtown Disney Marketplace Starbucks - 6 Sep 2014HONOLULU - Hawaii - 678 Keeamoku Street - Sept 2014HONOLULU - Hawaii - 625 Kapahulu Avenue - Sept 2014HILLSBOROUGH - New Jersey - 601 Route 206 & 514 - Sept 2014FRESNO - California - Friant & Fort Washington StarbucksFRESNO - California - Cedar and Ashlan - Starbucks 16Aug14FREEHOLD - New Jersey - Route 537 Freehold - 11 Village Center Drive 13Aug14HONOLULU - Hawaii - 678 Keeamoku Street - Sept 2014HONOLULU - Hawaii - 625 Kapahulu Avenue - Sept 2014FREDONIA - New York - SUNY Fredonia - Cranston Hall - University CommonsFORT WORTH - Texas 7th and Carroll Street - Montgomery Plaza Starbucks 16Aug14FORT MYERS - Florida - 4450 Fowler Street - August 2014FENTON Missouri - Gravois Bluffs Starbucks - July 2014EULESS Texas - 211 North Main Street 5 August 2014ELLENSBURG - Washington - 1614 Canyon Road - 31 August 2014EAST BRUNSWICK - New Jersey -EAST AMHERST - New York - Transit Commons Starbucks - 9660 Transit Road - Sept 2014DENVER - Leetsdale Drive CO - July 2014DENVER - Larimer Square Downtown - July 2014DAYTONA BEACH - Florida 250 North Atlantic AvenueDALLAS - Texas Preston Royal Shopping Center Starbucks August 2014DALLAS - FORTWORTH Airport - Terminal D StarbucksDALLAS - FORTWORTH Airport - Gate A29 - 13Aug14DALLAS - 9440 Garland Road - 6 Aug 14DALLAS - 6312 La Vista - Dallas - TX - Lakewood Starbucks - 6Aug2014DALLAS - 3699 McKinney Avenue - Cole and Lemmon - Aug 2014COLTON - California - Washigton and I - 215 - 17Aug14CLOVIS California - Herndon and Willow 11 Aug 14CLOVIS California - 175 West Shaw Avenue - August 2014CHICAGO -Ohare Airport Starbucks July 2014CHICAGO - Madison and Morgan Starbucks 1001A W Madison Ave 10Aug14CHICAGO - 1701 West Division Street 3Aug14CHICAGO - 1588 North Milwaukee 24 August 2014CHICAGO - 171 West Randolph - Randolph and Wells - 24 August 2014CAPE CORAL - Florida - 4802 Chester Street - August 2014BUFFALO - New York - 235 Deleware Ave StarbucksBRANDON - Florida - 459 Brandon Town Center Mall - Aug 2014BELFAIR - Washington 23965 NE SR 3 - Belfair WA 17August14BEDMINSTER - New Jersey - The Village at Bedminister - 432 US Highway 202ATLANTA - Georgia - Lenox Kiosk - 3393 Peachtree RdATLANTA - Georgia - Briarcliff & LaVista. 2135 Briarcliff Road NE; Atlanta, GA - Sept 2014ATLANTA - Georgia - 2321 North Druid Hills Road - Atlanta Georgia Starbucks - Sept 2014APACHE JUNCTION - Arizona - Apache Trail and Delaware 16August14ANAHEIM HILLS - California - Weir Canyon and Monte Vista - 8295 E. Monte Vista Road - 13Aug14ALPHARETTA - Georgia - 2600 Holcomb Bridge Rd - Starbucks inside Target 8 Sep 2014CASTRO VALLEY - California 2720 Castro Valley Blvd - Starbucks - Sept 2014STOCKTON - California - 4855 South State Highway 99 Sept2014ORANGE - California - 101 East Chapman Avenue Orange California - Sept 2014EULESS Texas - 211 North Main Street 5 August 2014ORANGE - California - Chapman and Main Starbucks Sept 2014HONOLULU - Hawaii - Kahala Mall - Sept 2014HERMITAGE - TN - 5008 Old Hickory Blvd - Sept 2014ANAHEIM - California - Downtown Disney Starbucks - Sept 2013FREEHOLD - New Jersey - 621 US highway 9 -- 19Sep14 - Book hide was on store grand opening dayCLEVELAND - Ohio - 11501 Clifton Blvd - Sept 2014Fairview OHIO-A


LACY LAKEVIEW - Texas - 4273 North I-35 - Starbucks 6Sept2014KNOXVILLE - TN Starbucks Parkside Dr - Turkey Creek July 2014KNOXVILLE - TN - 7803 montvue center way - Aug 2014KISSIMMEE - Florida - 3721 West Vine Street - August 2014INDIO - California - 42250 Jackson Street - 17 August 2014HOWELL - New Jersey 4701 Rt 9 - 16August2014HONOLULU - Hawaii - Macys Ala Moana - September 2014AMHERST - New York - 1703 Niagara Falls Boulevard - Sept 2014ALTAMONTE SPRINGS -Florida July2014ALPHARETTA - Georgia  - 420 Holcomb Bridge Road 8 Sep 14

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Ask me anything about Starbucks!

4 - 1 - Screen cap of key words - taken on the 20 Sept 2014We’ve all done it. We sit down at our computer and we ask Google a question.

Google will search for any site that seems to have the right answer.  Through a wordpress plug in, I can see some of those search words that lead people to StarbucksMelody blog. I can’t see all of them, because Google hides some of them. (Also, the list the wordpress plug in shows me is ever-changing. It seems to gather only so many.. As new searches appear, old ones drop off. I’m sure I miss a lot too). (And I’m sure I’m also only seeing a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of these kinds of searches. I have no idea what words lead people to other Starbucks sites).

But the bottom line is that I can see a few of the questions about Starbucks that people type into Google.

Some of these questions below might make you chuckle a little.

Here you go. Some of the best “questions” over the past few days (I’ve made no corrections in terms of grammar and spelling). Melody answers your questions:

howard schultz why came back to starbucks

Howard returned to Starbucks in January 2008. He wanted refocus the direction Starbucks was going, to be more competitive in the modern business market and to refocus on the core of the business. Things like Pike Place Roast and Thanksgiving Blend coffees were developed during the Onward era, as well as the introduction of the first Starbucks card rewards, the introduction of MyStarbucksIdea.com, and the move to improve the quality of espresso in the stores but removing some older machines and installing the Mastrena espresso machines. This barely touches on it. You can read the whole story in his book Onward.

why is starbuck’s morning joe coffee only come in ground and not whole bean?

Morning Joe was the same coffee as Starbucks Gold Coast Blend. When sold in grocery stores, it was (for a while) labeled as Morning Joe. If you go to a Starbucks store (or to StarbucksStore.com), just pick up a pound of Gold Coast Blend – it’s the same coffee.

can i get a free refills at starbucks if i forgot my gold card

Sure. All of your MyStarbucksRewards benefits are associated with your profile, not a specific card. You are never even required to use your gold card. And free refills are a perk even at the Green Level of MyStarbucksRewards benefits.

You will need something so that the register knows that you are part of MyStarbucksRewards at the Green Level or the Gold Level. If you have the mobile phone app installed, you can just use that. Or if you have any other Starbucks card registered to your profile, that will work.

You will need at either the mobile phone app with your cards on it or a physical card – any card registered to your Starbucks.com/rewards profile.

does starbucks send you a free reward when gold is reached?

The answer to this is “no.” When the version of the program involving stars was new (there have been several versions of card rewards), I think there was a time that you got your physical gold card wrapped in a coupon that was good for one free beverage, but I’m nearly positive that coupon was discontinued a long time ago.

how late can you get a starbucks breakfast sandwich

You can get a breakfast sandwich any time of the day, assuming your store has not yet run out of them.

is there a drink at starbuck with no coffee

You can get lots of drinks with no coffee.

Iced tea. Hot tea (including Chai drinks). Creme based Frappuccinos. Hot steamed milk with a syrup flavor (called a Steamer – try a vanilla steamer). Smoothies. Hot apple spice. Blended strawberry lemonade.  Hot chocolate. In select Starbucks stores, you can get root beer, ginger ale, and lemon ale.

what it means to be how to become a starbucks partner

what does ssc at starbucks stand for

Starbucks calls their employees “partners”. If you work for Starbucks, you are called a partner. If you want to work for Starbucks, the first thing to do is take a look at the Starbucks career center website.

Starbucks calls their headquarters (located in Seattle, Washington) the “SSC”. The acronym SSC stands for Starbucks Support Center.

does starbucks rent trucks for birthdays?

I’m sorry. You can’t rent a Starbucks truck at all, as far as I know. You might want to call Starbucks customer service (1-800-782-7282) but I’m pretty sure they’re going to tell you that Starbucks doesn’t rent any Starbucks trucks.

why doesnt starbucks serve starbucks decaf iced coffee?

Most Starbucks don’t have the demand for iced coffee to make selling decaf iced coffee a good idea. In other words, if Starbucks finds that they’re selling so little that they’re just throwing a lot of it down the drain, they won’t sell it at all.

You have some options. You can visit any Clover – Reserve Starbucks, and your baristas will make an iced coffee for you easily. The Clover brewer is a special single cup brewer, making it easy to make any cup of coffee.  You could try an iced Americano. I’ve heard it said that the New England region of the U.S. sells so much iced coffee that it is worthwhile to sell decaf iced coffee: it may be a limited regional menu item in some New England Starbucks.


I didn’t make the screen caps for all of the questions above, but you get the picture the kinds of things I get asked.

And now, ask me anything about Starbucks! I’ll do my best to answer it.

3 - 1- Untitled-1 Words that led people to my blog for 18 Sept 14

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The Starbucks Android Phone App Gets A HUGE Makeover!

The big Starbucks Android phone app makeover is here! I’m a hard core Android phone user, so I was pretty excited to download the new version of the Starbucks app.

You can now tip your baristas from your Android phone, shake to pay, and the store locator feature looks much better than before.

First find yourself a Starbucks store. The address at the bottom of the store screen is the one that is very closest to you. It seems to be incredibly accurate. Even if you’re in a sea of Starbucks, it knows right where you’re standing: (Sure enough, I’m the blue dot on the screen and the green dots are open Starbucks stores near me).

STORES Stores near me - 18 Sept 14

I don’t know if you remember the previous store locator on the Android app, but this one looks nicer! I like the display of the closest store address to.

I paid with my physical Starbucks card during my morning Starbucks run, but tonight I wanted to explore paying by my phone. I ran into the Westlake Starbucks and ordered a beverage. They delivered a perfect drink:

IMAG2527 copyYou can easily see your cards on the app, the balance is obvious: (That screen cap is from this morning, before stopping by the Evolution Fresh store).

CARDS - My card and balanceI paid with my phone this evening, when visiting the Westlake Starbucks. You can shake your phone or click a button that says “pay” and a screen with a bar code will appear.

I really wanted to see how the tipping worked. I pretty quickly figured out which button to press to leave a digital tip, but I think it could be easy to miss. After you pay for your purchase, and your balance refreshes, a barista-looking icon appears. It’s pretty small, so I could have missed it. I want to really point that icon out:

TIPPING ICONOnce you click on that icon, the tipping options show up:

TIPPINGYour transaction history is a little easier to read too:

TRANSACTION HISTORY - 18Sept14There is still a rewards overview screen. If you click on the tabs “Welcome,” “Green” and “Gold” (not shown here) you can learn a little information about the rewards:

REWARDS - Rewards overview screenHope you enjoyed this look at the new Android app! I uninstalled my old app and installed the new one. If you’re an Android phone user, download the new app! (And be sure to tip your baristas!)


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Giveaway: Fun Key Chains and More from the Starbucks Coffee Gear Store.

It’s time for a giveaway! The prize is a number of items that come from the Starbucks Coffee Gear Store. If you win, here’s what you’ll get! (Plus, you’ll get a copy of Tales of the Siren: A StarbucksMelody too!)

IMAG2523 copyTo enter this giveaway, please follow all of the instructions carefully! I will hand write out every entry, and pull a winner from a hat (or a Starbucks paper bag :))

  • Your comment below must be posted and appear below before September 26, 2014, at 6:00 PM PST.
  • You must be over eighteen.
  • You must have a valid mailing address in either Canada or the United States. (If you’re in Canada, please be extra patient with the length of time for mailing items).
  • Please subscribe to this website. (Enter your email in the box in the left side column to enter; Or on the mobile version of this site, the subscribe box appears at the bottom of this site).
  • Please say whether you use a registered Starbucks card to make your purchases at Starbucks. (If so, you’re part of MyStarbucksRewards).
  • If you could change just one thing, please say what it is you’d like to change about MyStarbucksRewards. That’s the only topic we’re discussing: MyStarbucksRewards.
  • Your comment below may not contain more than 25 words. That’s 25 words total for everything.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • Please enter with a valid email address so it will be easier for me to reach you, if you’re the winner.
  • Off topic comments will be deleted.
  • You must leave your comment as one of the first 200 comments. I’ll close the giveaway at 200 comments, even if the deadline of September 26th has not yet arrived.
  • Winner will be drawn at random. Your odds of winning are one in 200, or better, depending on the number of entries.
  • There are no substitution prizes.

Over the years of doing giveaways, I always, always have people who don’t follow the instructions. The common mistakes seem to be as follows – people who leave a Facebook comment in an attempt enter rather than a comment below; people who attempt to email me their entry; and people who don’t follow all of the steps – such as missing a piece of information that I asked for.

Last but not least, this blog may be going through a site hosting change the evening and/or night of Saturday the 20th. It’s actually possible that some data may be lost if you happen to comment during the hosting migration. I’m not responsible for lost comments that get eaten up by the internet. Saturday nights are typically this blog’s slowest night, so I’m hoping that will be the least disruptive night for the hosting changes.

If your comment doesn’t appear below it could be for anyone of the following reasons: (1) It’s awaiting moderation. I really do try to get to every comment fast, but it’s possible to hang up in moderation for a couple of hours, at most. (2) You didn’t follow the instructions above or (3) it got lost in the migration transfer if you posted the evening or night of the 20th.

I don’t mean for any of this to sound so blunt, but having done many giveaways on this site, I have kind of learned that I really have to spell things out. Have fun with your 25 words or less comments below!

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Reporting on all the latest Starbucks news!