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A Call for Civility and Leadership

Dear Friends:

Like so many of you, I find myself utterly disappointed by the level of irresponsibility and dysfunction we are witness to with our elected political leadership. This weekend I heard from several business leaders who shared their concern about our relative silence and impact in urging the political leadership to act on behalf of the citizenry. I hope you share my view that it is our responsibility to address the crisis of confidence that is needlessly being set in motion. I’d like to encourage you to consider what your companies and organizations can do to help shift the norms of our country back toward civility, compromise and problem-solving.

At Starbucks, we are planning actions in the coming weeks to galvanize our customers, inspire our people and encourage the communities we serve to come together to take care of each other. In uncertain moments such as these, it is time for us as citizens and business leaders to remind our employees and customers that we stand with them. Perhaps through these actions, we can remind the Congress and the President of their duty to put citizenship over partisanship for the sake of our country and the world at large.

Please join me in pleading for civility and a respectful, honest discourse among politicians to bring a solution to the current stalemate. I don't pretend that both parties are equally to blame for this crisis. But, I do think they are equally responsible for leading us to a solution. We have to do what we can to mitigate and avoid the unintended consequences that the current political direction is leading the country and world toward. Let’s start by pushing for solutions and speaking out against posturing and blaming. The humanity and conscience of our country depends on it.

I am eager to hear your thoughts and ideas on what else we can do together to move us past this crisis in leadership.

Respectfully,

Howard Schultz

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Sir Paul the Crooner

Paul McCartney - Kisses from the Bottom

I was watching an iTunes webcast of Paul McCartney performing songs from his new album live from Capitol Studios in Hollywood when I realized that something was a little…off.

The hands! Paul wasn’t holding a guitar or bass and that’s just not what he’s used to.

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The Return of Starbucks Tribute Blend

Tribute Blend is back

It’s true. We said we’d never bring it back. Starbucks Tribute Blend® was intended to be a once-in-a-lifetime coffee, created to celebrate you and the coffee producing communities around the world that grow the premium beans we’re so proud of. It’s a blend of four distinct coffees from around the world, incorporating the qualities each coffee growing region is famous for. The result is a spicy, full-bodied coffee with exotic notes of berry and dark cherry and a lush, syrupy mouthfeel. And you loved it.

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A Night with Leonard Cohen

A few months ago, I received an invitation in the mail from Columbia Records to hear the new Leonard Cohen album “Old Ideas” played at the home of the Canadian consulate in Los Angeles – Leonard in attendance.

I’ve been a disciple of Leonard’s music and poetry since 1968 when his first record, Songs of Leonard Cohen, was released. Attending meant I would be paying for my travel from Seattle to Los Angeles out of pocket. But I told myself: “You want to do this, so go and do it! You’ll never get this chance again.”

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Sustainable Store Design in Action

I recently had the pleasure of cracking open my first built project for Starbucks: Reclamation Drive-Thru in Tukwila, Washington. This small project came at a perfect time here at Starbucks as we challenge ourselves to deliver LEED-certified stores across the US. Pending LEED certification, this project is just one step toward our goal of universally building all new company-owned stores to be LEED-certified Starbucks Stores. I wanted it to be green, thought provoking and sustainable  the sort of project that stirs chatter. I think we got it.

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Little Known Fact About Starbucks VIA Veranda Blend™

 

Some of you have noticed that the packets or our new Starbucks VIA Blonde Veranda Blend™ are a bit longer than our other Starbucks VIA Ready Brew products, but they still make perfect 8 oz cups of coffee. This difference in length is due to the lighter roast of the coffee, which leads to a fluffier microgrind. The granules are so much larger that the difference is visible to the naked eye.

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What Your Bagel Says About Your Mood

When you’re picking out a bagel, how do you choose? Do you always pick the same kind, or do you venture into new bagel territory? Maybe it depends on your mood. Which of these best fits the way you feel today?

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Measuring Responsibility at KiliCafe in Tanzania

This past fall in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, the Association of Kilimanjaro Coffee Growers (KiliCafe) underwent a verification to continue their participation in Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices. In 2006 a number of these arabica coffee growers elected to participate in the program, which helps coffee farmers, processors and suppliers transition toward more responsible coffee production, and to provide incentives for demonstrated progress.

The program is comprehensive, calling for just employment strategies, economic accountability and environmentally sustainable agriculture practices, all while maintaining our high bean quality benchmark, and it involves continuous efforts and long-term planning.

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Steaming Perfection

At Starbucks, we spend a lot of time focused on coffee quality, and with good reason – it is at the heart of our most popular beverages. But if our signature Espresso Roast is the heart, then great steamed milk is the body that holds our espresso beverages together.

Over the next month, Starbucks is rolling out a new custom steaming pitcher to help our expert baristas make even better steamed milk for your beverage. The secret is in the shape. It’s tapered and concave, allowing for the “whirlpool” motion needed for steaming perfection.

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Parfait Personified

Did you know that your Peach Raspberry Yogurt Parfait eating method makes a profound statement about yourself?

This is not an accident. Oh no. This is an inkblot test for tastebud awareness. It’s four tantalizing components, strategically layered in the cup and awaiting self-expression!

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