January 2010

A Coffee Born Out of a Challenge

In 2003, Canlis – one of the finest restaurants in Seattle – wanted a Starbucks coffee they could serve for dinner and dessert. But they believed we didn’t have an offering that could satisfy their discerning customers and deliver a premium experience in all brewing methods: brewed, pressed and espresso.

At first, I was kind of astounded. I thought about the flavors delivered by our Caffè Verona®, Guatemala Antigua and Gold Coast Blend®. Weren’t these coffees, with their incredibly rich, complex and distinctive flavors, more than well-suited for the tables at Canlis?

But then I began to think that there was more to this request – and to think of it as a challenge. Just to make sure we understood their needs, we invited Mark Canlis, the restaurant owner, and his chefs into our Tasting Room. We discussed ingredient sourcing and how important it was for them to truly understand where it all comes from – not just the origin, but the manner in which it was sourced and who was producing it.

During this conversation, we both realized that we shared the same passion and relentless focus on delivering the highest quality, sustainable ingredients to our customers. We also learned they wanted a coffee that was unique – something special and outside of our everyday offerings.

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How to Skinny Your Beverage

You’ve probably heard of our sinfully delicious, guilt-free Skinny Lattes – available in Caramel, Vanilla, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Dolce. These treats each come in around 90 calories, 0g fat and 9g protein for a Tall (12 fl oz) serving. Plus they have about 30% of your U.S. daily value in calcium.

But with a few simple substitutions, you can make just about any drink Skinny. One of my favorites is a Skinny Caramel Macchiato. It’s not on the menu – it’s simply a Caramel Macchiato made with nonfat milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup. You can still keep the caramel drizzle topping for a little added indulgence and have only about 110 calories.

Here is how to make your favorite drink Skinny:

Opt for nonfat milk. That saves up to 120 calories and 15g fat.
Switch to sugar-free syrup. That trims off about 20 calories and 5g sugar per pump of syrup!
Hold the whip. Whipped cream adds about 50 to 110 calories and 5 to 11g of fat to your drink.

Here are some additional ways to shave calories in your favorite drink:

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Breakin’ New Sound

Okay, so let’s do this. Just rollin’ off of some Philly Soul liner notes for an upcoming package we’re puttin’ out. Thought I’d take a moment to formally introduce myself and break a proverbial bottle over the proverbial bow of our first music- and/or entertainment-related blog.

Hi, I’m David Legry, writer, and Editorial Manager for Starbucks Entertainment. I’ve been with the company for over a decade now and writing liner notes for just as long. Liner notes? You know, those snazz little booklets that accompany the CD? Maybe it’s a grocery store-style query these days: “Paper or digital?” Having come up on vinyl (hi-fi), I’d hope you still buy physical albums, or at least download the notes (di-fi?). But, I assume nothing.

So, other than a brief introduction with the promise of many future posts to come, from me and others on my team, wanna take a minute to also let you in on one of our upcoming new releases which, last I checked, drops on March 9th. It’s San Patricio, a new joint from Ry Cooder and the Chieftains featuring Los Tigres del Norte and guests Lila Downs and Linda Ronstadt. They’ve all gotten together to explore the connection between the nations of Ireland and Mexico. Didn’t know there was one? We didn’t either, but they took us on an incredible journey we were only too happy to embark upon.

Lastly, for what it’s worth, I’m ecstatic about the coming year of music. It’s early, granted, but here’s my Top 5 Albums of 2010, so far (some out already, some not yet):

1) Los Campesinos! – Romance Is Boring; 2) Beach House – Teen Dream; 3) Broken Bells (James Mercer of The Shins & Dangermouse); 4) Nneka – Concrete Jungle; 5) Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – I Speak Fula.

That is all.

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