March 2010

Breakin’ New Sound 2 - Electric Boogaloo

I know, right? Was just listening to the Hollies’ classic 1974 songamajig “The Air I Breathe” (first recorded by Phil Everly) and had this sudden realization (and a rather pleasant one to boot) that it was remarkably similar to Radiohead’s “Creep.”

Did some research and sure enough, the Hollies are credited. Never knew that. I mentioned it to my esteemed co-worker, Kelly, and she remarked that it also turns into ABBA meets George Harrison halfway through. Indeed. It’s part of what makes Radiohead so great.

Different songs, sure, but seriously, it’s all there, give ‘em both a listen (and check out the cool visuals). First, Radiohead. Then the Hollies.

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Our Newest Clover Coffee - Organic Timor-Leste

Organic Timor-Leste joined the Clover coffee menu last month. This washed coffee from East Timor offers layers of complex flavors including roasted fig, balsamic vinegar and dark chocolate.

If you’re a fan of Guatemala Antigua and Guatemala Casi Cielo®, I’d recommend trying Organic Timor-Leste – explore the cocoa notes these coffees possess!

I’d also recommend this coffee to those that drink Sumatra. Both coffees share herbal notes, though their flavors are quite different. Comparing these two coffees is sure to increase your appreciation of the diverse flavors from the Asia/Pacific growing region.

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Cupcakes Bloom in Spring

Cupcakes at Starbucks have never bloomed this late in the season. Until now, our signature indulgent cupcakes were mainly available for Valentine’s Day – but thanks to your passionate comments on MyStarbucksIdea.com, we are keeping cupcakes for spring!

And starting on Tuesday, March 9, we are introducing two new cupcakes. Our delectable Chocolate Bloom Cupcake is a semi-sweet chocolate cake topped with an elegant swirl of pink cream cheese frosting and yummy white sprinkles. The Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake is a rich golden vanilla cake topped with a swirl of white buttercream icing topped with a white and pink chocolaty swirl treat.

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A Family Favorite

Hi folks – it’s Katie here. As you may know, I am a Registered Dietitian and, more importantly, a new mom. From one parent to another, I’m pleased share one of my favorite offerings: Starbucks® Snack-Fulls.

We’ve heard your request for a nutritious, fun and convenient kids’ option for the on-the-go parent.

The USDA’s MyPyramid recommends that kids “focus on fruits,” “make half [their] grains whole” and get “calcium-rich foods.” We think we’ve put together the perfect pack that helps deliver all that while being fun and delicious.

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So Many Scones, So Little Time

Our scones are yummier than ever! And what better to perfect the scone than your favorite Starbucks beverage?

For example, the real blueberries and yummy, buttery notes of our Blueberry Scone make this scone a cup of coffee’s best friend – try pairing it with your next cup of our Pike Place® Roast and you are on your way to your tastiest cup ever!

Our Cinnamon Chip Scone is dotted with cinnamon chips, white icing and the perfect balance of spice and sweetness. If you think Italian Roast is a bit too bold, try pairing it with a Cinnamon Chip Scone – the sweet cinnamon spice notes swirl with the roasty notes of the coffee making for one amazing cup.

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My Favorite Bold Coffee #4 – Komodo Dragon Blend®

Komodo Dragon Blend® is a wonderful and unique blend of Asia/Pacific coffees. It has a powerful, big body, but the overall impression is refreshing because of its herbal nuances and soft cinnamon flavor. The aroma is earthy and intriguing.

I tasted this coffee for the first time six years ago. At that time, I tasted black pepper. I did not understand the key word “spicy” until I tried Komodo Dragon Blend®. Spicy is the sensation of tingling on the tongue – sometimes a warm spice like cinnamon or a hot spice like pepper.

I loved pairing food with this coffee. One of my favorites is a toasted bagel with cheese and basil, or a simple pizza that puts on salami and olive with a touch of black pepper.

If I am looking for a sweet food pairing, I recommend a coffee press of Komodo Dragon Blend® with a cinnamon roll or cinnamon and chocolate. In Starbucks Japan, we developed a chocolate bar that pairs well with this coffee. It is a perfect treat for a coffee break on weekday.

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Cold. Happy. Home. Goodbye, SXSW.

By Saturday morning many SXSWers were either gearing up for taxi rides to the airport and flights home, or slowly recovering from the previous evening’s late-night festivities. The sun was now long gone, rain was pouring and the wind was kicking up somethin’ fierce.

I left my hotel early with the intention of taking in a panel on “Effecting Social Change via Music and Technology” but was waylaid by the enticing sounds of singer-songwriter Lissie, playing the Day Stage of the Austin Convention Center. Previously recommended to me by my colleague, the Divine Ms. Holly (who always has her finger on the music pulse), Lissie won me over in short order.

This was followed by a quick but satisfying set from the Middle East, with Rogue Wave to wind it all up. I decided that I’d just have to remain in the dark on the question posed by the panel I was planning on attending: “Can China Build a Better Music Business?” Good luck with that, China.

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My Favorite Bold Coffee #1 – Yukon Blend®

People often ask me, “What’s your favorite coffee?” I tell them it’s hard, like trying to choose your favorite child (for you parents out there). At any given time, we have 20 or so different coffees in our whole bean lineup. Light- and dark-roasted, blends and single-origin offerings from every corner of the coffee world. From earthy and spicy Sumatra , to smoky-sweet Italian Roast, to the vibrant acidity and brightness of our Breakfast Blend… how could I pick just one?

But I can pick just one. And for me it’s Yukon Blend®.

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This Land is Sharon’s Land – SXSW 2010

Broken Bells. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Spoon. The Walkmen. Visqueen. All playing on the same night. And get this – on the same bill!

Where’s this happening? Well, it could only be at the 2010 South By Southwest Music & Media Conference, held in Austin, Texas. It’s where I am now, and will be, for the next 4 days.

In case you’re not familiar with the music portion of annual event, it’s a five-day convergence of hundreds of artists from all over the world, often playing numerous times on more than 80 stages. That Broken Bells/Spoon/Sharon Jones show I mentioned? That was just the first night.

I’m not entirely sure if I’ve recovered from the jet lag, two-hour time change, standing next to Country Joe McDonald while waiting for a taxi at the airport, and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ blistering show last night. Especially that last one I mentioned.

The Dap-Kings set the tone for a full-on soul/funk/gospel experience with their brilliant horn and rhythm sections before Sharon sauntered out and immediately set the place ablaze with her stage presence. Wearing a slinky new green dress she’d bought to coincide with the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, she proceeded to lay down some of the funkiest dancing this side of vintage James Brown. And that voice. Good heavens, what a voice. Sent chills up my back numerous times. Seriously.

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