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September 2011

Live from the 2011 Cup Summit

I’m in Boston for Starbucks third Cup Summit, an effort that began in 2009 and has brought together 100 leaders throughout the paper and plastic cup value chain for a common purpose – to find a way to make food packaging and serveware recyclable. We are working with more representatives from suppliers, cup manufacturers, retail and beverage businesses, recyclers, NGOs, and academic experts– even competitors. We know that together we can find innovative solutions for our cups and packaging and make a meaningful impact.

On Friday, Sept. 9, I’ll be hosting a panel discussion at the Cup Summit with experts from MIT, Tim Horton’s, Georgia-Pacific and New York waste management company Action Carting Environmental Services. We’ll talk about the common challenges we face, the progress we have made, and ideas for the future.

I hope you’ll join the conversation at our live webcast on Friday, Sept. 9 at 12 p.m. Eastern/9 a.m. Pacific at or on Starbucks Facebook page. Submit your questions and ideas on Twitter by using the hashtag #cupsummit or Facebook.

Jim Hanna is director of environmental impact for Starbucks.

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A Day to Honor and Remember

Like many people, I’m deeply moved by the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I was in Manhattan on that morning, and I remember very well what I experienced: the fear, the anxiety, the uncertainty of not knowing what would happen next.

But I also recall the gratitude we felt for the first responders on the scene, the relief we held when loved ones were located, and – most of all – the comfort and sympathy we found in the company of others.

I also vividly remember the days following this tragic event. So many came back to our stores to share their stories with friends and colleagues. Some came just to get back a semblance of their normal routines, and some merely wanted the opportunity to be with others.

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Straight Out of New York

New York Style Everything with Cheese Bagel

All over the country and on My Starbucks Idea we’ve heard you’re craving New York style bagels – with that signature, slightly crisp outside and soft and chewy inside.

Now our bagels are better than ever. Straight out of New York, our new bagels have the authentic texture you want and the delicious taste you crave.

While many of us agree that New York bagels are the best, the real question is “How do you eat them?” We promise we won’t judge – you can enjoy your bagel any way you want! Here are the most popular ways to enjoy a Starbucks New York style bagel:

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Chai Tea Latte: Experience a Classic Again

Tazo® Chai Tea Lattes

Tazo® Chai Tea Lattes mix the exotic with the familiar. This beverage starts with a rich, full-flavored Assam tea and blends five spices that have been used in Indian chai recipes for decades: ginger, cardamom, star anise, cloves and cinnamon. The blend is a “classic masala chai” – the Tazo recipe adds sweetness with honey, organic cane sugar and a hint of vanilla.

Like most of our beverages, the Tazo® Chai Tea Latte is customizable. If you want to savor some extra cinnamon or try it very vanilla, just ask. One of the more popular customizations you’ve told us about is to add a shot of espresso for an extra kick. There’s an iced version perfect for warm days. And there are a full range of milk options, including soy.

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Our First Digital Book Featured as the “Pick of the Week”

The Night Circus from author Erin Morgenstern

As part of the expanded Pick of the Week program, Starbucks is featuring an extended sample of the book, The Night Circus from Erin Morgenstern.  The Night Circus Pick of the Week Card will be available from September 13 - 19, while supplies last at Starbucks company-operated and select licensed stores. 

Erin Morgenstern’s riveting debut novel, The Night Circus, is an expansive and warmhearted tale of student magicians and the mysterious setting of their encounters.  We are pleased to offer an exclusive short essay about The Night Circus from author Erin Morgenstern in celebration of its arrival as our Pick of the Week:

Imaginary Architecture

Erin Morgenstern

I think I must have been an architect in a past life, or possibly an interior designer; definitely one of those occupations that involves creating space because, in this lifetime, that place-building sensibility has become the core of my writing.

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New Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew Coffee Blends Now in Grocery Stores

Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew House Blend and Breakfast Blend coffees

Fall is here, which means it is time to get back to my everyday routine. I love when the leaves turn, the temperature cools and my favorite sweaters come out from hiding. And, as the days become shorter I find myself needing a warm welcome to the dark mornings.

Lucky for me, two of our most popular coffees are coming to a nearby grocery store. Customers can find our new Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew House Blend and Breakfast Blend coffees where they buy groceries.

Both of these blends are made from 100 percent arabica coffee and taste just like our fresh-brewed coffee. House Blend is steeped in tradition – it is one of our longest-running blends, with a smooth, balanced flavor. Breakfast Blend is bright and lively, and perfect if you like a lighter roast. So don’t worry about hitting that morning snooze button – Starbucks VIA® coffee will fit in with your schedule even if you’re running five minutes late.

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Goin’ Back to Speakeasy Times

Speakeasy Times

When I got married a decade ago, I was put in charge of the wedding music. In fact, other than showing up, that’s pretty much where my responsibilities began and ended. Being someone who’s made music a vital part of my personal and professional life, I naturally gave my sole assignment considerable thought.

I worked out a budget, searched the web and thought about the spirit I wanted a band to bring to the event. Then I tracked down a bunch of old-time musicians who were experts at playing the music of the 1920s. And not the obvious stuff, either!

They were great! To top it off, they showed up with not one, but two, bass saxophones! Now the bass saxophone has fallen out of favor these days, probably because they’re taller than your average point guard and can’t be a lot of fun to haul around. But they turn up relatively frequently in ‘20s recordings. They sound kind of like a tuba with a little more bleat coming through.

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The 1 and Only Beatles

The Beatles

Just how big were the Beatles?

Well, if you’d have laid them end to end, they’d have stretched a little over 23 feet, but that’s probably not the scale we’re looking for.

The real measure can be found in the newly-remastered reissue of Beatles 1, the definitive collection of the 27 recordings that topped the charts in either the UK or U.S. The first of the tracks to reach No. 1, “From Me to You,” did so in May of 1963; the last, “The Long and Winding Road,” captured the top spot in June 1970. That’s 27 chart-toppers in about 85 months! Consider that most of those singles settled in at No. 1 for multiple weeks, and “Hey Jude” perched on top of the U.S. Billboard charts for nine weeks. They rarely vacated the top spot. We’ll never see that kind of commercial dominance again. Ever!

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Watch an Exclusive Feist Performance

Exclusive performances by Feist on the Starbucks Digital Network

We are proud to offer a special video experience on the Starbucks Digital Network - selections from the first live performance by Feist and her band. It features material from her new record, Metals, available in our North America stores on October 4. Exclusive access to this memorable performance on SDN is available from September 19 to October 3.

The performance was filmed at the wonderful old Los Angeles recording studio, The Village, site of numerous hit record sessions by The Beach Boys, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, The Doors, Bob Dylan, The Eagles, and John Lennon, among others.

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