Saturday, October 03, 2009

for no bucks

Operation free coffee was a success this morning. All I had to do was take a cursory taste test of the new Starbucks Via to get a coupon for a free brewed coffee. I was a bit surprised by the small size of the samples. The tiny cups weren't even filled halfway.

It wouldn't have mattered whether or not I was able to figure out which was the instant coffee and which was the fresh brewed. However, the challenge intrigued me and I thought I could solve the mystery. While I waited for the drinks to cool to a palatable temperature, I noticed that one cup had the current Starbucks logo while the other had the retro "fresh roasted coffee" logo. Could the answer be as simple as truth in labeling? Presumably the instant mix wouldn't have qualified as "fresh roasted."

One had a much stronger, more bitter taste than the other. Another customer taking the test couldn't tell any difference but she drank them both piping hot. I thought that Starbucks would probably rig the test so that more people prefer the new Via. I could imagine the more pleasant tasting coffee being approved by management after years of development, testing and focus groups. I thought I remembered a press release from a few years back announcing the introduction of Pike Place Roast. It was a throwback to the early days of Starbucks. It made sense to me that their original product would have a more distinct taste. The barista told me I was right. The better-tasting coffee in the green-logoed cup was Via. The bitter stuff in the "fresh roasted" cup was Pike Place. The promotion continues tomorrow and Monday and you know I'll be back for more.

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Blogger ames said...

um, free coffee rawks. >|D


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