Photo: Simon Q, Flickr
We already reported on Starbucks' new coffee, cappuccino and cakes, part of the company's 40-year anniversary celebration that kicks off today, but I've now actually tasted them-yesterday, at its store in Manhattan's Soho. And I can report that the brand-new Tribute blend had subtle berry notes, perhaps hinting of currant. One sip and it was obvious that the brew was low in acidity. But what really surprised me was the realization that Tribute, which is only being offered in a limited quantity, obviously had beans from all three of the world's major coffee-growing regions-Asia (Sumatra and, if I was correct, Papau New Guinea), Africa (Ethiopia) and South America (Colombia). That seemed unusual, and I sensed that this must be the first time Starbucks had ever done such a globe-spanning blend.
Okay, all of the above is true, but the only reason I know is because the guy who manages the New York stores told us, teaching us how to taste coffee at the same time-sniff, to catch the aroma, followed by a quick gulp, to check the acidity. (Be careful the coffee isn't too hot before you gulp.) On my own, though, I can honestly report that Tribute was really good. Really good coffee, man. I also liked the new Cocoa Cappuccino, with only 150 calories, which surprised me, because I'm no chocolate fan. (My idea of a sweet treat is a pretzel.) Even more amazing, I loved the Petites, pretty little confections that give dessert a good name, and with only 200 calories each themselves.
What has all of this got to do with you? Well, just this: If you head over to Starbucks between 2-5 p.m. local time today, tomorrow and Saturday and order any beverage you like, you will get a free Petite-maybe a Red Velvet Whoopie Pie or a Rocky Road Cake Pop. And if you have a cup of Tribute, you can check out those berry notes for yourself.
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