Chris Davies writes:
"As the mobile app provision increases, Square and Starbucks will make buying a cup of coffee even more straightforward. Passbook [on your iPhone] will automatically flag up the Starbucks Card on the iOS device’s lock screen when they enter a store, and they’ll be able to pay by “swiping” their phone."
I've been using Passbook for my Starbucks payments and like it. It launches instantly, while the Starbucks iPhone app tends to be a bit sluggish.
The story says: "Starbucks Corp. SBUX officials said there is no widespread scarcity of the sauce used to make the drink, though they acknowledge shortages at some stores due to infrequent deliveries."
Your thoughts on the piece? Are customers mentioning it?
"I decided I’d finally venture into Starbucks for my first PSL, as the beverage is simply referred to by its fans. You see, I rarely drink Starbucks – I’m one of those java snobs who believes the chain has perpetrated the notion that over-roasted coffee is “better” coffee. And to top it off, I have no taste for flavored coffee: I’ll take a little peppermint with my chocolate or a little citrus with my vodka, but, please, leave my java alone.
"So perhaps it’s no surprise I didn’t like the latte. I wasn’t really expecting to taste any actual pumpkin in the drink, so I can’t say I was disappointed in that regard. But I did get the expected mouthful of pumpkin spice – and the problem for me was that those sweet, aromatic flavors clashed with the overly bitter joe. If this is fall in a coffee mug, I’m ready to set the clock back to summer."
Al Sacco writes:
"The Dunkin' and Starbucks apps make it quicker and easier for people to pay for their coffee, assuming they know how to use them and don't fumble with their phones for five minutes every time they try to pay. But the cards also do away with the change customers receive after paying. In other words, the mobile payment apps drastically reduce the tips coffee servers receive. And when you're making minimum wage, or close to it, tips make a difference."
"I'm making a point to bring some change from my car when I buy coffee using my phone, or to at least pay with cash every once in a while. You should too."
Are you noticing a drop in tips with the increased use of payment apps?
SBUX customers: Do you ever throw change in the tip jar when you're paying by phone? Let us know.
"While buying a tall latte at the store every day costs about $1,292 a year with tax (based on the price of a tall latte at the Starbucks SBUX closest to our New York office, $3.25), purchasing the cheapest Verismo and the accompanying caffe latte “pods” still costs $790.30 for the year ($2.17 per day), a 39% savings."
Meanwhile, Starbucks Gossip reader "suzecoffee" gives a thumbs-down to the machine:
"the coffee is awful. it is an instant coffee. no aroma, no crema. horrible aftertaste. the milk for the lattes is a powder. even though there are 19 bars of pressure, the espresso was worse than the coffee."
HAVE YOU TRIED THE VERISMO? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
A workman on a cigaret break told me that it's supposed to open this week; are there any knowledgeable Chicago SBUX employees who can confirm that and give us more info?
Lactose intolerant Rewards members are signing a Change.org petition that asks Starbucks to keep the free soy and syrups benefit.
The petition states in part:
"I went to Starbucks JUST for the free soy in my drinks as I am lactose intolerant. It is not my fault milk does NOT do my body good. I don't understand why any coffee shop still charges extra for soy. It's more sustainable, and much more environmentally friendly than cow's milk, and isn't that what Starbucks is trying to do? Create a more eco-friendly image?"
Hall (shown at right) does her dining at an Alexandria, VA Starbucks. Are there any baristas from that store who read Starbucks Gossip? If so, tells us about Ms. Hall and her diet.
-- At the Gold Level, you get a free drink at 12 stars -- not 15 like before.
-- Sorry, but you'll no longer get a free tall beverage when you buy your pound of coffee.
-- Also, you'll no longer be able to add a syrup or swap in soy milk for free, but...
-- Rewards will be good for pastries, bistro boxes, breakfast sandwiches, and other food items.
Have I missed anything, SBUX employees? Let us know in comments.
(Follow Starbucks Gossip on Twitter.)
"I recently bought the chai concentrate carton from Starbucks. I only like the chai latte cold. I noticed that just adding cold milk to the concentrate doesn't taste the same as the chai bought at a Starbucks. Is there something I should be doing to the concentrate before adding cold milk and ice? Should I boil it and let it set to room temperature and then add cold milk? If I do boil it, can I boil the whole carton and then keep it in the fridge for a week? Thank you."
Thanks in advance for your advice.
I grabbed my quickly -- and have already used it up. I assume that baristas are seeing a lot of the vouchers in recent days.
She writes: "I think some of these drinkers actually believe they've learned another language and take an odd pride in this false sense of intelligence."
---> GET THE DEAL HERE
"Not sure how 'public' this knowledge is, or how widespread, but our area has been directed to “discreetly” serve the pumpkin spice lattes and salted caramel mochas.
"There is no signage for it, and we don’t suggest them, but if a customer requests one, we are to “just say yes” and sell it to them. The signage will begin to appear on August 31, with the actual promotion beginning on Tuesday, September 4th.
Baristas -- is this what you were told too?
Starbucks baristas "are almost always smiling and chipper," while "the indie baristas typically look at you with reproach as if to say, I’m too good to be making coffee for you self-important soy chai-sipping ingrates."
Smith adds: "The worst thing, though, even worse than the service is that their coffee doesn’t really taste good. It’s inconsistent, at best."
Also, at the Starbucks outlets she frequents, there are electrical outlets aplenty; at indie shops you have to fight for the right to power.