Browsing articles in "Coffee"
Dec 19, 2010

Starbucks Hacks for the Frugal

I can’t count the number of former baristas who have told me that they hated the customers who ordered a huge cup with a single shot of espresso, then filled up the remaining 18-oz of their drink with water from the condiment bar. Mostly, this was because the customers tended to have an attitude even bigger than their cups when they pulled this “trick”  and never tipped on top of it. They were trying to save money – and who isn’t these days? – but there are better ways to do it even when visiting Starbucks without antagonizing the staff.

One Starbucks barista pulled together a whole list of helpful tips for frugal Starbucks shoppers, and tips to help you discern a good Starbucks from a bad one. Check out the whole list and see what you’re already doing, and what you might want to try on your next visit. Even taking your own cup in, while it only saves you $.10 per trip, will add up after a while!

Dec 4, 2010

Polar Bear Cookie from Starbucks

Polar Bear Cookie

The holidays mean holiday baked goods in the pastry case at most bakeries and coffee shops. I’ll always prefer homemade baked goods but I couldn’t resist tasting this cute little polar bear cookie from Starbucks. It is a crisp butter cookie coated with a white chocolate-like glaze. It’s a good flavor combination and not too sweet, but even though I enjoyed it, you’re buying it for looks and not just for its flavor. Maybe it’s a decorating idea I’ll end up trying at home!

Polar Bear Cookie, bite

Dec 1, 2010

12 Days of Sharing Starbucks

12 Days of Sharing

December 1st marks the first of 12 Days of Sharing at Starbucks. This season promotion reveals one new deal every day on a holiday themed advent calendar on the Starbucks website. The deals can be just about anything and you won’t know until the day of if you’ll end up with a discount on your favorite drink, but it’s easy to check back into the site to see what the daily special is. You can also text “12DAYS” to 29943 for text message updates on the deals.

December 1st isn’t a discount on our end. Today, 5 cents from every drink sale is going to be donated to The Global Fund to help fight Aids in Africa. Check back in tomorrow to see what is next!

Nov 27, 2010

Nescafe Taster’s Choice Sticks, reviewed

Nescafe Taster's Choice Sticks, reviewed

From the look of Nescafe Taster’s Choice Sticks, you might assume that they want to compete with Starbucks Via by offering sleek single-serve packets of various different flavors of coffee. And they probably do, so I picked up a sample pack to try and compare it to Via, which is now my go-to instant coffee.

The problem with Nescafe Taster’s Choice Sticks is immediately obvious: the packets are filled with instant coffee. Like most freeze dried coffee, the overall flavor is very weak and far too easy to water down with too much liquid in your cup. Unlike instant coffee from a jar, there is no real way to adjust the strength of your coffee by simply adding more; the amount you can use is limited by the amount in the packet. The coffees are, across the board, weak and not very satisfying even for a quick fix. Doubling them up helps some, but they don’t have the robust flavor of something like Starbucks Via no matter what you do.

If you do like your coffee on the (very) mild side, there is one thing to look forward to here. The flavored coffee sticks, like the vanilla and hazelnut, have a very nice (mild) flavor and aroma to them. I will keep some on hand for emergencies – not a bad idea for an actual emergency kit, actually, because they last almost forever! – but I doubt that I’ll be buying these to use on a regular basis.

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