While theme parks can certainly offer up some tempting snacks, they’re not exactly known for the quality of their food or beverage offerings. Disney is hoping to upgrade their coffee options by partnering with Starbucks, who will be opening stores inside all six Disney properties in both California and Florida. The stores are going to be designed to blend in to the parks, so they won’t look like the Starbucks that you might see down the street. In fact, there won’t be any Starbucks logos visible from outside the store, and the cafes will have their own names. There will still be Starbucks branding and drinks inside, of course, so you will know what you’re getting when you venture inside the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe – as the Starbucks location inside Disneyland will be named after the Three Little Pigs.
The stores and baristas will match the themes of their locations and blend in to the parks, but the entire drink menus will be Starbucks. There may be a few signature Disney items, such as Mickey shaped cookies, available for park-goers as well. No news on prices yet, though we’re guessing that it might be a bit more expensive than your average Starbucks location, much like airport Starbucks’ tend to be.
Fans of the Starbucks Tribute Blend – like myself – you’ll be happy to know that Tribute blend is coming back to Starbucks stores on March 6th. The coffee was originally released in honor of the chains’ 40th anniversary and was made up of a blend of coffees from all of their coffee-growing regions. It was a huge hit – especially with fans of darker roast coffees, who loved the character of this blend.
I have a Keurig, and while the pod coffees that it offers don’t compare to what I can make with my french press, if you get the right k-cups it can brew up a good cup of coffee in less time than it takes to even prep my french press. The convenience is well worth it because there are plenty of times when I just need coffee and don’t have much time to wait around to brew a whole drip pot or a french press.
But do you know how much that convenience really costs?
Spending $.25 – $.50 per pod doesn’t sound too bad when you’re out at the grocery store stocking up. It’s cheaper than running out to Starbucks or even to McDonalds for a cup of coffee. But when you compare the price to that of whole bean or ground coffee, the difference is staggering. Nespresso pods can make coffee cost upwards of $50 per pound, and the same is true of many K-cup varieties. You could drink only pure Kona coffee or even Jamaica Blue Mountain for that same price if you’re buying whole beans. That is because these pods typically pack in only 5-10 grams of coffee.
Is it still worth if for the convenience? Only you can decide that, but it definitely makes me tempted to stick with my do-it-yourself Keurig insert and buy some of that Kona coffee to use in it!
Peet’s isn’t the only coffee company to introduce a new light roast in an effort to appeal to an even broader customer base. Starbucks has also jumped on the light roast bandwagon with a new category of light roast coffees: Blonde roasts. There are two coffee blends in this lineup – Veranda and Willow (also available in decaf) – and both are blends of South American beans. They have slightly different flavor profiles, but both are very lightly roasted and aim to produce a bright, mild coffee with a very clean finish.
I was able to attend a coffee tasting at a local LA Starbucks to compare the new Veranda Blonde roast to the medium (formerly known as mild) Pike Place and dark Fair Trade Italian roasts. No surprise: the Blonde roast was much, much milder than the other two, but it was great to have them side by side. Pike Place is a pretty mild coffee, and it seemed much more full-bodied compared to the Blonde Veranda. I personally prefer bolder coffees, though several of the other tasters at the event loved the lighter Blonde coffee.