On Decaf in the Afternoon

Obviously there has been a great deal of interest and press coverage about our recent decaf decision.  While that is very encouraging--it's the kind of interest and passion most companies only dream of having--there are a few points that are being lost in the shuffle.

Below is the actual communication that was sent to stores:

For many of our stores, the demand for decaf is greatly reduced in the afternoon and therefore yields high waste with the current standard. In recognition of this, stores no longer need to continually brew decaf coffee after 12 p.m. and can now apply the same standard that exists for Morning Pick.

* Continue offering Decaf Pike Place Roast as the daily decaf brew through 12 p.m. (from 5 a.m. until 12 p.m. in 24-hour stores).

* Consider your customer base and decaf requests after 12 p.m. to judge whether you should brew a batch of coffee to prepare for decaf customers.

* Ensure partners respond to requests for decaf coffee according to standard, while acknowledging the wait time for a freshly prepared brew.

First, contrary to some reports I've seen, you can see that we have not "stopped brewing decaf" in the afternoon.   What has happened is store managers--those who are most in-tune with their customers and sales pattern--have been given the flexibility to stop continually brewing decaf in the afternoon if that makes sense for their stores.  Instead of a dictate from "on high", those with the best knowledge are empowered to make the decision. 

Second, and I think this is an important point, many people find just brewed coffee to be the best possible coffee.  Personally I find that getting my coffee immediately after brewing to be a great joy of life.  Usually I'd much rather wait four minutes for that experience.

What are you thinking about this?  Talk to me...

 

What, no decaf???
posted by g mommy



jaydobro
1/28/2009 10:11 AM

Being a former store manager, I was very surprised by the news story this morning on the Houston news.  They did make it sound like decaf would no longer be available.  Thanks for the clarification...this makes much more sense!

bombadom
1/28/2009 10:11 AM

I think it's interesting that the demand for decaf declines in the afternoon, since, I'd assume, the biggest pull for decaf would be from coffee drinkers who don't want to be up all night. Evidentially not.

I agree with the statement about waiting for four minutes for a fresh cup of coffee. It's small things, like brewing coffee for a single customer, that makes a local Starbucks still feel like a hometown coffee shop. Which is something that is very important to me.

As a native of Washington who's been transplanted to Southern California, I was disappointed to find the quality and personality I'd grown to expect from Starbucks in the Northwest was not mirrored in California (or, really anywhere else in the world). There's something about the coffee-centric culture in Seattle/Portland that breeds an air of superiority in anything coffee. The rest of the world just doesn't seem to value coffee quite as much. I realize this has nothing to do with Starbucks's decision to possibly not sell decaf in the afternoon, but I feel that the focus on letting the local managers make this decision is a part of a larger mindset Starbucks, as a corporation, is doing right. Now, if you could just do something about the lack of coffee-focused culture around the world that'd be great. :-)

vbronte
1/28/2009 10:33 AM

Here in the San Diego news, they did mention that decaf would still be given to customers that requested it after noon. But really...who drinks decaf anymore? :) I almost feel like they should stop brewing it in the morning instead. I can't imagine the person that drinks decaf in the morning. What's the point?

eas8302
1/28/2009 10:52 AM

I only drink decaf coffee. I get heart palpitations if I have too much caffeine so I've had to cut it out of my diet. Even though I can't enjoy the "benefits" of a regular cup of joe, I just can't pass up the taste of a Decaf Skinny Vanilla Latte. And I totally don't mind waiting an extra 4 minutes to get it either. Now, if it was only a bit cheaper... ;)

mguiste
1/28/2009 10:58 AM

jaydobro:  glad we could help!

bombadom:  agree completely!    Yeah, it's a bit counter intuitive...

vbronte:  hear you...but there are a lot of decaf fans out there.

eas8302:  yep, those are still available with no wait.  As are decaf americanos.    I'll see what I can do.  :)

rickfle
1/28/2009 12:27 PM

Isn't the simple answer to all this a decaf Americano?  Shot of decaf espresso and boiling water is much like a drip coffee.

Melody
1/28/2009 12:40 PM

rickfle, there is a difference in flavor between an Americano and drip brewed coffee. Heck, there is a difference between a french press and drip brewed. I believe it is the wrong answer to demand that the customer accept a substitution. That is not to say that this won't work if you have great baristas with staged drip ready to go - but telling the customer to take a substitute might as well be telling the customer to find another coffee house that will gladly serve up some coffee.

Jonny@SF
1/28/2009 1:02 PM

Honestly, this is a panic reaction to the fear of change!  What is the big deal?  I had visited stores where I had to wait for my coffee to be brewed (3 minutes).  I vote for stop wasting coffee than the wait.  I think it make sense for us to change our perspective and understand that we can't have everything our way right now!

On second thought, there is way too much publicity for this change.  To properly run the business, you always need data to support your decision.  I'm sure your business intelligence team can show you the data, if it make sense to do this or not?  Only a few vocal coffee drinkers do not represent mass majority that don't mind the wait!  Again, I can't really say for sure, but that's why it's important for your business intelligence team find out!

Melody
1/28/2009 1:15 PM

Jonny@SF - I think the answer is all in HOW it is executed.

I'd be happy to join that research group on what scripts make people happy. (Though I am quite sure Starbucks is tired of listening to me, so they aren't any more at all).

Jonny@SF imagine the best case scenario:

The best thing I can think of for a barista to say is "I'm sorry, ma'am, but I don't have that ready right at this moment, but let me get that started." And then the barista turns around clicks a button on a pre-staged coffee set up.

If the customer starts to argue further, the barista can say "it will be just a couple minutes more, and it is brewing right now! We're brewing fresh Casi Cielo for you! You will love it! A medium bodied coffee with a lot of flavor."

If the customer continues to get mad and leaves, then the worst case scenario is that you wasted one pot of Casi Cielo (or decaf or whatever) rather than many pots during the afternoon.

I  believe that on a symbolic level that  Starbucks Coffee should have coffee ready all the time, but I'm trying to see both sides of the coin here.

Here's the worst case scenario:

Customer orders tall drip of the non-PPR option (Okay let's be honest, the problem is that it IS PPR and not whether you call it 'bold' or 'medium' - it just lacks flavor, imho, and tastes watery to me).

Barista: "I'm sorry we're out of casi cielo"

Customer: "You're out?"

Barista: "We don't serve the morning pick afternoon"

Customer: "But I had my heart set on a nice cup of Starbucks drip coffee - but NOT Pike Place Roast."

Barista: "We can make you an Americano or a french press - but we will charge you more for either of those options"

Customer: "But I don't want an Americano - That definitely does not taste the same. I can taste the difference and it doesn't have the flavor profile characteristic of drip brewed coffee."

Barista: "I'm sorry we've run out of the Casi Cielo"

Customer: "But I am in a store full of coffee! Can I please please get drip brewed coffee that's not PPR? It used to be years ago that you served a coffee of the day all day, and House Blend until noon."

Barista: ... At this point either gives in and rips open a bag of something and grinds it or customer has left.

^ I have been through the above worst-case scenario which I am sure takes longer to have the argument than to brew either decaf or morning pick. THAT is the reason that I am now a freak about this. Those customers who have gone through that experience are mostly lost customers. Hell, I have twice gone through the added insult where I grabbed a flavor lock bag of coffee off of a shelf, and offered to buy it and have the barista brew that coffee for me, and been told "NO" because we don't brew bold after noon, and then I walk out empty handed.

Ian G
1/28/2009 1:15 PM

As always the near instant feedback is great! Thanks. I too have a need for decaf coffee as do many who frequent Starbucks. I prefer a bold blend and have been perplexed by Pike Place being the only choice. I too don't mind the 5 minute wait. The only time I can tolerate Pike Place decaf is when it is just done brewing. I wonder if the "decaf on demand after noon" decision was based on the actual store use of decaf beans or on the decaf button on the POS being pushed by the Barista? Thanks!

Ian G
1/28/2009 1:22 PM

"Hell, I have twice gone through the added insult where I grabbed a flavor lock bag of coffee off of a shelf, and offered to buy it and have the barista brew that coffee for me, and been told "NO" because we don't brew bold after noon, and then I walk out empty handed."

Great minds think alike. That was my response last night when I was told of the new policy. I did get the decaf of my choice and didn't have to go to the next step.

mguiste
1/28/2009 1:29 PM

rickfle:  True, for some an americano is a great substitution for brewed, but as Melody points out, not for all!  

Jonny@SF:  I think what it points out is just how passionate people are about their coffee.  I'd certainly be upset if I thought I could no longer get my Sumatra!   BTW, thanks again for your great participation the other night on the twitter event.  That was really fun.

trulyingrid
1/28/2009 3:03 PM

I love Starbucks, am a shareholder, and a daily drinker of decaf. I often ask the barista how recently the decaf was brewed, and if it's not fairly fresh, I get an Americano.

As the global economy forces us all to cut costs, people may switch to drip from the more expensive espresso drinks. In order to keep the taste quality up to Starbucks standards, I'd strongly suggest continuing to brew. However, I guess it's a business decision, in the end.

(PS Add me to the non-Pike Place Roast fans.)

UrbanVoy
1/28/2009 6:25 PM

Considering how much resistance there is to brewing non-Pike place on demand in many stores, I  think that another "we'll brew it if you ask"  policy is going to be another exercise in frustration for customers.

Maybe it's just me, but I expect a coffee house, ie a place that specializes in coffee, to have fresh de-caf available all day long AND a variety of brews.  I've never want to wait for a brew in a coffee house. Ever.  It's like going to a Dunkin' Donuts that is out of donuts. What's the point.

To summarize:

You can get Pike Place or Espresso all day long. Anything else is a "special order".

This is what I expect from a coffee cart or a lunch truck - heck even they have de-caf all the time.

Spin it anyway you want, but I think Starbucks has lost touch with it's core business.  If you can't figure out how to offer your customer fresh brewed de-caf coffee all day long, then you really need to reconsider the whole idea of being in the coffee house business.

Iron chef
1/28/2009 6:26 PM

As a partner, I can say that overall I am happy with this policy. As Matt mentioned earlier, it gives ownership of the final decision to the management teams at the store level. A manager may notice that their store trends a spike in decaf brewed coffee orders at 8pm on a Tuesday night after the weekly PTA meeting at the local school gets out. That store may opt to brew decaf on demand up until 7:45, brew decaf until 9, and then go back to on demand until closing.

Also, I'd like to delve deeper into something. As customers, we go into establishments with a set of needs that we are looking to get satisfied. In the case of a decaf drinker, the need for caffeine/energy does not need to be satisfied. The decaf drinker is there because they love the taste of coffee. I have a friend that loves non-alcoholic beer because she loves the taste, but doesn't like the feeling of inebriation.

This notion suggests that a decaf customer is much more willing to wait for a fresh pot of coffee. However, that is not true for all decaf customers of course.

The only drawback (other than the obvious of inconveniencing a few of my customers) is the symbolism of it all. Some may say that other coffee shops are able to keep 3 or more types of coffee available at all times. From my understanding, the compromise freshness in order to maintain their selection. I wouldn't be surprised though if others followed in our first steps. It's similar to how checked bag fees became standard after 1 major airline started doing it.

I have an emotional attachment to our coffee and culture, but I'm realizing that some of these decisions just have to be made, whether we like it or not. I don't think I could look a Starbucks partner in the eye and say "you're job is not worth the cost of keeping X at Starbucks."

UrbanVoy
1/28/2009 6:34 PM

I think Melody's bold frustration script nails the experience of *far* too many stores. Given all the posts on this site about similar experiences with bold, what make you thin it will be any different with de-caf ?

Or is this going to be another "La-la-la [fingers in the ears] I can't hear you complain, so there is no problem" Starbucks situation. (ie pike place, gold card, wi-fi, etc, etc)

I'm sorry, as much as I try to wrap my head around it and see both sides, this is the dumbest policy I've heard from Starbucks.

Breve
1/28/2009 6:36 PM

Matt Quote: "Obviously there has been a great deal of interest and press coverage about our recent decaf decision.  While that is very encouraging--it's the kind of interest and passion most companies only dream of having..."

Matt, In the business world any attention may be good attention,free advertising if you will;  but negative press is damaging to any company...... just remember 10 people tell 10 friends and those 10 people tell 10 friends and so on...... You do the math.

Melody
1/28/2009 7:15 PM

THAT''S IT. I AM DONE WITH STARBUCKS. DONE. WHEN MY CARD IS EMPTY, I WILL FIND A COMPETITOR THAT I LIKE.

I just went through 2 rounds of bloody battles with baristas who tell that I cannot get bold coffee. It's Pike Place Roast only. And then the French press argument. And then even worse, the barista who has to go get a manager on duty to get "approval" to make a batch of coffee. And then even more insulting to me, to be told by a barista that I am costing the company $13.95 because they had to open up a flavor-lock bag of Casi Cielo.

STARBUCKS DOESN'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS ABOUT MY BUSINESS. I left the store that sneered at me, required manager's approval to brew coffee, and told me that I was too expensive of a customer because, I'm just like the "decaf light frappuccino" drinkers and "we don't sell that anymore either."

I'm having great difficulty not using horrible foul language right now. THIS STUPID GAME IS WHY "BREW ON DEMAND" DOES NOT WORK.

I shall email the few executives I know at the SSC, including Howard Schults, NOT THAT ANYONE THERE CARES, and ride out the rest of my registered card.

It's been nice. You don't like me. You don't WANT me as a customer, despite that I have discretionary income, and now, I'm totally fed up.

Iron chef
1/28/2009 7:19 PM

I just want to say that I agree with brew on demand in all regards. If a store's customers are saying they want bold coffee all day, and Pike Place Roast till 11am, then it should be that way. It's all about satisfying the customers needs at the community level, not the global Starbucks level.

ArtM
1/28/2009 7:25 PM

SERVE VERONA DECAF, NOT PIKE!!!!!

You make some of the greatest decafs in the world but you absolutely under no circumstances will agree to serve them.

Idiots.

You would not have to make this change if you were serving one of your outstanding decaf blends.

Why are you making this so hard and painful on yourselves?

Art M.

Melody
1/28/2009 9:20 PM

Okay, I regret having posted in a fit of anger, and some of that was pretty nasty-toned, but this really feels like the straw that broke the camel's back.

Ian G
1/28/2009 10:04 PM

It seems like some of us are spending far too much time doing this to no avail. I am hanging in because of the folks at the ground level. I frequent two local stores and see what is happening real time. It is interesting that important decisions about product that come out of corporate have never been run by the Passion Panel. I wonder if they had, would the result have been the same? Between my participation here and on the panel I don't see that Starbucks front office cares as much about the brand as some of us!  

UrbanVoy
1/29/2009 8:07 AM

Wow. If Melody gets that frustrated, then Starbucks, you should *really* think twice about this on demand stuff.

You can expect me to offer sharp criticism (and still spend >$100 per month on espresso..) But when Melody gets, pissed... well, I think we can all agree you're doing something wrong. Remember, she's in Seattle - and if you can't keep your biggest fan happy in your home city, well, you've got problems.

So ho do you fix it?

Starbucks must figure out how to brew smaller, more cost effective batches of coffee. Use smaller machines, clover technology or heck, just buy a bunch of k-cup machines. Or eat the waste cost.

I t doesn't matter what you do, but if you can't offer a variety of caf and de-caf brewed coffees all day long, then what is the point of being in business. I can get one flavor of swill from any coffee cart or diner in the city.

ArtM
1/29/2009 8:31 AM

PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT IT TAKES "FOUR MINUTES".

The brewing time may be four minutes, but preparations add another couple of minutes.

Art

ArtM
1/29/2009 8:39 AM

I check back to this site maybe once a month.

It seems clear that Starbucks management does not pay attention to any feedback on this site, but, it's a chance for me to express my disappointment.

I only go to Starbucks these days when I need a space to read.

I used to go for the coffee.  

Art M.

ArtM
1/29/2009 8:51 AM

Anyone else would think: well if sales of decaf are down, MAYBE WE NEED TO IMPROVE THE PRODUCT.

Nah.  Let's just cut back serving it.

Breve
1/29/2009 9:18 PM

<i><b>$tarbucks if you think this is a ploy to get people to buy more "espresso"  based drinks you are sadly mistaken. Remember the "original demographics" of a $tarbucks customer? I don't think stupidity was one of them.

ArtM
1/30/2009 12:35 PM

I repeat: instead of cutting back on serving decaf, IMPROVE the product.

This is EASY because you already have FAR better decaf's available, like Verona.

(My fear is that you made a big purchase guarantee to some farmers to buy Pike if they produce it.  Is that why you are stuck with it?  Fess up!).

Art M.

Anonymous
1/30/2009 2:46 PM

I am a decaf only drinker because of the fact that regular coffee makes me have heart palpitatiions plus makes my heart beat like it is going to jump right out of my chest.  I know when ( and there has been times) I have gone through Starbucks and have gotten ( in error I'm sure) regular instead of decaf.  I love coffee and have all of my life but finally had to give up on regular a few years ago plus I don't drink regular tea or soda drinks unless it is decaf.  So whoever stated above that it wasn't a big deal.....well yes it is.  I spend about $100.00 a month at our local Starbucks and I really hate to see them not offering the decaf.  I was told today that it might be best if I come inside if I want to order my decaf after noon.   I don't know, as much as I love my Starbucks if this does not work out time wise for me I will just have to give up and not go there.

Melody
2/1/2009 10:40 PM

UrbanVoy, I got big fat "NO" responses to brew on demand bold coffee at two separate Starbucks today. The situation is ugly. My frustration is still very high. I'm still hoping to hear something from Starbucks ... today I bought coffee at an independent coffee house.

meggers
2/2/2009 9:48 PM

ok.  i feel like i might be stating the obvious here, but it seems clear, that the moderators are NOT trying to keep you from getting your favorite coffees on demand.  Melody, you've been a source of inspiration to me, to see how reasonable and respectful a person can be, even when you can't see their face.  don't let me lose my faith now.  if the baristas and managers at these stores are NOT FOLLOWING POLICY, and refusing to brew for you on demand, they are NOT DOING THEIR JOBS.  contact corporate customer service, and complain about the specific store.  do you realize that every one of those comments gets sent right back to the store, and posted on the back wall, where everyone has to read it?  i'm truly sorry that you're having these experiences, but these particular situations could be resolved if you took the complaints through the proper channels.  as much as mguiste wants to help you, there's only so much he can do, besides expressing his condolences via the keyboard.

Momiji
2/3/2009 6:50 AM

When can Starbucks admit they made a mistake with PPR? Why does Starbucks cling to PPR so much?

carolewebb
2/5/2009 1:01 PM

wonder why I show up as anonymous?

carolewebb
2/5/2009 1:07 PM

Melody, I am going to my starbucks tonight on the way home.  I am going to request a Nonfat Decaf Mochoa w/ whip and hope I get it.  Your post almost makes me gun shy to even go in and ask :), first off it will make me furious if they say NO!  Keep your fingers crossed.

Melody
2/5/2009 1:47 PM

CaroleWebb, you're going to be fine. Espresso-based beverages are never a problem. Starbucks loves to sell espresso beverages.

It's the drip-brewed coffee side of Starbucks which is frustrating, neglected, and often not even available.

Dee Caaf
2/5/2009 5:07 PM

Was someone sleeping at the wheel (pun intended)?  No decaf coffee after noon?  I would think that would be the BEST time of the day for decaf sales.  no, wait a minute, it is never freshly brewed after noon and rather than ask me if I would wait for a fresh brew (which I would) you tried to push the burned-been sitting there all day-end of the day decaf coffee on me so I say "no thanks" and walk away.  Did anyone think of THAT?  Perhaps decaf sales are down because customers are walking away from bad taste of decaf after noon.  (HINT:  IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCT or DELIVERY THEREOF)

And yes, some of us MUST drink decaf for health reasons which is why I am there at least 4 times a day for a decaf coffee.

Not anymore.   In the Austin, Texas Anderson Road location I was told flat out no more decaf coffee after noon but I was welcome to try an AMERICANO if I paid for it.  Gee, no thanks.

And P.S. to the corporate big-whigs that support this decision by store managers:  That means minus three visits per day by me.  Translation:  minus 3 cups of decaf; minus a banana nut bread or muffin sale to go with it; minus the apple cider and after-school snack for my 6 year old daughter as she won't be visiting anymore without me; and minus the milk chocolate graham snacks I buy at least twice a week in the afternoon for my office staff.

Plug that into your spreadsheet on a grand scale.  But then, maybe you aren't hurting for revenues like everyone else in this economy.

devinen
2/15/2009 6:55 AM

I didn't go to Starbucks recently because I thought there would be no decaf available.   Starbucks needs to get a clear and consistent message out to their customers.

astathedog
2/15/2009 6:58 PM

I went to Starbucks this afternoon to order FOUR half-caffs for myself and friends.  I was told that I would have to wait for my coffee because they were no longer brewing decaf after noon.  I left, taking my orders for four coffees with me.  I regularly frequent  Starbucks in the afternoon for a half-caff or a straight decaf.  I usually have two small children in tow.  Brewing "on demand" in my world need to translate to "right now".  If I was interested in waiting or in paying extra, I would order an Americano.  Either I can get a decaf in the afternoon at Starbucks or I go someplace else.  It's that simple.  

UrbanVoy
2/18/2009 2:14 PM

Hey Matt

What about tweaking and off the shelf commercial K-cup machine with settings optimized for Starbucks, then using it to make varieties of bold and decaf on demand?

newamy
3/13/2009 8:38 AM

I just recently had weight loss surgery - the ever so growing lap band surgery which is like the gastric bypass but different in that it is a band around your stomache which creates the same effect as gastric bypass. With this lap band I cannot have caffiene because it can cause the band to erode over time,   but I absolutely love coffee taste and your coffee drinks, paticularily your light sugar free frappacinos which you no longer offer in decaf coffee base. I found a way around that by finding some good stores that will make it for me with the creme base and 2 shots of decaf espresso but it is so many more calories that way so I am going to have to stop. The coffee based frapp with light base and sugar free syrup is so much less calories!!  why not bring it back and start making some commercials making people aware of that drink - I think perhaps people just were not aware enough that you had that drink or you would probably have been selling them like hot cakes!  To find something that tastes that good under 200 callories is a hard find!!!

Their are millions of people getting the same weight loss surgery now and most of them love coffee and it helps them imbetween meals to drink it since they cant snack anymore - they could also add the protein powder you are going to have to that drink and have it as a meal!  Why not bring it back and appeal to the people tryng to lose weight like subway did! I will be your starbucks weight loss girl if you want! LOL ya know, kind of like jerrod was for subway!  Subway did not get rid of their lighter stuff, instead they put more focus on it with Jerrod who lost weight coming their every day and they made commercials making everyone aware of it! Their business was booming once they started making commercials appealing to the people trying to lose weight and be more health concious. With the economy the way it is right now and mcdonalds offering drinks so much cheaper than yours why not get a leg up over them again by offering something they dont offer - lowfat sugar free frappacinos with decaf and even protein powder! wow! Im surprised no one over their has thought about this by now!

taichid
6/23/2009 7:33 AM

The medical community and many health experts are suggesting that decaf should be had in the afternoon to help with sleep.  Would suggest that there may be a large market that would go to Starbucks if decaf was a promoted item for afternoon consumption (read sleep benefits). However, if Pike Place is the only decaf ever brewed, this will fall flat on it's face. Decaf drinkers would like some variety as those with regular brew enjoy.  So stop brewing only Pike (which is not good on the regular side and even worse tasting on the decaf) and promote afternoon decaf.

Moongate
12/29/2009 10:57 AM

It concerns me that Starbucks clients who prefer (or require) decaf coffee are not given the same respect as regular coffee drinkers. In the last few months, decaf Frappuccinos and decaf Komodo Dragon blend (my favorite) have both disappeared. Now, the new policy of "allowing" stores to discontinue decaf drip after noon.

Like several others who have posted, I cannot drink regular coffee for health reasons.  If I decide to have a cup of drip decaf in the afternoon while running errands, I can much more easily and quickly grab one at a Tim Horton's or Dunkin' Donuts (which are both more plentiful and closer to my home).  My visits to Starbucks are now limited to once every two-three weeks and only to buy whole beans.  (By the way, what ever happened to the Mocha Valencia?  That was my favorite drink and it is now long gone - another reason to not visit Starbucks so often).

tfsilver
2/6/2010 4:37 PM

This is what I've heard at numerous stores: "we don't have decaf in the afternoon." Not, "we don't have any right now but I'll be happy to brew some" or "do you have a few minutes to wait while I brew decaf?" - just "we don't do it - company policy." Talked to a manager at a store about it today - he suggested I come here and comment since he'd talked to higher-ups about having decaf all day and was told no. If the policy is actually that the store managers should decide what's appropriate for their area, then perhaps that should be better communicated to them as they don't seem to understand it's their choice in my area. And no, I don't have time to wait for it to be brewed...I'm almost always at the drive-through in my car on my way somewhere. It's not rocket science (it's not even one of those really complicated drinks the person in front of me is always ordering). It's a coffee shop - just make the decaf coffee.

EricDex
2/14/2010 4:06 AM

Little late to the discussion, but after yesterday's experience, I do have to post.

I went to a store in Indianapolis and ordered a decaf coffee.  I said up front, that I knew they'd have to brew it.  The barista refused, stating, "I'm not going to brew a pot for one customer."  

I asked him if the policy was 'on demand' and he said that the on demand policy had been stopped and brewing decaf was now a store by store policy.  If I wanted, I could have an Americano...but there was no way I was getting decaf.

Luckily there are four other coffee shops in the area, including two other Starbucks stores.

These days I only stop at Starbucks for convenience.  My wife has gotten the taste for French Press coffee, and there's a wonderful coffee shop locally that produces excellent roasts.

I'll be glad to mail my fancy new 'gold card' back.  Just let me know where.


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