It’s so hard to get used to writing, “09”!

Today we started selling the new Tazo Tea lineup [a day early]. The weather was miserable but perfect for the London Fog Latte which I pushed through the drive thru most of the morning and into the afternoon. I actually had several customers take me up on the offer and try it.

A brief description if you’re thinking about trying one of these tea lattes or tea infusions:

• If you’re looking for a breakfast tea of depth and character, enjoy our new Tazo® Black Tea Latte. It’s a blend of black teas from India and Sri Lanka combined with freshly steamed milk and sweetened to perfection [with Classic syrup].
• Prefer a new twist on a classic tea blend? Lose yourself in the Tazo® London Fog Tea Latte, a blend of Earl Grey (the traditional bergamot-scented black tea) accented with a hint of French lavender, sweetened with vanilla and combined with steamed milk.
• Looking to avoid caffeine? Relax with a cup of Tazo® Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte, a tantalizing elixir of South African rooibos (sometimes called “red tea”), Tahitian vanilla, apple and peach pieces and a mix of naturally sweet herbs and spices. Some say it tastes like warm apple pie and ice cream. (But at just 150 calories and 5 grams of fat for a Tall, it’s a considerably less guilty pleasure.)

All of these new Tea Lattes are made with the finest full leaf teas and herbs to be found on this planet and each can be steeped and sweetened to taste.

• If you’re a Chai fan or if you just tend to like exotic, sweet spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves, then try our new  Tazo® Tea Infusions. Infusions are a combination of our chai tea base and either apple juice or sweet and luscious aronia berry (which tastes like cranberry) and black current juice blend. (If you like apple cider or mulled wine, you are going to love these.)

If you’re trying to reel in your caloric intake and your budget after the holidays, you’ll be happy to know that, with the exception of Apple Chai Infusion (at 240 calories), all of the teas above are under 200 calories for a Tall. And all are below three bucks in most parts of the country.

But wait, there’s more! Most these beverages are loaded with more antioxidants than an 8-ounce glass of orange juice, which are essential to protecting the body’s immune system.

So not only do these beverages taste great, but they also do good things for you.

Starting this January, we’re putting the Tea (and Spices!) back into Starbucks Coffee Tea and Spices*. We hope you’ll join us for a cup.

source: My Starbucks Idea

I’ve tried all of these drinks and am particularly impressed with the Tea Infusions. If you like mulled cider or Victorian Wassail you will be a fan of these as well. The Berry Chai is spicer than the Apple Chai. So, if you are looking for a spicier mulled cider, go with the Berry. For a milder blend, go with the Apple. I’m really wondering why these two especially were not introduced in the fall. They defiantly seem to me to be “fall” type drinks.

I also like the Black Tea and London Fog Lattes, but I am not yet a fan of the Vanilla Rooibos [Roy Bus] Latte. Seriously, to me it tasted like children’s cough medicine. I guess it’s an “acquired” taste. Someone this afternoon suggested I try it with pumps of the Chai, but I haven’t tried that yet.

I’m excited about the antioxidants and low-calorie appeal of these drinks.

On another subject: Some time ago I told you about how my bff used to work with the father of one of the partners at my store and also the husband of one of the partners at my store which is pretty amazing since there are thousands of Delta employees at the airport and only about 20 partners at my Starbucks. Ok, so it get’s even more unbelievable… Last night I found out that I went to school with the mother of one of the partners at my store. Remember, I went to a itty bitty Christian school. Is that not unbelievable, small world stuff?!? AMAZING!

Also, I should mention that Henry the rat was discovered by a very shocked partner and almost immediately he then captured the attention of another partner who whisked him away to go home and play with his cat. Good bye Henry, it was nice knowing you…

Today was the last day of the RED campaign, ahhh… but it lives on through a special edition Starbucks [RED] gift card. This campaign will continue through the end of 2009 although I don’t believe it will be as heavily promoted as the original RED campaign has been over the past month. Gone are the RED aprons and the cute black beanie with “STARBUCKS (RED)” embroidered on the front– thanks dad! Monday it will be back to the old green aprons and standard edition cap but that’s OK, I think that RED apron made me look fat and the green one really brings out my eyes… and the beanie was sometimes annoying and hot.


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