A friend sent me this pic yesterday of Sari Beri at The Wilds– looks like she’s doing well. Hope to hear from her on the weekend!

My mom continues to do well with the latest round of chemo. She’s gotten very creative and stylish with her head coverings and always wears a big smile. She’s become a much more positive person through this experience– much more positive than I ever gave her credit for being. I guess it changes your whole perspective on many things. I’m so proud of her! I’ll take her Monday morning for her 3rd treatment.

Yesterday we had 3 “corporate” types come into the store for a visit and I had the privilege of doing a coffee tasting for them. We did a tasting with the new [RED] “From Africa, To Africa.” coffee. I was VERY FORTUNATE to receive a pound of these beans from another SM the day before. [Thanks Steven!] Very fortunate indeed because none of the 3 had tasted it yet– AMAZING! During the tasting one of the corporates asked my SM if we had an Aroma Lab 😮 She said sure and quickly went to the back and came back with a box in her hands. In all my Coffee Master training never did I read about nor did I have any prior knowledge of any “Aroma Lab” [did I miss something?]– I just played along…


The Aroma Lab is an interesting concept with the 9 aromas found in most coffees which include: berry, caramel, citrus, cocoa, earthy, floral, nutty, smoky and spicy. If you’re looking for berry essence in a particular coffee you shake up the little bottle, sniff it– giving you the berry essence, then taste the coffee and see if you can pick up on that flavor or aroma, which are basically one in the same. Very interesting. I can’t believe that was there all the time in our store and I’ve never heard of it or seen it – ODD.

On Tuesday, when we received the beans I immediately did a tasting with partners and paired the coffee with the iced lemon pound cake because I expected an East African coffee to have some citrus undertones. However, that was not at all the case. I really picked up more of a warm brown sugar and spice aroma and flavor profile. So yesterday, I paired the coffee with the cinnamon swirl coffee cake and that was a hit– a much better combination! I explained to the corporates that I had paired it the day before with the lemon pound cake expecting citrus but was surprised to fine a more warm brown sugar and spice. They were all in agreement and pleased with my assessment 🙂 The tasting went well.

Another thing I learned as a result of this coffee tasting was the difference in the beans. The new [RED] coffee is a blend of different kinds of beans as opposed to a single-origin coffee. One of the corporates poured a few of the beans out of the bag onto a plate and discussed the various bean size — interesting.

I hope to complete the Coffee Master certification soon. It’s just up to my SM and the DM to schedule a time. In the near future I want to visit the roasting facility in Sandy Run, SC, the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle and eventually, a coffee estate somewhere in the world– South America more than likely. Also, I’d like to start offering regularly scheduled coffee seminars at our store.


Starbucks has long been the focus of water conservationist around the world because most stores have a continuously running water well at the bar that keeps the espresso based beverage utensils clean. Now those wells are being retro fitted so that we drop the utensils in and press down on the facet which allows a limited amount of water to rinse these utensils. I’m sure it saves a tremendous amount of water and I’m also sure it doesn’t keep the utensils as clean :-/

I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the new setup on Tuesday. I think it’s going to be the biggest setup since Christmas. The new “theme”, if you will, is going to be unmistakeably “African” with 3 new coffees coming out. 1. [RED] “From Africa, To Africa.” that I spoke of earlier 2. “Rwanda” and  3. “Gazebo” which really isn’t new, it’s a seasonal coffee offering, however I read that this years crop is exceptional. Other new changes in the lineup include a new strawberry sauce that is healthy! The first ingredient is actually STRAWBERRY as opposed to the prior strawberry sauce in which the first ingredient was sugar. With that new sauce we’ll be offering a Strawberry Banana Vivano. The Vivanos will now be know as “smoothies”. I guess that’s to defrenciate them from the Frappachinos which are pretty icey.


There is a cute little new Starbucks gift card that fits on your keyring– don’t think this will work too well at the drive thru though. Any sandwich will be able to be paired with a coffee for a savings and the latte oatmeal pairing will be dropped– the latte cinnamon swirl coffee cake pairing will still be offered. Tuesday also marks the return of the “Treat Receipt”! A customer was just asking me about this on Monday. AND, the big news is a BIG change in the pastry case lineup. On Monday night it’s out with the old and in with the new on Tuesday morning. That’s right, we’ve been told to discard all the pastries in the pastry case Monday night. The lineup Tuesday morning will be a healthy line up with no artificial flavoring, trans fats, etc., etc., etc., Many items will not even contain preservatives. All will have a 2-day shelf life as opposed to some that now carry a 4-day shelf life. Fresher and better for you at the same time. I’m especially excited about the healthy changes. Oh, we’ll also be carrying 2 new salads 🙂


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