Starbucks is testing a drip only express line in Chicago:

A reader in Chicago contacted me because he had recently stumbled upon a Starbucks testing a “drip coffee” only line in downtown Chicago!  This is one of those ideas that comes up over and over again on

(Some of these threads may be closed threads or merged threads)

Many of these threads on MyStarbucksIdea are met with down votes.  I’m still confused as to how a drip only line would work.  It seems like it would require an extra partner on the floor to man the drip only register.  I suppose if the stores that are testing drip only are receiving extra labor for that, maybe it is worth it?  I also wonder if people get confused about what line to stand in.  A long long long time ago, in the very early 1990s, most Starbucks had a “beverage only” register and “whole bean only” register.  If you needed beans scooped from a bin, you went to the whole bean line.  I remember this well.  I also remember that there were times that people got in the wrong line, or people tried to cut the beverage line by getting into the whole bean line.  If you got up to the whole bean register and ask for a half-pound of Verona and a tall Latte, the barista would of course ring you up for both.  In the end, you got into a shorter line by getting beans with your coffee.  I even did that myself a couple of times. 😉

It seems like it would take extra labor to have a barista manning the separate drip-only register.  I would love to know if the express line test stores have been given extra labor for this test.  I recall hearing that Starbucks was also conducting such a test at one isolated store in Washington D.C. but I don’t even remember where I heard this gossip.  If any of my readers have been to a Starbucks with a “drip only” line, please do tell how it worked!  Did you like it? I would love to hear all your thoughts on this idea!

**Starbucks is testing a “Classic” Black Tea in Georgia:

And now, on a totally new topic, I realized recently that there is a “Black Tea Test” going on in Georgia.  I had to do some detective work to put two and two together to figure out there was a test at all.  These threads from MSI were great clues that got me started investigating this test:

Right now, in Atlanta, (and perhaps all of Georgia), Starbucks is testing a “Classic” black tea.  The new black tea is a different recipe than what is currently offered at Starbucks.  The new “Classic” black tea is still made by Tazo, however it lacks the citrus and bergamot flavors which give the current black tea its unique complex flavor.  It’s a much more classic, plain black tea, for the palate that wants just a basic tea, and perhaps even in a Trenta cup. 😉  The new black tea, so I hear, is offered at a slightly lower price point than the non-test black tea, though I do not know the price of it.  This test is currently in progress through the end of September, and designed as a summer test, when customers want a larger refreshing tea beverage while it’s hot outside.  As can be seen in the MyStarbucksIdea threads, the stores that have the “Classic” black tea are usually offering the Trenta size cup also.

I can see why this new tea might appeal to some people, however, I hate to say this, but I hope this new black tea does not make its way to Seattle.  I like the black tea exactly as it is now.

Has anyone here tried this new tea?

**Starbucks is testing “Refreshers” in San Diego:

Unlike most Starbucks tests, the “Refreshers” beverage test was widely-announced by Starbucks.  Usually testing of new food and beverage innovations is done quietly and without fanfare.  There is even a website for the “Refreshers”:  At this point I don’t have too much to say about these drinks.  I’m hoping to try them later on this month and then I’ll report back here with a full report.

The Refreshers are available in two flavors: Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus.  They are iced drinks made with green, unroasted coffee beans.

Just as an aside, if anyone reading this knows the San Diego area well, I am looking for store suggestions.  I’d like to be able to write a review of the refreshers, and possibly review a nice store with a great design and a friendly staff of partners.  I can randomly pick a Starbucks in San Diego county to go try these drinks, but I’d much rather have a few suggestions to work with!  Thanks in advance for your help!

That is quite a roundup of three tests!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have encountered any of these test items!

If you like reading about test items, I have a complete category of them here (some of those tests may include old test products never launched).