I have to apologize that I am struggling this month to keep up on blog content.  This blog is a hobby, but it is taking a ton of my time outside of work.  I apologize that I don’t reply to every single blog comment either.  I want to make it absolutely clear that I appreciate every single comment.  Sometimes I feel like the conversations happen naturally, I don’t want to interrupt the conversations, and on other occasions, I simply run out of time.  And sometimes, I just can’t think of  a good reply.  Please know that I am reading the comments, and thankful.

At the rate of about 14 or 15 new blog posts each month, sometimes my favorite articles come and go fairly quickly.  It is worthwhile  to go back and look at those blog posts that stood out in some way.  I’m going to select 10 favorites here, and I hope you’ll go back and perhaps catch a gem of a blog post that you missed, or comment on something that you notice, or just enjoy looking back at ten favorites of mine.  I hope they’re favorites of yours too:

1. The butter coffee tasting – Without a doubt, this was an amazing blog post.  Starbucks partner “Mr. Opportunity,” (just look at the window cling on your door) lead us through a really well-thought-out coffee tasting with Anniversary Blend coffee.  He lead a world class coffee tasting!  This is also an example of the kind of events that happen at Olive Way Starbucks, making it a flagship destination store.

2. The 1994 Annual Shareholders Report – Perhaps I am the only one entertained by ancient Starbucks history pieces, but this is a good example of that.  With this blog post, you can flip through the 1994 Annual Report, and really be stunned at how much Starbucks has grown and changed.

3. Howard Schultz Answers Customer Questions – I love this blog post.  Absolutely love it.  There aren’t very many opportunities to just listen to Howard Schultz fielding random questions from customers.  This was actually an event planned during the Onward book tour, and it was definitely interesting to listen to.

4. Here are the Starbucks wine glasses you’ve always wanted – There are so few Starbucks stores offering beer and wine that most people don’t realize that there are Starbucks wine glasses out there!

5. An audio clip of Howard Schultz from March 8, 2011 – Starbucks kicks off celebrating their 40 year anniversary, and here’s a little audio of Howard Schultz from that event.

 6. The Starbucks coffee pairings – I asked all of you readers to submit your favorite coffee pairing ideas, and this is what you came up with.  It’s an amazing collection of foods and treats paired with Starbucks coffee!

7. Olive Way Starbucks – Okay, this blog post is actually just over one year old, but I still love it.  It again features “Mr. Opportunity,” aka “Mikey” and tons and tons and tons of photos of the Olive Way Starbucks, which truly is a spectacular store.  If you dig enough through the photos, you’ll even find Howard in the corner in one of them.  It’s a beautiful store, and has incredibly coffee-knowledgeable partners.  If you can get to this store, please go to it.  I notice that most of their coffee tasting events tend to be Monday nights, but call ahead and see if something is coming up.

8. Promotional t-shirts tell a story – I love how every single store promotional t-shirt really is a bit of a history lesson.  This blog post features a few more promo shirts – including the Onward shirt that partners wore at the Shareholders’ Meeting, and an old t-shirt that partners wore for new store openings, welcoming customers to the store.

9. Memoirs of a 19-year-old Starbucks – There are only a handful of Starbucks in the entire corporation which have any kind of signage that use the 1987-1992 version of the logo.  This was the green Siren logo with a belly button, and before the company went public in 1992.  Located in San Francisco, this very old Starbucks is charming, and it is worth visiting, just to check out its unique exterior logo.

10. Fountain Valley Starbucks gets a Clover – Orange County, California does not have many Starbucks with a Clover brewer, and this one in Fountain Valley (as far as I know) is the most recent.  I really was impressed at how friendly, and how interested in coffee, the partners were.  It’s an adorable little store, and a great place to get a great cup of coffee.

Hope you enjoy!

(Don’t forget, you can read about “tests” that Starbucks does here.)