Today is my three-year anniversary of blogging here at  If you look back in the archives, you’ll see that every September 9th, I recap a little bit from the past year, and look forward to the future.

I have to say thank you to the 323,000 absolute unique visitors who visited this site over the past 12 months.  If you look at raw visits (not uniques) that is 430,400 visits to this blog in the past 12 months.  What’s been happening is a very slow increase in blog traffic over time.  I’ve had over well half a million unique page views in the past 12 months; and over the life of this blog, this year, I hit the milestone of  over 1.2 million page views.  Over a million page views astounds me a bit!  Overwhelmingly, site visitors are from North America, but I definitely have readers world-wide.

In the United States, the state that sends me the most visitors is California.

A look back over the past year:

Most popular article:

Interestingly, the most popular blog article seems to never change.  In 2010, when I wrote, “Where are all the Clover stores?” I had absolutely no idea how common it was for people to do Google searches on terms like “Starbucks Clover locator” or “Starbucks Clovers xyz city.”  Almost everyday for now more than two years, the Where are all the Clover stores? blog post gets at least 50 or 60 page views a day.  Google shoots them my way.  And the time spent on that page is high – about three minutes.  I am under the impression that lots of people come looking for specific information about the nearest Clover brewer to them, don’t leave a comment, and then leave this site.

Most significant event of the year:

Through this blog, I had made a friend in Noboru Sakamoto.  On April 17, 2012, Noboru passed away, having bravely battled cancer.  He had wanted to shake Howard Schultz‘s hand before he passed away, and it never happened.  He went to the Starbucks headquarters, and tried to make contact with Howard Schultz, without success.  And I know that he had made a number of trips to Seattle, visiting stores, partly hoping to run into Howard.   Seattle Times journalist Melissa Allison chronicled his passion: “Starbucks customer from Japan vacations in Seattle to visit as many stores as he can.”

A large number of readers sent him eCards, as he was hospitalized and not doing well starting in about December 2011, and January 2012.  Thank you to all the kind readers who sent him prayers.

Earlier this year, in March, I took a trip to Boston to visit a sister, and visit Starbucks stores.  That definitely was one of the highlights of the year!  I had a wonderful time catching up with my niece and sister, and saw some beautiful Starbucks stores.  Two stores that really stood out as exceptionally beautiful were the Garage Starbucks and Harvard Yard.  If you are ever in the Boston area, go visit them.  Thank you to all the partners in Boston who made that a perfect visit!

What was new and exciting in 2012:

There were some interesting new things that happened in 2012.  I launched a second blog!  My other blog is  The reality is that I don’t really have time to create blog content for two blogs.  As a result, the Seattle’s Best Melody blog does suffer from a lack of new and regular content.  I only update it once or twice a month.  I think if I didn’t work 40 plus hours a week, I could have like five or six blogs.  It’s not that hard to just write and write and write.

This year I was indeed quite flattered that a marketer named Rob Fuggetta (from a company called Zuberance) flew to Seattle and interviewed me for a book called Brand Advocates.  If you buy that book, please use the widget in the right-side column of this blog!  I don’t mind being a “brand advocate.”  I do this because it’s fun to have this online connection with many others who enjoy Starbucks beverages, and/or their experiences, and/or enjoy the social responsibility commitment of the brand.

I definitely want to thank all the partners who make the Starbucks experience come to life in the stores.  I actually started an earlier draft of this that listed tons of names of all wonderful partners who embody the Starbucks experience, and then I realized that it was an extremely long list.  And I didn’t want to write a list of 50 names and then forget someone important!

I do want to give a big thank you and shout out to the team of partners at the Olive Way Starbucks.  For more than a year, that store has been doing regular coffee tastings, every other Monday evening at 6:00 p.m.  About a year ago, I wrote about their “Butter Coffee Tasting of Anniversary Blend” which ended up being a very popular article here!  Their dedication to coffee education and passion is unparallelled.  It just takes an incredible commitment to keep that up for a full year!  That deserves a round of applause! Here’s my whole category of coffee tastings – I highly recommend browsing through it!

I hope to see you at the next Olive Way seminar!

Tomorrow, the 10th, is the Olive Way  coffee seminar for this year’s Anniversary Blend.

The future of

I’ve always joked that I’ll keep writing this blog until I run out of things to write about!  I’m still enjoying creating this online gathering space, and so at least for now, I’ll still be updating this site.

What kind of articles do you like reading on here?  Please feel free to weigh in on anything Starbucks-related.

Thank you for your support!  Please click “like” on the blog’s Facebook page – it will make it easier for you to stay connected.  My articles will show up in your Facebook stream.

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(PS: The giveaway for the Starbucks logo iPhone case has about (roughly as a I write this) 11 hours left for you to enter.  Enter now or forever hold your peace! 😉 At some point next week, I’ll try to put all the entries in the hat, and announce the winners.)