Roundup from the mailbag: Cranberry White Mocha; new concept store in Denver; barista art

I thought it would be fun to talk about the things that have come my way via reader email.  Thank you for writing me!

Here’s a roundup of great tidbits from my mailbag.  (Write to me using the Contact Me form.)


I have to admit, I am very curious about this beverage.  From what I’ve heard, this launched as a “test” item in a small number of U.S. cities, and it’s an international holiday beverage in some international markets.  A reader in Austria emailed me, and mentioned that his store has the Cranberry White Mocha.  It’s even pictured right now on the homepage of Starbucks Austria.  You can see it here:

I’d love to know if any of my readers of tried this.  Through Twitter, I’ve been trying to figure out where exactly this is.  After reading a number of tweets, it seemed to me that the Cranberry White Mocha is a current seasonal beverage in Starbucks stores in Mexico, Thailand, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany.  I found tweets like this one here from Thailand, which seemed to suggest that this beverage has a lot of fans!  I’ve heard that this will be a “test” item in a few stores in a few U.S. cities.  (Possibly a few districts in Portland, Oregon; a few stores in Vancouver, Washington; a few stores in Houston, San Jose, and possibly a few isolated districts in New York.)  Please weigh in if you’ve tried this drink!


About one year ago, Starbucks opened up their first drive-thru concept shipping container store just south of Seattle.  A second store made of re-purposed shipping containers was opened in on September 30, 2012, in Northglenn, Colorado, near Denver.  The Denver-area store builds on the idea of using recycled materials and a small design to make a LEED certified Starbucks.

There are some lovely photos of the new Denver concept Starbucks here.  One really interesting thing about the store is that the wood siding is reclaimed snow fencing from Wyoming!

A reader sent in her photos – My apologies that they’re a bit small!  But you can still see it’s a unique and pretty Starbucks!  I hope to do a follow-up article at some point, perhaps with updated photographs.  Also, I recall hearing that there could be a third “shipping container” Starbucks in Houston, Texas.


One reader emailed me with a photo of a chalkboard that he did for the Create Jobs for USA promotion.  I’m always happy to share barista art.  I maintain it’s a great way for stores to add a little of their own personality to their store:


By the way, the winners from the giveaway were Meredith, Lena, and Sheila!  Please email me!







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  • Damien

    We had cranberry white mocha last year in Australia. It was only cranberry topping on a standard white mocha. Didn’t do too well down here, so we’re back to Toffee Nut, Gingerbread and Peppermint Mocha.

  • Al Iverson

    Chicago is supposedly getting one of these shipping container Starbucks, too. If it happens, it will be very near where I live. I’ll be sure to send you lots of pics.

  • purple1

    I wish we had a container store SB around here. Just curious- how much land is this store on? Also, love seeing the chalkboard art and maybe it is coming back? I have tried to get our SM at my local store to have a partner that is willing to do chalkboard art to do it, but it is going nowhere.

  • Biser Totolakov

    We in Bulgaria also had Cranberry White Mocha last year but this year our Christmas drinks are Toffee Nut Latte and Mocha Praline.

  • Melody

    @Al Iverson – Keep me posted! That would be a good reason for a trip to Chicago. 😉
    @Biser Totolakov – Welcome to this blog! Are you a Starbucks partner in Bulgaria? That’s a relatively new market! Congrats! As an aside, when I look at my analytics, I’m always amazed how I do get worldwide readers but I suppose since Starbucks now operates in like 62 countries, that makes some sense. Did the Cranberry Mocha do well at your stores last year? I understand that it’s a white mocha with a cranberry drizzle and topping? Is there a cranberry syrup too – I thought there was?? (Not sure.)
    Welcome again! Hope you’ll subscribe and/or “like” it.

  • Biser

    Thank you, Melody! About Cranberry White Mocha there was no syrup but drizzle and also sweet cranberry sprinkles on top. It did well last year but not as well as the Toffee Nut. And yes we are relatively new market (about 4 years) but very enthusiastic and passionate :) Actually Starbucks Bulgaria is operated by the Greek licensee Marinopulos. I am a store manager here in Sofia and I “liked” the blog long ago :) Give me an email and I’ll send you some pictures.

  • Melody

    @Biser – I am emailing you right now. You can always reach me at Melody at StarbucksMelody dot com

  • elly

    i just had to comment that ‘marinopolis’ or maybe ‘marineopolis’ is a company that runs a sushi chain here in western washington. very weird that it’s almost the same spelling as the greek licensee!

  • Sandra Trolinger

    Great blog, Melody. I would love to try the new drink! The chalkboard art is wonderful!

  • Apsalar

    I got a “secret” taste of this a couple of weeks ago in San Jose. The baristas were trying it for themselves and let me have a sip. They made it with soy, so it to me tasted really sweet, but it wasn’t bad. The cranberry was very subtle.

  • Melody

    @apsalar – you lucky duck!

  • Ali

    I work at a store in NC and we had a girl come in today claiming she got an email about the White Cranberry Mocha and that this weekend was the “buy one get one free holiday drink” event. She even showed me the email on her cellphone and it was from Starbucks! I don’t know how she got that email, because we are not in a test area, never even HEARD of the White Cranberry Mocha, and our “buy one get one” event is NEXT weekend. It took us a good ten minutes to convince her that we’re weren’t trying to screw her out of a drink and that the email was baffling to us!

    Any info on this Melody?

  • Melody

    @Ali – Welcome. I’m on my phone – sorry this is sloppy & short. All I can think is that it was a mistake email. I think that kind of thing has happened before. This summer I wrote a blog article on the Starbucks “mago passion fruit smoothie” – a tiny test item in Sacramento, Calif. I think there was an email sent to a huge audience inviting people in to try it Caused confusion. I remember that conversation in the comments to the article. I would have loved to have seen that email you saw. This is too sloppy. Sorry. Thanks for your comment – very interesting!

  • Ryan McGrath

    So funny story – after living in Tokyo for a year, I wanted it to be in the USA, and I made this last year:

    Really want one, but NYC (where I currently am) doesn’t seem to have them this year.

  • Nathan

    The cranberry white mocha was a featured holiday beverage in Mexico last year when I was there. Didn’t try it but it sounds like cranberry syrup would be a good addition. I’d imagine it’d be great in iced teas too.

  • LatteRose

    Seems like cranberry would do well in cooler climates. Hopefully it will show up here sometime.
    As always, like seeing the chalk art!

  • CD

    Saw this page while browsing the internet today and thought it related to the shipping container Starbucks. Starbucks is certainly trying new things with their stores – lots of LEED certification, reused materials, etc. Kind of cool to see how others have used shipping containers.

    P.S. Haven’t heard much more on the Chicago area Starbucks shipping container store. Had heard some rumblings that some were not happy with the idea of a drive through only store in the proposed neighborhood, but haven’t heard much lately.

  • Maka Polaha

    Probably it’s because I’m pregnant, but I’m craving for a Cranberry White Mocha! It seems delicious! Need one!

  • Stefan

    Cranberry White Mocha is also available in Poland and its really popular. Last year it was also a promo item, but there were some troubles with supplies of cranberry drizzle.

  • denise r

    Just a bit off topic but noticed a sign being put up in my Sbux today: (I believe these dates are correct) Buy any ‘holiday’ drink between 2-5P on the 15th thru ?? few days, cannot remember exactly….in any case, you get another holiday drink at 50% I believe.
    Also, am about to have a Peppermint mocha VIA in milk…am thinking I will like it. We’ll see!
    Oh, another really good idea for the Pumpkin spice VIA (or, I would think also the peppermint mocha) is to use it in whipped cream! am thinking that would be really yummy.

  • Melody

    @Denise – I think it’s buy one, get one free, November 15 through the 18th at Starbucks, from 2 to 5 pm. That’s one more thing I should post about. Thank you for the reminder! Nearly had forgotten! I really could update almost every day, if there were time!

  • Earl

    I can’t wait to try the CWM but cold and blended since I don’t even like hot drinks. The fancy Starbucks in the Pearl District here at Portland just posted on their Facebook they serve it.

  • Melody

    @Earl – Just want to say thank you for the heads up that the Brewery Blocks has the Cranberry White Mocha. Blended though … it doesn’t sound like there is a Cranberry Syrup, just a drizzle!! Maybe you can get the drizzle blended in? Please come back and tell us if you like it!

  • Jan

    CWM is also available in the Czech Republic. We had it last year too. It is one of our 3 holiday drinks. (TNL +GL are the two which remains). It’s quite popular here, but definitely Gingerbread latte is the absolute winner. CWM is standard white mocha only with cranberry topping anc cranberry sugar on the whip. NO cranberry sirup in it. :-)

  • David

    We just tried this today. I wish it was more than just a drizzle since I already know what a white mocha tastes like, but I’m sure you can get it blended in or mixed in if you want.

    I ordered it iced, soy, with only one pump of white mocha and extra drizzle in the cup. It’s not bad, the sauce has a good flavor but it’s a little obnoxiously sweet. Just like most of what else they sell.

    Starbucks Every store in the San Jose metro I’ve called or visited (about 6, so far) has it. We’re lucky in San Jose to get two test beverages this year, (the first being the Frappuccino Frozt) especially after about a five year spell with none.

  • Melody

    On my phone. I placed my cyber order. Got the $69.95 burr grinder & 2 bags Puerto Rico coffee. After $20 off, I was at $79 so it was free shipping. Not a bad deal at all. I’d been needing a new grinder, and it’s like getting free coffee with it – and I had really wanted that coffee since there’s no other way to easily find the Puerto Rico blend.

  • Isolde

    We’ve got the Cranberry White Mocha here in Sugar Land, Texas, just outside of Houston.

  • Cameron

    I would love to know if they are selling this in Houston airport! I’ve just come back from Holland and I tried it over there! It was so good, can’t believe I had it once! I’ll be flying to Orlando via Houston next week so I’ll be sure to look out for it if I have the time!

  • Brooke

    I will have to go check out the Starbucks, I’m in Denver!

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