Casi Cielo K-cups launch this week at Starbucks.

Casi Cielo K-Cups:

For the first time ever, Starbucks will be offering Casi Cielo coffee in the K-Cup format.  I’m not a Keurig machine owner myself, but if I had one, I would like this.  This is a blend of Latin American coffee designed for fine dining.  Historically, Casi Cielo has hints of lemon and chocolate.  Last year’s Olive Way coffee seminar event for Casi Cielo was fantastic!  This year’s Olive Way Casi Cielo event will be on Monday the 21st at 6:00 p.m. – I hope I will see you there!

As to the exact date of the launch of Casi Cielo, I don’t know for certain.  I have had some partners tell me the 16th and others say the 17th, but it’s one of those two days!  As to be expected, Casi Cielo is a seasonal offering.  I imagine you’ll want to stock up on the K-cups if you have a Keurig machine at home.

Casi Cielo is one of my favorite coffees.  I have told this story many times, but I discovered the Clover brewer in January 2008.  There is a Clover at the 6th and Union Starbucks, and one day in January, I ordered my first Clover-brewed cup of coffee:  Casi Cielo.  It’s been a love story with Casi Cielo ever since! 😉

January tumbler “improvements” idea:

A member of suggested that the January tumbler come with an insert that explains what it’s good for.  This is a great idea.  The month is half way over, and I discover that there are still confusing conversations about that.  I had erroneously thought that iced coffee was included:  it seems that a couple of regular stores had just been saying “yes” to me without further explanation.  And I have told some partners that I heard that the tumbler includes an add shot and syrups, and been met with disbelief.

I hope to see the tumbler continue next year, though I would agree, there could be a few improvements.  This year, as far as I can tell, the tumbler covers hot brewed tea (grande sized hot tea), grande brewed coffee (Pike Place Roast, or whatever happens to be available) including add shots an syrups.  There may be more!  And in casual conversation, I have heard partners say that they include iced coffee always since it is a brewed coffee, and not an expensive product.  (I think brewed coffee with an add shot is a more expensive item?).  One thing I know, this tumbler definitely does not include iced tea.

And obviously, if you want to get a latte or a Refresher or other handcrafted beverage in your special January tumbler, you will receive a ten cent cup discount, but the item is not free.

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!



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  • purple1

    The confusion over the January tumbler is so odd to me because this is something I would think would be easy to distribute to the stores- another example to me that corporate does not follow through on things and then as a result customers as well as partners get upset. Why does it have to be so difficult?

  • Samantha

    I too have been a little confused and was under the impression that it was only brewed coffee that was free with the tumbler and have had many customers become upset. It also causes me to become a tad bit fustrated because I like to make my customers expierence at my store a good one. Definately have asked my manager to find out all information about what is free (if any) other then coffee. Now onto the launch of Casi Cielo. Im definately excited about it coming back as it was my first coffee tasting and it also means its been a year that I’ve been with Starbucks 😀 <3 Yaaay!! I love the beautiful flavors this coffee has and Im very excited to conduct this tasting with the new partners in my store who have yet to taste it <3

  • theatrenut

    Speaking of k-cups, which reminds me of the Verismo, I thought I’d mention a recent disappointment with Starbucks. (Per the Starbucks store listings and comments) They are apparently no longer selling the espresso pods (also known as ESE pods) for use in espresso machines.

    I’ve been using them (when I don’t feel like grinding and tamping, or when I’m out of beans) for over a year now with the Barista espresso machine I got from Starbucks. No, no more.

    There are other brand espresso pods, and a nice website that sells an assortment, but I’ve tried at least a dozen brands and they don’t come close to Starbucks. The Starbucks pods made espresso that taste just like what you get in the Starbucks store.

    I guess this is a result of them having their own cup-pod style machine (though they still sell real espresso machines on the site), but they are apples and oranges as far as I’m concerned.

  • denise r

    I’m a little surprised at the Casi Cielo in K-cups….not that there isn’t a market out there. But, considering they just launched their own Sbux only Verismo…… all seems like odd timing. (of course, the K-cups were really only a few mnths before the Verismo)

    re: the tumbler. seems to be much confusion about it. My understanding was it was for brewed coffee. ? I’ll look back thru my email….I think I got one about it originally. Lots of confusion all the way around it seems.

  • Brett

    As a new Verismo owner, I hope that Starbucks starts to up the number of pod choices available.

    I know K-cups are more widespread, but it’s a little annoying to invest in Starbucks’ own system, and not getting nearly the selection from them. Casi Cielo would be awesome, but I’ll settle for just a decaf brewed coffee option. Not having that makes no sense to me.

  • Chgo.

    I think for the Keurig crowd, the introduction of the Casi Cielo in a K-Cup, will have people begging for more when they run out for the season. By far, this was one of my favorite coffees to brew in my Keurig, using a My K-Cup. I look forward to this coffee coming out every year. I love coffee that has those hints of chocolate. I can’t wait to have it this year on the Clover. Of course I want to try the 2 new Reserves first…….

    OT: @Denise – Have you ever made it over to the Harlem / Lake store yet since the Clover arrived?

  • Ben

    not interested in the K-cups…but can’t wait to have Casi again (1/17 here). My favorite coffee…its really sublime, especially in a press.

  • denise r

    @chgo: was just thinking about this. One of my sisters is coming in for a visit to my Mom’s today….. and we will definitely make the (short) trip to Harlem & Lake….I always go there with her. Will let you know.

  • denise r

    re: the “January” $30. tumbler. I just went back in my email and read the one I received on Dec. 3rd about “12 days, 12………”. Anyway, on the Dec 3rd spot, it offers the $30. tumbler and says ” receive free BREWED coffee” for the mnth of January. So, that was my understanding. If they’d offered it up for also including any syrups and/or shots that we now pay for (which might have been not charged prior to 10/16/12) then I’m guessing the tumbler would’ve sold much better. That’s a big difference for a not inexpensive tumbler.

  • jocelyn

    An email was sent out to us stating that the tumbler is good for coffee (hot and iced) and tea (hot and iced). I don’t know it is just our district (I know of at least two customers who called corporate very upset) but I do wish there was more information passed down to the stores about what the tumbler is good for and what it’s not.

    The problem we are having is that people bought the tumbler, but they don’t want you to put the coffee in it. they want it double cupped, in a venti, and it just seems to defeat the whole purpose of a reusable tumbler!!! We just say yes of course, but it’s still frustrating.

  • Melody

    @Jocelyn – It’s 4pm and I’m just catching up on comments from the day. No wonder there’s so much confusion about the tumbler!! That email you got was weird! The 775 code doesn’t work for iced tea or iced coffee. Now, I did hear a rumor (very loose, unsubstantiated) that there was some 2nd code out there that was for the iced drinks! But I don’t know what it is. If anyone can weigh in, please do!

  • Tim

    First and foremost, hello everybody!
    This is my first ever comment on this blog which I been having my sets on for a while. Melody, you run a fantastic blog!

    I”m looking forward to picking up two Casi Cielo K-Cups this week, and hope for more K-Cup variety. I really wonder will Tribute make a go-around this year?

    I purchase the Keurig Mini in December of 2011 because of Starbucks/Green Mountain coffee 2011 announcement. Starbucks K-Cups been in Grocery/Retail channels since November 2011, which my personal first time purchasing Starbucks K-Cups was a Walmart Supercenter, the largest seller of Groceries in the United States.

    K-Cups only been in actual Starbucks Cafes since June of 2012. I find the whole Starbucks/Green Mountain relationship to be weird. Starbucks doesn’t spend anytime promoting Starbucks Vue packs(not K-Cups , but a total different platform) for the Keurig Vue(you may seen Vue infomercial with Jennie Garth ) which powder milk lattes as well.

    On the other end, Green Mountain stopped Starbucks from acquiring Tully’s Cafe business by objecting as Green Mountain actually owns the Tully’s name(the stores licensed the name, along with rights to act as the Franchisor of the name to third parties from Green Mountain), and has their own Espresso machine coming this Spring called ”Rivo”.

    The relationship is totally awkward.

  • jocelyn

    @Melody, no, the 775 code does not work for the iced drinks, but we will just “right now recovery” them instead of the 775 code so we can keep track of how many there are. one of them stormed in and asked if i was jocelyn because corporate told them that they “need to talk to jocelyn”. Haha, I have no idea where that came from, but it did give me a good laugh :)

    @Tim,welcome!! :)
    I don’t know about kcup form, but Tribute blend will be coming back again this year!

  • Melody

    @Jocelyn – All I can say is that I hope there is Verismo Tribute pods!!

    That’s hilarious about “need to talk to jocelyn”! You are famous.

  • Chgo.

    Corporate contacted me today! They told me all my problems and questions should be submitted to and addressed by Jocelyn! I’m just saying!!! 😛

  • Melody

    @Chgo LOL! I just totally laughed out loud!

    Seriously, I think between you, DadCooks, purple1, Denise, and the regular partners on here – Becca, Rebecca, Jocelyn, (Magikkat now and then) and few others, we solve a lot of problems together.

  • jocelyn

    I think we do too! I learn so much from this blog! :)

  • Melody

    @Tim – My apologies that I didn’t say a big “Welcome” to you! I know that I need to work on being better at answering comments. I hope you’ll “like” the site, and/or subscribe.

    In truth, I can agree that the Starbucks/Keurig relationship is a bit awkward. It’s like as if they need each other a little bit, and at the same time don’t. I get the impression that all Starbucks wants to do is grow their K-Cup line because so many people do have a Keurig machine, and they’ll probably never promote anything that is not theirs in branding or co-branded with the Starbucks branding.

  • Tim

    Opps this is the link to Starbucks Vue packs I tried to linked to!

  • Tim

    One more time

  • purple1

    Yesterday when I had a chance to chat with the SM at my local store he did say that the codes for this January tumbler promotion were causing them issues and that they were issued new instructions and hopefully everything would be resolved! He said from his end it can be very frustrating but we all know that don’t we! Dad Cooks I was thinking of you when he was discussing the issue of codes and the register as you have often related comments re the IT problems. Training, training, communication, communication and Customer Service!

  • Melody

    @Purple1 – New instructions? Can you tell me more? The month is half over and the tumbler gets “new instructions.” ??

  • purple1

    Melody I will try to get more info but the SM was not specific enough re the timeline for all of this and as nice as he is you have to get him at the right time for him to open up and chat. So, it could be what he saw as new instructions are old already.

  • Chgo.

    Has anybody heard that tomorrow they are rolling out the the 2 new Reserves along with Casi Cielo instead of waiting until next week? I was told by a store manager today that this is the plan. I was wondering if anybody has been told the same?

  • Melody

    @Chgo – Yes that’s right. Usually the new Reserves launch on a Tuesday, but Starbucks has decieded that these 2 will coincide with Casi Cielo on the 17th. I sort of don’t understand why they didn’t do Casi and the 2 new Reserves on Tuesday the 15th, but such is life.

  • denise r

    @chgo: am going to the R.F. store today so will report back! am having some special treat one way or other!

  • denise r

    @chgo: finallymade it to the River Forest Clover store today! I took a few pics (or maybe more than a few, will send to Melody). The store looks the same, or nearly, as the last time I was in it…cannot remember when…..maybe early spring 2012? (pre-Clover anyway) So, it was a really nice atmosphere, had a Clover of the Maui (wonderful), brought home a bag. Otherwise, nothing really too different ‘looking’ about it. What was kind of ironic, their “computer table” was actually probably half the sz of the one in my Rand Rd store…..too funny since even tho Rand Rd is a lot of space, I’d guess the Harlem & Lake store is twice that space. weird, altho they did appear to have plenty of outlets through-out the store. Anyway, it was a lot of fun just being there, not to mention the company and the coffee!

    @Melody: sorry off topic. hate to keep going back to “I don’t know where” to put this….

  • Chgo.

    OT – And I too apologize to Melody…..

    @denise – I believe they replaced the old tables with the much smaller tables if I remember correctly. I have only been there once and it’s been awhile. I think the most noticeable change was the seating area closest to the bathroom. It was an Oriental style rug, a coffee table and 4 wingback style chairs before. What I can’t remember is what they replaced the chairs in that area with. Is that where they put the computer table? I don’t remember. I haven’t been back there because I wanted them to get used to the Clover. That first time I went there, they were extremely rusty and inexperienced when it came to making coffee on it. I just haven’t been shopping there like I used to since Borders closed.

    I tried both the Maui Mokka and the GAFM today. I took a GAFM togo, but I liked the Maui Mokka better. I will get that tomorrow and do the Casi Cielo on the weekend.

  • denise r

    @chgo: in the back of the store, there are little more ‘comfy’ type chairs, but more bucket style and leather? (also a bright color, yellowish, I think. Oh God, there goes that blonde again;) They were all randomly placed and around little tables…Honestly, I didn’t pay enough attention to that area except it was very much ‘warmer’ and also away from the doors. I always like a bar with stools along the window and they have quite a long area of that outlets on it tho, not a ‘computer table’. The official ‘computer table’ is closest to the front now, more toward the front door……but not too close. and small, really pretty small for the space. (I don’t think more than maybe 7′, also normal table height so> chairs. ….not stools)

    I did notice the seemingly ever-present not-so-good ratio of new partners to experienced. I had to help the partner on the register out a couple times. But, they were fine with the bar and service. And no Blonde push whatsoever, altho it was there. Gotta run. Very pleasant place. (and thanx for the wishes)

  • Emanuel Levy

    I am NOT HAPPY with my January tumbler. After five days there is condensation under the plastic and what looks like paper under the plastic gets wet from coffee so I know it is leaking internally somewhere. I HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT put this in the dishwasher because I know it’s not dishwasher safe.

    None of the stores by me in NJ have a clover. I have to drive 45 minutes to Shewsbury to get a clover but I do enjoy then.

    I’ve been on a Sugar Free Vanilla Blond kick lately. The store I go to are doing pour-overs for me and with the 2013 January tumbler they are free.

    Last night I tried the Casi Cielo and loved it! I went to one of my nearby store on lunch today. They didn’t have any Casi Cielo brewed so I asked for a pour over and they did it.

  • tricia

    We will have to try these! I have to admit- I was disappointed with the Veranda blend k-cups….maybe too mild?

  • Melody

    @Tricia – Report back how you like it! I think that the single-serve pod format of coffee makes a lighter cup of coffee than what I would do at home with a pour over. I can see how Veranda would be very mild as a pod of any kind.
    @Emanuel Levy – Sounds like you’ve had good luck with stores doing pour overs. I think that’s an area of ambiguity. But yes, overall, there are ways the tumbler (and info to the stores) could be improved.

  • Emanuel Levy

    I just wanted to add I’ve been to two stores yesterday that didn’t have any brewed Casi but did pour over’s.

  • purple1

    I learned this morning from my SM that our district is no longer doing pour overs. Actually, it has been that way for quite some time. Apparently, too many customers were complaining about the quality of the coffee and the DM decided that no stores in his region were going to do it. The SM also said he is not sure when they will start brewing the new Casi Cielo.

  • Melody

    @Purple1 – What? What does that mean? Does it mean the stores are going back to ‘brew on demand.’ Or are the bold afternoon drinkers going to be just told “no.” I once started writing an article about “no,” “yes” and “I don’t know” and what it means for the customer experience at the register, and frankly, “No bold” or “no decaf – you can only have an Americo” is just crappy for the experience.
    And I am lost – every store here IS already brewing Casi Cielo? How are your stores not brewing it?

  • purple1

    Melody I have to get some more answers because I really cannot tell you. The whole thing started yesterday when I wanted to get a pour over for my husband to try the Casi and the ASM only told me the pour over was broken. Today, when I saw the SM I asked him about it and had that conversation. I think I will have to go to one of my favorite partners to get some more info. Re the brewing of the Casi I have not gone to other stores in my district to check if they also are not brewing it. I can only relate what my SM at my local store told me.

  • denise r

    I’d like to know more about the ‘pour over’ status too! I can’t imagine they’d stop this and yet, I’ll believe anything at this point. If they end this, I’d like to know the alternative plan too. Just the thought of having to go thru ANY hassle again for a cup of BOLD, whenever I want it, coupled with the big, aggressive BLONDE push, makes my blood boil.

    re: Casi being brewed: it has been brewing here everyday (during the BOLD hrs!) since it came out. I watched a partner yesterday, when it was past the BOLD curfew, open a bag of Casi and make me a pour-over…and this was in a very busy kiosk (but corp.) mall Sbux.
    I really would hate to see Sbux going back to the failed b.o.d. policy or a forced Americano or even a press. This will be interesting.

  • purple1

    I tried this morning to get some more info at my local store re the pour over situation and the brewing of Casi. One partner that I asked as to when they would start brewing Casi and she looked at me and she said she had no clue! Re the pour over situation, the partner that I chat with the most I have not seen since this came up but as soon as I see him I am going to inquire. I can say for sure that the DM in our region feels the pour overs were a failure- too many complaints from customers. Felt brewing the coffee was better.

  • Melody

    @DeniseR – I can only agree that going back to “brew on demand” would be a disaster.

  • Purple1

    The SM at my
    Local store said today his info is the official launch of the Casi (to brew)
    Is not for another two weeks? He cannot say why some stores are already brewing it. Another level of miscommunication or are different regions brewing it at different times?

  • Ron Brown

    Hi… I just was just reading this regarding the 2013 January tumblers:
    It was written; “I had erroneously thought that iced coffee was included: it seems that a couple of regular stores had just been saying �yes� to me without further explanation.” …
    “One thing I know, this tumbler definitely does not include iced tea.”

    Well… the January Tumblers are good for Iced Tea! In the company memo promoting the 2013 Tumbler promo (sent to all managers)… it specifically states that it is good for iced tea (according to Starbucks Customer Service)! My story involves two local Starbucks stores who gave me a hard time about iced tea, and in both cases I have had Starbucks Inc. straighten them out. It is correct to say the tumblers are good for iced tea, or iced coffee, as well as the hots! Apparently, the memo mentioned states at the top (Brewed Coffee or Brewed Tea)… but only down at the bottom does it clarify further to include iced coffee and iced tea. This clarification was missed by MANY Starbucks managers and translated into a significant communication breakdown and the clarification never got to the (wonderful) Baristas (capital “B” always)! Who, I might add, had to defend what they KNEW of the company’s policy on the Tumblers. So, drink on my friends!

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