I picked out three things that I wanted to share with you. I love taking photos of all things Starbucks-related, and lately I have been featuring a number of photos submitted by readers. Today, I am featuring a few things that I have picked out for you.
1) Scott’s art – Three Region Blend chalkboard:
I am a fan of Scott, a shift supervisor at the Key Tower Starbucks in Seattle. He is a gifted artist. On several occasions, I have put a spotlight on the chalkboard that he does for his small Starbucks, in the lobby of an office building. Take a look at his past chalkboards:
- Casi Cielo – 2013
- Christmas Blend – 2012
- Anniversary Blend – 2012
- Indivisible Blend
- Christmas Blend – 2011 (This is my favorite!)
So before it is gone, I wanted to share Scott’s Three Region Blend chalkboard:
2) The Shipping Container Starbucks:
I dropped by the Shipping Container Starbucks on Memorial Day, this year. It was closed for the holiday. One thing that was nice about it being closed was that it was quiet, and I was the only car around. It made for a lovely photo – and I realized that the store and the sky were about the same shade of gray!
3) Child-sized Starbucks Green Aprons:
I saw these at the Starbucks Coffee Gear Store, and thought they were pretty cute! These little aprons would be the beginning of an adorable child’s Halloween costume! Partners can order coffee gear merchandise via the online Coffee Gear Store. If you are not a Starbucks partner, you can go visit the actual one store at the Starbucks headquarters, which is open to the public. If you want to see the kinds of things that the Coffee Gear Store offers, click here for past articles.
That’s it! This is an open thread! If you have photos, or story submissions, email me at Melody at StarbucksMelody dot com. I am sorry but I do not use all story ideas/ photos submitted.
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ok…just wondering: has this really stayed at zero comments all day? or is something not right? weird. So, thought I’d jump in.
The chalkart is totally beautiful, of course. I hate it that so many chalkboards have either totally been removed or are just used for those cut-out cardboards. Personally, I’d love to do chalkart on any Sbux store that would let me….think I’d be able to do something nice 🙂
I do have a story about an sm making my summer drink….iced grande quad doubleshot…. totally wrong. I’ve already taken all the corrective action I could but here’s what happened: (this is not my usual store but one I’ve been going to about once a week for a few yrs so….except for the huge recent turn-over, there’s almost always someone there who knows me.)
So, the partner at the POS was clearly new and not so well trained yet. I order (2, identical): iced grande quad doubleshots….I was going to give the fine details to the sm on bar not to confuse him further (non-fat and 2 splendas, both the same). He knew nothing of a ‘doubleshot’, I tell him there’s a button and then add shots (the sm then repeated the same to him from over on bar)…he then says to me (I’m trying to be helpful and patient, I know it feels horrible to ‘not know what to do’)…..he says to me, after I say a ‘quad’, and now he knows there’s a button on the register, he says: but then it’s not a ‘doubleshot’. 🙁 I say: it’s just the name of the original drink, also sold in stores in cans…it’s the name of a drink. I manage to get thru that, including even using a reward for one of the identical drinks.
I go over to bar where there’s a somewhat experienced sm. She’s making my drinks. I notice that she dissolved the splenda in a little water first so I’m thinking: wow, she’s going the extra mile. Then I watch as she adds the milk to the shots (on ice), in a venti cup. (already wrong) and proceeds to kind of slosh the drink up and down in the venti cup: I say: aren’t you going to use the shaker for that? She says: she doesn’t like to, since they use it for tea….cross contamination. Now I know this has become a lost cause, for the moment. She then pours the drinks into their grande cups. I was gonna let it go with the milk part…shaking the milk with the shots, but now she’s not even going to use the shaker? I take the drinks and go to another part of the store to a partner who knows me. I show him the drinks and ask him (he knows my drink) does anything look not right with these? He immediately says: yeah, looks like the milk was shaken with the shots. So, then I tell him the whole story: not only was the milk shaken with the shots (as opposed to NOT shaking the milk and just topping the drink with it) but the sm didn’t even use the shaker bla bla bla. (and, if that were even a working theory, cross-contamination? then I’m assuming they couldn’t use the blenders for all those different combinations of flavors all day, etc) The partner immediately gave me ‘comp cards’ and said, since this was his manager…he would make one correctly, in front of her and then that, ideally, would start some dialogue about it. I was just so….. disappointed…..no, Melody would be ‘disappointed’ (maybe???) I was more ticked off, and I guess disappointed. It’s just so frustrating when you know how something should be done and you continually run into obstacles…at some places more than others. With the very high turn-over rate that DadC….and I have talked about, and the apparent lack of training, it’s become more and more common in Sbux. With the exception of my ‘home’ store, where there’s always at least one partner on who has known me and my drinks for at least a while, I run into something like this too often. I can understand it a bit more when it’s something like the ability to make ‘great foam’, which I also request in a winter drink. That I consider a bit more of an art form….the ability to make extra foam that looks like ice-cream. But it’s still unacceptable to me. I’ve asked for that in too many Sbux where the partner on bar’s idea of ‘extra foam’, even after I give them a description, is maybe 1/4″ of foam on top. 🙁
Anyway, back to the ‘doubleshot’. I did contact this store’s dm who I feel sure will follow up with this sm. I’ll find out, I’m sure.
So, ‘sorry the rant’. But this is an ongoing issue with Sbux…for whatever reasons, and I find it just unacceptable for this place I have loved and “poured MY heart” into for so many yrs!
@Denise – As to the no comments, I have noticed one trend that is happening with my blog – it’s an interesting trend – if you look, the Facebook side of this blog has exploded. I’ve added something like 300 new likes in just a couple of months. The photo of the child’s-sized apron had like 21 comments. I have totally mixed feelings about this – it is as if the conversations are being transferred to Facebook. I really want people to comment HERE but I can’t make anyone do anything. But, seeing the activity on the Facebook side makes me realize that people are still engaged in my content.
I jump for joy for the comments here – people genuinely say interesting things – but I don’t know what to do. If I hound people to come comment, I assume it just will have the reverse affect making them not want to.
The DoubleShot has never been my favorite drink – I couldn’t even tell you the recipe. I do know that I always hear of the DoubleShot beverage causing confusion. The name itself is confusing unless you know the background on how it got that name! I suppose I could do a whole thread on the DoubleShot – ha ha ah – I am kidding about that of course.
As to what to do, I have no idea. I have had no reason to contact Customer Service in a long while. Generally, my advice to most people is that Customer Service is best because the store’s DM is always advised what is happening.
For myself, I cycle through like a handful of downtown Seattle stores on a regular basis. If I already know the SM (and have confidence that they’re on the ball) then I always go to the SM. I know most of the Seattle DM, and have a good deal of confidence in them too, and would go to a DM – which is what you did.
Why oh why is the DoubleShot a confusing drink? Is it the number of shots or is it the shaker?
@Melody: I’ve seen what you mean about FB, btw. But it does appear, maybe to be diminishing the desire to comment here….FB is just the ‘quick’ version of everything, I think. It’s not the same…. but???
As for the ‘doubleshot’, it’s absolutely one of the easiest, if not easiest, bar drinks. I’ve even asked baristas about that…they agree. Totally one of the most simple espresso drinks, if not the simplest. The ingredients are so minimal…if they could just follow directions! And now, this new group of baristas is beyond that whole big mixed up time when they took it off the regsiter, and it had to be rung as an iced Americano, add shots. crazy. But it’s been back on for a couple or 3 yrs. So, no excuse. (remember when you ordered that shaken lemonade….at the end of our tasting tours that Sunday…..and it wasn’t shaken, just poured from cup to cup, altho the partner said she’d shaken it? I called the store and alerted one of the more experienced to that….it wasn’t the first time. ) Maybe they don’t want to deal with the shaker but then really, get another job! It is not rocket science….
I know this dm will get back to that store but, it’s occurring in a lot of places. Oh well…… ;(
@DeniseR – The number of “talking about this” on my FB side seems large too. Maybe it’s a phase. But short of asking people to comment, there’s not much I can do. Facebook IS just super quick for many.
This idea that you just pour or slosh a tea or shaken drink is baffling to me. I seriously never see that kind of a shortcut taken in downtown Seattle. I can recall once (a while ago) getting a passion iced tea from a Starbucks in Bellevue that definitely had not been shaken. I was in a hurry, and I made a mental note to say something to someone but didn’t. Actually, the reason why customer complaints are valuable to a business is that most people do NOT complain. Most people walk away disappointed, not sure if they’ll return, and maybe thinking they’ll say something, but don’t.
@Denise: I’m sorry you had such a frustrating experience. I wanted to offer a possible explanation for you, if I may.
The Doubleshot has only been back on the registers for a year and a half, mainly due to customer demand (though it will not go back on the menu). However, so few customers order the drink that we do not teach new baristas how to make it. Or explain it to them for that matter unless asked. I, personally, have only made a handful in the past couple of years. I learned it from another barista who had been with the company when it was a thing.
This does not excuse the pushback you received at the point of sale or at the bar, but I hope it makes a little more sense now.
Just chiming in as well. The amount of training and experienced partners does vary from store to store. It is no excuse, but as @Starbucks partner has mentioned, the Starbucks DoubleShot is an older drink that isn’t found on the menu so most new partners haven’t even heard of it. Stores have recipe cards that contain the standardized recipes and procedures to make each drink, and unfortunately the Starbucks DoubleShot isn’t in it, which only further leads to confusion.
The drink is easy make and delicious! It’s simple syrup, ice, and espresso shots shaken in a tea shaker and poured into the cup. It is then topped off with a splash of milk which creates a beautiful layering effect.
I am sorry that you have had a negative experience, but as Melody has mentioned, take the time to contact customer service about it. It will enable the company to take the appropriate action to ensure that partners in that store/area have the proper tools and training required to make your beverage. =)
@Starb…Partner and @Devin: I appreciate your comments but this was a case when the sm (the SM!) thought she knew the drink…and decided still to make it all incorrectly. It does vary (the number of requests) from place to place…I was in one store near me once and asked the partner ~ how many of these doubleshots do you make: he answered that it was requested enough that he made sure all the new partners knew it. And besides all that, when a SHAKEN drink isn’t shaken, with the shaker, not to mention all the other factors (like layering the milk), I think it’s inexcusable…which is why I was comped for the drinks and why I contacted the dm.
This scenario is similar to what often happens when one orders a kahlua and cream….. sometimes the cream gets mixed in and that is totally not the same as when it’s layered. There’s really a difference. (maybe this is a drink ordered by an ‘older’ crowd but it still does exist, as does the ‘mixing’.)
I think there are many little drinks that are not ‘commonly’ ordered at Sbux but I assume they should be done correctly when ordered. There’s no excuse for a badly made ‘doubleshot’, imo. I realize all those factors and confusion when it was removed from the register. (God forbid the registers were actually like the ‘old days’ when a person actually had to ring up “x” amounts and then count back money.) But it’s on there now, which means there is a reason. And when a partner wants to argue, after I tell him there’s a doubleshot button (as did the sm), that because I’m ordering a ‘quad’ doubleshot that it’s not a ‘doubleshot’ ..and he didn’t even know what it was to begin with? and I tell him that’s why you have to “add shots”….it’s just not good customer service.
As I said, I think I have poured MY heart into Sbux for yrs, and my money. I expect to get what I ordered, made correctly.
Please don’t get me wrong: I do appreciate all your sympathies. And as I said initially, I immediately did all I could to ensure it is corrected at that store.
I find the chalk art fascinating and since Mel has drawn my attention to them I ALWAYS check them out when I visit any store 🙂 There are some mighty talented partners out there!!!
I plan to secure a partners apron for my granddaughter! Her Dad is a diehard Starbucks fan (as am I) and I look forward to baking with her wearing that darling apron! I’ll have to work on her mastering the Kuerig so she can serve us coffee HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Melody I really wish there was more chalk art in other stores. They really should teach partners this lost art.
Just back from cambridge and it was so nice to go into the SB stores there. Btw they have the evolution fresh juices and we do not. I really do notice a difference in partner involvement with customers.
Why do most of the baristas wear the green aprons, but some are in black ones, even if they aren’t managers?
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These chalkboard artowrks are great! I wish I could spot them in my nearby stores. 😉
And as for the aprons – I wish I had one. But normal sized. Definitely not for toddlers. 😉 Unfortunately I’m aware of that I won’t get one until I’m hired. Rules are rules. Nevertheless… I was thinking what if there was a brown apron with retro Starbucks logo? That would look cool, wouldn’t it? 🙂