PhotoGrid_1483311887822 Starbucks experiencesWelcome to 2017! I thought I’d start the year out right with some super Starbucks pro tips. After all, you are a Starbucks pro. You found this site. 😉


Keep these tips in mind to make your world of Starbucks exciting and fun:

Untitled My Starbucks Idea Screen cap on 2017 Jan 01SUBMIT AN IDEA TO STARBUCKS: Did you know can submit an idea to Starbucks? Maybe you really loved the Starbucks gingerbread house kit from this, and for next year, you want to see a Roastery version of the same? Maybe you have an idea for a new Frappuccino flavor? All you have to do is go to My Starbucks Idea and create an idea. You have a way to tell Starbucks what you think. Anyone can submit an idea to Starbucks. It doesn’t matter if you are a frequent customer, an occasional customer, or if you work for Starbucks. All are welcome at My Starbucks Idea.

By the way, don’t worry about how many points your idea gets. There are people who will vote down an idea regardless of the merits of the idea. And people sometimes vote up bad ideas.


IMG_00451 2017 Jan 01 - Starbucks for here wareIMG_00491 east olive way starbucks 2017 Jan 01 - A cafe full of peopleSLOW DOWN. USE FOR HERE WARE AND ENJOY THE CAFE: The vast majority of Starbucks locations have for-here ware for both hot and cold beverages. Sometimes customers aren’t aware that for-here ware is an option.

It is a coffee house. You can leisurely sit and enjoy your beverage. If you use for-here ware, you prevent one more paper cup from going into a landfill. (Or one more plastic cup.) Yes, I know that many Starbucks locations have recycling, but still an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Besides, it is very nice to relax with a hot cup of coffee. Bring a friend. Slow down and sit and chat. While it might seem like your local Starbucks cafe is full of people inside, statistically the overwhelming majority of the Starbucks business is “to go.” That a lot of people using a drive-thru or rushing in an out. I too am guilty that the majority of my Starbucks purchases are during the morning rush, and in a hurry. But if you can just sit and relax, read your Kindle, read the paper, or chat with a friend, this is wonderful. Starbucks can still be your “third place.”

IMG_00441 Sean making a Clover - 2017 Jan 01 - East Olive Way StarbucksTRY RESERVE COFFEE ON THE CLOVER: Back in March 2008 (during the Starbucks annual meeting of shareholders), Starbucks then-CEO Howard Schultz announced the acquisition of Clover, a company that made a advanced single coffee brewing system, based upon vacuum press technology. The acquisition actually occurred just a few months prior, but the big announcement came in March that year.

Despite that nearly 9 years have gone by since that big happening in March 2008, Starbucks Reserve coffee brewed on the Clover brewer remains a divine experience. You can find a Starbucks location with Reserve coffee offerings and a Clover brewer by searching the store locator on There is a filter option that says “Reserve-Clover brewed.” There are roughly 4,000 locations in North America which offer Clover-brewed Reserve coffee. You can even get an idea of some of the single-origin small batch Reserve coffees that have been offered by visiting (and subscribing to) (Reserve coffees are premium, small batch coffee offerings.)



Starbucks has a loyalty rewards program. You earn stars – it’s two stars for every dollar you spend. There are ways to earn more stars, such as special promotions and monthly “double star” days. Once you are at the gold level, you earn rewards that can be used on food and drink. Just for starting the rewards program, you immediately get free refills in the store.

Also when you join the Starbucks Rewards program, you’ll get a free birthday drink (that is also a welcome level perk –  no need to be at the gold level of rewards). But keep in mind, all of these rewards are digital. You’re never going to get a postcard in the mail with your free drink or free birthday drink. Without a doubt, the easiest way to keep track of all your Starbucks Rewards is with the app for your smartphone.

Not a Starbucks Rewards member yet? Here is what you do: Grab any Starbucks card in the store (look for the plastic cards, as shown in the picture to the left). Tell a barista that you would like to put $5.00 (or more) on that card. And then register the Starbucks card. Here’s the link to register your card.


IMG_00331 - 2017 January 01 - Whole Bean Wall at East Olive Way Starbucks


You can make a great cup of coffee at home. It’s not hard at all. And it is actually cheaper to make a pot of coffee at home than to buy it inside a Starbucks store. If you want to make great coffee at home, be sure you follow these four fundamentals of a great cup of coffee. You want to use 1) fresh, filtered water 2) great coffee that’s not expired 3) the right proportion – 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water and 4) the right grind for your at-home brew method, whether you use a Chemex, pour over, or French press, or whatever you choose.

You can also make great coffee at home with the Starbucks Verismo, an at-home single serve coffee brewer.



Did you know you can order a large traveler of coffee? This is perfect for office meetings, family gatherings, or any other event where you need a little coffee for a small group. All company-operated Starbucks stores offer this option.

I recommend that if you want to get a traveler of coffee for your group, that you call in advance. You might know that you have a meeting at 8:00 AM at work where you need a traveler coffee. It takes a bit of time for your store to put one together. Ideally, if you could call the day before, or several hours in advance and let the store know that you need a traveler, that would be best. Your local store will appreciate the advance notice.

20161231_123429 starbucks pastry case - zephyr style pastry caseSTAND ALONG THE PASTRY CASE:

The overwhelming majority of Starbucks locations are designed so that the line to the register forms along the pastry case. Even if it is not obvious, this is what Starbucks intends for the majority of their stores. So, you form a line along the pastry case.

The reason for this design is obvious: You can grab goodies from the pastry case as you wait to get to the register. You’ll help the flow of your store if you remember to line up along the pastry case. Good flow, means a faster experience for you.



Those are your 7 pro tips to start your year. You are a Starbucks pro now!





Here are a few bonus ideas:

  • If you are in Seattle, drop by the East Olive Way Starbucks to experience a coffee seminar. Generally, you’ll find that the store offers coffee tastings on Mondays at 6:30 PM. You might to call ahead and confirm their schedule. All are welcome. Both customers and partners are welcome to come and experience and East Olive Way coffee tasting.
  • Try to learn how to order your favorite drink. Your barista might not recognize a phrase like, “Captain Crunch Frappuccino,” so if you can, know how to order your favorite drink. It will make a big difference in you getting a consistent drink.
  • If you happen to see me in a store, be sure to say ‘Hello’. Okay, that’s not a real bonus idea! LOL. The odds are (unless you are in Seattle) that you won’t be running into me in a Starbucks store, but still, I love warm and friendly hellos. This is me: This is just a quick, random selfie from today:

2017 January 01 - Melody hanging out at East Olive Way