You Pick: The Best of StarbucksMelody (A poll)

I started producing and writing articles for StarbucksMelody.com back in September 2009. Since that time, I’ve written about 1,500 articles about Starbucks (and a tiny number not about Starbucks at all). That translates into roughly 16 or 17 articles per month. That’s a lot of content on this site.

I’ve been wondering what you like the best. Really, I’m just curious. I know that when I talk to partners face to face, they often tell me how much they enjoy certain Starbucks history stories. I know that the way Facebook algorithms work, those stories that have a controversial bend to them tend to take off and be seen by more people, whether or not they represent the best or highest quality articles. And I know from Google analytics, lots of people come to this website after search on the phrase, “Starbucks Refill Policy.”

But what resonates with you?

I have some ideas of what it might be, but you tell me:

2 - 1 - IMAG5194 VeronaThe Untold Story: Caffè Verona and Whiskey.

I know that lots of people have read the Verona and Whiskey story with great surprise. It’s not the official Starbucks version of how this blend came to be. There’s no chocolate cake to be had in this version of the Verona story.

But you cannot claim to really know much about this coffee unless you’ve tried with Irish whiskey and read the true Caffè Verona story.

IMAG1310 Espresso Roast - Emerson St. 29 July 2014 - 4th and Union StarbucksFinding the Hidden Messages in the Coffee Packaging:

In the summer of 2013, the Starbucks whole bean packaging went through a major overhaul. It was changed to its current design. The artists involved in creating the beautiful whole bean packaging designed elements and visuals that speak to the beans’ history. In other words, on Caffè Verona, you might find the words “80/20”.

I wrote an article dissecting the codes on the bags a little further. I didn’t write about every little hidden symbol or clue – there are still many for you to work on. But when you pick up a bag of whole bean coffee, take a good look at the little visuals subtly designed into the packaging.

New things at the Coffee Gear StoreThe Ultimate Guide to a Starbucks Vacation:

About two years ago, I put together a guide of Starbucks sights to see for when you visit Seattle. I think it could be time for an updated version of this article, yet this story remains incredibly popular. I have had people tell me that they visited certain Starbucks sights in Seattle because they saw my guide article. The idea for the article came from the fact that once in a while I get emails from people asking me, ‘What Starbucks things should I see on my trip to Seattle?’

It’s true. If you visit Roy Street Coffee and Tea (which is operated by Starbucks), the Coffee Gear Store, 1912 Pike Place, the Roastery, the Ballard shipping container Starbucks (or south Seattle shipping container Starbucks), you’ll have had a full day or two in Seattle. And there’s still more to see and do.

Refill Policy Update Nov 2016The Refill Policy:

One of the number one ways people find this website is a Google search on the words ‘The Starbucks Refill Policy.’ It remains one of aspects of Starbucks that is still troubling to partners and customers. From the perspective of customers, many customers are unaware that all refill perks end when you leave the store. From the perspective of partners, many partners are unaware that the refill policy allows a person to switch beverages, with some limitations. Can you pass this Refill Policy quiz?

20161127_202016 Mark loading up Las Lajas into the green coffee loading pitThe Green Coffee Loading Pit at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room:

This is one of my favorites. Even if you visit the Roastery, you might not catch entirely the reason for the Green Coffee Loading Pit, unless you watch it being disassembled and / or talk to one of the roasters. It has both a quality control function as well as a means to transport beans on their production journey to the final roasted product.

It is the kind of story that will appeal to those who want to understand the smallest details of how Starbucks brings you Reserve coffees – you might need to be a coffee geek. 😉

2 - 1 - 20150512_081114 jwa10 Ways Starbucks Could Improve:

Nearly 2 years ago, I wrote an article outlining the ways that I thought Starbucks could improve. I stand by what I wrote. It ended up being widely read, and highly controversial. (And again, whether or not it is what people WANT to read on this site, if you rely on Facebook to discover what is on this blog, you’ll end up seeing mostly the more controversial articles.)

The fact of the matter is – and I realize there will be lots and lots of people who disagree with me – one thing that makes Starbucks different than other businesses is their genuine concern over both the partner experience and the customer experience. Any retailer can throw a few ingredients in a cup. It is the Starbucks experience that has made the brand iconic.

20161004_121219[1] Logo on the 4th avenue entrance of Starbucks store number 101How well do you know Starbucks? Take this Quiz.

I put together a wildly difficult quiz about Starbucks. It is full of difficult trivia about the brand. If you can ace it, you have been doing your Starbucks homework.

 

 

1 - 1 - 20160708_161901 starbucks list of partner food favoritesWhat your barista likes to eat at Starbucks:

I was stunned when this article took off. But it seems as though my readers really wanted to know what their local baristas were eating. What really are the most popular food items for partners to ‘mark out’ at Starbucks? When partners ‘mark out’ an item, they don’t have to pay for it. It’s a benefit.

 

Pre1992FrenchPressWithBeans1992: The very first Starbucks annual report to shareholders.

Starbucks became a publicly traded corporation in June 1992. The following spring, the new, small corporation produced their very first annual report. Starbucks operated 154 stores in 1992. Who knew it would ever get so huge?

This year’s annual shareholders meeting is Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Hope to see you there!

10 Things You Need to Know about Starbucks

This was a fun list of tips for customers. Hey, not everybody wants tips on how to be a good customer but I thought it was a fun article. One pro tip that is missing from that list is that you should line up along the pastry case. The overwhelming majority of stores are designed that the line forms along the pastry case.

Or maybe you have your own favorite? This is just for fun. Please don’t take it too seriously! :)
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3 Comments

  • CD

    Hi Melody! My favorite articles are the historical articles, but equally important, I thought I’d share my least favorite types of articles which are the new drinks/food items articles. My take is that Starbucks promotes those things themselves so there isn’t much else to discuss other than the “I like it,” “I don’t like it” kind of discussion. Obviously, they do serve the purpose of new content when other things to discuss aren’t readily available, but for me they’re at the bottom of my list.

    That being said, test market items are a great insight into things Starbucks is considering and testing and I certainly prefer those so much more than the “caramel caramel mocha returns on Tuesday” type of articles.

    But again, no matter what you write, I appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm – thanks for keeping this going for so many years!

  • Melody

    Hi CD! Good to see you here! The ‘here’s a new food or drink item’ stories are the least timeless. They don’t entertain me so much either. However they serve a purpose: They really will catch the attention of some people who perhaps haven’t been into a Starbucks lately to see what’s new, or somehow missed what is new.
    I find that I need to keep updating at least twice a week, so it really is always going to be a little bit of everything.
    I know the patterns: Btw, the vast majority of those who use Facebook to follow what’s here don’t seem to realize that FB is going to highly filter what they see – thus the news stories that are the most controversial do extremely well on Facebook. But the reader who truly counts on FB to keep them up to date on this site is often going to miss the articles which (in my humble opinion) have the most enduring value.
    But you know, it really is that different people like different stories – my tastes are like yours!!

  • Colleen Johnson

    Enjoy reading everything I see on this site but I do have to say some of the Obscure information is always fun and interesting. I like seeing new things that are coming out and the history is also one of my favorites. I also love watching you go and participate in tastings and experiments at the different stores. One of my favorite things was your article on what to do in Seattle because I have a lot of friends coming to visit and I can pull that up for reference. I believe there was also another one about some of the different Starbucks and because of that I went up to the Columbia tower Starbucks and Roy Street. No matter what thank you for all you do

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